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Deals on the new XPS 8700 desktop with the 4th generation Intel Core Processors
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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.

4th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-4430 processor + 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.

4th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-4430 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 "Opteron" 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 price.

Compare the many forms and prices of the Intel Processor Here

Compare the many forms and prices of the AMD Processor Here

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.

Comparison of the Many Forms and Prices of Computer Memory

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 500 Gigabytes (GB) or 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.

Compare the different SATA Hard Drives and Prices

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.

Examples and Prices of PCI Express Video Cards

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 Windows 7 or Windows 8 - This is an Operating System. The Operating System is the software that tells the hardware what to do. Windows Vista is loaded on most of the new computers sold today. If you have a choice, get the Ultimate version. It costs about two-hundred and fifty dollars but it has all the bells and whistles that an Operating System will ever need.

Microsoft Windows 7 Windows 8 Resources

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 2.0 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 Computer Coupon Deals!

 

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