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- CPU – This is the brain of the computer. This does all the thinking and is equivalent to the IQ of a human. People with a high IQ can think really fast. High power CPUs are good for video editing, photo editing, video playback. Currently the best technology out there are the iCore range. There are three variations, starting with a very swift i3, moving to an extremely capable i5 and finally the ridiculously fast i7. For most purposes, the i3 will suit everyone’s needs. Those who might do a lot of video editing with lots of footage, and a lot of photoshop work, might opt for the i5. If you are not sure that you need an i7 processor; then you don’t. The older, yet still strong technology was Core Duos. A reasonable computer might have a Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz processor; however this is an older technology and will begin to date soon. Much older technologies from Intel are Celeron (not recommended) and Pentium 4 (not recommended)
- RAM / Memory – this is the second most important thing to the speed of your computer. Think of this as you computer’s capacity to multitask. While someone who can think very fast (a fast CPU) will be able to do one task really quickly, if they aren’t the best multi-tasker, it might take them slightly longer if you give them more than one task. You will want a high amount of ram if you are constantly listening to music, surfing the net, working on spreadsheets and word documents and watching movies – all at the same time. These days, a computer should have a standard 2 GBs of Ram, faily standard, whilst some manufactures are putting 3 GBs or 4 GBs in. If you just intend to browse the web and watch a couple of movies, this will be fine. If you intend to do movie editing, or photoshop work, or intense gaming; then it might be worth going up beyond 4 GB (although this will cost significantly, and can be easily upgraded at a later date).
- Graphics Card – This is a dedicated piece of hardware which could be compared to a human’s eyes – and whether they need glasses or not. Something called an ‘integrated graphics card’ is the cheapest thing one can get. It doesn’t effect the computer in a bad way; however if you get into intense videos, heavy gaming or especially encoding videos, you’ll appreciate the boost in performance by upgrading to a 256mb or 512 gb graphics card. The higher the number associated with the graphics card (256mb -> 512 mb -> 1 gb -> 2gb) the better.
- Hard Drive /Storage – This is the long term memory of the computer. It depends on your uses what size of memory you need. If you just use your computer for browsing websites, then you probably need not worry. If you are heavily into music or photos, and have around 5000-6000 songs or photos, then you might consider moving to say 200-400 gb of storage. However, if you do all of the above, and video, you may need some serious storage – 1 TB or 2 TB storage.