The above points all noted, for users seeking ultimate performance, there is now the option of installing a computer's operating system, programs and data on a solid state drive (SSD), rather than a traditional, spinning hard disk. SSDs are far faster and more energy efficient than traditional, spinning hard disks, which in time they will largely replace. This said, at present SSDs are still a lot more expensive than traditional spinning hard disks in terms of cost-per-gigabyte. You can learn more about SSDs on the storage page and/or in the following video:
The second key factor that determines performance of a traditional, internal hard disk is the interface used to connect it to the computer's motherboard. Three types of interface exist: SATA, which is the most modern and now pretty much the norm on new PCs; IDE (also known as UDMA), which is a slower and older form of interface, and finally SCSI, which is happens to be the oldest but in it most modern variant is still the fastest disk interface standard. This said, SCSI is now all but redundant in desktop computing since the introduction of SATA, as SATA provides a fairly high speed interface at much lower cost and complexity than SCSI.

The term supercomputer does not refer to a specific technology. Rather it indicates the fastest computations available at any given time. In mid 2011, the fastest supercomputers boasted speeds exceeding one petaflop, or 1 quadrillion (10^15 or 1,000 trillion) floating point operations per second. Supercomputers are fast but extremely costly, so they are generally used by large organizations to execute computationally demanding tasks involving large data sets. Supercomputers typically run military and scientific applications. Although costly, they are also being used for commercial applications where huge amounts of data must be analyzed. For example, large banks employ supercomputers to calculate the risks and returns of various investment strategies, and healthcare organizations use them to analyze giant databases of patient data to determine optimal treatments for various diseases and problems incurring to the country.
Where higher processor speeds become more important is for applications such as video editing, 3D graphics work and (for the majority of "power users") playing computer games! For any of these applications, within reason the faster the processor the better. This said, people in need a very powerful computer have to be aware that CPU performance is now determined by far more than raw speed alone. Intel made this very clear when it introduced its system of processor numbers. These provide an indication of a processor's "architecture", "cache" and "front side bus (FSB) speed" in addition to its clock speed.
Many large defense contractors have multiplatform systems, such as a command module with moving maps, sensor fusion, and database retrieval that overlays data on the unfolding mission scenario. This command system may reside in an air transport rack (ATR) or vetronics chassis mounted in an armored vehicle or widebody aircraft, could be in an air-cooled rack on a ship, or may need to be shoehorned into an SFF system on a multimission ground vehicle.
The hardware components described so far result in a fully functional computer system. A user can provide input using the keyboard and the mouse, and the computer can process instructions, read and write information, and display the results on the monitor. Most present-day computer systems have additional hardware components to provide more functionality. These include input devices, such as a microphone and video camera, and output devices, such as speakers. These can be integrated into the other hardware components or connected as external devices.
The following gives a basic overview of personal computer (PC) hardware, with the focus being on desktop computers. Inevitably, other sections of this website -- most notably those covering storage, mobile computing and networking -- also discuss particular areas of computer hardware and its application and specification. For a more technical hardware guide, see the excellent Introduction to Computer Hardware written by Howard Gilbert of Yale University. And if you are interested in the evolution of computing, you may like to read The History of the Microcomputer Revolution by Frank Delaney or this brief history of computing.
There are two types of devices in a computer that use CDs: CD-ROM drive and a CD writer. The CD-ROM drive used for reading a CD. The CD writer drive can read and write a CD. CD writers are much more popular are new computers than a CD-ROM drive. Both kinds of CD drives are called optical disc drives because the use a laser light or electromagnetic waves to read or write data to or from a CD.
The hard drive or flash drive provides persistent storage as a flat area of bytes without much structure. Typically the hard disk or flash disk is formatted with a "file system" which organizes the bytes into the familiar pattern of files and directories, where each file and directory has a somewhat useful name like "resume.txt". When you connect the drive to a computer, the computer presents the drive's file system to the user, allowing them open files, move file around, etc.

Central processing unit (CPU) -- The CPU, often just called the processor, is the component that contains the microprocessor. That microprocessor is the heart of all the PC's operations, and the performance of both hardware and software rely on the processor's performance. Intel and AMD are the largest CPU manufacturers for PCs, though you'll find others on the market, too. The two common CPU architectures are 32-bit and 64-bit, and you'll find that certain software relies on this architecture distinction.

