1. Introduction
  2. The Computer


  3. The Case
  4. Inside the Case
  5. The Motherboard
  6. The Microprocessor
  7. The Memory
  8. The Hard Drive
  9. The CD-ROM
  10. Other Storage
  11. The Monitor
  12. Keyboard and Mouse


  13. Buying Parts and OEM, where to get manuals
  14. Shopping Smart
  15. Manufacturers
  16. Websites for Shopping

Beginning Computer Hardware Guide Version 0.80 Aug 15, 2000

Computer Hardware

This computer hardware guide discusses computer hardware from the ground up. It is intended for beginners who don't know what computer hardware components operate inside their computers. In this section, we will not only analyze and explain the component parts of a computer, but we will explain how you can buy a computer from component parts, and assemble it. We will guide you around the pitfalls of your computer purchase to the assembly and installation of your computer hardware and operating system. When you are done reading this section, most of the mystery about computer hardware should be clarified.


We cannot be held liable for any damages resulting from use of any information in this section. This section is free, and comes with no warranty of any kind. We have tried to make information in this section as accurate as possible, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy. Also information on this page may be time sensitive since available computer hardware is changing constantly and so are the vendors that provide parts. A vendor that was a reliable source of computer hardware today may change in the future. Other new vendors that have good pricing, selection, and return policies are started all the time. We cannot guarantee that this section can always reflect these changes, but we will give you information on how you can make the best decision about who to buy from.


  • bit - A logical data unit which has a possible value of 0 or 1.
  • byte - A unit of data storage consisting of 8 bits.
  • cycle - An electrical cycle is basically a sinewave form during which electrical voltage will cycle from its lowest negative value to its highest positive value and back again.
  • computer hardware - Refers to the various electronic components that are required for you to use a computer along with the hardware components inside the computer case
  • hertz - A unit of frequency describing the number of electrical cycles that occur in a second. One hertz is one cycle per second. Power is delivered to homes in the United States at 60Hz and in Europe at 50Hz.
  • megabyte(Mb) - A unit of data storage consisting of about one million bytes. This is normally used to refer to the amount of system memory or floppy disk storage.
  • megahertz(Mhz) - A unit of frequency. It is one million hertz. It describes the clock frequency the microprocessor runs at. The larger the number, generally the faster the microprocessor, but there are other factors that affect microprocessor speed.
  • gigabyte(Gb) - A unit of data storage consisting of about 1000 megabytes. This is normally used to refer to the amount of capacity a hard drive has.
  • RAM - Random Access Memory