About Computer Hardware

What is computer hardware? It is everything that your computer is physically made up of. If it is attached to your computer and you can touch it, it is probably computer hardware.

There are a lot of components that make up your computer. So we will start with the most common and basic computer hardware and move on from there. I am going to briefly describe each one so you have a basic understanding of what it is used for.

Computer Cases

The computer case is what holds all of the parts for your computer. It protects the computer hardware from dust, static electricity, moisture, and general wear and tear.

It also has the very important role of keeping your computer hardware cool. Cases come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. It is important to keep in mind the size of all your parts when purchasing a case. Technically you do not have to have a case to run your computer but I highly recommend against it.

Power Supply

The power supply does just what it sounds like, it supplies power to all of your parts. When choosing a power supply, you need to make sure it is the right size to fit in your computer case and that it has enough power for your needs.

Motherboard

It is called a motherboard for a reason. You can not have a computer without one. This is where all of your other parts plug into and allows them to operate as one machine. The motherboard is extremely important and effects almost all of the other parts for your computer.

CPU (processor)

The CPU is the brain of your computer. It processes all the information and tells the other parts what to do. Your CPU effects your computers speed more than any other piece of hardware. There is a lot to consider when buying a CPU. You need to make sure it will work with your motherboard for staters. Also deciding on what speed, price, and features you want from your CPU

RAM

RAM stands for random access memory. This is the memory where your current applications are running from. For example, when you are playing a computer game and a new level loads it is loading from your RAM not your hard drive. Your RAM also has a lot to do with the speed of your computer. As a general rule, the more RAM the better.

Video Card (graphics card)

The video card is what displays all the graphics and objects on your screen. This is what you monitor plugs into your computer through. Video cards are one of the most expensive parts of your computer next to your CPU. If you are a computer gamer the video card is extremely important to you.

Hard Drive

The hard drive is the main storage on your computer. Everything that is stored or downloaded onto your computer goes here. With every passing year programs, games, and applications get larger and larger. For this reason, you will need a decent sized hard drive. I would say 40 gigabytes at least. There are also different speeds for hard drives.

Sound Card

The sound card is the part of your computer that your speakers plug into. Most newer motherboards have onboard audio, so this is more of an optional part. Using the onboard audio will slow your system down a little. If you want good audio, such as surround sound, you will most likely want a sound card.

DVD and CD (players/burners)

DVD players are just what the name suggests, they play DVD’s. CD players play CD’s. DVD burners both play DVD’s and record (write) to them. CD burners both play CD’s and record (write) to them. DVD players/burners can also play CD’s. DVD’s have a lot bigger storage capacity than floppy disks or CD’s.

Floppy Drive

Floppy drives have been around for a long time. They are not used that much anymore, but considering how cheap they are,(around $12) you should get one anyway. They are good for boot disks and some hardware/software still come with floppy disks.

Conclusion

This pretty much covers the basics of computer hardware. There is a lot to know about each piece, which I will cover more in-depth in each parts own page. If you are planning on building your own computer or having someone build it for you with your specific computer hardware, you should take the time and go through each one.

The Best Mac For Those Who Are Constantly On The Go

If you are looking for a new computer you have more than likely ran across a few Apple Mac’s. These amazing little computers come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, models and prices.

 

However, not all Apple Macs are created equal. If you are someone who is constantly on the go, The MacBook is the best Mac for you and here’s why.

 

From performance to features the Macbook is all about mobility. It comes in only one size which is 12 inches, and is available in four different really cool colors.

Depending on your budget and your needs, there are two different models for you to choose from. The least expensive model, which has a price tag of $1,299, comes with a 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core m3 (Kaby Lake) processor and 256GB of flash storage.

 

The second model, which will cost you just under $1,600, features a 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Kaby Lake) processor and 512GB of flash storage. Both models have 8GB’s of memory and feature an integrated Intel HD Graphics 615 processor.

 

One of the many things we really love about the MacBook is the retina display.  If you are the type of person who loves taking photos, you will absolutely love the ultra high resolution screen.

The native resolution on the MacBook is 2304×1440 which gives you the ability to scale to 1024×640, 1280×800, and 1440×900.

 

Connecting Stuff To The MacBook

If you are going to be on the go it’s very important you have an easy way to connect various devices to your computer. The MacBook comes with built in Wi-Fi which makes it super easy for you to connect to any available networks.

