21/05/2024 10:22 AM


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Computer basics: The Internal components of a computer

There are four main functions that all computer systems perform; storing data, imputing data, processing data and outputting the results. External and internal hardware coordinate and communicate with each other to enable a computer system to perform these functions optimally. Internal hardware allows the system to process and store data as well as to communicate with external devices. This article goes through the internal components of a computer. 

The major’s internals components of a computer include:

  • Main memory 
  • Processor
  • Buses
  • Input/output controllers 
  1. The Main memory
    The processor can directly access the main memory. It is made up of memory locations in which data or instructions’ are stored in binary sequences. Each memory location contains a physical address; this is a number that helps in accessing the content of the memory location and also to locate it. There are two major types of main memory the non-volatile memory and the volatile memory. In a non-volatile memory, even after the computer is shut down, it doesn’t lose its contents.

    On the other hand, the volatile memory loses its contents when the computer is switched off. The term main memory is popularly used to refer to RAM, which is the working memory used to store data when an application is running. The RAM is volatile and contains addressable locations which can be randomly accessed. RAM contrasts with ROM a non-volatile memory which cannot be directly accessed by the processor.
  1. Processor
    At times, this is called the central processing unit (CPU) and is the part of a computer system responsible for data processing through the execution of instructions stored by programs. There are low-level instructions at the processors level in the form of machine code that the processor handles using particular instructions sets. For a program to be executed by the processor, the program instruction should be moved from the secondary storage to the main memory. It is impossible to fetch and execute a program from the secondary memory explaining why they need to be first moved to the main memory. 
  1. The input/output controllers
    All the computers system’s external devices are linked to one another through input/output (I/O) controllers. The input/output controllers offer a mechanism with which input data should be received for processing and computation. The results will go through the relevant output devices, which outputs them from the system.  The I/O controllers offer a set of addressable registers that the processor can access to enable it to communicate with the I/O devices. For example, when a character is entered through the keyboard, it would be stored in an I/O controller which can then be accessed and processed by the CPU. Usually, I/O controller works as interfaces between the peripherals’ and the computer’s core as it is not favourable that peripheral devices be directly connected to the processor. Every peripheral device has its diverse way of operating, uses different electrical signals, and works at varying speeds. Controllers have a physical port through which peripherals are connected. Peripherals usually have a connector and cable that is connected to the port. The I/O controller’s circuitry helps exchange data between peripherals and the controller, which happens in the form of electrical signals. These signals are translated into the appropriate form by the controller.
  1. Buses
    Buses are used to connect the different units of a computer system. Usually, an internal bus contains a set of connections that permit the communication and exchange of data of internal components. On the other hand, external buses connect the processor with peripherals in a parallel and serial way. There are various types of hardware utilized in the implementation of the different internal and external buses types; examples include tracks on printed circuits, electronic pathways and wires A computer typically has three major types of buses, the data, address and control bus. Each of the buses has a particulates purpose and is utilized for particular data types. The three buses together are referred to as the system bus. The system bus connects the main memory, RAM and the processor.

In conclusion, this article equips a person with the basics of a computer’s internal parts. With this basics, a person seeking to buy internal hardware components for their computer will find it easy. However, it is essential to know that when purchasing computer hardware parts always go for reputable stores. Review sites, including the UK collected reviews, can help you out with this, you can always check out electronic stores reviews.