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Computer Hardware Specs Made Simple

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Home computers are nearly indispensable in America. Savvy consumers save money and time byComputer Hardware Specs knowing their computer hardware specs, so the new computer meets their needs.

Before purchasing your computer, consider how you plan to use it. This helps you select your big four - memory, storage capacity, processor speed, and graphics capability.

Memory

Memory size is the most versatile element of your computer. It holds data for the following tasks:

           controlling the operating system
           internet browsing
           running applications
           storing pictures
           gaming
           manipulating audio and video.

Your computer can use its hard drive for these things, but accessing live data from the swap file is very slow.  Opening new windows, files and switching between applications becomes extremely slow when memory capacity is exceeded.

Storage capacity

If you intend to use your computer to view or edit photos, audio, or video, you will need significant hard drive storage. Fortunately, disk storage is inexpensive.

Processor Speed

While computers are often sold based on processor speed, other factors are as important. A machine with a fast processor but little memory will spend most of its time waiting for data to process. A fast processor is of little use when memory is inadequate. Processor speed is important if you edit your multimedia files rather than just view or playback.

Graphics Capability

Gamers need a high-end system to fully enjoy the newest games such as virtual shootouts or flight simulators. 3D rendering requires intensive processing power, lots of memory and especially a high-end graphics card. For games, a good graphics card can compensate for a slower processor. A medium range graphics card yields good results for video viewing.

Buyer beware

Research the minimum hardware requirements of any software you run, and make sure your computer meets or preferably exceeds them.

When purchasing your system, remember that storage needs increase and newer software requires additional processing and memory capability. However, top-end computers cost significantly more than mid-range machines, and may offer little improvement in performance.