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Data transfers from the network are much slower than from main memory and even slower than from hard disk.


Input/output devices are usually called I/O devices. They are directly connected to an electronic module attached to the motherboard called a device controller. For example, the speakers of a multimedia computer system are directly connected to a device controller called an audio card, which in turn is plugged into a bus on the motherboard.

With many recent computers, the functions of a device controller are integerated with the motherboard. Some motherboards have audio, graphics, and network controllers built in.

Sometimes secondary memory devices like the hard disk are called I/O devices (because they move data in and out of main memory). What counts as an I/O device depends on context. To a user, an I/O device is something outside of the computer case. To a programmer, anything outside of the processor and main memory is an I/O device. To an engineer working on the design of a processor everything outside of the processor is an I/O device.


Is a game controller an input device or an output device?