Computer Hardware and Software

Definition of Computer hardware

This refers to the physical units or components which make up the computer configuration. The term hardware refers to the tangible parts of a computer that can be seen and touched.

Examples of hardware components

  1. Monitor
  2. Motherboard
  3. CPU( Central Processing Unit)
  4. RAM( Random Access Memory)
  5. Expansion Cards
  6. Power Supply
  7. Optical Disk Drive
  8. Hard Disk Drive
  9. Keyboard
  10. Mouse.  E.t.c

The Computer Hardware is divided into two:

Ø  System Unit

Ø  Peripheral


The system unit contains the most vital parts of the computer. The central process unit that does the greatest part of the processing is in the system unit. The system unit includes the motherboard that holds a microprocessor chip or a CPU, memory chips and expansion slots and cards, buses and ports.


These are devices that are attached to a computer to make it useable. They perform a specific task or operation. E.g Webcam, printers, mouse etc. peripheral devices can’t work on their own. E.g keyboards, joy sticks etc.

Peripheral devices can be grouped into:

  1. Input peripheral devices

Ø  Keyboard

Ø  Pointing devices: Mouse

Ø  Gaming Devices : Joystick, gamepad

Ø  Audio input devices : Microphones

  1. Output peripheral devices

Ø  Printer

Ø  Speaker

Ø  Headphones

Ø  Monitor



The software refers to the programmes which are processed by the Hardware. A program is a sequence of instruction that is carried out by the Hardware to solve given problems or to perform given tasks.



System software is a type of computer program that is designed to run a computer’s hardware and application programs. If we think of the computer system as a layered model, the system software is the interface between the hardware and user application e.g BIOS( Basic input output system), the BOOT program , Assembler etc.


These are sets of instructions written by a vendor to perform a specific task. Examples are MS word, skpe, explorer etc



1.  Define and give the function of computer hardware and software

2.  List the types of computer software and hardware we have

Student are allowed to give corrections to the assessment given by the teacher, while the teacher support s them in order to guide them.



See also

Constituents Parts of a Computer System

Logic Gate


Logic Circuit

Differences between primary and secondary memory

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