Computer Basics- Personal Computers and Applications, Types of computer, components & peripherals devices



  • Computers play an increasingly important and nearly indispensable role in everyday life.
  • Computers are used all over the world and in all types of environments. They are used in businesses, manufacturing environments, homes, government offices and non-profit organizations.
  • In addition to these types of computers, there are also many customized computers designed for specific purposes. These computers can be integrated into devices such as televisions, cash registers, sound systems, and other electronic devices.

  • There are three things that have to work together:

    1. Hardware - the physical components, both internal and external, that make up a computer. 
    2. Operating System - a set of computer programs that manages the hardware of a computer. An operating system controls the resources on a computer, including memory and disk storage. An example of an operating system is Windows XP.
    3. Application Software - programs loaded on the computer to perform a specific function using the capabilities of the computer. An example of application software is a word processor or a computer game.


There are many different types of computers available including:
  • Mainframes
  • Servers
  • Desktops
  • Workstations
  • Laptops
  • Hand-held portable devices


Servers are high performance computers used in businesses and other organizations. Servers provide services to many end users or clients.
Server hardware is optimized for quick response time to multiple network requests. Servers have multiple Central Processing Units (CPUs), large amounts of Random Access Memory (RAM) and multiple high capacity disk drives that provide very fast information retrieval.


Workstations are high-powered business computers. They are designed for specialized, high-end applications like engineering programs such as CAD (Computer Aided Design). Workstations are used in 3-D graphics design, video animation and virtual reality simulation.
They may also be used as management stations for telecommunications or medical equipment. As with servers, workstations typically have multiple CPUs, large amounts of RAM and multiple, high-capacity disk drives that are very fast. Workstations usually have very powerful graphics capabilities and a large monitor or multiple monitors.


Desktops support many options and capabilities. A wide variety of cases, power supplies, hard drives, video cards, monitors and other components are available. Desktops can have many different connection types, video options, and a wide array of supported peripherals.

Computer components & peripherals

Computer system

There are many types of computers. What makes one computer better suited to play a new game or play a new audio file over another? The answer is the components and peripherals that make up the computer system.
There are also a number of vendors that can custom assemble computer systems to the end-user's specifications. 
There are advantages and disadvantages for both.

Preassembled Computer

  • Lower cost
  • Adequate to perform most applications
  • No waiting period for assembly
  • Typically used by less knowledgeable consumers who do not require special needs
  • Often lack the performance level that can be obtained from custom built computers.

Custom Built Computer

  • The end-user can specify exact components that meet user needs
  • Generally support higher performance applications such as graphics, gaming, and server applications
  • Generally more costly than a preassembled device
  • Longer waiting periods for assembly

Motherboard,CPU & RAM

A motherboard is a large circuit board used to connect the electronics and circuitry required which comprise the computer system. The motherboard moves data between the various connections and system components.
A motherboard can also contain connector slots for network cards. However, many motherboards now come equipped with these features as integrated components. The difference between the two is how they are upgraded.

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

The CPU is the component that processes all of the data within the machine.. Important factors when selecting a CPU are the processor speed and bus speed.
  • Processor Speed
  • Bus Speed
  • Adapter cards
  • Some of the more common adapter cards include:
    • Video cards
    • Sound cards
    • Network interface cards
    • Modems
    • Interface cards
    • Controller cards

Thanks for reading... 

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