300+ Computer Hardware Interview Questions and Answers

COMPUTER HARDWARE Interview Questions :-

1. What is a computer?

Computer is a programmable machine. It the integral part of everyday life.

2. What are the different functions of a computer?

A computer does the following functions;

  • Accepting data
  • Processing Data
  • Storing Data
  • Displaying Data

3. How a minicomputer different from a mainframe?

Minicomputer is a midsized multiprocessing and multi user computer. It is also called mid-range server. But mainframes are huge computers, most commonly occupying entire rooms or floor. It is highly costly.

4. What is super computer?

the fastest type of computer. Supercomputers are very expensive and are employed for specialized applications that require immense amounts of mathematical calculations. For example, weather forecasting requires a supercomputer. Other uses of supercomputers include animated graphics, fluid dynamic calculations, nuclear energy research, and petroleum exploration.

5. Differentiate input and output device?

input devices are used for giving input to the computer. But output devices are used to get the result back from the computer. the examples of input devices are keyboard, mouse, scanner, digital camera atc…whereas output devices include monitor, printer, projector etc….


6. What is a storage device? What is the common classification?

Storage devices are used to store data in the computer. the different types of storage devices are:

  1. Magnetic Devices.
  2. Optical Devices.
  3. Solid-State Storage Devices.

7. What do you mean by a processing device? What are the various types of processing devices?

the main function of a computer is to process data. the various types of processing device in a computer are:

  • Microprocessor
  • Chipset
  • BIOS

8. Differentiates serial and parallel port?

Serial port and parallel port are used for transferring data in/out of the computer. in serial port transmission only 1 bit is transmitted at a time. Most serial ports on personal computers conform to the RS-232C or RS-422 standards. A parallel interface for connecting an external device such as a printer. On PCs, the parallel port uses a 25-pin connector (type DB-25) and is used to connect printers, computers and other devices that need relatively high bandwidth. It uses parallel transmission of data.

9. What is an interface?

these are the communication channel that enables your computer to exchange information with various devices.

10. What is a Microprocessor?

the most important electronic component on the computer. It is a programmable logical device for processing data. in the world of personal computers, the terms MICROPROCESSOR and CPU are used interchangeably.

11. What are the Factors affecting the Speed of the Microprocessor?

the following are the factors affecting the speed of the microprocessor.

  • Number of instructions build in the processor.
  • Bandwidth
  • Clock Speed
  • Number of transistors inside the processor

12. Draw the hierarchical classification of the computer.

in a hierarchical structure there is a grouping of things into levels. there is a “top” level and then a series of lower levels under it. It’s all about abstraction. At each level you describe a concept with enough detail for you to have a good feel for what lies below it. Here’s a snipet from Brian Harvey’s course notes, Reading Material for: CS 61A, for his first class.

13. What are the differences between Multitasking and Multiprocessing?

Multitasking- Enables the processor to do multiple programs simultaneously by fast switching through the programs. Here doesn’t have the involvement of multiple processors.

Multiprocessing- Enables the processor to do multiple programs simultaneously by the use of multiple processors.

14. What the difference between FSB and BSB?

Front Side Bus. Another name for the system bus. the Front Side Bus connects the CPU to main memory. A microprocessor bus that connects the CPU to a Level 2 cache is called Back Side Bus. Typically, a backside bus runs at a faster clock speed than the Front Side Bus.

15. What is packaging a microprocessor? What are the different packaging available?

Packaging is the process of connecting a microprocessor with a computers motherboard. the types of microprocessor packaging are;

  • PGA
  • SPGA
  • SECC
  • LGA

16. What is LGA ?

An LGA socket is the connection point for a central processing unit (CPU. to fit into a motherboard. the LGA stands for Land Grid Array.

17. What is CisC and RisC?

Reduced instruction Set Computer (RisC. and Complex instruction Set Computer (CisC. are two philosophies by which computer chips are designed. RisC became a popular technology buzzword in the 1990s, and many processors used in the enterprise business segment were RisC-based.

