What is a Computer? – Definition, Features, and Types

Definition Computer:

A computer is a device which has functions of receiving, storing and suitably processing data. A computer is automated to perform logical or arithmetic operations.

The computer, that essential equipment in today’s everyday life that is also known by the name of the personal computer or desktop system, is an electronic machine that allows to process and accumulate data. The term comes from the Latin computer (“calculate”).

If we look for the exact definition of the term “computer,” we will find that it is an electronic machine capable of receiving, processing and returning results based on specific data and that to perform this task, it has an input and an output means.

On the other hand, a computer system consists of two subsystems that receive the names of software and hardware, the first consists of the logical part of the computer (programs, applications, etc.) the second in the physical part (elements that form it like motherboard, fan, RAM).

For its operation, it requires computer programs (software) that provide specific data, necessary for the processing of information. Once the desired information has been obtained, it can be used internally or transferred to another computer or electronic component.

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A computer is composed of the monitor, the keyboard, the mouse, the tower (where the hard disk and other components of the hardware are located) and the printer, and each one fulfills a particular function. On the other hand, this device is prepared to perform two functions mainly: respond to a specific system of commands in a fast way and execute programs, which consist of a series of instructions recorded in advance.

Computer Software:

The software of a computer is one of the fundamental elements for its operation, its operating system, which consists of a large platform where programs, applications or tools that serve to perform different tasks can be executed. A software can also be a program installed on your computer such as an Android Virus Cleaner or a downloaded program from the internet.

Computer Hardware:

Hardware, on the other hand, is formed by memory (it allows to store data and programs), input devices (to enter the data in the computer, eg: mouse and keyboard), output devices (to visualize the data, ex: screen or printer) and CPU (brain of the computer where the instructions are executed.) The acronym is the English form of the Central Processing Unit.

Computer Architecture:

The first computers appeared in the middle of the last century since then they have not stopped manufacturing, growing by leaps and bounds. Despite this, most computers today still respect the Eckert-Mauchly architecture, published by John von Neumann and created by John Presper Eckert and John William Mauchly.

This architecture conceives four main sections in it: the logical and arithmetic unit (Arithmetic Logic Unit – ALU), the control unit, the memory (a succession of storage cells that have a number, where each cell represents a known unit of information as bit) and the input and output devices. All these parts are interconnected by a group of cables called buses.

The connections inside a computer are called electronic circuits; the most complex is those included in modern microprocessor chips, which have a very powerful ALU inside. Each microprocessor can have multiple cores and these in turn with various execution units (each of them has different ALU).

It should be noted that the circuits together with those components linked to them allow executing a variety of sequences or routines of instructions ordered by the user. These sequences are systematized according to a large plurality of practical and specific applications, in a process that is called programming.

Different Types:

  1. Microcomputers (small devices that can receive programming, in this classification enter the PC or desktop computers).
  2. Minicomputers (medium size and a little more expensive than the PC),
  3. Maxicomputers (serve to control many devices Simultaneously, in this classification come the so-called mainframe)
  4. Supercomputers (fastest and most expensive, those used for the realization of large-scale projects such as movies or video games of the latest generation)

According to how it works the data it receives can be called: digital, analog or hybrid. The digital ones process the data working by different letters and symbols, the analog ones do it using a standard scale, and the combinations use both forms.

Also Read: 6 Big Myths About Passwords Debunked

7 Major Features of Computer used for Designing

#1. Processor

The frequency rate must be at least 3 GHz, and take into account the number of cores and their performance (the more you can do, the more processes you can perform, but also consider their power). Intel Core or an AMD Ryzen, are the best.

#2. RAM memory

Ideally, it should be 16 GB, along with a DDR4 memory system and a speed of 2400 MHz onwards. To achieve greater fluidity, you can configure it in Dual-Channel and Quad-Channel, that is, instead of buying a memory of 16, buy two of 8 or four of 4GB.

#3. Graphics card

This device helps the CPU to accelerate image processing, which is very useful when rendering, modeling in 3D or editing images. It also adds RAM to the existing one.

The important thing is to decide between an AMD Radeon card or an Nvidia Geforce. In general, an Nvidia is the best option, since it has the exclusive CUDA rendering technology, used by many design and editing programs.

#4. Hard disk

The most recommended thing is to work with two hard drives:

Traditional mechanical disk: Documents, personal files and basic programs are stored here. Preferably it must be 1 TB.

Solid State Disk (SSD): In this, it is advisable to install heavy softwares, from the operating system to the specific programs to design. It is suggested that it be 256 GB or 500 GB.

#5. Full keyboard

That includes the right number pad, optionally backlit.

#6. Battery

10 hrs or more (in case of a laptop).

#7. USB 3.0

Multi-card, USB-C or Thunderbolt inputs.

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Kamran Sharief

I write about technology, marketing and digital tips. In the past I've worked with Field Engineer, Marcom Arabia and You can reach me at

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