PC Hardware

Lesson 2: Components of a Computer

In this lesson, we take a look at the different components of a computer system.

After this lesson, you will be able to:
  • Define the primary components that make up a computer.
Estimated lesson time: 10 minutes

As you might expect, the components of a computer reflect the function of the machine-specifically, the three stages of computing, as outlined in Lesson 1. Let's examine the components.

Input Devices

The following table lists the devices that are used to put information into the machine.


The primary input device for a computer.


Used with graphical interface environments to point and select objects on the system's monitor. Can be purchased in a variety of sizes, shapes, and configurations.


Converts printed or photographic informa- tion to digital information that can be used by the computer. Works similarly to the scanning process of a photocopy machine.


Works like the microphone on a tape recorder. Allows input of voice or music to be converted to digital information and saved to a file.


Compact disc-read only memory: stores large amounts of data on a compact disc that can be read by a computer.