Computer Hardware Basics

Wondering what's inside your computer or some of the basics of how various types of computers and parts work? Get informed here.


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What's the Difference Between Restarting and Shutting Down My Computer?

Both shutdown and restart cause your computer screen to go black, but what happens after that? And which one should you use?

White House Aims for Supercomputer Capable of Achieving Exascale

That's one that can perform 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 floating-point operations per second. Just in case you were wondering.

Is your computer built to break?

The old saying goes something like this: That shiny new computer you just bought is obsolete the second you take it out of the box. Well, there might be some truth to it. Our modern electronics might actually be built to break.

Touch Screens

Touch-screen interfaces are everywhere -- most smartphones and tablets use them today. See interesting facts and graphics on how touch screens work.

How can hot water cool a supercomputer?

In July 2012, engineers at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre debuted their new SuperMUC supercomputer, which uses a unique cooling system. How does hot water cooling work, and how is it green?

Does powering down your computer wear it down?

Most myths have a bit of truth in them – which may be why most people believe that powering down and restarting a computer leads to wear and tear. So, what's the truth behind the myth?

5 Everyday Things You Can Do to Keep Your Computer Healthy

There's no worse feeling than lost data as a deadline approaches, or a folder of digital photos that are lost forever and can't be replaced. With just a little daily maintenance, you can help your odds of avoiding such tragedies.

10 Most Popular Computers in History

In the early years of home computing, buying a machine was a huge investment. Many models sank, but these 10 broke sales records and gave many of us our first glimpse at the digital world. Did your favorite computer make the cut?

How are computers made?

Computers run our modern lives, but how many of us actually know how these everyday machines are made? We'll take a peek at the parts and processes that create the digital tools we can't live without.

What was the first portable computer?

Today, sleek, lightweight mobile computing devices grace the palms and laps of many modern computer users. But back in the '70s, "portable computer" had a very different meaning.

10 Major Players in Supercomputers

When it comes to the business of building supercomputers, taller equals smaller and cooler means faster, and these 10 players have gotten really good at it. Get to know them before they're replaced by someone new.

Top 10 Supercomputers

Does the name Sequoia ring a bell with you? How about Mira, or Tianhe-2? If you're not up on the latest supercomputer news, those words may mean nothing, but they're major players when it comes to petaflops.

What are supercomputers currently used for?

Supercomputers are the whiz kids of the computing world – they're the fastest, most powerful machines around. Find out what they're used for – and what makes them so "super" – in this article.

How the Raspberry Pi Works

With a global shortage of capable programmers, the Raspberry Pi may be the device that gets us back to computing basics. And that's a very good thing. Did we mention it only costs about $25?

What is computer hardware?

Without hardware, even the best software ever created is useless. What components do you need to have assembled before you can boot up and start clicking?

5 Hardware Upgrades That Give You the Most for Your Money

There are hardware upgrades that can extend the useful life of your current computer without completely draining your account or relegating yet another piece of machinery to a landfill. Which upgrades are the best for your needs and your budget?

How do I future-proof my computer?

Today's mobile, sleek computers have come a long way since their comparatively clunky predecessors first debuted. Given how fast technology evolves, is there a way to protect your PC from becoming obsolete?

How Mini PCs Work

Personal computers are now so small that you can fit an entire machine onto one circuit board. How do these little machines work, and what are they giving up for the sake of their miniature size?

What is my motherboard?

Your computer has a number of key parts, including the all-important motherboard. Learn more about your motherboard in this article.

What do you think computers will be like in 2050?

Thanks to improvements in manufacturing, computer processors are constantly getting faster and smaller. These days, it seems like computers are just about everywhere. What kinds of machines will we be using in 2050?

How Heat Sinks Work

Without heat sinks, today's high-tech computers couldn't run at the speeds they do. At least not without completely overheating, which could potentially destroy your entire system. But what exactly is a heat sink and how does it work to keep your computer cool?

How will computers evolve over the next 100 years?

The world's most basic computers used to fill entire rooms. But today, computers are so compact you can carry them wherever you go. So how will our computing devices change in the next century?

How Netbooks Work

Netbooks are ultra-portable computers that are even smaller than traditional laptops. They're all the rage right now, but can they overcome their shortcomings to become a mainstay of the portable computer market?

Can my computer poison me?

Your computer's casing encloses some pretty toxic stuff. If you were to pick through its innards, you'd expose yourself to a whole bevy of chemicals. So how do you stay safe when you power up?

What's the difference between notebooks, netbooks and ultra-mobile PCs?

Portable computers are so popular that they now come in a variety of sizes. Is there any real difference in notebooks, netbooks and UMPCs? What are manufacturers going to come up with next?