What Are the Hardware and Software Components of Computer?

Irene Olsen

A computer is a complex machine that consists of various hardware and software components. Understanding each of these components is essential in troubleshooting hardware and software problems, upgrading or building a new computer, or simply understanding how a computer works. In this article, we will discuss the different hardware and software components of a computer system.

Hardware Components

Hardware components are physical parts that make up a computer. These parts can be divided into two main categories: internal and external.

Internal Hardware Components

Internal hardware components are those that are located inside the computer case. They include:

  • Motherboard: The motherboard is the main circuit board of the computer that connects all other internal components.
  • CPU: The CPU (Central Processing Unit) is the brain of the computer that processes data.
  • RAM: RAM (Random Access Memory) is temporary storage for data that the CPU needs to access quickly.
  • Hard Drive: The hard drive stores permanent data such as files, documents, and operating system.
  • Power Supply Unit (PSU): The PSU supplies power to all internal components of the computer.

External Hardware Components

External hardware components are those that are located outside of the computer case and are connected to it via cables or wireless connections. They include:

  • Monitor: A display screen used to view output from the computer.
  • Keyboard: An input device used for typing text into a document or communicating with other users through chat applications.
  • Mouse:An input device used to move the cursor around the screen and select items.
  • Printer: A device used to print documents and images.
  • Scanner: A device used to scan documents or images and convert them into digital files.

Software Components

Software components are non-physical parts that make up a computer system. They include:

Operating System (OS)

The operating system is the most important software component of a computer system. It manages all hardware and software resources, provides a user interface, and runs applications. Windows, macOS, Linux, and Chrome OS are examples of popular operating systems.

Application Software

Application software is any program that runs on top of the operating system. These can be productivity applications like Microsoft Office or entertainment applications like video games.

Device Drivers

Device drivers are software programs that allow the operating system to communicate with hardware components. Without device drivers, hardware components would not function properly.


Firmware is software that is embedded into a hardware component’s read-only memory (ROM). It controls how the hardware component operates and communicates with other components.

In conclusion, understanding the different hardware and software components of a computer system is essential in troubleshooting problems, upgrading or building a new computer, or simply understanding how a computer works. With this knowledge, you can make informed decisions when purchasing new components or upgrading your existing ones.