What is Hardware?

Hardware refers to all the physical and concrete parts of a computer, electrical, electromechanical, and mechanical components. It contains all the logical and non-abstract physical elements called cables, safes, all kinds of peripherals, and software.

What is Hardware?

What is Computer Hardware?

A computer system consists of a central processing unit (CPU) responsible for data processing, one or more input peripherals that allow information input, and one or more output peripherals that enable the output of the processed data.

Hardware Types

Hardware can be divided into two categories:

  1. Essential hardware that covers the indispensable set of components required to give a computer minimal functionality.
  2. Complementary equipment used to perform certain functions that are not absolutely essential for the operation of the computer.

Briefly, a data entry medium, memory, and processing unit and a data output medium constitute the basic hardware.

Strictly necessary data input and output mean application-dependent. From a common user’s perspective, there must be at least one keyboard and monitor for the input and output of information, respectively.

However, it does not mean that the keyboard or monitor cannot be a computer for which it is not required, but you can enter information and extract your processed data through a data acquisition/output card.

Computers are electronic devices that can interpret and implement programmed and stored instructions in their memory; mainly consists of arithmetic-logic and input/output operations.

Data is taken, processed, and stored, and finally, outputs are produced. Therefore, every computer system has components and hardware devices dedicated to them, at least some of the functions:

  • Processing: Central Processing Unit or CPU
  • Storage: Memories
  • Input: Introduction Peripherals
  • Output: Output Peripherals
  • Input/Output: Mixed Peripherals

From a basic and general perspective, an input device is a device that provides the tools to allow the entry of information, data, and programs.

An output device provides tools for recording output information and data. Memory gives temporary or permanent storage capacity, and the CPU provides the calculation and processing of the entered information.

A mixed peripheral is a peripheral that can perform both input and output functions, the most typical example is the hard drive.

Central Processing Unit

The abbreviation of the Central Processing Unit, the CPU is the main component responsible for the interpretation and execution of the computer and the processing of data.

In modern computers, the CPU hardware is performed by one or more microprocessors. The CPU is known as a microprocessor and is produced as a single integrated circuit.

A network server or a high-performance computing machine can have several or even thousands of microprocessors running simultaneously or in parallel. In this case, all these settings make up the machine’s CPU.

Central processing units in the form of a single microprocessor are found not only on PCs but also on other types of devices that contain a certain processing power or electronic information. For example; industrial process controllers, televisions, cars, computers, planes, mobile phones, home appliances, toys.

The microprocessor is mounted on a socket called the motherboard, known as the CPU socket.

It also allows electrical connections between the circuit boards and the processor.

A heat sink made of copper or aluminum is attached to the processor and the motherboard is mounted.

This is necessary for microprocessors that consume a lot of energy, which is emitted largely in the form of heat. In some cases, they can consume up to 40 to 130 watts of incandescent lamps.

The vast majority of the electronic and integrated circuits that make up the computer hardware are mounted on the motherboard.

The motherboard is a large printed circuit board in which chipsets, expansion slots, sockets, connectors, various integrated solders are soldered.

The processor is the basic support that hosts and communicates all other components through RAM memory modules, graphics cards, expansion cards, input, and output peripherals.

To transmit these components, the motherboard has a series of buses where data is transmitted inside and outside the system.

The trend of integration motherboard has made most of the basic functions an element that includes functions previously performed with expansion cards.


RAM is the memory used for temporary storage and heavy work on the computer. It temporarily stores information, data, and programs that the CPU reads, processes, and executes.

RAM is known as the main memory of the computer, also known as Central or Business, unlike auxiliary memory and mass storage, such as hard drives, tapes, or other memories.

Graphics Hardware

Graphics hardware is basically a video card. The main purpose of the GPU is to perform graphics rendering so that the CPU can perform other functions more efficiently.

Before these video cards with accelerators, the main processor was tasked with creating the image. The video section was a translator of the signals required by the monitor of the binary signals. And most of the computer’s main memory has been used for these purposes. Since the 1990s, the evolution in graphic processing has grown rapidly.


Environmental refers to units or devices that allow the computer to communicate with the outside, that is, both entering and exporting information and data.

Peripherals allow processes known as input/output (I/O).

   Input Peripherals

Input peripherals are keyboard, mouse or mouse, scanner, microphone, webcam, optical barcode readers, Joystick, CD or DVD reader, data acquisition/conversion boards.

   Output Peripherals

It is information that allows sending or processing of information obtained from processes performed by the CPU.

The most common devices in this group are classic monitors, printers, and speakers.

   Mixed Peripherals

They are devices that can work both as input and output.

Typically, hard drives, floppy disks, magnetic tape drives, CD/DVD reader-recorders, ZIP disks are examples.

Other units such as flash memory, network cards, modems, video capture/output cards can also be included in this class.

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