The Basics of Hardware

We know that some people may come to MD Help Serve with little to no knowledge of computers, phones, consoles and everything in between and we don’t want to ostracise anyone who comes here looking to help.

So that’s why we’ve added some pages to help give a beginners guide to the most basic components and aspects of technology.

Here, we’re going to discuss hardware. What it means, what it includes and when you may need to look into when you’re having trouble.

What is Hardware?

hardware is the physical parts of a computer, it is what is used to make up the mass of what it’s built with. Basically, if you can hold it in your hand, it’s hardware.

This includes things such as:

  • keyboards
  • Graphic cards
  • motherboard
  • mouse
  • printers
  • hard disk drive
  • memory cards
  • CPU

…amongst others.

We’ll go through the basic infrastructure of these in a very brief way, but if you want to get into the nitty-gritty of hardware, you’ll have to stay updated with our posts.

CPU/Cooling

tech blog

The CPU is arguably the most important part of any computer, it acts as the brain that makes everything happen. With the ‘Central Processing Unit’, the computer wouldn’t respond to anything you wanted it to do and wouldn’t be able to process any data.

As the CPU is the most hardworking component of the computer, it also gets the hottest. Therefore, it needs a little help to be kept cool while it’s running your computer. The first defense a CPU has against heat is the thermal compound. This is a paste that dissipates heat before the CPUs second defense (its fan) kicks in to blow the air away.

Drives

Drives are an aspect of your computer that store information and read information to relay back to the CPU. There are basically three types of drive: Hard Drive, Solid State Drive and Optical Drive.

HArd drives are the OG of storage, they permanently store information and don’t require a power source to keep information on them. Information is encoded and then written onto the hardware using magnets.

Solid State Drives are like a newer version of Hard Drives, they function with no moving parts and are more sturdy than Hard Drives. They are a little more complex than hard drives, but all you need to know for now is that they work in a similar way to USB drives.

Motherboard

tech blog

If the CPU is the brain of the computer then the motherboard is the central nervous system. It is the main route for communication between all the components and is the way that everything communicates.

There are a few different sizes of motherboard that you can get, the most common are ATX and MicroATX, CPUs have specific sockets that can only be used with a motherboard that has been designed for that socket.

RAM

RAM is another form of storage and stores all the information that you can see so the mouse movements, the cursor, window sizes etc.

Computers have been increasing the RAM due to the advances in technology year on year and the need to have more ongoing memory all the time.

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