Skip to main content

The Computer Hardware Parts Explained

Patrick, a computer technician, is a dedicated writer who wishes to make the world better by informing individuals who seek more knowledge.

Computer Hardware Parts

Every computer is made up of several hardware parts. These parts have different functions. This article discusses some of the computer hardware parts.

A computer, also known as a PC, is a very useful electronic device that we use in the modern world.

The term PC is an acronym for Personal Computer, a computer designed to be used by one person at a time. The first personal computer was invented by IBM back in 1981.

The Main Computer Parts

The computer is made up of two main parts, hardware, and software.

The hardware is the physical parts that make up your computer. The parts that we can see and touch for example monitor, keyboard, mouse, processor among others.

Software/programs:- These are written instructions that tell your computer what to do. In other words, these written instructions tell the Microprocessor how to function or operate.

Hardware:- The physical components that make up a computer are called hardware parts.

They can be classified according to their functionality. Some of the components are used for input (entering data), processing, storage, and others for output purposes.

Therefore you can define a computer as an electronic device that can accept data, process the data, store, and produce an output.

Main Computer Hardware Parts

A computer

A computer

Diagram Showing how Computer Executes Commands

This diagram illustrates how a computer executes a command.

The input device receives the instructions that are then passed to the processor, which does the processing to determine what the command is supposed to do.

Then it communicates the results of the processing through the output devices or stores them for future use.

Diagram Showing Computer Hardware Parts

A Block Diagram of a Computer

A Block Diagram of a Computer

Computer Hardware Parts Explained

Whenever you are to use your desktop PC, you will encounter the following basic hardware parts.

Input Devices

Input devices are used to enter raw data into a computer. They offer an interface (link) between the user and the computer. They are;

1. The Keyboard

Various keys on the keyboard let you enter information into a computer.

Computer keyboards are similar to electric-typewriter keyboards but contain additional keys. The keys on computer keyboards are often classified as follows:

  1. Alphanumeric keys:- These are the letters and number keys.
  2. Punctuation keys:- comma, period, semicolon e.t.c.
  3. Special keys:- function keys, control keys, arrow keys, Caps Lock key e.t.c.
Scroll to Continue

The standard layout of letters, numbers, and punctuation is known as a QWERTY keyboard because the first six keys on the top row of letters spell QWERTY.

Computer Keyboard

Computer Keyboard

Computer Keyboard

2. The Computer Mouse

A mouse is a hand-held device that helps you select and move items on your screen. A mouse can come in various shapes, colours, and sizes.

Computer Mouse

Computer Mouse

Computer Mouse

3. Scanner

A scanner is a device that reads graphics and text from printed documents and feeds them into a computer.

Flatbed Scanner

A Scanner

A Scanner

4. Joystick

A joystick helps you control the movement of people and objects in many games.

Joysticks are used for arcade-type computer games because they let you move quickly and accurately in any direction.

Other input devices include Touchscreens, digital cameras, barcode readers, and microphones for voice input among others.

The Processing Device

The processor or the Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the main chip in a computer.

It performs arithmetic & logical operations. The processor manipulates raw data and manages how the information flows through a computer system.

It communicates with input, output and storage devices to perform tasks. It also controls the operation of other components in the system.

A Computer Processor

Intel Computer Processor

Intel Computer Processor

Storage Devices (Hard Disk Drive)

The hard disk holds information permanently until it is needed, after one day, one year or for any period of time.

The information could be filing names and addresses in a database, pictures, music, among others There is no point in processing or storing information unless it can be accessed again in the future.

The hard disk drive is contained within the system unit though nowadays, external hard disk drives are readily available.

Removable hard disks make their connection to the computer using the USB interface. They are very good for storing our data backups.

Hard Disk Drive

Hard Disk Drive

Hard Disk Drive

Output Devices

Output devices give us an output of what has been processed - information in, information out.

This could be the printing of mailing labels from the database or displaying the picture on a web page. Some output devices are:

1. The Computer Monitor

A monitor displays text and images in soft copyafter being processed.

A TFT Monitor

A TFT Monitor

A TFT Monitor

2. Printer

A printer produces a paper copy (hard copy) of the information displayed on the screen.


A Printer

A Printer

Quiz time

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. A scanner is an output device. True or False?
    • True
    • False

Answer Key

  1. False

Interpreting Your Score

If you got 0 correct answers: Try again!

If you got 1 correct answer: Excellent!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Patrick Kamau


Rajendra on December 18, 2018:

you did a great job thank you for your valuable information posted on the website

kp sapkota on May 25, 2017:

Nice job

Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on November 26, 2014:

Thanks TTGReviews, glad you visited.

TTGReviews on November 18, 2014:

Nice information

Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on June 23, 2013:

danish chohan, Yes, there are some more tutorials i have prepared that are very useful. One that can help you is "Parts of Motherboard and their Functions" as it discuses the internal components of the computer system. I am sure this will help you achieve what you want.

danish chohan on June 23, 2013:

hey can u plz tell me only internal and basic structure of system unit with their diagrams or and specific website for this purpose

Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on June 09, 2013:

dianne, thanks for reading and commenting. I am glad you got some help from this tutorial. Keep reading and you will get more valuable knowledge.

dianne on June 09, 2013:

nice article thanks for helping me on my assignment

Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on January 25, 2013:

You are welcome venkat. Glad you liked it.

venkat on January 25, 2013:

thank u

Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on January 02, 2013:

francis coppee, thanks and you are welcome to check more of my work.

francis coppee on December 10, 2012:

thanks very much to give those notes it is understandable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on September 08, 2012:

Thanks advaneil for reading and commenting.

advaneil on September 06, 2012:

I have really enjoyed reading your posts about computer hardware parts. Thanks for all you do and share.


Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on July 27, 2012:

You are welcome hira. Keep reading my tutorials. Thanks for stopping by and taking your time to comment.

hira on July 27, 2012:

thank you so much...............................................!!!

Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on April 11, 2012:

Thanks leewatson07 for popping in.

Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on October 23, 2011:

@yettynatty, you are welcome to read more articles of mine. Thanks for the feedback.

yettynatty on October 23, 2011:

thank u so much for the article, it was so helpful in my assignment

yettynatty on October 23, 2011:

good work

Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on September 18, 2011:

@Dean Slama thanks for reading. I will check your site.

Dean Slama on September 15, 2011:

Hey, if you're looking for Computer Hardware Parts to upgrade your PC or to build your own computer, check out my Site please.

Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on August 08, 2011:

Thank you past for stopping by.

past on July 13, 2011:

thank you

Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on January 28, 2011:

Thanks Shemn.We have a lot to learn and to give out to others.Let's enjoy & use the technology we have.

shemn on January 27, 2011:

credible i ll join you and make sure we proceed 2gether enlightening our colleagues about I.C.T. cool man.

Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on December 19, 2010:

Thanks a lot NoRR4Me,what you have said is very true. We have to enlighten people about computers especially here in Africa where we have a lot of "newbies". Thanks for your suggestion. I have gone for it.

NoRR4Me on December 17, 2010:

Welcome to HubPages! This is good 1st hub.

I think most of us are so used to using computers that we forget that there are still some "newbies" out there who are just now learning about computers and don't have a clue about them. They need to know the basics of computers and your hub explains them. Great idea.

P.S. You said that you will make improvements. I have 1 suggestion; your title should have the 1st letter of each word capitalized. :-)

Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on November 12, 2010:

Thanks kdban for taking time to go through. I intend to improve and make it more better and informative. Actually its my first hub.

Kdban on November 11, 2010:

thanks for the helpful article.

Related Articles