Ch 1: Introduction to Computer Architecture & Hardware

About This Chapter

If you need an introduction to computer hardware and architecture, look no further than this informative chapter. Here you'll find engaging lessons, self-assessment quizzes and printable lesson transcripts you can access 24 hours a day.

Introduction to Computer Architecture & Hardware - Chapter Summary

Our chapter on computer architecture and hardware offers an introduction to these topics written by expert instructors. Watch videos on computer system components, examples of computer hardware, the function and diagram of a motherboard and the binary language of computers. Along with each lesson, we've included a short self-assessment quiz to help identify any areas that need more study. Feel free to reach out to one of our helpful instructions through the Dashboard with any questions that come up along the way. After finishing this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Detail the parts and functions of computer system components
  • Define computer hardware with examples
  • Explain the diagram and function of a motherboard
  • Provide an overview of the binary language of computers
  • Describe how a computer processes simple user interaction
  • Outline the types of computer platforms with examples
  • Discuss the timeline of the history of computers
  • Identify the evolution of Moore's Law
  • Differentiate between Von Neumann and Harvard computer architectures

9 Lessons in Chapter 1: Introduction to Computer Architecture & Hardware
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Computer System Components: Computer Parts & Functions

1. Computer System Components: Computer Parts & Functions

Are you ready to buy a computer? Let's take a trip through the components of a computer for some advice. We'll learn about the motherboard, memory, storage, connectivity and peripherals.

What is Computer Hardware? - Components, Definition & Examples

2. What is Computer Hardware? - Components, Definition & Examples

Computer hardware is the collection of physical parts of a computer system. This includes the computer case, monitor, keyboard, and mouse. It also includes all the parts inside the computer case, such as the hard disk drive, motherboard, video card, and many others. Computer hardware is what you can physically touch.

What is a Motherboard? - Definition, Function & Diagram

3. What is a Motherboard? - Definition, Function & Diagram

The motherboard is a sheet of plastic that holds all the circuitry to connect the various components of a computer system. Learn how the motherboard functions to make all the other components work together.

Binary Language of Computers: Definition & Overview

4. Binary Language of Computers: Definition & Overview

All digital data used in computer systems is represented using 0s and 1s. Binary coding systems have been developed to represent text, numbers, and other types of data.

How a Computer Processes Simple User Interaction

5. How a Computer Processes Simple User Interaction

This course explains the steps a computer performs to process simple user input from entering characters on the keyboard until the text is displayed on the monitor.

Computer Platforms: Definition, Types & Examples

6. Computer Platforms: Definition, Types & Examples

This lesson will explain what a computer platform is, describe the different sizes and types, and discuss the uses for the different types - one size definitely does not fit all! We will also touch on cloud-based computing platforms.

History of Computers: Timeline & Evolution

7. History of Computers: Timeline & Evolution

Modern computing has a rich history. Learn about the earliest computing devices developed by humans, the first electronic computers and the development of modern computer components, such as microprocessors and the graphical user interface, in this video lesson.

Moore's Law: Definition, Types & Evolution

8. Moore's Law: Definition, Types & Evolution

Moore's law is an old concept you may be familiar with to an extent, but it plays a significant role in how computer processing power evolves as the years advance forward.

Von Neumann vs. Harvard Computer Architectures

9. Von Neumann vs. Harvard Computer Architectures

In this lesson, we will take a look at two architectural models of computing systems: the Von Neumann architecture and the Harvard architecture. We will also learn about some of the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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