How Does a Computer Work?

How Does a Computer Work

A computer is a machine composed of hardware and software components. A computer receives data through an input unit based on the instructions it is given and after it processes the data, it sends it back through an output device. How does this come together to make the computer work?

The input devices of a computer can depend on the type of computer we are dealing with but most typically we will find a mouse, keyboard, scanner or even applications (software) installed on the computer. Once the data has been received, the central processing unit (CPU) along with the help of other components, takes over and processes the information it was given. Once the data is ready, it will be sent back through an output device which can be a monitor, speaker, printer, ports, etc.

To better imagine how a computer works, knowing what’s inside will make it easier. Here are the main components of a computer:

  • CPU – or Central Processing Unit is considered the most important component in a computer and for good reason. It handles most operations that make it function, by processing instructions and giving signals out to other components. The CPU is the main bridge between all the computer’s major parts.
  • RAM – Random Access Memory, or RAM for short, is a computer component where data used by the operating system and software applications store data so that the CPU can process them quickly. Everything stored on RAM is lost if the computer is shut off. Depending on the applications you use, there is typically a maximum limit of RAM you will need for the computer to function properly.
  • HDD – Also known as Hard Disk Drive, it is the component where photos, apps, documents and such are kept. Although they are still being used, we have much faster types of storage devices such as solid state drives (SSD) that are also more reliable.
  • Motherboard – There is no acronym for this component but without it, there can’t be a computer. The Motherboard acts as the home for all other components, allows them to communicate with each other and gives them power in order to function. There are components that don’t require a physical connection to the Motherboard in order to work, such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi but, if there is no connection or signal what so ever, the computer won’t know it’s there.
  • Video and Sound Cards – Two components which help the user interact with the computer. Although one can use a computer with a missing sound card, it’s not really possible to use it without a video card. The sound card is used mainly to play sound through a speaker. However, a video card is used to send images on the screen. Without it, it would be like looking at an empty monitor.
  • Network adapter – Even though it is not actually required to operate the computer, the Network adapter improves the user’s experience as it provides access to the internet. Modern computers with operating systems such as Windows 10 will not offer the user all of its features without an Internet connection.

If you are having trouble with any of your computer’s internal or external components, please do not hesitate to contact Geeks on Site. Our experienced techs are ready to help you with any computer issues and are often able to do so remotely by walking you through a few steps to give them access to your computer.