What is a computer?

A computer is an electronic device that manipulates info, or data. A computer has the capability to save, load and process data. Some tasks that can be accomplished with a computer are: typing documents, sending emails, browsing the internet, listening to radios, banking and on.

A computer can pretty much do anything nowadays.

We do not all need the same level of performance in a home or office computer. Some might use their computers primarily for little word processing and email which do not require high processing power.

On the other hand, others may want more power to run high powered database applications, large spreadsheets and demanding graphics applications. The type of work you do and your work load usually dictate whether you need a computer with a lot of brain or not.

Essential parts of a computer.


Processor.

A computer’s processor or central processing Unit (CPU) is the brain that powers the machine. It is measured in clock speed. This clock measures how fast or slow a CPU can carry instructions.


Clock speed is measured in Megahertz (MHz) and is one measure of a computer’s power. An ordinary home or office Windows computer should have a bare minimum of a 500 MHz processor.


A powerful computer would probably go by an 800 MHz or higher. Some techs sometimes go for lower clock to save money. These slower clocks can be overclocked later.


Apple Macintosh on the other hand are different in design from PCs. If you are into MACs, keep in mind that MAC speeds are different from Windows speed.

Macs usually require lower processor speeds in MHz, lower does not mean less powerful. Innovative Macs like the iMac can compete side by side with higher clocks Windows computers.


Random Access Memory (RAM)


When you turn your computer on, it needs temporary storage. RAM is the temporary storage that is used to hold the operating system, applications and data that you’re currently running.

The Information in Random Access Memory (RAM) is swiftly available to the CPU. When RAM usage is high, the computer slows down because it has to get information from the hard drive. The hard drive is slower than RAM.


A comparison to these interactions is the documents on your desk in front of you. These documents are readily at hand when you need them. When your desk is full with documents, you have to file and retrieve documents elsewhere.

This in turn takes more time for you to do your work.
Just like the CPU, the amount of RAM one needs is very much independent on the type of applications you use.

Graphics programs like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator use a fair bit of memory. Editing applications and spreadsheets programs use to a certain extent less memory.

Powerful users who tend to multi-task and need to have many applications running at the same time will definitely get a boost from plenty of memory.
The more memory you have, the larger workspace you may have.

More memory makes your computer faster with less common headaches.
Nowadays, a typical user needs at the very least 4GB of RAM with 16GB on the verge of becoming the standard. In most computer systems, the amount of RAM initially purchased, can be expanded.

Hard Drive


This is the computer’s permanent storage. Nowadays, it is usually measured in GB. The higher the GB you have, the more storage space you have.

All your applications and data are permanently stored in its hard drive. If you are storing simple documents here and there you do not need much. You will get by with a few GB. Most users can fit many years of productivity into a small hard drive.

If you need to store a lot of information like several years of business records, Music, Videos or tons of images, then you may want a more spacious hard drive.


Fortunately, a bigger hard drive won’t cost you these days. Some users with low storage space use external hard drives as an alternate solution.


Expansion.


When buying a computer of any kind, room to grow is an important factor. This can break or make a deal depends on who you ask. It never hurts to get a system with room to grow, especially if you predict your home or office needs might grow.


It is important to know the amount of slot for RAM upgrades and what the maximum upgrade-able RAM is.

Adding expansion cards to your system for other peripherals and devices will increase the functionality of your computer. You should buy a system with the appropriate number of expansion slots for your needs.

Other part of computers

other parts of a computer are the different input and output devices that are used to input data and output data.

There are many computer input devices, but the most common ones are keyboards, mouse, Microphones, pens, scanners, etc… These devices are used to enter data into computers.

Likewise, there are tons of computer output devices. The common output devices of computer are: Monitors, speakers, printers.

Some devices are both input and out because you can use them for both inputting and outputting of data. A flash drive, a backup tape, a rewritable dvd drive are examples of devices that are used for both input and outputs.

The essential components and the inputs and outputs devices work together to help you compute. These integral devices play important roles in any computing environment.

Unless you have a headless computer, the keyboard, the mouse and the monitor are the most commonly used input and output devices.

There are many computers that are called headless computers. Headless in a sense they do not use any keyboard, mouse, or monitor for input or output. Well, they do in a way. These computers are usually accessed from a remote location.

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