Battlefield servers have unique requirements in other areas besides environmental. One is reliability: For rackmount servers, the ability to quickly replace a module due to failure or for an upgrade drives the need for modularity and hot-swap line replacement units (LRUs). Every module of the system – from power supply and fan assemblies to VPX-based motherboard and drive assemblies – must be replaceable in seconds. This is the downfall of typical commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) 1U or 2U servers: If there’s a failure, the entire server must be replaced.
To a large extent, time was called on the clock frequency war because of the difficulties encountered in cooling microprocessors as they became faster and faster. However, another driver was simply that raw processing power was starting to become a secondary concern for many purchasers. By 2005, factors such how much noise a computer makes, case style and size, and a computer's green credentials, were starting to be perceived as important. And such non-processing-power measures are increasingly driving both consumer and business computer purchase decisions today.

Choosing the best RAM for your system involves two things: compatibility and how much RAM your system can support. First, for compatibility, identify the kind of module your system uses by identifying the form factor (the physical form of the module – generally, desktops use UDIMMs, laptops use SODIMMs), then figure out the memory technology (DDR4, DDR3, DDR2, etc.) your system supports. Second, your system can only handle so many GB of memory, and that depends on your system. If you buy 64GB of RAM and your computer can only handle 16GB, that’s 48GB of wasted memory you can’t take advantage of.


An additional approach uses one set of fans to push air across the heat sink assembly, while a second set pulls air out of another part of the system, intermixing cooler inlet air to counterbalance the warmer air moving across the heat sink. Individual fan control can be used to monitor multiple in-system temperature sensors so air flow can be tuned for maximum cooling.
Computer Hardware is the physical part of a computer, as distinguished from the computer software that executes or runs on the hardware. The hardware of a computer is infrequently changed, while software and data are modified frequently. The term soft refers to readily created, modified, or erased. These are unlike the physical components within the computer which are hard.
When the first microcomputers were introduced in the late 1970s, and in particular when the IBM PC was launched (in 1981 in the USA and 1983 in the UK), the computer industry was dominated by hardware. This was because most of the money spent on a computer system went on hardware, with a direct trade-off existing between processing power and overall system cost. The exact hardware specification was usually also critical. Today, however, neither of these points remains the case.
Computer Hardware is the physical part of a computer, as distinguished from the computer software that executes or runs on the hardware. The hardware of a computer is infrequently changed, while software and data are modified frequently. The term soft refers to readily created, modified, or erased. These are unlike the physical components within the computer which are hard.
We hold 3.4 million different server spare parts in stock. This stock is held across our warehouses nationally, so regardless of where in the United Kingdom you are, we can fast track courier spares to you within hours if needed. We only purchase directly from tier 1 manufacturers to ensure that the stock we hold is original and validated to work with your hardware.
The motherboard in a PC is what creates the connection between all the other components in your computer, similar to how the central nervous system works in conjunction with the organs in the human body. A printed circuit board, the motherboard allows the components in the PC, such as the processor, graphics card and memory card, to communicate with each other. When choosing a motherboard, it is best to know what you want to do with the PC and, more importantly, what you will want to do with it later. For example, if you just want to build an inexpensive PC for work or doing school projects, you can choose a motherboard that has a limited number of USB ports and expansion slots. However, if you think you may want to use it for watching high-definition videos or do some intense gaming with it, you will want a motherboard that can expand, such as adding a secondary graphics card or more memory.
The pricing of server spares can be quite varied, and this pricing is determined by the relative age of the stock and the scarcity of the parts. We see spare parts being sold at extortionate prices on some internet stores. We will always price competitively and if you see the same part elsewhere cheaper, we will upon examination of the offer, match or beat the price.
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Alongside clock speed, the architecture of a processor is the most important factor to determine its performance, and refers to its basic design and complexity. Some processors are simply more sophisticated than others, with Intel (for example) producing "basic" processors called Celerons and Pentiums, as well as more powerful processors under its "Core" processor family. The later include the Core 2, Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7, with the last of these being the most powerful.
Graphics cards are designed to offload rendering from the CPU. Graphics cards are powered by the motherboard and require a PCIX or PCIX 2.0 slot to install. Some cards require more power and thus will need a 6-8 pin connector that runs directly to the power supply. Graphics cards also include on board memory for efficient rendering. Typical sizes include 128-1024mb of memory. Today, high end graphics cards have multiple core processors that are largely parallel to increase texture fill and process more 3D objects in real time.

