Computer Advert Explanations

  Stevie D 18:09 03 Dec 2003
Locked

Hi Everyone,

I've been asked to give a talk on what to look out for when buying a PC but Its been a while since I bought one and I have a number of questions for which - if possible - I would like the answers in "laymans" terms.

How would you explain RAM, Hard Drive and Chip?

Assuming the same clock speed, what is the difference in peformance and price between an Intel P4 an Intel Celeron an AMD chip?

Why arn't AMD chips rated in GHz in the adverts?

In know what RAM is but what in laymans terms is DDR ram and how does it differ from other types of RAM in terms of performance and price?

What is the difference between Firewire and USB2 and should a PC have both?

What is the advantage of having separate DVD and DVD rewriter drives and likewise what is the advantage of having separate CD and DVD drives?

What are the important points about graphics cards?

Anything else that you would metion if you were giving this talk?

Thanks,

Steve.

  Lozzy 12:18 04 Dec 2003

Why not do a Google search on each of your items. You may be surprised on how easy it is to find these answers..

  Jester2K II 13:01 04 Dec 2003

RAM - like a "scratch pad" where Windows temporarily holds data between the CPU and Hard Drive.

Hard Drive - storage medium for programs and data

CPU (or "chip") - the "brain" of the PC perfomrs the calculations needed to process data.

"Assuming the same clock speed, what is the difference in peformance and price between an Intel P4 an Intel Celeron an AMD chip?

Why arn't AMD chips rated in GHz in the adverts? "

To answer both at the same time. Intel processors are expressed in Ghz. AMD express their XP processors in relative terms to the Intel porcessior.

ie AMD claim a XP2000 CPU will give the same performance as an Intel 2000 (or 2Ghz CPU) but running at a lower speed. AMD don't use clock speeds because they want to show that their 1.4 Ghz Processor performs the same as an Intel 2.0 Ghz.


"What is the advantage of having separate DVD and DVD rewriter drives and likewise what is the advantage of having separate CD and DVD drives? "

Bit of a confussing question. Its persoanl taste how many drives and in what combination you have them. After all a DVD Writer also reads DVDs and CDs.

  Jester2K II 13:12 04 Dec 2003
  Simsy 08:48 05 Dec 2003

the purpose/function of RAM and HDD...

The problem is that they both are, in the simplified view of many, "Memory". A HD drive does indeed "remember" what is put onto it and perhaps has a more valid claim to the title of "Memory" than RAM does, which "forgets" evereything as soon as it is turned off!

Anyway, my explanation/description was along the following lines:


Compare the HDD and RAM to a home office. The HDD is represented by the shelves that are full of textbooks and documents, the RAM is the desk surface that the work is done on...

When you turn on the computer and open a programme, what you are doing is getting the textbooks and documents from the shelves,(HDD), and putting them onto the deksurface,(RAM), where you can actually work on them...

If you increase the size of the desk surface, (install more RAM), you can have larger documents on the desk, or work on more things at one, (multitasking).

The more shelf space you have, (HDD size), the more textbooks,(software), and documents, (data), you can store.

My sister seemd to make sense of this analogy. I have found it useful in the past with others as well.

It can easily be expanded to explain virtual memory and defragging.


I have found, at work, that the biggest problem is comming to grips with file management. I usually show the file structure as a tree, drives as substantial "trunks", directiories as "branches" and files as "leaves". The comparison with a tree helps folk to understand the concept of the "Root" of a drive.

I then turn the diagram upside down... it then makes sense when windows explorer, (and other dialoge boxes), refer to going "up one level", as oppossed to down.

I hope this helps.

Regards,

Simsy

  denchris 11:43 05 Dec 2003

This will help a few I`m sure :-))

  Djohn 12:08 05 Dec 2003

Nice one Simsy, even I understood that. ;o)

  Stevie D 14:56 05 Dec 2003

Simsy - what an absolutely excellent answer on the difference between a hard disk space and memory - thank you!!!

  Simsy 11:52 10 Dec 2003

I use analogys all the time... the troble is that sometimes they can become so easy that they are misleading!

Regards,

Simsy

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