What are the Differences between Computer Hardware and Software?

Author: Tanmay Chakrabarty

First Published On: Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 1:56 AM
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Computer Hardware:

Computer Hardware is any part of the computer that can be touched. These are primarily electronic devices used to build up the computer. Computer Hardware actually perform the computing operations along with taking input and sending the computed result as output or to storing that.



Example: 

Processor, Memory Devices, Monitor, Printer etc. are computer hardware. Monitor is used to display output such as video, texts etc. while Printer is used to print documents, images etc. These are electronic devices and can be touched. Both monitor and printer are output devices. Hardware such as keyboard, mouse etc. are input devices as we use this devices to input or send signal to the computer. Beside input/output or IO devices there are lots of other devices that builds up the central processing unit (CPU) such as motherboard, processor, RAM, hard disk, graphics card etc. these computer hardware processes data (input or stored data) and generates output or simply executes further instructions.

What are the Differences between Computer Hardware and Software?

Computer Software:

Software, by definition, is a collection of computer programs, procedures and documentation that performs different tasks on a computer system. Software can specify the processors instruction through which the processor can change the state of computer hardware in a predefined sequence. Briefly, computer software is a language in which computer speaks.

Examples: 

Operating Systems such as Microsoft Windows 10, Word processing applications such Microsoft Word etc. as computer software. We can’t touch these as they are all virtual. But we can use them using various input devices and can get output from them using different output devices. For example, we can use keyboard to type into Microsoft Word and can see what we types in the monitor, we can also print out what we typed using a printer. The software are stored in storage such hard disks or memories such as ROM.

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Differences between Computer Hardware and Software:

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Computer Hardware
Computer Software
1
Hardware are electronic devices
Software are sets of executable instructions
2
A computer is primarily a machine built-up with inter-connected hardware devices
Software tells the inter-connected hardware devices that what to do, how to do and when to do
3
We can see and touch hardware as they are physical electronic devices
We can see (if there is a user interface) and use (if there is an input interface) software but can’t actually touch them.
4
Hardware is required to not only process data but also to take input and send output and store output
Software gives the hardware necessary instructions to perform the tasks of input, output and processing
5
Hardware are physical, not virtual
Software are virtual, not physical
6
Hardware wears out over time as they are mechanical electronic devices.
7
Hardware are rarely upgradable, user need to replace old hardware with new hardware for additional performance or function.
Software is just opposite, they are upgradable, almost all software vendor regularly provides updates to their software to make it perform better, perform additional tasks and more bug free.

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