18. What is intel Pentium?

the intel Pentium is a series of microprocessors first developed by the intel Corporation. these types of processors have been found in many personal computers since 1993.

19. Any difference between Pentium III and IV.

there have been a number of Pentium processor lines starting with the base Pentium in 1993.the of the recent Pentium entries are Pentium III and Pentium 4.

a. in a Pentium III processor, the bus speed is generally 133 MHz (although there were a few with 100 MHz). the lowest bus speed on a Pentium IV is 400 MHz, and there are versions with much higher speeds (topping at 1066 MHz for the “extreme edition”).

b. the Pentium 4s are smaller than the Pentium IIis

c. Pentium III processors had (for the most part. about 512 KB of cache. Pentium 4 processors, on the other hand, start at 512 KB.

20. What are the differences between intel Celeron and Pentium family of Processors?
According to Build Gaming Computers, Celeron processors are the low-end processor intended for standard home computer use. Scinet reports the best Celeron processor has an L2 Cache of 128kb, a clock speed limit of about 2.0 GHz and runs at a core voltage of 1.75V. these are useful numbers for comparison.
the top Pentium processor is the Pentium 4 Prescott. CPU Scorecard reports it has an L2 cache of 1MB (1024kb), a potential 3.0 GHz clock speed and runs at about 1.4V. the lowest performing Pentium 4 processor, the Willamette, has an L2 cache of 256kb, a potential 2.0 GHz clock speed and runs at about 1.7V.

21. What is Hyper Threading? What is the use of it?

A thread of execution, or simply a “thread,” is one series of instructions sent to the CPU. Hyper-threading is a technology developed to help make better use of spare processing cycles. Hyper-threaded processors have a duplicate set of registers, small spaces of high-speed memory storage used to hold the data that is currently needed to execute a thread. When a CPU core is delayed, waiting for data to be retrieved from another place in memory, it can use these duplicate registers to spend the spare computation cycles executing a different thread. the second set of registers will be pre-loaded with the data needed to execute the second thread, so the CPU core can begin work immediately

22. What is intel atom processor?

the intel Atom family of processors are extremely small central processing units (CPU. found mostly in ultraportable devices, such as netbooks, cell phones and tablet PCs, according to intel. While small and light on energy use, Atom processors can handle the most common tasks, such as email and instant messaging.

23. What is Nehalem Architecture?

Nehalem is intel’s new microprocessor architecture the Core i7 chips were the first processors ever produced using an architecture called Nehalem.

24. Which is a heavy-duty Microprocessor of intel?
intel Xeon.

25. Which is the processor suitable from intel family of processors for Server and Workstation?
intel Xeon.

26. What is full name of AMD?
Advanced Micro Devices.

27. What are the latest Processor of intel and AMD?
For intel it is intel Core i7 and AMD Opteron 6200 Series processor.

28. Write socket LGA 775 is apt for which type of intel Processors?

the top of the line for the LGA775 series CPU socket was the Core 2 processor series, with the Core 2 Duo E8600, Core 2 Extreme QX9770 and Core 2 Quad Q9650 being the three top performers

29. Socket 939 is developed by AMD. It supports a maximum of how many bits of computing? What are the the different processors of AMD is suitable for this socket?
AMD Athlon 64, AMD Athlon 64FX and AMD Athlon 64 X2.

30. Which type of socket is needed to connect a dual core processor of intel?
Socket LGA 775.

31. What is Heat Sink? What is its use? If it is not in the system what will happen?

A heat sink is a component used to lower the temperature of a device.It is most commonly there on the microprocessor. If it is not properly fixed the system, the system will shutdown automatically to prevent further damage to the processor.

32. A CPU fan should be placed in system. Why?
To make the system cool and more functioning.

33. What is Upgrading a microprocessor? Why we have to do it?

34. Upgrading a microprocessor is just physically replacing a processor with a new one. Before doing so we have to make sure that the processor we want to use for your upgrade is physically compatible with the socket on your computer’s motherboard. We also have to make sure that the motherboard has the internal logic to support the processor.