A disk array controller is a device which manage the physical disk drives and presents them to the computer as logical units. It almost always implements hardware RAID. RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Drives) is a technology that employs the simultaneous use of two or more hard disk drives to achieve greater levels of performance, reliability, and/or larger data volume sizes. A disk array controller also provides additional disk cache.

Both floppy and hard drives use a read/write head, which is basically a magnet, to read/write information from/to tracks on a platter. In a hard drive, the read/write head and platter(s) are enclosed together in an air-tight package, making hard drives less susceptible to damage. The read/write head hovers above the platter but should not touch it. If touched, the platter can be damaged, resulting in the loss of some or all the data on the platter. This is known as a head crash.
Unless you are a games player, 3D graphics artist or professional video editor, you will probably find that any modern personal computer will be adequate for your requirements. The input and output devices you require, as well as the software you wish and need to run, should therefore primarily drive your hardware needs. So do try to be wary of sales people trying to flog you hardware of a specification you will not use (such as a PC with a Core i7 processor for accessing the web and running office applications).
Power supply -- Other than its CMOS, which is powered by a replaceable CMOS battery on the motherboard, every component in your PC relies on its power supply. The power supply connects to some type of power source, whether that's a battery in the case of mobile computers, or a power outlet in the case of desktop PCs. In a desktop PC, you can see the power supply mounted inside the case with a power cable connection on the outside and a handful of attached cables inside. Some of these cables connect directly to the motherboard while others connect to other components like drives and fans.
A modern computer will generally need a PSU that’s rated between 500W – 850W to effectively power all hardware, although the size of the PSU will depend entirely on the power consumption of the system. Computers that are used for highly intensive tasks such as graphic design or gaming will require more powerful components and thus will need a bigger PSU to cater to this additional need.
Firmware is a very specific, low-level program for the hardware that allows it to accomplish some specific task. Firmware programs are (relatively) permanent, i.e., difficult or impossible to change. From the higher-level view of software, firmware is just part of the hardware, although it provides some functionality beyond that of simple hardware.
Trying to put together a personal computer system component by component is not something that should be attempted by a novice. For these folks, all-in-one computers are a safer option. Or, if you have a friend or know someone who builds computers for a living, you can purchase the components separately and have them build a computer for you, often better than many of the all-in-one PCs you can buy. If, however, you have experience and the know-how for building a better, faster and more powerful PC than you could get from the factory, Walmart has all the components you need to make your dream PC a reality. Save money doing so with our Every Day Low Prices.
Finally on the input side, microphones and audio recorders are now commonly used for digital data capture. Microphones are obviously needed to permit online audio and video conferencing. However, the use of portable audio recorders is now also on the increase. These can capture sound in a range of formats, including MP3, WAV, and (for broadcast film and video purposes) BWF. Fostex is widely regarded as the leading manufacturer of high-end digital audio recording hardware, although I personally prefer hardware from Tascam!

A solid-state drive (SSD) is a data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store persistent data. An SSD emulates a hard disk drive, thus easily replacing it in any application. SSDs have begun to appear in laptops because they can be smaller than HDDs. SSDs are currently more expensive per unit of capacity than HDDs which is why they have not caught on so quickly.


Network Interface Cards can be a network card, network adapter, LAN Adapter or NIC (network interface card). They are a piece of computer hardware designed to allow computers to communicate over a computer network. It is used for fault communication via cable. Data is transmitted over a cable network. The NIC connects computers and other devices such as printers. Many modern motherboards have NICs built in by default.

A supercomputer is superficially similar to a mainframe, but is instead intended for extremely demanding computational tasks. As of June 2018, the fastest supercomputer on the TOP500supercomputer list is the Summit, in the United States, with a LINPACK benchmarkscore of 122.3 PFLOPS, exceeding the previous record holder, Sunway TaihuLight, by around 29 PFLOPS.
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