what is the difference between hardware and software?

what is the difference between hardware and software?

Up to date: 06/09/2020 by Laptop Hope Desktop computer

Laptop {hardware} is any bodily gadget utilized in or along with your machine, whereas software program is a group of programming code put in in your pc’s onerous drive. In different phrases, {hardware} is a product you possibly can maintain in your hand, whereas software program can’t be held in your hand. You may contact {hardware}, however you can not contact software program. {Hardware} is bodily, and software program is digital.


Whereas software program might come on a CD or DVD, the disc is the storage medium for the programming code that makes up the software program. The disc just isn’t the precise software program.

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For instance, the pc monitor you’re utilizing to learn this textual content, and the mouse you’re utilizing to navigate this internet web page are pc {hardware}. The Web browser permitting you to view this web page, and the working system that the browser is working on are thought of software program. A video card is {hardware}, and a pc sport is software program. You may contact and really feel the video card, and the pc makes use of it to play a pc sport, however you can not contact or really feel the programming code that makes up the pc sport.

Additional info and examples

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All software program makes use of not less than one {hardware} gadget to function. For instance, a online game, which is software program, makes use of the pc processor (CPU), reminiscence (RAM), onerous drive, and video card to run. Phrase processing software program makes use of the pc processor, reminiscence, and onerous drive to create and save paperwork.

{Hardware} is what makes a pc work. A CPU processes info and that info will be saved in RAM or on a tough drive. A sound card supplies sound to audio system, and a video card supplies a picture to a monitor. Every of those are examples of {hardware} elements.

Can a pc run with out software program?

Windows XP

In most conditions, sure, a pc can run with out software program being put in. Nevertheless, if an working system or interpreter just isn’t discovered, it both generates an error or would not output any info. A pc wants an working system that permits each the consumer and software program to work together with the pc {hardware}.

Putting in applications onto the pc, along with an working system, offers the pc extra capabilities. For instance, a phrase processor just isn’t required, but it surely permits you to create paperwork and letters.

  • Tips on how to set up software program.

Can a pc run with out {hardware}?

Computer Mouse

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Most computer systems require not less than a show, onerous drive, keyboard, reminiscence, motherboard, processor, energy provide, and video card to perform correctly.


A pc like a skinny shopper and server could possibly be set as much as run with no show, keyboard, or onerous drive.

If any of those units are lacking or malfunctioning, an error is encountered, or the pc would not begin. Including {hardware}, similar to a disc drive (e.g., CD-ROM or DVD), modem, mouse, community card, printer, sound card, or audio system aren’t required, however give the pc extra performance.


{Hardware} that isn’t required by the pc is known as a peripheral.

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  • Tips on how to set up pc {hardware}.
  • What does the within of a pc seem like?

Further info

  • How can I be taught extra about computer systems?
  • See the {hardware} itemizing and software program itemizing for a list of {hardware} units and software program applications discovered on Laptop Hope.
  • See the software program and {hardware} definitions for additional info and associated phrases.
  • Laptop {hardware} assist and assist.
  • Laptop software program assist and assist.