A Beginner Guide to Reading Computer Specifications
You already know that more megabytes equal more storage space and faster CPUs mean less latency. In this piece, we’ll cover the fundamentals without becoming too technical, so you’ll be better equipped when looking for a laptop or computer.
CPUs, often known as processors, are used to run programs. As a result, the more apps you run concurrently or the “heavier” they are, the greater the demand for a FASTER CPU.
Now… Almost every current CPU is FAST enough to run ALL of the fundamental programs used by a student or an employee.
You only need to be concerned about CPU performance IF and ONLY IF you are running…
Heavy tasks are VIDEO EDITING, MUSIC PRODUCTION, 3D Animation, GAMING, 3D modeling, and the like.
If that’s the case, you need to know TWO things about CPU’s specifications:
It’s measured in GHz (gigahertz) . Ex: 3.5 GHz, 4.5 GHz, etc.
For the aforementioned intensive workloads, a +4GHz CPU is recommended.
You don’t need to worry about it for simple things like producing documents, viewing movies, and light gaming. Anywhere between 3 and 4 GHz should be plenty.
As a result, unless you’re performing video editing or utilizing 3D modeling software, you probably don’t need a high clock speed CPU if you’re a student.
If the CPU is a big lifter, it’s not just one person doing the lifting. Several little men are performing the heavy lifting. These are known as “cookies,” as illustrated in green below.
Each core can only handle one or two apps at a time. As a result, if you’re a multitasker like many people, the more cores you have, the more programs you’ll be able to run concurrently without LAG.
The fact that all current computer systems contain at least four cores, which is sufficient for multitasking, is fantastic news.
Multiple cores also allow high-end apps like video editing and 3D modeling to operate much quicker. However, unless you’re a video editor or a designer, you won’t need more than four.
Brand: AMD and Intel
There are two brands, but the question isn’t which one to choose; both brands are suitable for all needs.
The issue then becomes which family members inside each brand name to select:
Intel Core i3 and AMD Ryzen 3 processors
These have more than four cores and clock frequencies that average out at 4GHz. built for multitasking between ordinary apps and simple computer chores such as web surfing, video streaming, programs, and “light jobs.”
Because they do not consume much power, these will undoubtedly have the longest battery lifetimes.
Intel Core i5 and also AMD Ryzen 5:
They can have up to 6 cores and operate at speeds exceeding 4 GHz. These are the basic requirements for demanding applications such as high-graphics computer gaming, 3D modeling, video clip editing, and professional image altering.
Processors from Intel Core i7 and AMD Ryzen 7
Approximately 8 cores with a clock speed of around 5GHz. These are not the quickest CPUs on the market, but they provide enough power for 90% of players, 3D developers, and video editors.
Each CPU is part of a generation. AMD Ryzen 3200U, for example, is a CPU from AMD’s third generation.
The first digit of the model number indicates which generation a CPU belongs to.
AMD Ryzen 5 5600H vs AMD Ryzen 5 4600H.
5th generation vs 4th generation.
Intel Core i5 10300H vs Intel Core i5 11300H
10th generation vs 11th generation.
What I propose in the “Brand” section for video editing, gaming, and other purposes is only applicable to LATE generation CPUs. In reality, the entire article is about current CPUs or late generation CPUs.
AMD Ryzen: 3rd, 4th,5th and 6th are late generation CPUs.
Intel Core: 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th are late generation CPUs.
Anything below or from a different family “Intel Celeron” or “Intel Pentium” or “AMD A9” or “AMD A6” must be avoided since they are obsolete and too sluggish for today’s applications.
Core i5 10100U vs Core i5 11300H vs Core i5 114G35 vs Core i5 1135P.
Ryzen 3 3200U vs Ryzen 5 5600H vs Ryzen 9 6800HS
These letters are simply fancy prefixes (mainly for marketing purposes) that indicate that a specific processor (CPU) is more likely to:
U: operate at a low voltage, resulting in a larger battery. These CPUs are requested by users who merely require a small device and do not require the indicated intensive applications.
G: having more powerful integrated graphics cards. These aren’t particularly recommended for gaming or high-end graphics, although they do feature significantly better graphics hardware than U CPUs. They should remain the first choice for anyone wishing to execute simple activities and apps.
P: more “efficiently” handle high-performance applications. These are 2022 CPUs, but they are essentially simply a new and fancier means of designing demanding programs.
H: handle graphics-intensive applications. They may be HX, HS, or HK, for example. These are essentially what you need if you’re video editing, playing tough AAA games, 3D modeling, and so on. The H genuinely symbolizes what it is promised; it is extremely quick and has more cores for this kind of program.
RAM is memory in technical terms. It differs from storage (hard drive) in that it is where the CPU “temporarily” stores data in order to “RUN” it.
If the CPU is the heavy lifter with muscles capable of “LIFTING” big objects, the RAM is his hands. The larger his hands, the more weight he can lift.
As a result, the more RAM you have, the more things you can execute concurrently, as seen in the image.
The amount of RAM required is determined by the applications you intend to execute.
