What comes to mind when you hear the word “Computer”? Most likely, the first thing that springs to your mind is the screen. But what else does a computer have?
Here’s an exploded view of a typical laptop computer showing different parts:
As you can see, a computer has many parts, and each has its role to play in making the machine work. But, here are seven of the most important parts of a computer:
- Graphics Card
- Input Devices
- Output Devices
The Processor controls everything that happens inside a computer. It’s responsible for carrying out instructions from programs and performing mathematical and logical operations. It tells each component what to do. For this reason, it is called the “brain” of the computer. It is also commonly referred to as Microprocessor, Chip, or Central Processing Unit (CPU).
Simply put, the CPU is a machine that takes instructions and data as input and produces an output by working with other components of the computer.
The CPU takes instructions in a binary format i.e. only in 1s and 0s. It is designed to follow 100s of instructions to perform various tasks.
Silicon, which is used to make processors, is the second most common element on the planet. It is also the primary element of beach sand.
The memory or Random Access Memory (RAM) is where the computer stores information (both data and programs) that it needs right now! It can include things you are actively using, like websites you visited, documents you are working on, or a game you are currently playing.
The information stored in the RAM is temporary (or volatile). It means that the information will not stay on your computer after a restart unless you save it to storage.
Storage is where the computer saves information that it doesn’t need right now but might need later. It could be anything from your favorite music playlist to a photo you took last weekend. The storage saves all your files (both programs and data) permanently. It’s also usually much larger than the memory.
There are two types of storage:
- Hard disk drive: A hard drive is a traditional spinning disk that stores data on metal platters. It’s like a big, slow-moving CD.
- Solid State Drive: A solid-state drive is a newer type of storage that doesn’t have any moving parts. This makes it faster and more durable than a hard drive.
Why does the computer need both memory and storage?
Storage is like your fridge. It’s where you store information for later use. Memory is like a cutting board in your kitchen. It’s where you load information to be used right now!
Memory is faster compared to storage. It helps the CPU run your programs quickly. But it is expensive compared to storage. So the designers of computers try to balance this by putting more memory in devices that need it and less in devices that don’t.
4. Graphics Card or Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
The graphics card generates images on the screen. It processes information from the CPU and turns it into images that you see on the screen. This includes anything from menus and icons to videos and games. It’s what makes your computer’s visuals look smooth and realistic.
A powerful GPU is a must-have if you are a gamer!
The motherboard is the main circuit board of a computer. It’s where the processor, memory, storage, and other components are connected. Without the motherboard, none of the parts of the computer can talk to each other.
The motherboard is like a well-planned city. We can think of various buildings in the city as the essential parts of a computer, and the roads that connect the buildings as the circuits that link the components.
6. Input Devices
Input devices are how you interact with a computer and give it instructions. The most common input device is the keyboard, which lets you type in text or numbers. But there are other types of input devices, such as mice, trackballs, touchpads, scanners, webcams, joysticks, and game controllers.
7. Output Devices
Output devices are what you see and hear when you use a computer. The most common output device is the monitor, which displays everything on your screen. But there are other types of output devices, such as printers, speakers, and headphones.
Modern computers are amazing machines that can do all sorts of things! They are changing every aspect of our lives. By understanding the seven parts of a computer, you now know how they all work together to perform various tasks.
But all these parts are only helpful if we know how to tell them what to do. That’s where coding comes in! With coding, we can give computers step-by-step instructions to perform any task we can think of. So whether you want to build the next big computer game or create a new way to keep track of your to-do list, coding is the key!
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