What Is PC Hardware?

pc hardware

Hardware refers to the physical components that enable a computer system to function. It is distinct from software, which consists of written instructions that tell the physical components what to do.

The hardware of a computer includes the central processing unit (CPU), random access memory (RAM), monitor, keyboard, mouse, sound card and computer data storage. The CPU is the brain of a computer, taking program instructions from RAM and executing them.


Motherboard is the most important component in a PC, as it connects all other pc hardware like CPU, RAM, Graphics card, SSDs, Optical drives and usb drives. It also provides the electrical connections between these parts so that they can communicate with each other.

Moreover, it also has storage connectors for the HDD and SSD devices which are used for storing the operating system, applications and data. Some of these storage connectors are internal and others are external.

Motherboards are designed in a variety of sizes and form factors. Some of the more popular ones include ATX, MicroATX and miniATX.


The CPU (Central Processing Unit) is the brain of your computer or device. It processes and executes instructions from programs to help you do things like send email, watch TikTok videos, or fill out a spreadsheet.

The basic structure of a CPU hasn’t changed much in decades, but advances in technology have made it more efficient and powerful. This includes adding multiple cores, virtualizing a single processor unit, and using hyper-threading to enable faster retrieval of instructions.

The CPU contains a control unit and an Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) that interprets program instructions. It also has memory for storing instructions, data, and intermediate results.


Computers need memory to store data that is needed for currently active applications and processes. RAM (Random Access Memory) stores that data for the CPU to process quickly without having to look through slower storage devices, such as hard drives or SSDs.

RAM can process data twenty to a hundred times faster than data stored on the hard drive, depending on the type of hardware and task.

RAM can be found on the motherboard in a little card called a DIMM that plugs into a socket. There are different types of DIMMs and each has a capacity, speed rating and vendor name. The higher the capacity, the more data an application can store at once.

Hard Drive

The Hard Drive is one of the most critical components of a computer, yet it’s also the most susceptible to failure. A hard drive consists of spinning platters that store digital information read by fast-moving read/write heads.

The data on a hard disk is written in binary code–an array of ones and zeros that represents any piece of information. The heads can “read” this data by changing the magnetization of portions on the platter.

A hard drive has four key components–the spindle, disk platter, actuator and read/write head. When the operating system requests to read or write data, it sends a signal to the disk controller, which interprets this data and instructs the actuator to move the read/write arm and align the read/write head.

Video Card

The Video Card is a piece of hardware that connects to a computer motherboard and creates a picture on a monitor. It is a bit like a circuit board that fits in a slot on the motherboard and plugs into a socket on the backside of the computer.

The video card contains a special electronic circuit that has a graphics processing unit and a visual processing unit. It also has a heat sink to dissipate the heat produced by the chip. Other components on the card include a video BIOS, video memory, RAMDAC, video graphics array, digital visual interface and HDMI and display port.


A computer monitor is a piece of hardware used to display the output from the CPU, hard system drives, and other pc hardware. It is connected to the computer via VGA, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, or USB.

In order to work properly, the monitor must have a suitable refresh rate, pixel pitch, and color depth. Response time is another important factor to consider, measured in milliseconds.

Modern monitors make use of flat-panel display technology, commonly backlit with LEDs. They’re smaller and more compact than older CRT monitors, taking up less desk space.