Difference between hardware and software

Difference between hardware and software

Hardware and software are the two parts into which a computer system (also known as a desktop) is often divided. The proper functioning of the computer system depends on these two parts. The main difference between hardware and software is that the first part refers to the actual parts of a computer, while the second part is a set of instructions that tell the computer how to perform a particular task.

Any software, in order to work, needs at least one piece of hardware. Let us take a video game as an example. A video game is a software that runs on the computer’s hard drive, RAM, CPU, and video card. Word processing software uses the computer’s processor, memory, and hard drive to create and store documents.
The hardware in a computer makes the computer work. Data processed by a CPU can be stored in RAM or on a hard drive. A video card can transmit an image to a monitor, while a sound card transmits sound to speakers. All this is hardware.


The physical parts of a computer are called hardware. All components of a computer that can be physically touched are called hardware. While some hardware components are housed inside the computer case, others can be touched and seen directly. Depending on whether we can see and touch the hardware directly or indirectly, it is usually divided into internal and external hardware. RAM is an example of internal hardware, while the keyboard is an example of external hardware. The processor, storage devices, monitor, printer, keyboard, mouse, and central processing unit are some examples of hardware in a computer.

Can a Computer Work Without Hardware?

It all depends on the hardware. Most computers need a keyboard, a video card, a monitor, a processor, a hard drive, a motherboard, memory, and a power supply to function properly. A computer system such as a thin client and server can be configured to function without a hard drive, monitor, or keyboard.


The software of a computer system consists of a variety of instructions, processes, and documentation. Programming code that runs on a computer processor is sometimes referred to as computer software. Code can be written at the operating system level or at the machine level. Microsoft Word, Auto cad, 3D Max, Google Chrome, Photoshop, VLC, MySQL, and other programs are examples of software. The software allows users to manage inputs and outputs and connect hardware components. It assists the hardware in operating the computer. Depending on the type of program, the software can also assist the user in performing a specific task.

Can a Computer Work Without Software?

Yes, a computer can normally work without any software installed. However, if no operating system or interpreter is found, an error occurs or nothing is output. An operating system is necessary for a computer so that the user and the software can communicate with the hardware. In addition to an operating system, additional functionality is provided by installing software on the computer.

Comparison table for difference between Hardware and Software

Point of ComparisonHardwareSoftware
DefinitionThe physical components of the computer, called hardware, are the actual data processing.The software allows users to communicate with the hardware of a computer.
Main typesThe four main types of hardware are storage devices, input devices, output devices, and internal components.The three main types of software are operating systems, applications, and programming languages.
DevelopmentIn factories, it is produced.
Software developers or software development companies create it.
TransmissionHardware cannot be transmitted electronically over the network. It can only be transmitted physically.The software can be transferred electronically over the network without any problems.
ExamplesThe power unit, storage devices, monitor, printer, keyboard, mouse, central processing unit, etc.Microsoft Word, Auto cad, 3D Max, Google Chrome, Photoshop, VLC, MySQL, etc.
NatureSince hardware is a real, electronic object, it can be seen and touched.Since the software is virtual rather than tangible, it can be seen but not touched.
Destructive factorsHardware cannot be affected by computer viruses.Viruses on computers can harm software.
Comparison table: Hardware VS Software

Summary of difference between hardware and software

Computer systems and other electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and others rely on hardware and software. Despite their interdependence and necessity, there are significant differences between the two (hardware and software). In this article, we have presented the main differences between hardware and software and hope that the content of this article was useful for you. If you have any further questions about this article, please contact us and we will answer your questions as soon as possible.

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