Major Computer Components List

A computer runs on three major computer components list; hardware, software, and humanware. Computer components include Hardware and Software which exist together to make up the actual device. The humanware brings the whole computer components list into a functional existence.

Each of these components is necessary in order to enable meaningful productivity. If installed separately, they may be useful to an extent but only capable of repetitive actions rather than achieving complete computing potential. Hardware and software need the human input in order to trigger the execution of data processing.

Three Major Computer Components

1. Computer Hardware

This refers to any part that is tangible by the human touchExamples include:

  • Display monitor.
  • Keyboard.
  • Mouse.
  • Motherboard.
  • Memory modules.
  • Disk drive.

These parts are typically housed within the laptop or desktop unit itself, except for the desktop keyboard and mouse.

 

computer-components hardware

 

A typical installation of computer hardware.

 

The most important piece of hardware is the microprocessor chip, known as the central processing unit (CPU). Newer and slimmer computers come embedded with a union of CPU and a graphics processing chip (GPU) called accelerated processing unit (APU). The CPU and APU are responsible for all kinds of data manipulation.

Computer Components The AMD CPU
The AMD CPU is an example of a microprocessor and, as shown above, is attached to a motherboard.

 

A component just as important in a system unit is the disk drive. This is where data and information is stored locally on the computer. It is classified as secondary storage. There are two popular types of disk drives.

  • Hard disk:

HDDs are mechanical by design and store data on magnetic and metallic platters, which are read by read/write heads. This makes this type of drive rather erratic and prone to failure if used improperly.

  • Solid state disk:

The newer SDDs store data on flash memory chips and are less prone to erratic behavior. They are much faster and more reliable compared to HDDs.

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computer components hardware the system unit.
An illustration of various hardware components inside the system unit.

 

  • Motherboard:

Another vital part within a system is the motherboard. It provides communication and direct connectivity to devices throughout the computer.

computer components Acer motherboard.
Sample Acer motherboard.

Connectivity to a motherboard can be internal or external.

 

Internal devices that connect to the motherboard include:

  • Microprocessor (CPU).
  • Disk drive.
  • Random access memory (memory modules).
  • Power supply unit (PSU).

External peripherals that connect to the motherboard include:

  • Monitor.
  • Keyboard.
  • Mouse.
  • Printer.

computer components parts

Above is Apple’s iMac computer, an example of a single unit computer set. It contains the system unit and monitor bundled together.

2. Computer Software

Software refers to the instructions, programs, data, and protocols which run on top of hardware. It is also retained temporarily and persistently in primary and secondary hardware media. The random access memory chip is an example of primary hardware while the hard disk drive is an example of secondary hardware.

computer components software.
Running computer software.

 

Software can be divided into system, application, malicious and programming categories.

  • System Software

The system manages other software and devices inside the computer. The foremost example of system software is the operating system (OS).

In a typical setup, the operating system is like the motherboard for software. It is the first thing that is installed, followed by applications and other software. Three popular operating systems for traditional computers include Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Popular mobile operating systems include Android OS, iPhone OS, Windows Phone OS, and Firefox OS.

  • Application Software

This is designed for end users to perform a specialized assignment in order to output useful information.

An example would be a word processing application used to compose letters or brochures, such as Microsoft Word.

Other popular examples include Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw, and AutoCAD.

A collection of application software is bundled in a package that is commonly known as a software suite. A typical suite includes software for word processing, presentation, graphic design, and spreadsheet.

Examples include Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, and iWork.

Software is written in computer languages such as Visual Basic, C, and Java.

computer components software
For many years, software was usually stored on optical discs. This is changing fast with cloud storage becoming more popular.

  • Malicious Software

Malware, is short for malicious software, which is a generic term that refers to exploitative code designed by hackers to maim normal operations of a computer. Malware attack will result in data loss and hacker access to private information.

Affected computers can also be converted into zombies and used in a bigger mission of criminal activities like launching denial of service attack and spreading spam.

Malware scripts are delivered to the computer as viruses, trojans, rootkits, keyloggers, worms, or through email and websites as adware, spyware, ransomware and scareware.

 

  • Programming Software

These are tools used by developers to create all kinds of software like Windows OS and Word processing. Also called languages, they are used to write source codes, debug errors, maintain and create new software for computers and write malicious scripts like viruses and trojans.

Popular examples of high-level languages are Java, Javascript, BASIC, PHP, Visual Basic, Visual C++, Visual Basic, Python, Ruby, Perl, Java.

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3. Humanware

Humanware refers to the person that uses the computer. More specifically, it is about the individual that brings together the hardware and software components to make them productive.

Typically, a great deal of testing is done on software packages and hardware parts to ensure they enhance the end-user experience to aid in creating documents, musical and video recordings, and all forms of raw and finished data.

computer components humanware

A cute example of humanware.

Computer Components List Summary/Description

In summary, we can describe the computer components list (i.e Hardware, Software and Humanware) as the relationship compared to a function kitchen tools:

  • Food and cooking utensils are hardware.
  • The recipe is software.
  • The chef is humanware.

Even after purchasing the freshest ingredients and the finest pots and pans, there will not be a good meal without a chef. He/she will make good use of listed recipes to make good of the ingredients and utensils.

Both hardware and software can not make a computer work without human to produce a fully functional computer system.

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Prinze Tosine

Hi, am Prinze Tosine, a technologist based in Lagos Nigeria with a passionate heart of Blogging in any tech related matters . I derive fun in what i do, from blogging to web design, computer engineering etc.

8 thoughts on “Major Computer Components List

  • March 21, 2019 at 6:32 AM
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    Hurrah! At last I got a website from where I can in fact get valuable information regarding my
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    Reply
  • March 19, 2019 at 1:30 PM
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    I have observed that in the world today, video games are the latest popularity with children of all ages. Occasionally it may be extremely hard to drag your children away from the games. If you want the best of both worlds, there are various educational games for kids. Great post.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2018 at 10:25 PM
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    Thanks for all your efforts that you have put in this. very interesting information.

    Reply
  • July 25, 2018 at 9:08 AM
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    Reply
  • July 23, 2018 at 7:42 PM
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    Reply
  • July 22, 2018 at 9:29 PM
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    Reply
  • July 21, 2018 at 11:50 PM
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    With thanks! Valuable information!

    Reply
  • March 1, 2018 at 8:03 AM
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    Someone informed me that they were unable to access printer or maybe server or something due to the latest creator ‘s update. And chose to leave and go to Linux. So seems like Win10 still has a lot of issues to get over. God help us who are still on Win7 or perhaps 8.1 since so far, it has been drama free.

    Reply

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