What do all those numbers mean?
26/02/15 14:49 Filed in: Shopping | Tips
We are constantly asked by our customers why buying a laptop has to be so complicated. So this week I’m going to try to help out with a little guide on the 3 main things to consider for when buying a laptop.
Processor – (CPU)
This is the brains of the laptop. It does all of the calculations that make everything from a web page appear on your screen to a game play. The first thing you’ll need to consider is whether you need low battery usage, speed or both. Intel (a CPU manufacturer) makes the low battery usage chips a little easier to see by popping a letter ‘U’ on the end of the chip name. Speed on the other hand is a lot harder to tell. The easiest is to look the processors name up on an independent website, such as www.cpubenchmark.net, which lists all processors, thus making it easier to gauge which is right for you (a score of 1500 is about average).
Storage – Hard Drive
This is the part of the laptop on which all of your data is stored. It is measured in Giga Bytes. Each Giga Byte (GB) represents 1000 Mega Bytes (MB). Most people struggle to fill a 250GB Hard Drive with photos, programmes and music because the average size of a photo or MP3 is about 4MB. In plain terms that means you can store about 62,500 photos or MP3’s on a small 250Gb Hard Drive. But if you play around with video files, 250GB is no where near enough and you should look to 1000 GB drives, which can store about 24 hours of HD video.
Memory – RAM
Confusingly this is measured in Giga Bytes too. RAM is a fast, temporary type of storage that Windows uses to load both itself and whatever it is you are doing at the time. So if you are surfing the internet you are using some RAM for Windows, a little more for the web browser, a little more for your anti-virus program, a little more for the nice picture on your desktop, etc. The rule of thumb with the current generation of laptops is 4GB of RAM is good and more is better.
There are other things to consider, such as the size of screen or whether you want touch screen or faster graphics cards but these are more about personal choices.