2GB RAM: This is only enough for Chrome OS, Mac OSX, Windows 10 S, Windows 11, and Linux. This is due to the fact that Windows 10 Home and Windows 11, which you are most likely running RIGHT NOW, require more than 3GB, as stated in the image above.
4GB RAM: This is still insufficient if you want to run the full version of Windows 10 or 11, since you’ll only have 0.5GB RAM for any other application, limiting you to MS Office + Windows as indicated in the image.
This is what you want: 8GB RAM. You can not only run Windows with this much, but you can also squeeze in multiple additional programs, including heavy apps like PhotoShop, AAA titles (gaming), video editing, AutoCAD, and so on.
16GB RAM: This is solely for PROFESSIONAL USE, such as VIDEO EDITING, 3D MODELING, and so on. It is not required to run such programs, but it will make them RUN quicker.
Generation: DDR3 vs DDR4 vs DDR5
The latest generations will be able to send data to the CPU faster, resulting in faster and better performance. For the majority of folks, any RAM generation will suffice. Don’t be concerned because the variations are insignificant. If you’re a strong gamer or video editor, it will make a difference, but don’t anticipate huge improvements.
Storage on PCs works in the same way that storage on your phone does. You can have more images, movies, books, and games if you have more.
The most crucial thing to understand about computer storage is its kind. They will either be HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) or SSDs (Solid State Drives) (Solid State Drive)
SSD (Solid State Driver)
Solid state drives (SSDs) are preferable to HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) since they are extremely fast. Anything involving data reading and writing will be FAST.
Opening large files such as Adobe Premiere Pro, CAD files, video editing files, Photoshop files, and so on will take seconds.
+ It will take a few seconds to launch/load applications and apps.
+ It will also take less than 10 seconds to boot up your machine.
+ Searching for files/text snippets throughout the entire system will be instant.
There are two or three types of SSDs: M.2 SSD, PCIe NVMe SSD, and Flash SSD. The quickest are PCIe NVMe SSDs, although only photographers will notice a difference.
HDD(Hard Disk Drive)
These kinds of storage now have A LOT OF SPACE. FOUR TIMES the storage capacity of the typical SSD (1TB vs 256GB). They are, however, quite slow. When compared to SSDs, the time it takes for Windows 10 or 11 to load from the time you hit the power button can take up to 5 minutes.
How much Size do I need?
Computer files are far larger than those on your phone. So you’ll need a lot more than what you have on your phone.
In my opinion, most folks will be OK with 256GB. But first, let us run some numbers to determine if you fall into this group. Windows 10 or 11 consume approximately 40GB, and common applications such as Office, video and image processing programs require approximately 10GB.
If we add files like photos and movies…
One DSRL photo = 10 MB.
One FHD movie ~ 8 GB.
One encoded FHD movie file ~300 MB.
MS Office Doc ~ 50KB ~0.05MB
|1000(950) GB||118.5||3166||95000||16 Million|
It should be obvious that as long as you use this computer for business, you will never run out of space, even with the smallest SSD: 128GB.
If you’re an engineer, video editor, or photo editor, you should probably acquire at least 512GB.
If you’re a gamer, you’ll need 256GB or 512GB of storage space, depending on how many games you intend to install.
You just need to worry about graphics cards. IF you want to run graphically intensive apps such as 3D modeling (AutoCAD), 3D animation (Ex: Maya), and graphically intensive games.
Graphics cards process pictures; they are in charge of displaying HIGH-QUALITY images on your monitor as well as assisting you in manipulating these images.
Can’t the CPU do that?
True, the CPU can and does accomplish that, but it is not well prepared to handle REALLY REALLY visually demanding games. Because it has an integrated GPU, the CPU can handle YouTube, the occasional game on low settings, photo editing, and basic video editing.
Types of GPUs
The integrated GPU is connected to the CPU, but owing to a lack of space and resources (which must be shared with the CPU), it is less capable of handling graphically demanding programs. They will suffice for all of the other basic uses we outlined.
Ex: Intel UHD, Intel Iris, Intel Xe, AMD Radeon RX Vega 3, Vega 5, Vega 7 and Vega 8 are all integrated.
Dedicated GPUs are significantly quicker and more capable of handling heavy graphics. This is due to the fact that they are larger, have their own resources, and have their own designated space in a computer.
Dedicated GPUs do not need to borrow “RAM” from a CPU, they’ve got their own vRAM. This vRAM is different than RAM because it’s been specifically designed to process images “VRAM = Video RAM”.
How can you tell if you’re looking at a dedicated GPU?
If they have more than 1GB vRAM or if they have the keywords “NVIDIA” “GeForce” “RTX” or “Radeon RX (with no Vega)”.
Ex: NVIDIA 3080RTX , AMD Radeon RX 555.
GPU subdivision generated 3D modeling and 3D computer animation applications in particular. They aren’t always more effective than “customer” focused Graphics, but they do have a few advantages that certain 3D developers and designers may find useful. They may also have a lot more vRAM, which people working with the most sophisticated 3D things as well as pictures may demand.
Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions, or if you found the post a little too complicated. I’m continuously striving to improve it in order to make it easier to understand.
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