Computer Hardware

From USB connectors to motherboards, the HowStuffWorks Computer Hardware Channel will help you find explanations, reviews, videos and prices for the parts you need.


In this article we'll tell you which processor is faster and why. Learn how chip designers make use of transistors.

A microprocessor will perform without error when executed at or below the maximum indicated speed. Why can't they speed them up? There are two things that limit a chip's speed.

The RTC chip, or Real Time Clock, does more than keep your computer set to the correct date and time. Without it, you wouldn’t even be able to boot up.

Several factors determine whether you should leave your computer on or off overnight. Networking, economic factors, and stressed-out components all play a part.

What is the world's fastest computer? Well, there's the MDGrape-3 and a few other supercomputers, or there's another one that may surprise you …

The head crash -- it's one of the most terrifying and frustrating computer glitches because it can destroy all of your data. Find out how long you can expect a hard disk to last before a head crash happens.

Networking two or more home computers provides many conveniences, but how do you get started? Start here for the answer.

Running out of USB ports is annoying, but it doesn't have to stop you from adding components to your computer. Check out this list of USB accessories and learn how to get them connected.

Caching increases the speed at which your computer pulls data from memory. Do you know how it speeds things up? How can a little cache go a really, really long way?

Ethernet is one of the most common computer-networking components, and the standardization of this technology has created some of the easiest ways to connect a few computers with or without wires.

Nearly every desktop computer uses one or more hard-disk drives. Your hard disk holds all of the information available on your computer. Take a look inside this incredibly precise storage mechanism.

The microprocessor determines the processing power available for any application you run -- without it, there IS no computer. Learn all about this amazing, ever-shrinking technology that makes your computer compute.

When you type a Web site address into your browser, Web servers are doing the work of getting you the page you request. Put our servers to use right here . . .

You can find Universal Serial Bus connectors on just about every PC made today. But when it was introduced, USB was leaps and bounds ahead of the technologies it replaced. What makes this standard so useful?

When information travels through a network, it follows certain guidelines to ensure compatibility. Find out about OSI and the protocol stacks that prepare your data for transfer.