35. What are the causes of overheating of microprocessor?

  1. Processor fan may not be properly connected.
  2. Heat sink may be not contacted with the processor.
  3. Jumpers may be configured to over clock the CPU.
  4. Voltage supply incompatible

36. No Display. What is the problem?

  1. CPU fan problem
  2. Heat sink related issue
  3. Power related issues
  4. Improper Jumper settings

37. What is the use of Conventional memory in the system?
the size of conventional memory is 640KB. It is also called doS memory or Base memory. This memory is used by some small programs like Word star, Lotus etc…doS cannot use more than 640KB.

38. What is main memory in a computer?

the main memory in a computer is called Random Access Memory. It is also known as RAM. This is the part of the computer that stores operating system software, software applications and other information for the central processing unit (CPU. to have fast and direct access when needed to perform tasks.

39. What is Cache memory? What is the advantage if a processor with more cache memory you are using?
Cache memory is the memory area between RAM and Processor. If cache memory increases the speed of the system will also improved.

40. What are the different types of RAM?

41. Differentiate SRAM and DRAM.

  1. SRAM :
    Static RAM stores each bit of data on six metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors, or MOSFETs. SRAM is used in devices that require the fastest possible data access without requiring a high capacity. Some examples are CPU caches and buses, hard drive and router buffers and printers.
  2. DRAM :Dynamic RAM stores data using a paired transistor and capacitor for each bit of data. Capacitors constantly leak electricity, which requires the memory controller to refresh the DRAM several times a second to maintain the data.

42. What are the different DRAM types?

43. What is the difference between DDR-I and DDR-II?
DDR2 is the successor to DDR RAM. DDR 2 incorporates several technological upgrades to computer system memory, as well as an enhanced data rate.DDR 2 is capable of achieving twice the data transfer rate of DDR-I memory because of its higher clock speed. It operates at a lower voltage than DDR-I as well: 1.8 volts instead of 2.5.

44. Which is the latest DDR version? Which processor of intel will support it?

the latest DDR version is DDR-III. intel’s all latest processors such as Core i3,i5 and i7 will support it.

45. What are VRAM and SGRAM?
VRAM is Video Random Access Memory. Video adapter or video system uses VRAM. VRAM is dual ported. It is costly. But SGRAM is not dual ported and not costly. It is a less expensive approach to graphics functions. Most commonly all low cost graphics cards are using it.

46. What is SODIMM memory module?
Small outline dual in-line memory module (SODIMM or SO-DIMM. is a type of random access memory (RAM). It is a smaller version of a dual in-line memory module (DIMM).It is the type of the memory module can be used in laptop.

47. Which is the memory packaging suitable for a sub-note book system?
Micro DIMM

48. What is ECC/EPP?
EPP/ECP (Enhanced Parallel Port/Enhanced Capability Port. is a standard signaling method for bi-directional parallel communication between a computer and peripheral devices that offers the potential for much higher rates of data transfer than the original parallel signaling methods. EPP is for non-printer peripherals. ECP is for printers and scanners. EPP/ECP is part of IEEE Standard 1284.

49. What is over clocking?
Over clocking is the process of forcing a computer component to run at a higher clock rate.

50. What is memory bank?
Sets of physical memory modules is referred to as memory banks. A memory bank serves as a repository for data, allowing data to be easily entered and retrieved.

51. What we need to consider before connecting a memory to the system?

  1. Capacity of the RAM required
  2. Check if installed memory is supported by motherboard and processor
  3. Form factor of the RAM
  4. Type of RAM needed
  5. Warranty of the RAM

52. What is Upgrading the memory?
Adding a memory module to the existing bank on the available slot or replacing the previous one with the increased memory size is also called upgrading memory. This will surely increase the performance of the computer.

