Difference between software and hardware?

Difference between software and hardware-  Practical Solution of Computer Systems Architecture pdf Books, computer system architecture mano.m.m solution, Difference between Harvard and Von Neumann computer architectures, What is a memory hierarchy?

Difference between software and hardware

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  1. Physical parts of the computer are called hardware.
  2. You can touch, see and feel hardware.
  3. Hardware is constructed using physical materials or components.
  4. Computer is hardware, which operates under the control of a software.
  5. If hardware is damaged, it is replaced with new one.
  6. Hardware is not affected by computer viruses.
  7. Hardware cannot be transferred from one place to another electronically through network.
  8. User cannot make new duplicate copies of the hardware.


  1. A set of instructions given to the computer is called software.
  2. You cannot touch and feel software.
  3. Software is developed by writing instructions in programming language.
  4. The operations of computer are controlled through software.
  5. If software is damaged or corrupted, its backup copy can be reinstalled.
  6. Software is affected by computer viruses.
  7. Software can be transferred from one lace to another electronically through network.
  8. User can make many new duplicate copies of the software.

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Difference between software and hardware

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Difference between Harvard and Von Neumann computer architectures?

Von Neumann Architecture:

  1. It is named after the mathematician and early computer scientist John Von Neumann.
  2. The computer has single storage system(memory) for storing data as well as program to be executed.
  3. Processor needs two clock cycles to complete an instruction.Pipelining the instructions is not possible with this architecture.
  4. Von Neumann architecture has same data address and instruction address .

Harvard Architecture:

  1. The name is originated from “Harvard Mark I” a relay based old computer.
  2. The computer has two separate memories for storing data and program.
  3. Processor can complete an instruction in one cycle if appropriate pipelining strategies are implemented.
  4. Harvard architecture machine has distinct code and data address spaces: instruction address zero is not the same as data address zero.

What is a memory hierarchy?

Memory Hierarchy is a term Computer Scientists used to explain different ways a computer handles information. It usually represented by a triangle with Hard Drives being at the bottom and fast, smaller methods of data storage near the top (Cache, RAM). Methods of memory storage near the top of the triangle are faster, but have less capacity, while methods near the bottom are slower, but have far more capacity. In programming, the computer programmer wants to optimize his code so that fast and quick processes are handled by the higher methods of memory storage, and less-needed information is stored lower on the triangle.

In practice a memory system is a hierarchy of storage device with different capacity are as follows:-

  1. Cost
  2. Access Time
  3. Size

  • A ranking of computer memory device with device having the first access time at the top of the hierarchy of device with slower access time but large capacity and lower cost at lower level.
  • The memory hierarchy is a mechanism of comparing the cost and performance of the various place we can store data and instruction.
  • At the top level of memory hierarchy are CPU general perpose.

See Also:- What is Difference between software and hardware

between software and hardware

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