Computer hardware refers to the collection of the physical elements that make up the computer system. The hardware of the computer is the tangible parts or components including the monitor, mouse, keyboard, motherboard, hard disk drive (HDD), memory (RAM), the central processing unit (CPU), etc.
A combination of hardware and software make up the computer system. Software by contrast is instructions that can be stored on the computer and ran by the hardware. In other words, the role of the hardware is to carry out instructions contained in the software for the computer to function. Without the instructions, the hardware also cannot work.
There are different kinds of hardware devices and they are usually grouped into five sets of components as the system unit, input devices, processing devices, output devices, and storage devices. In this post we take a look at the computer system unit.
What Is The System Unit?
The system unit is the main metal case of the microcomputer system which contains all the components used to process data into information. All the components of the system unit including the CPU are connected or fixed together on the motherboard. For portable computers like notebooks and laptops, their system unit is combined with the computer screen to form a single piece of hardware.
The external features of the system unit consists of numerous and different sockets and buttons. The sockets are known as Ports which are mostly found on the back or front of the system unit. The ports are used to connect external hardware devices to the computer. The buttons are tabs that can be pressed to perform specific tasks. To make it very easy for a user to set up and operate the computer, it is important to be able to identify and describe parts of the system unit. Today, many computers come with a variety of parts and ports on the front view of system unit for easy access. Some of the ports can also be found at the back view of the system unit.
The Front View of the System Unit
|LED Indicator lights||The lights for drives and power that flashes when they are functioning|
|The Reset/Restart Button||It is used to restart the computer in warm booting mode|
|Power Button||It starts the computer in cold booting mode|
|CD/DVD Drive||Provides access for writing and reading information to and from a compact disc|
|Floppy Disk Drive||Provides access for writing and reading information to and from a floppy disk|
|Zip Disk Drive||Provides access for writing and reading information to and from a zip disk|
|USB Port||A universal socket for connecting external USB devices like keyboard, mouse, printer, scanner, flash drive, digital camera, etc.|
|Audio Ports||For connecting speakers, microphones, and other sound devices|
The Back View of the System Unit
The back of the system unit has a lot of ports for connecting external peripherals and these include:
|Keyboard and Mouse Ports||PS/2 six pin female sockets coded green for the mouse and pink/violet for the keyboard|
|Serial Port||A 9 or 25 pin socket usually used to connect the mouse and communication devices like the modem|
|VGA Monitor Port||Used to connect the monitor or projector to the computer. Newer computers may come with an HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) connector for connecting the computer to a high-definition monitor or television.|
|Network Port||Used to connect the computer to a Local Area Network (LAN).|
|Modem and Phone Port||Used to connect the computer to a modem and telephone jack respectively|
|Power Port||Used to connect the system unit to a power source|
|USB Ports||A universal socket for connecting external devices|
|Audio Ports||For connecting speakers, microphones, headsets, headphones, and other sound devices|
|Game Port||Used to connect a joystick, game pad, and other gaming devices|
|Cooling Fan||An air inlet for the internal fan for cooling the power supply and other internal components|
|Blank Plates||For more expansion|