While it does only come with one USB-C port, for most people that is plenty as you usually don’t have a ton of external devices to connect when you are on the go.

As far as speed goes the MacBook is not the fastest by any means. This is because this computer was built for mobility and not speed. So while the processors aren’t considered top performers, they are indeed very efficient which is exactly what you need when you are out and about.

The interesting thing is that the MacBook is actually a bit faster than the MacBook Air.  And thanks to the Kaby Lake processor, it is now a much better value than it has been in years past.

Though the MacBook isn’t the fastest Mac on the market, it is capable of handling anything a typical user would do on a day to day basis.

How To Upgrade Your Old MacBook Pro Hard Drive To An SSD

If your MacBook Pro is on its last leg you may be able to give it new life by upgrading the hard drive. If you’ve noticed, all newer model MacBooks use SSD’s. The reason for this is because SSD’s are more reliable than the traditional spinning hard drive.

 

Here is the simple and straightforward way you can upgrade your old MacBook Pro hard drive to an SSD:

 

Gather All Needed Tools

The first thing you will need to do is make sure you have the right tools for the project. The 5 tools you will need are as follows:

A Tiny screwdriver to open the laptop

A SATA to USB cable (a dock will also work)

A 2.5 inch SATA SSD

A Torx head screwdriver

SuperDuper (for creating a fully bootable backup)

Now that we have all the needed tools lets move on to step 1.

 

Prepare The SSD

Using the dock or cable connect the SSD to the Macbook. Find “Disk Utility” using spotlight and launch it. The SSD should be located in the left sidebar. Select it and click the “erase” button.

This will format the drive and get it ready for the next step. Now let’s launch SuperDuper so you can backup your system. Be sure to set it to clone your hard drive to the SSD. Choose “backup all files” and then click “copy now”.

Depending on how much stuff you have on your hard drive, it could take up to several hours before everything is copied over to the SSD. Once all files have been backed up you will need to eject the SSD and shutdown the computer.

 

Remove The Old Hard Drive

Please make sure you have properly shutdown the computer before you start this step.

Flip the MacBook over, grab the Tiny screwdriver and start removing the screws. To avoid misplacing the screws, keep a small container right next you and place the screws in there as you take each one out.

As soon as you take the cover off touch something metal so you can release any static electricity that maystill be flowing through it. Take a soft brush and clean the inside of the Mac.

Take the regular screwdriver and remove the two black screws that are holding the hard drive in place. After removing the bracket gently remove the hard drive. To disconnect the hard drive simply remove the SATA connector.

Remove the four torx screws attached to the hard drive and you will be ready to move on to the third and final step.

 

Install The SSD

Screw the four torx screws you just removed into the SSD. Attach the SATA ribbon to the SSD and insert the drive. Make sure you are very careful when attaching the SATA ribbon. Re-attach the bracket and close up the back of the computer.

You are now officially done upgrading your hard drive. Now just turn on your computer, give it a few second to get acquainted with the new hardware, and then you may continue using it as usual. You should immediately notice how much faster your system is.

4 Simple Ways To Speed Up Your Mac

Are you looking for a few simple ways to speed up your mac? If so this article is for you. Here are 4 ways you can speed up your Mac, boost performance and reclaim a little space on your hard drive.

 

Upgrade The Hard Drive

One of the best things you can do to improve performance on your aging Mac is to upgrade the hard drive. Right now your system is more than likely using a traditional spinning hard drive. By upgrading to a solid state drive, also known as SSD, you will instantly speed up your Mac computer and improve its performance.

The good news is upgrading the hard drive is not as difficult as you may think. As long as you have the right tools it should take you no longer than an hour to switch it out.

Be sure to backup your computer before upgrading your hard drive.

 

Add More Ram

Sometimes we have so many things running on our computers that it bogs it down. By increasing the RAM, which is the memory of the computer, it will speed things up. It is best to add more memory while you are also upgrading the hard drive.

Before getting started make sure you have the right type of memory for your Mac. While it doesn’t necessarily matter what brand you get, the type, speed and amount do matter.

Check out the Apple support page to find out what memory specifications you need for your particular Mac computer.

 

Reduce The Number Of Applications That Open At Startup

Most people don’t realize this, but every time you turn on your computer there are certain applications that automatically startup. This is something that usually happens by default and it can slow down your computer quite a bit.

