Introduction to Computer Hardware

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Introduction to Computer Hardware

The Hardware: What Computers Are Made Ofasus m32 pc (amd a8-6500/1tb hdd/6gb ram/hd 8470d graphics/windows 8.1) with hp 23

Our world is filled with computers of many sizes and shapes, from the microchips in a microwave oven, to the complex computer systems that guide the International Space Station. If asked to describe a computer, most people would probably think of something like the picture here.

This type of computer is commonly referred to as a _______________

In general, a computer is

Specifically, desktop computers like the one pictured above are

Other terms for microcomputers include

(for )

Home computers were first available in the late _______________'>_______________. Each computer maker had its own _____________________________ for the hardware.

Some of the early makers of microcomputers were:


IBM 360 Mainframe
Before 1981, many small companies, like Apple, Commodore & Atari dominated the market for home computers. Companies that make huge mainframe computers, like _______________, did not think that microcomputers were very important.
When “Big Blue” did decide to enter the market, their large sales force and corporate structure soon became the dominant force that determined the direction of the ____________________ ____________________.

In 1981, IBM entered the home computer market and introduced the _______________

Soon most computer makers were building “clones” or _______________ computers that functioned just like the IBM machines.
These compatible computers used the IBM-PC ________________________.

An early Compaq compatible
Some microcomputer companies went bankrupt like _______________, others changed their computer architecture so they were compatible with IBM; for example _____________ _______________, and new companies entered the market just selling IBM clones. ______________ is one of the most successful of these.
One computer maker that refused to copy IBM’s computer design was ______________________________.
Microcomputers from Apple, such as the _______________have traditionally maintained a different architecture

Apple Macintosh

What does the term computer architecture mean?

Microcomputers are not the only size of computer. What are the various sizes of computer systems?



Approx. Cost

The Hardware Diagram

Since there are many different configurations of hardware, it is worthwhile to identify the most basic parts on a computer system. This basic design applies to almost all computer systems used in the world today. Fill in this diagram as directed by the teacher.

List a few examples of each of the four main types of computer hardware:

Input Devices

Processing Unit

Output Devices

Auxiliary Storage

Communication Devices

Learning Activity Name: _______________
Read the Computer Hardware article provided by your teacher and complete these notes.

What is hardware?

A peripheral device

What are these three types of ports?

List several input devices.

List the output devices that display data or output sound

What peripheral devices store data?

The motherboard is inside the computer case. A motherboard is

What are main components in a motherboard?

Expansion Boards:


Sizes of Computers Name: _______________

Computers range in size from multi-million dollar supercomputers to tiny microcontrollers embedded into toys and appliances. Learn about the various sizes of computers by completing these notes on the various types of computers.

Start with the Lesson 5—Computer Hardware PowerPoint provided in the class folder and update the information from the Internet. Suggested site: Remember to replace the “Handheld Computers” category with “Smart Phones” and add a new category called “Tablet Computers”.


For each category, give the name, a brief description of the size and who uses this type and a price range.

Unit 1 Lesson 5: Computer Hardware

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