The hardware components of a computer are described and their functions explained.
The RAM makes space available for your computer to read and write data to be accessed by the CPU. The computer reads data from a RAM faster than reading it from the hard drive and therefore adding more RAM to your computer makes it run a lot faster. RAM does not retain data when the computer is switched off hence the name of volatile memory.
ROM contains data that cannot be modified and hence retain it even when the computer is switched off.
A modem is an electronic device that enables a computer to communicate with other computers over a network. A modem, for example, allows you to connect to the internet using cables and telephone lines. Information in a computer is in digital form whereas information sent over telephone lines is analog. The modem converts digital information into analog and vice versa.
A sound card enables the computer to produce sounds to be broadcast through speakers and also to process sounds received through a microphone.
Graphics cards enable the computer to transform data into pictures to be displayed on the monitor. Many graphics cards now have their own RAM and "coprocessor" which make them faster at processing data and displaying it.
Output devices are used to enter data into the computer and also instruct it on what to do. The keyboard, mouse, touchpad, joystick, microphone and scanner are all examples of input devices.
The monitor, printer, speakers are all exmaples of output devices. Their function is to transform all output information into text, animated and static images and sound.