PC’s and Laptops come in an endless number of configurations, all designed for specific purposes/users in mind.
When purchasing a new computer it is important to consider
- Central Processing Unit (CPU) speed
- Memory requirements
- Storage capacity
- Software requirements
- Software compatibility
- Hardware compatibility
CPU speed determines the speed in which a computer can process a sequence of stored instructions, popularly referred to as a “program”. Nearly all CPU’s use four steps in their operation – fetch, decode, execute, and write-back.
Random Access Memory or (RAM) is the hardware area of the computer where the “instructions” are stored before they are processed, the more memory a computer has available the more instructions can be queued for processing by the CPU.
Hard Disk Drives are the most common form of storage device used in a computer, unlike RAM hard disk drives retain information after the computer is turned off. The most important features of a hard drive are capacity and performance.
In basic terms information is stored on the Hard Drive, when a program is executed the instructions are transferred from the Hard Drive into Memory which is then processed by the CPU. This means that the slowest component will bottleneck the process, slowing down the speed of the computer.
Software vendors include a list of hardware requirements that must be met in order for that program to function correctly – if at all. Most word processing or data entry software such as MYOB, Quickbooks or Microsoft Office have far lower requirements than design software such as Photoshop or AutoCAD.
When purchasing a computer it is important to ask yourself what the main purpose of this computer will be –
- Word Processing
- Data Entry
- Internet Browsing
- Graphic Design
- Computer Assisted Design
- Web Design
MSCS Melbourne: PC and Laptop Sales