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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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?

By Jonathan Strickland

It may sound silly, but there really are different types of computers. There are super, wearable and, of course, personal computers. And that's just three to start.

By Nathan Chandler

Ever wonder why your computer works the way it does? We did, too. So we took one apart to see what all of it does. So what's inside a computer?

By Jonathan Strickland


Are you curious about what's inside your computer? Browse through these computer hardware pictures and take a tour of your PC, from RAM to hard drives and everything in between.

After years of hard work and loyalty, some computers must finally retire. But since they can't take a pension and move to Florida, where do old computers end up?

By Jessika Toothman

A nonprofit organization is developing a $100 laptop for children in developing countries. Well, OK -- a $188 laptop. What is this computer like?

By Jacob Silverman

Nearly everything you use to run your computer or enhance its performance is either part of the motherboard or plugs into it. But what does it actually do?

By Tracy V. Wilson & Chris Pollette


C programming can create a formula for a computer to generate a random number, but there are other ways to. Check out this explanation and diagram.

For high-end gaming and video editing, an upgradeable graphics card is a must. Cutting edge video processors allow users to render complex visual effects, blisteringly fast frame rates, and multiscreen displays, with resolutions up to 4K and beyond.

By Jeff Tyson, Tracy V. Wilson & Talon Homer

Sound cards truly ushered PCs into the world of multimedia. Before the invention of the sound card, a PC could only beep! Learn how a sound card allows a computer to create and record high-quality sound.

By Tracy V. Wilson

Laptops are now as popular as desktops, and the price gap is closing. Learn about laptops, upgrading laptop memory, using a laptop, and read laptop reviews.

By Tracy V. Wilson & Robert Valdes


In many cases, an "out of memory" message is misleading, since your whole system really did not run out of memory. Instead, certain areas of memory used by Windows have run low on space.

Will this keyboard combination shut your computer down or render it inoperable? It's not likely, but it's always better to ask.

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