Friday, May 4, 2012

Computer Specs

Ok, so you got this great laptop computer with a Intel Core i5 2467 1.6 GHz, 4 GB DDR3, 500 GB HDD, 13.3” LED HD Display, WiDi, 3x USB, Bluetooth, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit.  Or maybe you have this great desktop with Intel Core i7 2600K 3.4 GHz GHz, 8 GB DDR3, 240 GB SSD, 1 TB HDD, 3GB GTX 590.  But, what do all these computer specs mean?  Just note, that is supposed to say WiDi above, not WiFi.  Even I had to lookup what is WiDi.

I have heard some wild specifications in my day, so I figured a post on how to read some of these specifications might be a good idea.

I will start with the Laptop specs I mentioned above: Intel Core i5 2467 1.6 GHz, 4 GB DDR3, 500 GB HDD, 13.3” LED HD Display, WiDi, 3x USB, Bluetooth, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit.  This laptop is categorized as an ultra-portable laptop.

The first spec is Intel Core i5 2467 1.6 GHz.  In most computer specs the first spec is usually the CPU.  Now, I will have to admit this does not even mean anything to me, because there is one very important piece of information missing here, and that is the number of cores on this CPU.  So, before I pass judgment on this CPU, I am going to have to do a web search to find out how many cores this CPU has.  According to the Intel Website:, this CPU only has 2 cores, which is going to make this a rather slow CPU.  Of course for small laptop like this, that is to be expected.  A quick way to figure the speed is to multiply the speed 1.6 GHz times the number of cores, which gives us 3.2 GHz.  Just for comparison, the CPU in my laptop has a speed of 2.9 GHz and has 4 cores, which gives a speed of 11.6 GHz.  The higher the GHz number the better, just remember to check the number of cores!

The next spec is 4 GB DDR3 of RAM, which is usually second.  This specification is the RAM (random access memory), so this laptop has 4 GB of RAM, which for a small laptop like this is very respectable.  RAM is important for the CPU and the more you have the better generally.  The CPU uses the RAM for fast access to and storage of data.

The third spec is 500 GB HDD.  This specification is the laptops hard drive, which is a standard 500 GB hard drive.  Again, for a small laptop this is pretty good.  Just to note here as well, most laptop hard drives are 2.5 inches, compared to standard desktop hard drives which are 3.5 inches.

For the last few specs, you have a screen size of 13.3” and it is a LED backlit display, which is good for battery life.  As for the WiDi part, it is a wireless display, which allows you to wirelessly display content on a TV or other devices.  You also have 3 USB ports and built in Bluetooth (for mice, keyboards, ect.).

Ok, now they we are done with the laptop specs, we will take a look at the desktops specs: Intel Core i7 2600K 3.4 GHz GHz, 8 GB DDR3, 240 GB SSD, 1 TB HDD, 3GB GTX 590.  The very first spec is the CPU, which is a Core i7 2600K at 3.4 GHz, which makes a single core of this CPU faster than the entire Laptops CPU mentioned above.  This CPU has a total of 4 cores, so we can get a combined speed of 13.6 GHz.  The spec for the desktop is the RAM, of which there is 8 GB, which should be plenty.

The next spec for the desktop is the hard drive, this first of which if you will note seems kind of small at only 240 GB.  However, there is something special about this hard drive; this not a regular spinning platter hard drive; instead this is a solid state drive (SSD).  SSD’s are extremely fast, which should provide a significant boost in speed for this desktop.  Since the first hard drive is somewhat small, especially if you want to start storing pictures or videos; there is second regular spinning platter (HDD) hard drive, which is a whopping 1 TB is size (1000 Gigabytes).

And finally there is one last important spec for the desktop, which the laptop does not have.  This final spec is a dedicated graphics card, in this case a monstrous NVidia GTX 590 with 3 GB of RAM.  Should be all set for Call of Duty or for more boring tasks such video editing.

For a wrap up, most computer specifications start with the CPU, then the RAM, and finally the hard drives.  After that the specifications tend to be somewhat random.


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