53. What is BIOS beep code? What it does mean?
BIOS beep codes are the signs of different issues of the computer. the beep code may vary depends on the manufacture of BIOS. For example in case of Award BIOS the beep code will be,
1 long beep- shows memory problem
1 long beep and 2 short beeps- failure of DRAM parity
1 log beep and 3 short beeps- signifies Video error
Continuous beep- signifies failure in memory or Video memory.

54. What are Solid State Drive means?
A solid-state drive (SSD), sometimes called a solid-state disk or electronic disk, is a data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store data. SSDs use microchips which retain data in non-volatile memory chips and contain no moving parts. Compared to electromechanical HDDs, SSDs are typically less susceptible to physical shock, are silent, have lower access time and latency, but are more expensive per gigabyte (GB).

55. What is RDRAM?
Short for RAMBUS DRAM, a type of memory (DRAM. developed by Rambus, inc.

56. What is SIMM? is it is using now?
Acronym for Single in line Memory Module, a small circuit board that can hold a group of memory chips. Typically, SIMMs hold up to eight (on Macintoshes. or nine (on PCs. RAM chips. On PCs, the ninth chip is often used for parity error checking. Unlike memory chips, SIMMs are measured in bytes rather than bits.
Now a days this memory module is not used.

57. Why do we call motherboard a motherboard?
Motherboard is the basic integrated board of the computer on which all other components are connected. So that usually we call motherboard a “motherboard”.

58. What is motherboard? What are the different types of it?
Motherboard is the basic integrated board of the computer on which all other components are connected. This is classified mainly into three Desktop, Laptop and Server motherboard.

59. What is the difference between integrated and non-integrated motherboard?
in integrated motherboard all of the external ports will be present. But in case of non-integrated motherboard only some important ports will be available instead of all. the non-integrated motherboard is an old type of motherboard which now a day’s not commonly available.

60. How a server motherboard different from a desktop?
A server motherboard is different from a desktop in features and performance. the number of processor support, RAM slots ,Expansion card slots etc…are more. For example the intel® Server Board S5000PSL has the performance and features for growing businesses demand. It provides excellent data protection, and advanced data management. It support 64-bit Multi-Core intel® Xeon® processor. Eight fully buffered 533/667 MHz DIMMs. Up to six SATA 3Gb/s ports.

61. What is form factor of motherboard?
the form factor of a motherboard determines the specifications for its general shape and size. It also specifies what type of case and power supply will be supported, the placement of mounting holes, and the physical layout and organization of the board. Form factor is especially important if you build your own computer systems and need to ensure that you purchase the correct case and components.

62. What is ATX? How it is different from AT? Which is using now?
AT is a short for advanced technology, the AT is an IBM PC model introduced in 1984. It includes an intel 80286 microprocessor, a 1.2MB floppy drive, and an 84-key AT keyboard. the ATX form factor specified changes to the motherboard, along with the case and power supply. Some of the design specification improvements of the ATX form factor included a single 20-pin connector for the power supply, a power supply to blow air into the case instead of out for better air flow, less overlap between the motherboard and drive bays, and integrated I/O Port connectors soldered directly onto the motherboard. the ATX form factor was an overall better design for upgrading.

63. What is the need of expansion slot in motherboard?
Alternatively referred to as an expansion port, an expansion slot is a slot located inside a computer on the motherboard or riser board that allows additional boards to be connected to it.

64. What is PCI slot? How is different from PCI Express (PCI-E)?
Short for PERIPHERAL COMPONENT inTERCONNECT, a local bus standard developed by intel Corporation. PCI Express (Peripheral Component interconnect Express), officially abbreviated as PCIe, is a computer expansion card standard designed to replace the older PCI, PCI-X, and AGP bus standards.

65. What is AGP slot? What is its use?
the Accelerated Graphics Port (often shortened to AGP. is a high-speed point-to-point channel for attaching a video card to a computer’s motherboard, primarily to assist in the acceleration of 3D computer graphics. Since 2004 AGP has been progressively phased out in favor of PCI Express (PCIe).

