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2 Hardware associated with a

It is the physical parts of computer system that you can touch and feel it,

such as the computer monitor, keyboard, mouse, CPU etc.

i. Central Processing Unit (CPU)

The CPU is an advanced microprocessor that performs

calculations and determines what to do with the results.

The speed of the CPU is measured Megahertz (MHz) and
Gigahertz (GHz).
The higher the speed in MHz or GHz is, the more powerful
and faster the processor.

1 megahertz = 1 million cycles per second.

1 gigahertz = 1000 megahertz

A good personal computer will use a CPU with a clock

speed of over 2 GHz.
There are three main manufacturers of CPUs Intel,

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and


ii. Memory Storage

Memory is a device in which data or information can be stored and

from which it may be extracted in future when necessary.

The storage unit of the computer holds data and instructions that are
entered through the input unit, before they are processed.
It preserves the intermediate and final results before these are sent to
the output devices.
It also saves the data for the later use.
The different types of storage include:

It is the internal memory and is the only one directly accessible to the CPU.
It consists of the main memory (RAM), the registers (ROM) and the cache
Main memory: also known as RAM (Random Access Memory)

Refers to physical memory that is internal to the computer .

It determines how many programs can be executed at one time and
how much data can be readily available to a program.
RAM is a volatile form of information storage, meaning that when
electrical power is terminated any data that it contains is lost.

ROM (Read Only Memory):

ROM is "built-in" or permanent computer memory containing data

that normally can only be read, not written to.
The data in ROM is not lost when the computer power is turned off.
Therefore, ROM is referred to as Non-volatile memory.


Cache memory is random access memory (RAM) that a computer

microprocessor can access more quickly than it can access regular

SECONDARY STORAGE: (also known as external memory or auxiliary

It is not directly accessible by the CPU.
The computer usually uses its input/output channels to access
secondary storage and transfers the desired
Secondary storage is non-volatile. Eg : Hard disk drives / Flash drives
Involves a robotic mechanism which will mount (insert) and dismount
removable mass storage media into a storage device according to the
system's demands; these data are often copied to secondary storage
before use.
It is primarily used for archiving rarely accessed information since it is
much slower than secondary storage.
Examples include tape libraries and optical jukeboxes.
Data storage on a medium or a device that is not under the control of a
processing unit.
It cannot be accessed without human interaction.
In modern personal computers, most secondary and tertiary storage
media are also used for off-line storage. Older examples are floppy

iii. Disk Storage Devices

The hard disk is a spindle of magnetic disks, called

platters, that record and store information.

Information recorded to the hard disk remains intact after
you turn your computer off.
The drive consists of a number of rigid magnetic disks in
a protective casing.

Data is recorded magnetically

onto concentric circular tracks that
are divided into a number of
An arm moves over the surface
of the disk to read the data.

iv. Floppy disk drive:

A floppy disk is a data storage

medium that is composed of a disk of
thin, flexible ("floppy") magnetic
storage medium encased in a square
or rectangular plastic shell.

v. CD-ROM/DVD-ROM Drive:
Compact Disk Read Only
Memory drives read data from CDs
that can hold up to 800MBs of
DVD-ROM (Digital Versatile Disk)
drives can store up to 17 gigabytes
of data and are designed for video
and multimedia applications