Basic Hardware Specifications
The hardware specifications of a computer will vary depending on what
an individual user will be doing with it. A person that wants to
use their computer for graphically intense games or video editing
will need a totally different configuration than somebody that just
wants to browse the Internet and type word documents. Take a look
at this advertisement that was copied from an online store.
6th Generation Intel® Core™ i5 + 6M Cache, up to 3.2 GHz. This high-performance CPU Running on an Asus P5GC-MX 945GC motherboard, a 1TB - 7200RPM SATA II hard drive, 6GB DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM, XFX GeForce 7300 GT 512MB DDR2 PCI Express Video Card, 10/100/1000 Ethernet card, 802.11b/g/n WLAN and a Blu-ray player & SuperMulti DVD burner, Microsoft Windows 8
To the average user this computer ad probably seems a little nightmarish.
Let's try to analyze some of this.
6th Generation Intel® Core™ i5 processor + 6M Cache, up to 3.2 GHz - The
two major players in the processor arena are Intel and AMD. Intel
makes the "Core Duo" and "i series" class of processors.
AMD makes the "Athlon" and "FX" class of
processors. The Pentium and Athlon processors are Intel and AMD's
low end and cheaper processors and would be the ones to choose if
you wanted a computer for nothing more than Web browsing and word
documents. You would want to choose the higher end Opteron or Intel Core processor
for gaming, graphic intense, or business oriented software tasks.
You need not choose between AMD or Intel on any grounds but the
6GB DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM- RAM stands for Random
Access Memory and it is the place in your computer where the software
and data that is in current use are kept for quicker access by the
processor. It is much faster to keep the processes in RAM than to
read and write the data to the Hard Disk or other types of storage.
RAM is the least expensive way to increase your systems performance
The more that you have the better off you are when it comes to increasing
system performance. RAM can also be confusing because there are
so many different types. There is DDR, DDR2, PC4200, PC-3200 DDR, PC-2700 DDR, PC133,
PC100, SDRAM, RDRAM, the list goes on and on. Your best bet would
be to buy as much as you can afford when you are buying the computer
to insure that you are getting the right type. It is recommended
that you have at least one 512 Megabytes of the type of RAM your motherboard calls for.
1TB - 7200RPM SATA II hard drive - The Hard Drive is where the
data and applications are stored. The average size hard drive that most companies sell
right now is 1 Terabyte (TB). This should be plenty for the average
user. A larger Hard Drive becomes important if you are into digital
music or video editing so keep that in mind when purchasing. If
you want to find out more about Megabytes and Gigabytes and how big of a drive you will need, you can
check the definitions here. If you are looking for a way to manage your hard drive, you can check out some of the best drive management programs we could find here.
XFX GeForce 7300 GT 512MB DDR2 PCI Express Video Card - The graphics
accelerator or graphics card is the part of the computer that sends
the information that you see on the monitor. Many new personal computers
are now sold with a graphics accelerator built into the motherboard.
It may be referred to as "onboard video" or "integrated
video". Onboard video is fine for basic functions like Web
browsing and typing documents but it will not be suitable for gaming
or high end graphics applications. If you want to play games, especially
the fast-paced kind, the most important thing is having a good graphics
card, like the one advertised, do not buy a machine with "integrated video" for gaming or video processing. The
integrated video solution shares your systems RAM which will degrade
performance when it is used heavily. Your best bet would be to get
a separate video card with at least 256MB of memory.
Blu-ray player & SuperMulti DVD burner - The Blue-ray allows you to watch movies on your PC and the SuperMulti DVD Burner allows you to burn and access DVD's.
They do hold a lot more information than a regular CD, 4.7 Gigabytes
compared to 700 Megabytes, but they are a little more expensive. If you are into digital video then
the DVD-RW is the way to go but everybody should at least have a
CD-RW (Compact Disk Reader Writer) to keep his or her important
data backed up.
10/100/1000 Ethernet card, 802.11b/g/n WLAN - These are
communication components that are fairly standard in most new computers.
The Ethernet card is used for networking and/or "Broadband"
Internet access. The 802.11b/g/n is mainly for what is called "Wireless"
Internet access. If there is an option, get them both.
Microsoft Windows 10 - This is an Operating System. The Operating
System is the software that tells the hardware what to do. Windows 10 is loaded on most of the new
computers sold today. If you have a choice, get the Windows 10
version. It costs about two-hundred and fifty dollars but it has all the bells and whistles that an Operating System will ever need.
That pretty much covers that particular advertisement. There are
some other components to consider. Consider the computers expansion
potential so it can grow with your needs. A PCI Express, and PCI slot inside the
computer's case will let you add to its capabilities, you may want
to add a decent sound card or TV tuner someday. You should try to
get USB 4.0 and FireWire ports on the outside of the case, the more
of them the better, especially if any are on the front of the computer.
Here are some examples of computers ranging from the most basic computer specifications to the most extreme specifications. If you only need to use the computer for basic operations like word processing and browsing the web, the cheapest computer would work for you. If you need a computer that will play all of the newest computer games, you may want to look at the more expensive gaming models below or browse some of the great deals at:
Find some great deals on some of these computers at: