Computers: The Basics
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Basic Computer Terminology
You don’t have to be a tech wiz to buy your next computer. Make note of these common terms to help you when you’re shopping computer sales!
- Operating System (OS): This is the system that controls how your computer performs basic functions. The most common operating systems you’ll see right now are Windows 10 and Mac OS X. They perform comparably, so picking one relies on personal preference.
- Random-access memory (RAM): The short-term memory of your computer. Your RAM controls how quickly and efficiently your computer is able to switch between tasks. The higher the RAM, the better the performance.
- Processor (CPU) : The powerhouse or “brain” of the computer, your processor handles your computer’s basic instructions, such as using your mouse and keyboard, or running applications. The two most popular CPU manufacturers are AMD and Intel. You can read about which processor is right for you in this article from Digital Trends.
- Storage: There are two types of physical computer storage, hard drives (HD) and solid state drives (SSD), sometimes called flash drives . SSD storage is more common these days because they are more stable and faster. While it’s ideal to aim for greater storage space, a bigger drive will cost more money. Determine your storage needs based on how you plan to use your computer. Abt recommends starting with at least 500 GB of storage space.