To reduce the number of applications that open during startup you will need to navigate to the system preferences and look for the “Login Items” tab. This is usually found under the “Users & Groups” tab. If you are unable to find it on your computer do a simple search on Google to see where it is.

 

Make Sure Your System Is Always Current

Every now and then Apple will release a new update for its OS system. As soon as the update comes out you need to download it to your computer. Keeping your system current is probably the easiest way to not only keep the computer running smoothly, but to keep it safe as well.

 

3 Mac Computers You Should Stop Buying Right Now

Right now there are Mac computers with 2013 specs being sold at 2017 prices. And while these computers still function just fine, the specs are outdated which means the price tag is outlandish.

 With that being said, here are 3 Mac computers you should stop buying right now:

 

Macbook Air

In June 2017 the Macbook Air got what some would call a mini refresh. Even still, the few changes that were made are not enough to justify the $1,000 price tag. When compared to the Macbook Pro, which is only $200 more, you will see that the display looks very old and dreary.

This is due to the 900p resolution which based on today’s standards would be considered extremely blurry.

One of the changes made to the Macbook Air was an undated processor.

 

Mac Pro

If you are a professional video editor the Mac Pro was designed with you in mind. If you are a regular user this isn’t the computer for you.

Even still, as a professional it is very important you are aware of exactly what this computer is. In a nutshell it is nothing more than an old Mac that has been refreshed. This particular Apple computer still runs on the first generation Xeon processors which were released prior to 2013.

The Mac Pro still uses DDR3 and has a graphics card that would be considered ancient by today’s standards.

Don’t get us wrong. The Mac Pro is still a decent workstation. It’s the price that makes it a mac you should avoid buying.

 

Mac Mini

Depending on the specs you want, you could easily find a Mac Mini for anywhere between $500 and $1000. The problem is the Mac Mini has not been refreshed in 3 years. And in the world of technology that is equivalent to a decade.

As far as price goes the base Mac Mini can be compared to the $500 Dell Inspiron. While they both have the same price tag, the Dell Inspiron is way better when it comes to specs. The Mac Mini comes with a 4th-generation Core i5 processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and 500GB of storage.

The Dell Inspiron on the other hand comes with a 7th-generation Core i5 processor, 8GB of the latest and faster DDR4 RAM, and one terabyte (1,000GB) of storage. So not only is it faster, but it has more storage. It’s just an all around better deal when you compare the two.

2 Ways To Clean Your Mac’s Hard Drive

 

If you’ve noticed your Mac has started to run a little slow lately, chances are it’s because your hard drive needs a good cleaning. Luckily, cleaning your hard drive, in most cases, is as simple as clicking a few buttons.

 

Here are 2 ways you can free up some much need space by cleaning the hard drive on your Mac:

 

Delete Files You No Longer Use

 

If you are anything like me you download hundreds of files a year. Eventually those files will start to cause your Mac to slow way down. To get rid of the files you are no longer using you will first need to open “finder” and select the volume you want to search for.

 

Now hit Command-F,  click on the “Kind” pull-down menu and select “Other”Wait a few seconds for the “select a search attribute” window to open. Once it opens check the “file size” box. If there are any other boxes checked, be sure to uncheck them before hitting “ok”.

 

In the “equals” pull down menu select “is greater than” and change “KB to MB”. Select a minimum file size and proceed with deleting any files that match those parameters.

 

Figure Out Which Apps Use The Most Resources and Find Alternatives

 

If it seems like your Mac needs to take a little break right when you are in the midst of doing important work, it’s probably because some of the applications you are using are taking up a great deal of CPU and memory.

 

The good news is finding out which applications are using the most resources is quick and easy. Open the Activity Monitor and you will see a bunch of numbers that are constantly fluctuating. These numbers will show you the amount of CPU and memory resources each app is using at any given moment.

 

Keep a close eye on the Activity Monitor for at least 60 seconds. You may find that some of your favorite applications such as Firefox are responsible for your Mac running sluggish. If this is the case you can simple uninstall Firefox and go with a leaner browser such as Google’s Chrome.

 

If there are any applications that you no longer use but you notice they are still taking up space, go ahead and removing them so you can free up even more memory on your computer. Once you have made these changes you should notice your Mac starts to almost instantly run smoother and faster.