66. What is jumper? What is the need?
A metal bridge that closes an electrical circuit. Typically, a jumper consists of a plastic plug that fits over a pair of protruding pins. Jumpers are sometimes used to configure expansion boards. by placing a jumper plug over a different set of pins, you can change a board’s parameters.

67. What CMOS and CMOS battery?
Short for complementary metal oxide semiconductor. Pronounced see-moss. the CMOS chip holds the date, time, and system setup parameters. This chip is powered by a 3Volt CMOS battery.

68. What is chipset?
A number of integrated circuits designed to perform one or more related functions. This is one of the processing device in a computer.

69. Explain any three intel chipset?
a. intel P55 Express Chipset.-Desktop PC platforms based on the intel® P55 Express Chipset combined with the intel® Core™ i7-800 series processors and intel® Core™ i5-700 series processors create intelligent performance for faster multi-tasking, digital media creation and gaming.
b. intel HD55 Express Chipset- a new architecture designed to deliver quality, performance, and industry-leading I/O technologies on platforms powered by the intel® Core™ i7-800, intel® Core™ i5, and intel® Core™ i3 processors.
c. intel E7500 Chipset- a volume chipset supports dual-processor (DP. server systems optimized for the intel® Xeon® processor.

70. Which is the chipset needed for intel Core i7 and Core i5 processors?
intel Core i7 900-series uses x58 chip set and Core i7 800-series and Core i5 processors runs on P55 chipset.

71. Which is the socket used by intel Core i7 and i5 processors?
intel Core i7 900-series uses LGA1366 socket and Core i5 CPUs–all three run on intel’s latest P55 chipset and LGA1156 socket.

72. What are the motherboard manufacturing companies?
intel, Gigabyte, ASUS, Mercury, HP, Acer, Biostar, Compaq, Digital, IBM, AMI.

73. Before upgrading/replacing a motherboard what you need to consider?

  1. Power Connectors
  2. Memory Support
  3. Hard Disk Support
  4. System Case

74. can you upgrade motherboard?

75. One system is not starting, but the fan is working. What is the problem?

76. What is intel LGA 1155 Socket?
LGA 1155, also called Socket H2, is an intel microprocessor compatible socket which supports intel Sandy Bridge and the up-coming Ivy Bridge microprocessors.LGA 1155 is designed as a replacement for the LGA 1156 (known as Socket H).

77. What is power supply unit?
A power supply unit (PSU. supplies direct current (DC. power to the other components in a computer. It converts general-purpose alternating current (AC. electric power from the mains to low-voltage (for a desktop computer: 12 V, 5 V, 5VSB, 3V3, -5 V, and -12 V. DC power for the internal components of the computer.

78. What are the different types of Form Factors of Power Supply?
AT , ATX, Flex ATX, Micro ATX etc…

79. What is NLX?
NLX (New Low Profile Extended. was a form factor proposed by intel and developed jointly with IBM, DEC.

80. What is Switching Mode Power Supply?
A switched-mode power supply (switching-mode power supply, SMPS, or simply switcher. is an electronic power supply that incorporates a switching regulator in order to be highly efficient in the conversion of electrical power. Like other types of power supplies, an SMPS transfer power from a source like the electrical power grid to a load (e.g., a personal computer. while converting voltage and current characteristics. An SMPS is usually employed to efficiently provide a regulated output voltage, typically at a level different from the input voltage.

81. What is the use of Molex Power connector?
Molex is a four pin power connector found in SMPS. It is used to supply power to HDD, CD Drive, DVD Drive etc…

82. What is Berg (mini Molex. connector is used to….
To provide power to Floppy Disk Drive.

83. What are the different color cables found in Molex connector? What is the Power of it.
-12V –Blue, -5V –White, 0V –Black, +3.3V –Orange, +5V –Red, +12V –Yellow.

