Hardware basically refers to the electronic components. I.e., Integrated Circuits (ICs), capacitors, resistors, transistors, etc.,. But, when talking about computers it mainly refers to the circuit boards housing all of the required electronic components. Mainly the Integrated Circuits (ICs) which are usually referred to as Chips. The ICs contain millions and millions of interconnected transistors. Normally, when a component goes bad, the whole circuit board gets replaced. Since it is easier and more cost effective than trying to identify the individual electronic component that failed.