Computer Hardware

Essential hardware for all computers

Whether you are a devoted gamer or a modest Internet researcher, your computer will need some basic hardware to function properly. To choose the right computer for your home or business without spending a small fortune, you'll need to know a few things about computer hardware and its functions.

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Types of Computer Hardware

Regardless of its specific features, a computer will come with some internal and external computer hardware. The motherboard, CPU (central processing unit) and RAM (random access memory) act together as the brains of your computer; the body of the computer includes features such as the computer keyboard, speakers, hard drive, external storage and the computer monitor. Unlike a computer's software, the internal hardware of the computer can be difficult to change—most new computers have sufficient hardware and power to perform the necessary tasks, but if you need to upgrade, you may have to consult a computer technician.

In addition to the fundamental hardware within every computer, you may find that you need extra hardware, or perhaps you have decided to upgrade. For instance, computer monitors traditionally used CRT technology, but the slimmer design and low energy consumption of LCD monitors are leading many people to upgrade their monitors. Similarly, computer keyboards have come a long way; they're now designed to be ergonomic, ultra-portable and some are even laser-projected.

The days of big, heavy computer supplies are gone, and today you can find reasonably priced accessories that will work with all types of computers. But before you begin to shop for extra computer hardware supplies, think about what you really need. Don't be swayed by the techno-talk of computer salesmen, or you may wind up spending far more than you need to.

Choosing Computer Hardware

Whether you are in the market for a new motherboard or simply a better computer speaker, familiarize yourself with some of the technical terms that describe the hardware. Although high-end speakers with subwoofers and a 32-bit PCI soundcard will improve your gaming or movie-watching experience, a set of inexpensive speakers combined with your existing audio hardware will be sufficient for most average computer users. As computers are becoming more refined and widespread, they are also cheaper than they have ever been; look around online for a good deal on both internal and external computer supplies.