Hardware is not software; it refers to hardware that is included with your operating system (OS) and/or a program written for use with the OS. Computer hardware includes the hardware components of a desktop computer, including the case, motherboard, processor, hard drive, optical drive, video card, motherboard driver, sound card and hard disk. OS and programs that are written to use with this hardware interact through a generic device driver (GDI) or system driver (SGI) to produce high-quality audio, graphics and text signals to and from the hardware.
Computer hardware must be carefully matched to the operating system or programs to get optimum performance. All components must work well together to provide you with a good user experience and maximum output from your computer system. A hardware writer is a program that writes computer hardware to disk or a CD-ROM. A CD-ROM contains all the basic system software necessary to operate on a PC. The major components in a CD-ROM are the bootable operating system, the graphics controller, the sound card, the input device driver, the monitor, the hard disk, and the operating system itself.
The central processing unit (CPU) of your computer is the brain of the machine. The CPU controls all the other hardware on your computer by translating instructions the software gives it. There are many different kinds of CPU’s available to consumers, including: Single core processors (ones that only have one active core), dual core processors, high speed processors, memory based processors and many different types of server processors.
Memory is the most vital piece of hardware in a personal computer. It holds all the computer’s data and determines how fast your processor can process requests for data. Modern PCs come with various kinds of memory in different configurations: RAM, hard drive RAM, caches, etc. Computers also come with different kind of processors: single core, dual core, high speed, etc.
Another important piece of hardware in a personal computer is the motherboard. The motherboard connects the internal hardware to the computer case via the slots. The motherboard carries many different wires and pins that connect the various parts of the computer together. The most commonly used type of motherboard is the ATX form factor motherboard that connects to the CPU and the windows operating system through the motherboard slot. Another type of motherboard available for sale today is the socket based motherboards that connect to the computer case with three different sets of motherboard sockets – two for the computer CPU and one for the Random Access Memory (RAM) chip.
Computer hardware is very complex and the relationships between the various hardware components are very complicated. Because of this, it is very important that each component of the computer be well matched to its corresponding physical element on the motherboard. If this is not done, hardware errors may occur as well as system instability. Many different things can go wrong when hardware is integrated into a PC – overheating, power spikes, system crashes, and physical element damage are all common occurrences that can occur when a hardware component is not properly integrated with the rest of the motherboard.