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What Are the Basic Components of a Computer?

by Linda D. Yelverton

The size of today’s computers and their capacities have far outpaced their original predecessors. It was back in the early days of computers, when only a few would see the demand for the electronic devices.


One reason for this is that people will always want to get the most out of their time and money, and computers were the way to do it. But what happens when the need for computers is no longer required?

Nowadays people want a whole range of things done with computers; from playing games to creating new music. When there are so many choices available, can these computers meet this demand? In order to answer this question we will look at the components of a typical computer.

Memory is an essential part of computers, and in most cases the most expensive part. The size of the memory is determined by the amount of RAM, the number of megabytes of RAM installed, and how many programs can be installed. A computer with fewer programs than RAM can only cope with a certain level of programming. So, before you purchase a computer with less memory, ensure that the operating system that you plan to install will allow more programs to be installed.

It is common for a computer to be fitted with an operating system. It is this operating system that will run the applications that are available on the hard drive of the computer. The operating system stores all the software programs and settings, making it very difficult for a computer to operate without a working operating system.

Many new computers come with the Microsoft Windows operating system. However, if you are purchasing a computer that is relatively new, it may be worthwhile buying a Windows PC that comes with an open source operating system called Linux, and if you do so, you will be able to save money.

Before installing any programs onto your computer, you’ll need to make sure that you can get online. Computers require a modem or network card, so these are the things that you’ll need. Any extra features such as flash drives or printers, USB cards, or DVD drives, etc., must also be plugged into the right ports.

Hard drive space, RAM, and even the hard drive need to be taken into account when buying a computer. You will need this space to store all your programs, images, video, and music. If you purchase a computer with a lot of space then you may want to consider upgrading to a larger computer.

Most computers are available with CDs for data storage and CD ROM drives for playing CDs. However, most users use either a USB flash drive or a magnetic disc drive for multimedia purposes.

When buying a computer for yourself, consider whether you would be willing to add extras such as printers, scanners, or GPS systems. You may also need a secondary monitor, and if so, what to monitor and how many.

Some buyers need to use their computers in conjunction with a printer, scanner, and maybe even a phone to make some calls. If you don’t think you’ll ever need these functions then look at a desktop computer instead. This computer does not need the extras that come with a laptop, so you won’t need to take on a huge telephone bill!

Computers have changed a lot since the first were created. More people are becoming more dependent on their computers, with the increased numbers of people needing to use their computers. As the market becomes more crowded and competition becomes tighter, the more competitive computers will become, creating higher quality computers that will require greater amounts of investment in terms of cost and more expensive products to buy.

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