To say that computers have revolutionized our lives would be an understatement. These machines have completely changed the way we do all our daily tasks. To further maximize their potential, we need to understand in detail the basic computer components and functions. components of a computer system – input unit, output unit and processor.
Meaning of Computers
Computers are, in essence, machines that operate according to the instructions of their users.According to this definition, several electronic devices, from laptops to computers, are computers.
A computer contains several basic elements. These include hardware, software, software- data, and connectivity. No computer can work without these elements. Apart from these elements, a computer system comprises three basic components. These components are responsible for making computers work effectively. Let’s take a closer look.
Components of a computer system
Each computer system has the following three basic components:
- Input unit
- Central processing units
- Output unit
While there are other components, these three are mainly responsible for performing the function of the computer. They must operate in complete synergy, as this will ensure smooth overall operation. Therefore, we can even call them building blocks of a computer system.
These components help users enter data and commands into a computer system. Data can be in the form of numbers, words, actions, commands, etc. The main function of input devices is to direct commands and data to computers. Computers then use their processor to process this data and produce results.
For example, the keyboard of a laptop is an input unit that enters numbers and characters. Similarly, even a mouse can be an input unit for entering directions and controls. Other examples include bar code readers, magnetic ink cartridges (MICRs), optical character readers (OCRs) and so on.
Another example of input devices is touch screens. Users can simply touch these screens without using any other device to enter commands. From smartphones to ATM devices, these input devices are becoming very popular these days.
Central processing unit (CPU)
After receiving data and orders from users, a computer system must process it according to the instructions provided. Here it must be based on a component called a central processing unit. The CPU still uses these three elements:
a) The memory unit
Once a user enters data using input devices, the computer system stores that data in its memory unit. This data will now remain here until other processor components process it. The memory unit uses a set of pre-programmed instructions to further transmit this data to other parts of the processor.
b) The unit of arithmetic and logic
This part of the processor performs arithmetic operations. Performs basic mathematical calculations such as addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, etc. In addition, it can perform even logical functions such as data comparison.
c) The control unit
This unit is the backbone of computers. He is responsible for coordinating tasks between all components of a computer system. The control unit collects data from the input units and sends it to the processing units according to its nature. Finally, it continues to transmit the processed data to the user output units.
The output unit
The third and final component of an IT system is the output unit. After processing the data, they are transformed into a format that people can understand. After conversion, the output units display this data to users. Examples of output devices include monitors, screens, printers and speakers. Thus, the output units practically reproduce computer-formatted data for the benefit of the users.
As we know a computer is a complex machine. While most of it works at the microscopic level, it certainly has recognizable macroscopic components that contribute to its uses.
so, in addition to those components, we will talk about some important functions and components that we should know about.
1.Motherboards (computer components and functions)
The motherboard is an important component of the computer because it is what everything else is connected to! The motherboard is a decent sized circuit board that allows other components to communicate. A motherboard has ports that are outside the computer case, so you can charge your computer, plugin a monitor, or plugin a mouse.
The computer’s motherboard also contains expansion slots so you can add additional accessory ports if you wish. The motherboard also stores low-level information, such as system time, even when the computer is off.
True to its name, the power supply supplies all the other components of the machine. It usually connects to the motherboard to power the other parts. The power source is connected to an internal battery (on a laptop) or to a power outlet (on a desktop).
3.Central processing unit (CPU)
A processor sometimes called the brain of a computer is the workstation of the machine. Performs the calculations required for a system and may vary in speed. The work a processor does generates heat, which is why the computer has a fan inside. A stronger processor is required for the intense computer to function as high definition video editing or complex programming software.
4.Random Access Memory (RAM)
RAM is temporary memory. Whenever you open a Microsoft Word window, the computer places it in RAM, and when you close the window, the RAM is released. Since RAM is volatile, its contents are lost if the machine loses power. This is why you lose a Word document when the power goes out if you haven’t saved it.
The more RAM you have, the more programs you can run simultaneously. A common cause of slow computers is the lack of sufficient RAM.
5.Disk drive / solid drive
Because RAM is temporary, the computer needs a place to store data permanently. There comes the hard drive. The traditional hard disk consists of several plates spun with one arm that physically writes data to the disk. However, these units are slow and are beginning to be replaced by faster solid-state drives.
Solid-state drives consist of flash memory, such as your smartphone or flash drive. They are much faster than traditional hard drives, although they cost more for increased efficiency. Both types of units are available in different sizes to suit different needs.
Replacing a hard drive with a solid drive is one of the best computer upgrades you can do – the speed difference is amazing.
6 Video card
A video card is a dedicated unit for managing the output of images on a screen. Video cards have their own dedicated RAM for performing these functions. A high-end video card is required to process extremely intense visual functions, such as editing the computer by engineers. Like many components, many types of video cards are available with different powers and prices.
An alternative to a video card is integrated graphics, which appears when the system borrows the usual RAM for graphics processing. Typically, integrated graphics are attached to the processor, especially on laptops. The built-in graphics are sufficient for normal computer use and are less expensive than a dedicated card, but will not work for heavy editing or high-end games.
7 Optical drivers (computer components and functions)
Although less common than they used to be, many cars still have an optical drive for reading CDs and DVDs. They can be used to listen to music or watch movies, place information on a blank disc, or install software on a disc. Since most software is installed on the Internet instead of using disks, they are not as important as they used to be, especially on laptops.
8 Input and output devices
Depending on your particular computer, you can connect a variety of devices to send information to or from it. Common input devices include mice (touchpads on laptops), keyboards and webcams, while output devices consist of monitors, printers and speakers. Removable media, such as flash drives and SD cards can also be used to transfer data between computers.
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