Different Types of Internal Computer Hardware and How They Work – PC Hardware Tutorial for Beginners

Internal Computer hardware allows a computer to operate and carry out tasks requested by a user. A computers hardware configuration also determines how fast a computer can carry out those operations. Computer hardware is important to understand in general but also important if building a PC, Fixing a hardware part, or deciding on which PC or even mobile phone to purchase, Since a lot of smartphones and computers have similar hardware. Each peace of hardware has an essential function which allows the PC to operate. This list only includes internal hardware and does not include external parts such as a mouse, keyboard, monitor, and other devices.

         Random Access Memory (RAM)

Computer RAM

Random Access Memory (RAM) is memory that a PC or other device such as a smartphone uses when it needs to access data such as opening a web browser or file. The bigger the activity the more RAM the computer usually needs. If a user needs to have a lot of programs open at once or needs a computer for something such as video editing then a computer with more RAM is needed such as 4GB to 8GB or even more in some cases. If there is not enough RAM and multiple programs are opened the computer will slow to a halt and freeze which would possibly need a hard reset to correct. A lot of computers can support additional RAM just check the system specifications and make sure you get the correct RAM type since there are different versions.

          Central Processing Unit (CPU)

Computer CPU

The central processing unit (CPU) is the core of the computer that processes the tasks and operations that are performed. There are different versions of processors suitable for different levels of activity. For example for fast a video loads or how fast a program opens has a lot to do with how fast the processor is.

                  Graphics Card (GPU)

Computer graphics card

A Grpahics Card (GPU) is a peace of hardware that allows the computer to display graphics. Depending on the quality of the graphics card and computer the resolution, frame rate, etc, can differ significantly. High end computer graphics cards are often used for gaming. Often on low end computer, The GPU is built in and not a separate device. When building a PC it is important that you get the correct graphics card that the motherboard and rest of hardware can handle.

                   Power Supply (PSU)

Computer power supply(PSU)

The Power Supply (PSU) is a simple but important peace of hardware. As the name implies a Power Supply supplies power to a compute. When replacing a power supply or building a PC it is always important to get the correct voltage and connections.


Computer Motherboard

The motherboard is a peace of hardware that supports and gives power to all other peaces of hardware. If somebody want;s to build a PC there are many different sized motherboards to choose from. Each having a similar or different amount of ports and connections. Just like with other parts it is important to get the correct type of motherboard.

                       Computer Case

Computer Case

It may seem like just a case but depending on the size and build structure it can support a limited number of motherboards or a more extensive range of motherboards that you can choose from. Certain cases have light functions and more expensive cases also have different kinds of cooling features. The case is usually the first computer part that people consider when building a PC.

               Hard Disk Drive (HDD)

Hard Disk Drive (HDD)

The Hard Disk Drive was first introduced by IBM in 1956. The Hard Disk Drive (HDD) acts sort of like a memory card that stores data. This includes the operating system itself, programs, files, pictures, documents and anything that requires long term storage in order to be accessed again. It is always important to back up important data to another device (1 USB stick or more) or cloud (internet storage service) just in case a Hard Drive fails over time.

              Solid State Drive (SSD)

Solid State Drive (SSD)

A Solid State Drive (SSD) does the same kind of job as a Hard Disk Drive. An SSS has no moving parts which allows quicker load times and device longevity. Most newer devices come standard with a Solid State Drive. Even though an SSD lasts longer than a standard Hard Drive it is still very important to back up any valuable data.

             Optical Disk Drive (ODD)

Optical Disk Drive.jpg

An Optical Disk Drive is a device that loads and plays media such as Blu-Rays, CDs, and DVDs. Some computer such as laptops may not come with a Optical Disk Drive built in but you can always buy an external one if needed.


All of the functions of these parts are easy to understand but still important to know.