Computer components

Network Card, Optical Drive, Keyboard and Mouse, USB 3.0

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Network Card

A network card which is also referred to as a network adapter or a network interface card is a component located within the computer that is supposed to be used as an interface between a computer and a network cable. A network card is created to accomplish three tasks and they are prepare, send and control data on a network.

What is its function and why is it important:

Its function is to convert data that is sent by the computer to be converted into something the computer can use. It job is to also change the data which has come from the cable into a form known more commonly as bytes which the computer’s cpu can understand better. When it comes to controlling data a network card will control the maximum amount of data that will be sent and amount of time it will take to send each chunk of data. A network card is important because it provides computers a physical link to a network and without a network card computer could not communicate with other computers on a server. For example, network cards are used a lot in online multiplayer games such as Minercraft.

Attributes of a network card:

One attribute of a network card is whether or not it is compatible with certain types of networks or not. The most commonly used one is the wired Ethernet with a network specification of IEEE 802.3. When using a wireless Ethernet or wi-fi network the specification in 802.11. Another property to look at is the speed of the network and if for instance, a wired Ethernet cable is used then it will have a speed of 10 megabits per second (mbps). Also, one last property is if the computer has a built-in adapter such as a peripheral component interconnect (PCI) or not because it’s a laptop. These are measureable properties that make one network card better than another.

High-end network card:

Emulex- OneConnect 10 Gigabit Ethernet Card

Average network card:

Gigabit Ethernet LAN PCI-E Express Network Desktop Controller Card 10/100/1000M

Cheap network card:

Asus PCE-N10

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Optical Drive

What is the purpose of an optical drive:

The purpose of an optical drive is to get and store data from optical discs such as cd’s and dvd’s. They do this by acting as lasers that read the millions of dips and bumps on these dvd’s and cd’s as information in the form of ones and zeros which is binary code. New optical drives can also write new data on optical discs. Before optical drives were important because without it was very hard to access all their programs without an optical drive but, now with services such as cloud-computing there has been less and less need for it.


One of the properties that can be measured is the buffer cache which is the area of memory that contains the blocks of data waiting to be written to disk. Another measurable property is the form factor of the optical drive so that it can fit in the computer. Also, some other specifications include the data transfer rate, drive speed, access time, direct memory access and the drive’s interface.

Cheap model:

Sony DDU1681S-0B

High end model:

Asus BW-16D1HT

Average model:

HP 652238-B21

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Keyboard and Mouse

What is a keyboard : It is one of the primary input devices used on computers along with the mouse The function of a computer keyboard is to enter commands and other types of data based on the keys that have been hit in a specific order (ex. cut= Ctrl + C). There are a couple of sections to a key board and they are the numeric keys, the functions keys and the letter keys.

What is a mouse: It is an input device connected to your computer which usually has a couple of buttons with different commands and a scroll bar. The function of a computer mouse is to click on icons, applications and commands on the graphical user interface (G.U.I )

Why are they important: They are important because they allow the user to input information into the computer on which the computer will execute upon. Without a computer or a mouse the user could not be able to navigate themselves very easily throughout the computer not will they be able to execute commands based on their desire.

What are attributes of these peripherals:

For a keyboard one property is how many keys are included because that will show how easy or how difficult it will be to execute commands because the keyboard may not have certain keys that are required to execute the preferred command. For a mouse the attributes are similar in the sense that the number of buttons do matter because certain commands might not be able to be executed because they are not been assigned to the mouse. Another attribute could be whether or not the mouse moves using a rubber ball or a laser. If the user is going to buy a laser operated mouse then they should consider factors such as how fast the led responds and how far away the mouse can move without losing connection to the computer if a wireless mouse is being used. If a wired mouse is being used then the user should consider whether or not the mouse will be compatible with serial ports.

Cheap model:

Model M Keyboard by IBM and others

Fosmon- 3D optical usb scroll wheel mouse

High-end model:

Logitech K350 Wireless keyboard

Logitech G602 Wireless mouse

Average model:

Adesso AKB-131PB

Gear Head MP1950BLK

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USB 3.0

USB 3.0 Functions:

It is a peripheral that is the most common type of port used in modern computers. It is used to connect keyboards mice, game controllers etc. The function is to transmit or receive data or control information via the bus. A usb 3.0 is important to a computer and more importantly the user because it gives the user more room to store their data if they completely use up their storage areas such as their hard drives. Also, it is beneficial because it is so much more portable than other forms of storage such as a hard drive.

Measurable attributes:

One of the measurable attributes of a usb is how big is its storage and how much data it can store. Most usb’s tend to store from 4- 64 gigabytes . Another measurable property is how many devices can connect to a single usb port. Also, just in case maybe it is good to check if the usb 3.0 is compatible with usb 2.0 ports

High end model:

Patriot Supersonic usb 3.0

Average model:

Kingston 16gb Data Traveler DT 100 G3 USB 3.0

Cheap model:

Transcend Jetflash 700 USB 3.0 8gb

Works cited:

McDowell, Rhonda. "Characteristics to Consider When Purchasing a Network Interface Card." eHow. Demand Media, 10 Sept. 2010. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <>.

"USB." (Universal Serial Bus) Definition. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <