Glossary of Computer Hardware

Computer Parts

New to manufacturing computers? Sometimes the terminology surrounding computer hardware is confusing. Take a look at this quick guide for help understanding.

Adapter

A device that allows one type of hardware to connect to a different kind without any loss of information.

Bus

The system of hardware components to transfer information inside a computer.

Cache

A component that stores data so that it can be retrieved quickly.

Computer Case

The unit that holds all the components of a computer.

CPU

The circuitry that contains the primary functions of a computer.

Data Storage

A catchall term for storing any information electronically.

Drive Bay

Space within a computer case for adding more components.

Hard Disk Drive

A storage device which uses magnetic disk storage to keep files.

HDMI

Stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface. It transmits video data with high speed and quality.

Heat Sink

A device that absorbs excess heat from the computer.

Graphics Card

A card which controls output display.

Input Device

Any device which allows a user to move data or information to a computer.

Integrated Circuit

A silicon chip that holds a number of electronic circuits. It’s designed to save space in electronic devices.

Interface

The area where two devices or components meet.

Memory

The device which holds data for immediate usage.

Memory Card

A small flat card which contains data.

Microprocessor

An integrated circuit which contains the core functions of the CPU.

Modem

A device allowing a computer to connect to the internet.

Monitor

A device showing a visual output of the computer information.

Motherboard

The main circuit board in the computer.

Operating System

The basic software of the computer.

Output Device

Any device which allows data from the computer to be displayed.

Peripheral Device

Any device which connects to the computer but is not a core part of it. These include input/output devices.

Port

A place on the computer where a connection can plug in.

RAM

Stands for random-access memory. Memory which is used for frequently used data.

ROM

Stands for read-only memory. Memory which will not be changed during the function of the computer.

Router

A wireless device that connects a computer to the internet.

Server

A device that manages access to files centralized within a network.

Socket

A slot in a circuit board to allow connections to a microprocessor.

Sound Card

A device that allows a computer to use audio.

SSD

Solid State Drive. A storage device using flash memory. Faster than hard disk drives.

USB

Stands for Universal Serial Bus. A standard connection between a computer and external devices.