What are the Main Components of Any Computer

By George Chamoun

Computers are everywhere, and vary in specification, brands, sizes, shaped, and prices. However, there is one common characteristic among all computer systems.

whether we are talking standalone home pc, high performance networked servers, Unix computers, Linux, Windows, or Macs, they all have five main components: Input device, Output device, Central Processing Unit, Memory, and Storage device

1- The input device is used to enter the data into the computer. Examples of input devices are: Keyboards, Scanners, or light pens.

2-The output device is used to redirect the processed data to a device connected the output connection of the computer. Examples of output devices are: Monitors, Printers.

3-The Central Processing Unit is where the computer processes data and coordinates tasks among different components of the computer.

4-Memory is where the computer stores data. The memory is two types:

a-RAM, random access memory, where temporary storage of the data takes place. The data in the RAM will be lost is the computer is shut down.

b-ROM, read only memory which has built in information used by the computer components.

5-Hard Disk storage, where you can store the data permanently. It will stay stored, even if the power is shut off.

For you computer to function properly, it should have the five metioned elements. But, some of these parts are more critical to the performance of the computer.

The most critical two I found, are the RAM, and the CPU speed. Here is why:

The keyboard does all the stuff you need, although some keyboard have more keys and functions to them, it depends what kind of application you are using, some keys you will never need.

The Hard disk is usually larger than what you need. For a normal home user, It is hard to use 1000MB. Nowadays, you get disks with more than 10 Gigabytes.

The output, like the monitor can be changed anytime, without changing any computer parts. Also, there is not lots of options you need for a monitor, you can get any monitor that will do the job. Just get a good size, good resolution, and pick a regular or flat LCD one. The rest of specs are not to critical.

Now, let us look at the most important parts: The Ram, and the CPU. With today's application, you need lots of processing power, because you will be running few applications at the same time. Also, you can be running a very powerful operating system that need lots of processing and memory power.

Every running application consumes some ram memory, and every application today need lots of it. Example, is Internet Explorer 6, and Netscape Navigator. So the ram will be used up fast. This is why you need as much as Ram as you can get. Get 250MB at least.

With the big ram , you need fast CPU also in order to process the application quick. The faster is your CPU, the faster all application are running.

Also, the CPU is very expensive, after few years of using your computer, the CPU will cost you more than the whole used computer.

In summary, when you buy a computer, the most important factors in your decision should be getting a big RAM ( 250MB At least), and getting a fast CPU processor.