What Is Computer Hardware?

Hardware in a computer system refers to the physical components, such as its case, central processing unit (CPU), random access memory (RAM), monitor, mouse and keyboard – plus computer data storage.

These components are the main factors in how well your computer runs, so it’s essential to select them carefully. Some have a significant effect on overall performance while others have less significance.


A motherboard is the central element of your computer hardware, enabling all other system components to communicate with one another. Composed of layers of copper and fiberglass wiring, it transmits data rapidly between components.

On the motherboard, components such as the CPU, RAM, hard disk drives, graphics cards and sound card come together to form one unit. These pieces of computer hardware work together in harmony to ensure your machine runs efficiently and quickly.

Exhaust Fan

Exhaust fans provide ventilation in a room by eliminating odors, excess moisture and smoke. They’re commonly used in bathrooms and kitchens to keep the air clean and safe for occupants.

These fans can help prevent mildew and mold from developing in attics and walls spaces, as well as eliminating smells and fumes from garages and workshops.

Many factors influence an exhaust fan’s performance, including duct type and installation, motor size and speed, as well as blade design. Furthermore, proper maintenance of both the duct system and building’s infrastructure is necessary to guarantee optimal functionality.

System Clock

The system clock is a quartz crystal circuit that regulates the timing of all computer operations. All chips within your system move data, execute processes and access memory only when the next clock pulse arrives.

For your system clock to remain accurate and stable during startup or shutdown, the system clock must be synced with your hardware clock when your computer first powers on and periodically during shutdown or startup. Doing this ensures the hardware clock does not drift more than a few milliseconds while being on or off.

System Bus

The system bus is the link that links the CPU with main memory RAM and other important components on a computer. It carries data, address and control signals back and forth between these components.

System buses can be classified as either synchronous or asynchronous, depending on whether they work alongside the computer’s clock. Synchronous systems are faster due to their fixed protocol for communication and data sharing, while asynchronous ones operate independently from the clock.

Early bus systems like the S-100 and ISA sought to address speed issues by increasing data channels. Unfortunately, this placed an extra burden on the CPU in communicating with all devices, making it unsuitable for general-purpose computers for long.

Expansion Card

Expansion cards are electronic boards that plug into expansion slots on computer motherboards to enhance a system’s capabilities. They come in various types and types, used for adding various functions like sound cards, video graphics cards, network cards and more to your computer.

Edge connectors on cards create an electronic link between the card and motherboard, relaying instructions to computer software and CPU. The computer software then sends these commands on to the card’s hardware through its driver, which in turn sends those instructions on to actual hardware components so they can work effectively.

Power Supply Box

The power supply box is an essential element of your computer hardware. It supplies power to all components within your system, such as the motherboard, RAM, CPU, hard drive, disc drives and video cards.

Essentially, the power supply converts 120 VAC alternating current into low-voltage direct current (DC) at 5 V or 12 V. Additionally, it regulates the output so that its voltage doesn’t fluctuate more than a few percent.

A power supply consists of four major components: a rectifier, regulator, filter and transformer. Additionally, some power supplies may feature a current limiting switch that shuts off (like a fuse) when too much load current is detected.


Computer ports are physical connections on the motherboard into which peripheral device cables (mouse, keyboard, monitor, speakers, flash drive, printer and scanner) plug. They act as an interface between these peripheral devices and the CPU for serial communication and parallel data transfer.

Ports enable power connection, peripheral charging of accessories for peripheral work, Ethernet connections, external storage of documents or projects, and audio or visual media projection. The type of port required depends on the communication protocol used.

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