Building a PC means delving into a world filled with jargon and technobabble for anyone who hasn’t grown up with a heat-sink in one hand and a stick of RAM in the other.
Knowing exactly what the specifications of your hardware is is a pretty significant thing for such expensive equipment; an eight core processor might be more expensive than a 4 core, and it might be 4GHz over a 3, but pure numbers — especially when you’ll be paying more for the higher end stuff — don’t really help if you don’t know the figures behind them.
Hard drives are big, slow, cumbersome beasts that can take a while to ‘read and write’ (basically, save to and load) from. They’re your big storage space, where you’ll keep all your important documents, files, backups, applications, etc.
By comparison, your computer processor is much, much faster. Your RAM is essentially a temporary storage space where you can keep the files that you need right this second for easy access, so that they can work off of the faster loading times of the CPU.
It’s a little more complex than that, but think of it as the difference of having a locked cabinet vs. your work table. You’ll keep all the important stuff under lock and key, but it’ll take longer to load, and you’ll keep all your stuff you need right now on your desk but might throw it out, take it home, or store it later if it’s important.
This means that additional RAM will have a direct impact on how fast your computer loads data. More RAM = faster computer.
The majority of users will want 4GB or more of RAM. This is enough to get anyone by if they don’t use their computer for anything taxing, just to watch videos or do office work.
If you want to use it for more complex things, such as gaming, audiovisual editing, or the like, you’re going to want closer to 8GB as your standard model, with high-end powerhouses running 16GB or higher.
All of these things are variable, so ask Amaze for help in determining how much you need, so you don’t end up paying for more than you’re using.
Your CPU is the powerhouse that actually performs the inputs that you feed your computer. It takes your input, reads the files, and performs the action. It’s the brains of the operation, and a very important piece to have working efficiently. Since it’s the main component for doing anything, having a better CPU outclasses other better components in that they all rely on the CPU to function.
However, there’s only so fast a CPU can function if its bottlenecked by lower end specs on other stuff, so all the CPU won’t matter if you have a bad graphics card, etc.
As with anything, what you need in terms of specs will be determined for how you use it. You’re looking at two figures here, GHz (gigahertz) and total Cores. Your GHz is speed, how many cycles per second it can perform, and your Cores are multi-tasking (two cores gives you two areas to do two different tasks on).
Most PCs come with at least 2 cores, and if you want to do any strenuous work (gaming, video editing, etc) you want 4 minimum. 8 or 16 is an option, but only for high end stuff.
GHz is more complex. Unfortunately, there’s no real hard and fast way to tell what you’re going to get out of raw numbers alone except on a per-model basis (since cores + GHz can be hard to measure when working in tandem). Obviously you’re going to get more out of 2.3GHz than 2.0 Ghz, It’s best to ask expert advice on this front. On a rough front, 3.0GHZ-3.5GHz is enough to conquer most modern games, and anything above 2.0GHz is enough to watch videos\office work\general tasks.
This one’s simple. While RAM is temporary storage, your Hard Drive is long-term. All you need to know about this one nowadays is just how much you need.
100GB is a small laptop size, and by comparison a large movie (an amazing quality 3 hour epic) will be about 3GB (and a picture can be as small as 1MB, (1/1000 of a GB)). However, some modern games can get up to 20+GB in size.
If you want to never worry about running out, 1 or more Terabytes (1000 GB each) is enough, and not particularly dear.
An SSD will improve your boot times and load times for most intensive tasks. It’s like a special hard drive that you use only for very important things, so while your regular storage might find a while to sort and find things, these things will be immediately available at all times. They’re much faster than regular hard drives, but we still use hard drives because SSDs go much slower when they’re fuller if you don’t shell out for more expensive models.
An SSD will improve your boot times and load times for most intensive tasks. It’s like a special hard drive that you use only for very important things, so while your regular storage might find a while to sort and find things, these things will be immediately available at all times. They’re much faster than regular hard drives, but we still use hard drives because HDD’s are most cost effective for storing larger amounts of data. This however will shortly by outdated as SSD technology is getting better, fast.
You won’t need one if you only use your PC once every few days, but an SSD will speed your life up significantly if you use it often.
A budget SSD is about 128GB , and will fit your windows and critical files on there no problem. That’s enough for a common end-user.
For anyone wanting a performance boost, you can get them in 240GB-1TB, and new pro series have up to 4TB models. A large model is costly, but will make just about everything stop chugging along and grease up the rails majorly.
This is what your computer uses to draw fancy landscapes and render screens, and higher quality is mostly important for things like games. It’s basically a second CPU for offloading specific graphic tasks to.
As such, the same basic ideas apply to it as the CPU. Again, expert advice is essential if you don’t quite grasp it, or alternately you could research customer reviews of models for the specific thing you want. As you can see from this hierarchy, they’re complicated beasts in naming convention, but Amaze is always ready to help.