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Confused by all the specs when buying a new computer? Let's fix that!

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We all know that sometimes buying a new computer can be a little confusing, daunting, and sometimes just downright stressful. But, if you like PC and you want to understand a bit more about what all the different specifications mean on PC’s so that you can buy the right things, stick around.

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HDD/SSD

HDD stands for Hard Disk Drive and SSD stands for Solid State Drive. Both of these is where you store your data. This is where you’re going to save your documents, music, photos, videos, applications, and more. If space is something really important to you, you’re going to want to look into having an HDD or an SSD with a high number of GB (Gigabytes). If space isn’t too important to you, but speed is, then definitely have a look at something with an SSD instead. SSD drives are lighter and are significantly faster than HDDs. (The speed difference is phenomenal). SSDs however, for now generally only ship with 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB configurations. If that’s ok with you, then it’s very much worth it.

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RAM

RAM stands for Random Access Memory. Without getting too technical, this basically determines how much stuff you can do at the same time without bogging down your computer. The more RAM you have, the better. However, 4GB is pretty much standard today, which for most people is good enough, but if you work at all with Adobe programs or programs that are pretty intensive, you may want to make sure you have at least 8GB of RAM. Just to clarify, RAM does NOT speed up your computer. It prevents your computer from slowing down when you’re doing a ton of stuff.

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CPU (Processor)

CPU stands for Central Processing Unit a.k.a. Processor. This is the brain of your computer. This is a really tricky part for me to recommend a specific way to look out for a good part, but i’ll do my best. This is the part that often times you’ll see called something like Intel Core i5 or i7, or AMD A-Series (for the latest parts). You’ll usually see a number that follows it like this: Intel Core i7-4770 2.5GHz. That GHz determines the amount of number of instructions per second the chip can complete. Generally, the higher the number, the better. However, and this is a big however, when comparing computers of different generations, the numbers can be misleading. Here’s an example: A second generation (Sandy Bridge) Core i7 processor running at 3.0 GHz, will still not be as good as a 4th generation (Haswell) Core i7 running at 2.5GHz. The reason is because obviously, as time progresses, the company makes their chips more efficient with less power. So, how to pick the right one? Check the generation (how new it is), then check the GHz. Also, stick to Quad-Cores or higher from now on.

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GPU (Video Card)

GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit a.k.a Video Cards. So this part is a really important part if you do any kind of relatively heavy gaming or any kind of work on Adobe products and the like. If the above is true, never, ever, EVER buy a computer with Intel or AMD Integrated graphics. The Video Card is a part that is dedicated towards giving you power in graphically intensive applications. It matters for things like movies and videos, gaming, and rendering. So what you want here is quite simply, the latest you can get. This changes really often so you’re really just going to have to ask someone, but if you’re not in a position to ask, you can generally rely on higher numbers (for now). This may change soon because of AMD rebranding, but in general it’s a pretty safe bet for now. As for which company to get, between Intel, NVidia, or AMD, it will depend. If as I said before, you don’t do intensive things, you can stick to a latest generation Intel integrated graphics and be just fine. If not, definitely NVidia or AMD. Now, if you’re just a gamer, pick either one, they’re both awesome. Higher numbers. If you’re an editor or content creator, you’d be a bit safer choosing an NVidia product for now. This may change in a year or so, but right now, definitely NVidia.

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So yeah guys, that’s generally it! The other specifications have generally to do with the screen quality and stuff that you can judge for yourself by looking and poking around at the computer physically. At the end of the day, when the specs match up and you’re left with a decision of aesthetics and usability, pick the one that you’re most comfortable with using. It’s an investment that is worth some thought. You’ll be glad you thought about comfort later.

If there’s anything else I’m missing or should add, or you have any other question, feel free to ask away in the comments here in the site, on my YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter, or even Google+! I’ll be more than glad to help out!

I hope this helps some of you! Have a great time choosing your next computer!