Computer Hardware

Raphael Delattre

Hard Drive and SSD Solid State Drive

A hard drive can be found (like an SSD) in a computer whether it is a laptop or a desk top. A hard drive is a component that is relatively thick and it is used to store any data from your computer. This means that if you did not have a hard drive or SSD, you would not be able to save any documents or any applications. Therefore, you need a hardrive if you want to work on your computer. Nowadays, an average hard drive can store about 300 gigabites. The problem with a hard drive is that it has moving parts inside it. This moving part is very fragile so if ever you drop your hard drive, you will probably be unable to reuse it so you would lose all of your data stored on the hard drive. An SSD does the exact same job as the hard drive (storing data) but the advantages of an SSD are that it does not have any moving parts so you have less chance of breaking it if you drop it. An SSD is also much smaller which is why they can fit in Ipads and, with an SSD, you can access all of your saved data quicker. On the other hand, an SSD costs a lot more than a hard drive which is why Ipads cost a lot of money. Another disadvantage of an SSD is that it can carry less data as an average SSD can store about 250 gigabites compared to the 300 gigabites of a hard drive.

Optical Drive

An optical drive is made to read CDs, Bluray discs and normal DVDs. An optical drive is a drive that uses a laser light or electromagnetic waves. Almost every computer has an optical drive but not every optical drive can read CDs, Blurays and DVDs. This is because if an optical drive can only read DVDs, it will not be able to read a Bluray film. However, if an optical drive can read Blurays, it will also be able to read DVDs. As well as being able to read CDs, some optical drives can create their own ones if you insert a blank CD. The advantage of this is that it costs less money than buying a CD from a shop and you get to put whatever music you want on it. The optical drive is usually found on the right of a computer and it can be ejected so that you can place a CD or DVD or Bluray in it.

A Monitor

A computer monitor is an electronic device that shows images about what you are doing on your computer. For Example, the monitor is now showing me what I am writing so that I know if there are any mistakes. Without a monitor, whenever you would be typing or doing anything on your computer, you would not be able to see a thing. A monitor is sometimes also referred to as a computer screen but this is not the right word. There are different types of monitors but the main ones are CRT monitors which are a bit older than the ones most people have nowadays called a LCD monitor. A CRT monitor is less good than a LCD monitor because it is much heavier, it takes up more space and it also uses more electricity. However, a LCD monitor is not only used for computers, it is also used for some phones and other manheld technologies. The difference between a CRT and a LCD monitor is that an LCD monitor can produce a high quality and stable display of graphichs and text. LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display and CRT stands for Cathode-Ray Tube. Another monitor which is often used for playing video games and sometimes used for work is a DLP monitor which stands for Digital Light Processing. A DLP uses very small mirrors to direct light and therefore creates the image you want. A monitor is very similar to a TV screen except that it cannot change channels so you cannot watch things like the BBC on your computer.


A CPU ( which stands for Central Processing Unit) is the 'brain' of the computer. This means that the CPU carries out the instruction of a computer program and does all the calculations needed to load something. Without a CPU, your computer would not work as it would be like trying to walk with no brain. A CPU is measured in gigahertz (GHz) and the average computer has about 3 GHz but the fastest computer ever made has 5 GHz. The higher the amount of gigahertz, the faster the computer is. There are also dual processors which means that your computer can load two different things very quickly. However, a dual processor does not necessarily load things faster than a CPU, it can just do more than one thing at a time. Another different processor is the quad processor which can do four things at the same time so this is a very useful thing for people who need to do some research as they can quickly go from one thing to another on the internet. As well as there being CPUs in computer, there is also one in laptops and mobile phones.


RAM stands for Random Access Memory and a RAM is used to temporarily store computer data. When you copy anything on your computer, it does not get stored on your hard drive but it gets stored on the RAM. This means that if you turn off your computer, you will not be able to paste the image that you had copied. The higher the amount of Gigabites that your RAM can hold, the faster your computer will be when you are opening more than one application. Also, when you have not yet saved something on Microsoft Word, the information you have written is being temporarily saved on the RAM until you save it. One way of explainig it is when you want to cook something. For example, when you make your own pizza,