Hardware is the electronic, electrical, and magnetic components that carry out the functions of computer. Motherboard, processor, hard disk, random access memory (RAM), network cards, video card, sound card, and internal modem are examples of such components. It also includes peripheral devices such as mouse, keyboard, monitor, modem, printer, and scanner. Hardware components with specified capacity are essential for the effective functioning of running software applications. There are several companies, most of which are leading electronics brands in the world, involved in the production of various components. To help users to select the kind of product they need, computer hardware comparisons are provided in computer magazines and technological websites.
The most important computer hardware component is microprocessor. It is an IC designed and produced specifically for doing various computing functions. There has been an intense competition in the field of the microprocessor field. The two main players in this field are Intel and AMD. There were other companies like Cyrix and a number of Chinese manufacturing companies. The competition so far has been good for the customers for getting good quality products. The two companies are engaging in an exciting competition for outdoing each other. When AMD makes a processor with a special feature, Intel will soon come with a processor with some other feature that is more attractive than the AMDs feature and vice versa. The cycle continues and the quality and speed of the processor increase.
Another major component among computer hardware is motherboard. Basically, it is a custom designed electrical and electronic circuit. It is on this board that the other internal components are slotted in. It has specific slots for specific components such as processor, hard disk, RAM, network card, graphics and video card, sound card, and internal modem. Intel also manufactures its own motherboards. It is said that for Intel processors, Intel motherboards work best. Another major company in the field is Mercury.
Another field where a number of computer hardware comparison reviews are available is in the field of computer memory. Broadly speaking, computer has two kinds of memory: magnetically controlled permanent memory and electrically controlled temporary memory. Hard disk is the permanent memory. The major brands of computer hard disk are LG and Seagate. RAM is the non-permanent memory, which is used for the functional memory while running the computer.
Computer hardware comparisons of various peripherals are also available on magazines. In the field of computer monitors, LG, Acer, and Phillips are the major companies. Most of these companies have mouse and keyboards too. Microsoft and Logitech are the other major manufacturers of mouse and keyboard. In the segment of printers, HP, Epson, and Canon are the major players. Samsung, LG, and Creative are the major companies that manufacture CD and DVD drives and writers.