84. What are the methods used in a system for cooling?
a. Large System Case
b. Arrangement of internal Components
c. Keeping the System Clean.
d. Proper Working of the System Case Fan.

85. Power supply fan is not working and it emits a lot of sound. What will the probable cause?
Most of the time this issue arises due to lots of dust is accumulated on the fan motor.

86. What is the capacity of a Floppy Disk?

87. Which is the medium used in a floppy for storing data?
Magnetic Media.

88. What is write protected notch in a floppy? What is its use?
This is a switch used to eliminate the accidental deletion of data from the floppy.

89. How many tracts and sectors found in a normal floppy dick?

80 tracks and 18 sectors.

90. Which is the file system of a floppy disk?

91. How can you format a floppy? What is happening if you do so?
insert the floppy to the system and open my computer. there we can find the icon. Just right click and select format option. Otherwise we can use format command . Formatting a floppy will creates sectors and tracks on the floppy.

92. System is not showing floppy disk drive icon in Mycomputer.What will the probable cause?
the device is not detected or disabled.

93. I have inserted a new floppy disk into my drive. the data can be read. But not able to make modifications. Why?
the disk may be in write protected mode.

94. What is HDD? What are the different types available in the market now?
A hard disk drive (HDD; also hard drive or hard disk. is a non-volatile, random access digital magnetic data storage device. It is the secondary storage media. there are different types of hard disk, based on the the intefaces they used we can classify them as IDE, SATA, SCSI etc…

95. What is SATA?
Serial ATA (SATA or Serial Advanced Technology Attachment. is a computer bus interface for connecting host bus adapters to mass storage devices such as hard disk drives and optical drives. Serial ATA was designed to replace the older parallel ATA (PATA. standard (often called by the old name IDE), offering several advantages over the older interface: reduced cable size and cost (7 conductors instead of 40), native hot swapping, faster data transfer through higher signalling rates, and more efficient transfer through an (optional. I/O queuing protocol.

96. in Speed how SATA is different from IDE?
SATA- Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA. is high speed serial interface designed to replace IDE and EIDE drive standard SATA has a seven pin connector. SATA transfer speed of data up to 600 MB per second. Now a day use SATA.

IDE- integrated Drive Electronics (IDE. it has a 40/80 pins connector. IDE transfer speed of data up to 100/133 MB per second few time ago mostly use IDE.

97. What is eSATA?
External Serial Advanced Technology Attachment or eSATA is an external interface for SATA technologies. eSATA cables are narrow and can be up to 6.56 feet (2 meters. in length. eSATA requires its own power connector. It is still an excellent choice for external disk storage.

98. What is SCSI? is the SCSI Hard Disk is needed for a home purpose?
SCSI is Small Computer System interface , is a type of interface used for computer components such as hard drives, optical drives, scanners and tape drives. SCSI is a faster, more robust technology than IDE amd SATA, and has traditionally been utilized in servers. Aside from speed, another great advantage over IDE and SATA is that the SCSI card can connect 15 or more devices in a daisy chain. the controller assigns each device its own SCSI ID, allowing for great flexibility towards expanding any system. It is more costly. It is not needed for a home purpose.

99. is there is USB HDD? If yes what is the speed?
Yes. If your HDD is based on USB 3.0 it can offer a maximum transmission speed of up to 5 Gbit/s (640 MB/s), which is over 10 times faster than USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/s, or 60 MB/s).

100. What is IEEE 1394 interface?
the IEEE 1394 interface is a serial bus interface standard for high-speed communications. the interface is also known by the brand names of FireWire (Apple), i.LinK (Sony), and Lynx (Texas instruments). IEEE 1394 replaced parallel SCSI in many applications, because of lower implementation costs and a simplified, more adaptable cabling system. the original release of IEEE 1394-1995 specified what is now known as FireWire 400. It can transfer data between devices at 100, 200, or 400 Mbit/s. EEE 1394c-2006 was published on June 8, 2007 that provides 800 Mbit/s.


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