As an information technology specialist myself I find it frustrating how I mislead or not educated by sellers and retailers about purchasing decisions I could make. There are tons of PC purchasing guides available out there but they are either too specific about technology options so they date very fast or do not help you fulfil your particular requirements. They are often too large level and just explain the very easiest of specification details as well as the minute a sales rep or adviser provides you additional options or explanations you’re lost. This guide is targeted at the newcomer to a reasonably experienced PC user. If you are a professional or specialist you should know most of this.

As an example of how easy it’s to mislead an extremely well-known large leading PC brand was recently advertising its XYZ-Wizbang’s PC having an amazing 12GB of memory, Extreme Intel Quad-core chip and Quad graphics cards. Sounds impressive huh!? As soon as I saw the low price I became questionable. When you click the link for additional information, then click on the choices, then click the technical specification, then read it quite carefully and you also find it only contains 3GB of memory however is expandable to 12GB, includes a normal Intel chip but has a choice for your Extreme, also supports Quad graphics cards however has only one. It’s possible to imagine without digging into the detail the cost would have been quite enchanting.

A favourite proverb of mine goes something like give a hungry man a fish and feed him for a day, give him the tools to fish and feed him for life. Given just a little more information you can adequately specify your personal needs, cross-examine sellers and merchants about their promoted server specifications and reward your self with a fantastic excellent PC that will endure and do all that you want it to. The additional bonus to understanding how to buy this way is that it won’t date the very same concepts as I describe here have applied broadly since the mid-1980s. A lot of the understanding is located in demystifying the jargon and that I will do a lot of that using simple terms. Clearly, more understanding is needed as I get asked from time to time what is the difference between 4GB RAM and 300GB of hard disk, and what do I want?’. Hmm, if you are in this class you want to read this now… The parts of the PC Before we could make conclusions we must know what everything in the PC does and how it does it.

The CPU or Processor – The processor is the engine of your PC it implements instructions countless times a second to find the job you need to be done completed. Modern processors will have multiple cores and are referred to as Dual-core (two cores) or Quad heart (4 cores, shortly’Octa’ 8 core processors will be accessible ) making them a bit like my wife i.e. capable of doing more than one thing at one time, or even multi-task. So let’s say I ask my computer to give me a million lottery numbers and it takes eight minutes to finish (it would actually end in the blink of an eye).

Having a Dual centre this would just take four seconds since I could get one core to give me half a million numbers and another to perform the same, at precisely the same moment. So on a Quad-core with the same logic, it would only require two seconds. Breaking up tasks like this is known as multi-threading. So that’s the theory if you can split a significant task into multiple smaller tasks that can all be executed simultaneously then the further cores the better.

However, there’s a catch. Not all activities can be divided this way and not all applications vendors write their apps this way so that you want to make sure what you do is ready to make the most of it then you will know if you ought to go for a Duo, a Quad or an Octa centre processor. Another variable that affects performance is the clock rate of the CPU expressed in GHz (cycles per minute ). Most chips nowadays are somewhere between 1.8GHz and 3.3GHz. All of the cores in a multi-core CPU will be running at precisely the same clock speed.

So if you find a producer explain a PC as 12GHz, then what they are probably doing is multiplying the clock rate by the number of cores (4 cores from 3GHz). Maybe to create their PC’s look phenomenally quicker than anyone else, who knows. Clock speed is easier than several cores, a faster clock speed simply means faster implementation times, interval. Thus if you can’t get the advantage of more cores that you ought to be able to get the advantage of higher GHz.

The memory (or RAM) – While the computer is about the memory is the point where the CPU stores its work in progress. Computer memory is the quickest place the PC can store information so when it’s performing your work that is where it prefers to perform it. But in case it runs out of memory it will start saving things on your hard disk rather (known as Paging to Virtual memory) and this is when things slow down drastically.

So make sure that you don’t skimp on memory get more than enough of it as much as you can afford. Secondary to that is how fast it’s in itself. As a guide, Windows Vista actually eats the first 1GB so that your minimum memory ought to be 2GB (DDR2) or 3GB (DDR3) for overall light use, and 4GB (for DDR2) to 6GB (such as DDR3) or more for demanding games or even applications. Memory speed is measured in a blend of MHz, Type and Latency. It’s also important to keep in mind that bandwidth differs to speed. Envision the memory bus is like a street. A single lane road with cars travelling quickly at say 70mph, every car will reach its destination quickly but there’ll only be so many cars you can match on the road.

On the other hand, a four-lane highway even if it’s slower at 55mph will get more cars to their destination at precisely the same time frame although most of the cars individually will take more time to arrive, which is comparable to bandwidth. Nonetheless, the two are interlinked as obviously a narrow street can match the bandwidth of a multi-lane highway if the cars can move fast enough. Different demanding tasks you could perform on a computer demand speed or bandwidth, or a balance of both to work optimally. The memory bus technology type used also affects bandwidth i.e. DDR, DDR2, DDR3 etc…

The DDR signifies Double Data Rate and the number after it indicates the number of parallel channels it uses to convey. Clearly the more stations it uses the more bandwidth it will have. Therefore DDR2 has twice the bandwidth of both DDR and DDR3 subsequently 150 per cent more bandwidth. As a rough rule of thumb memory speed in MHz should double for each amount of DDR as each has a latency penalty roughly double that of its predecessor. So to find DDR2 memory as fast as DDR 400MHz, the DDR2 has to be 800MHz, and because of its double-channel, you will get greatly increased bandwidth.

Consider this carefully because DDR3 1333MHz isn’t automatically better than DDR2 1100MHz for the reasons explained, its own is often assumed the most recent technology is much better and it isn’t always the case. At the time of writing, you ought to expect to be receiving a new PC with DDR3 1333MHz to 1600MHz memory. Or if it’s DDR2 afterwards 800MHz or longer. So far as latency is concerned it has complex to describe but if you are doing a tough job make certain it’s low latency memory. For gaming and standard work, speed is more important than bandwidth for video encoding or alternative tasks that move a good deal of information volume around bandwidth is your priority.

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