Computer Hardware Diagram
Advancements in computer technology may have made them extremely powerful and fast, these computing devices continue to have the same infrastructure as they used to have decades ago. When you draw the basic computer hardware diagram, the same components can be seen as when the computer revolution started. In this guide you will explore these most important parts of your computer and learn about their functions.
Main Hardware Components
The 6 main parts that make a standard computer (or operational computer system) are as following:
- Central Processing Unit (CPU or Processor)
- Primary Memory (Random Access Memory or RAM)
- Secondary Memory (Hard Drive or Flash Drive)
- Input Devices
- Output Devices
- Power Supply
The CPU, memory, secondary storage, and power supply will be usually housed inside a case known as the computer case or ‘tower’. All the components will be connected to the ‘motherboard’ which acts as the main circuit board. The input and output devices will usually be connected through connectors.
The 5 major components in a computer hardware diagram are described as following:
1. Central Processing Unit
As the name suggests, the CPU processes all functions within a computer. It will have control over the functions of the various components. It will process all the data and perform calculations. It will also control the data transfer between the primary and secondary memory, and between memory and itself.
It is the processor where all the basic computation takes place. Other parts will contribute to the processing task by performing other essential functions like storing or transferring data to and from the CPU.
2. Random Access Memory
Random Access Memory or RAM is used for temporarily storing information which is being currently used for processing. The RAM stores most of the currently processed data because the CPU doesn’t have enough memory. While the processor holds only a tiny amount of data and instructions, AM will hold complete data sets and programs which are in current use. It is volatile memory and the data and instructions will be deleted when the system is switched off or when the current program is stopped.
3. Secondary Storage
Secondary storage is used for storing all the data which is not in current usage. The hard disk drive is the perfect example of this type of memory. You can store large volume of data on this type of storage volumes. There are two main types of secondary storage solutions – Internal Storage and External Storage. Internal storage includes hard disk drives and solid state drives (SSD). External storage includes external hard disk drives and SSDs, flash memory sticks, CD-ROMs, and DVDs.
4. Input Devices
Input devices are hardware components that gather raw data from the user for processing. Keyboard, mouse, touchscreen, microphone, scanner, and light pen are the examples of commonly used input devices.
Keyboard – The keyboard provides you one of the easiest ways to input data into the computer. There are various types of keyboards and they can have some variations in keys. However, all of them serve the same function – input data.
Mouse – The mouse sends information to the computer through the click of a button. It works as an alternative way for interacting with the computer along with the keyboard.
5. Output Devices
The function of output devices is to send out the processed (useful) information out of the computer. The computer monitor (display) is a common example of an output device, but there are 2 main types of output components – temporary and permanent output devices. While monitors, speakers and projects are the perfect examples of the former types, printers and plotters are the ideal examples of the latter types.
These are the 5 most important components that make a part of a computer hardware diagram.