A Guide to Understanding Personal Computer Hardware

If you asked the average person about computer recycling, they would likely know a few of the components that come together to form a PC and perhaps be able to explain how a computer works. There are those who do not embrace new technology and while they might be able to carry out basic tasks like surfing the Internet and using Ms Office, their knowledge of the inner workings is somewhat misty.

We thought we would outline the major components and offer a few maintenance and security tips to help you get more acquainted with your PC.

Information Bits

Using a binary code of ones and zeros, data is broken down into bits. Starting with 1 bit, kilobit = 1,024 bits, megabit = 1,024 kilobits, gigabit = 1,024 megabits and the terrabit, which equals 1,024 megabits. It might seem confusing at first, but you soon become familiar with the abbreviated forms.

Computer Hardware

If you search online for computer hardware from JIB, you will find the following components:

  • Central Processing Unit – CPU is the heart of the system, which processes all data from various channels, and the faster the CPU speed, the quicker the data is sent to its destination.
  • Mainboard – A large circuit board, this is the network for all the components to plug into; one of the better brands is definitely ASUS.
  • Random Access Memory – RAM is memory the operating system temporarily uses to store data and the more RAM you have, the quicker things will be.
  • Video Card – VGA is critical as this component sends data to the monitor and the latest generation of cards can comfortably handle 4k and even higher resolutions. This piece of kit is the defining aspect for a serious gamer and hi-end cards from Nvidia are quite expensive but they do deliver the goods in terms of performance.
  • Solid State Drive – SSD is the next generation from the optical drives that are limited by the rpm of the spin and all PCs sold today would have SSD, which is purely for data storage and most PCs would have at least 2 SSD installed, one for the OS and one for stored files.


Devices that are connected (cable or wireless) include the following:

  • Monitor – Of course, an essential device, this gives you a visual interface and a decent flat screen digital monitor would cost a couple of hundred dollars. A plug connected to the VGA card runs into the monitor. If you are a budding entrepreneur, here are a few good tips to help you enjoy business success.
  • Keyboard – Your control interface, or one of them and they come in all sizes and languages.
  • Mouse – A pointing device, most are wireless and have left and right click options.
  • Printer – An optional extra, you can print high-quality colour images with the latest versions.
  • Scanner – You can digitalise documents and images with a scanner, which also doubles up as a photocopier.

If you are ready to buy your first PC, search for a reputable online supplier, where you will find the best deals. Read the product reviews before buying a machine, as these are invaluable, and understand your consumer rights, which are there to protect you when buying products online.