The How-To Geek Forums Have Migrated to Discourse


How-To Geek Forums / Off Topic

Computer terms and lingo

(52 posts)
  • Started 8 years ago by James-Gameser
  • Latest reply from madmacs
  • Topic Viewed 2995 times

James-Gameser
Posts: 29

I'm 16 and I want to learn more about computers, basically the basics. I know you guys have probably been through this with other people on other forums, but I dont really have the time or patience to tell the truth, to look thru all the forums. My family is going to buy a computer in the near future and my dad says I should research some about it before i buy the thing. so here are some simple terms i would like explained. Like what are their functions and which ones make a pc faster and what kinds of specs do u need to play games like battlefield 2142, Spore, C&C Tiberium Wars and other such games on the upcoming gaming horizon.

1) Hardrive
2) Processor
3) Video Card
4) Fans
5) RAM (Im especially confused what the purpose of this is)
6) Other majorly important computer widgets

P.S. The computer we're buying is a Desktop not a Laptop, and we may be buying online. And I will definetly be using it for gaming. Not completely all out hardcore gaming though.

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
madmacs
Posts: 1438

Hi James, well the main question is, how much money does your father want to invest? (i presume HE will be paying for it!!) A gaming machine can start at about $1000 (I think as I live in Europe) and go up from there. Tell us a round about price and we can inform you from there!!

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
jack7h3r1pp3r
Posts: 2815

1. Harddrive: this is where all of your documents are saved. you will probably want something in the range of 150 GB +

2. Processor: this is where most of the speed comes in usually the higher the number the faster it is. like 2.5ghz to 3.0 ghz. and you will want to get a fast dual core processor or a quad core.

3. video card: well this is where the gaming part comes in. the better card you have the better games you can run in higher graphics modes. usually the card will depend on how much you are going to spend on the computer.

4. fans: they are kind of self explanatory they just help cool down your system so it doesn't over heat

5. ram: this has a big impact on how fast your computer is going to be too. you will want around 2gb's - 4gb's of ram.

the only other things that you may want to look at is if you want to burn dvd's or cd's. also what operating system are you planning on installing? and are you going to build it your self or are you going to buy a pre setup one?

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
Aleeve
Posts: 2818

Good post there Jack

Judging by what he said, I doubt that he is planning on building though!

James, take note of what Jack said - I'll re-iterate 2/4gb's of RAM is good, and along with a decent processor should keep your machine up to speed.

Fans aren't particularly important unless you are building - otherwise a perfectly adequate one is generally supplied as part of the machine.

Are you also thinking about monitors? For gaming you should be looking at around 22-inch or larger (I expect) and maybe dual screens? This is down to personal opinion.

Peripherals? (Mouse, keyboard etc....)

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

Ya I'm pretty sure my dad isnt going to want to pay for anything more than $1300-1500 at most, No we're not going to build it ourselves, last time we had this computer built by a guy and he didnt do too good of a job. SO we're going to buy a prebuilt one.

Thanks to Jack for the information, that was pretty helpful. My dad and I tried to ask the guy at the store, but there were some language issues. But thanks again for the help

About the Operataing system. my brother who is in college got a XPS laptop and it automatically had windows vista installed on it. I used it quite a bit, and it got me kind of annoyed, maybe because im not used to it but ya, im not so sure about windows vista. My brother also told me something about how windows vista takes up a whole core of the dual core, so his 2.0 dual core is brought down to just a 2.0 normal core or whatever. Im not so sure about this, so if theres any more information about the whole core things and windows vista it would help.

About the monitor and peripherals. The monitor is an issue because we live overseas as i said in an area where there is not so much stuff to buy. So I'm not sure if we can get a monitor for a decent price here. And also if we're going to buy one online is it safe and if the price is better than at the store here. I might go back to the store this week and check the prices. but for the mean-time, is $700 a good price for a 19" monitor? We bought this monitor in 2004. The Mouse and Keyboard will probably come with a computer or we can buy them here so thats not a big issue. No dual monitors.

When we went to the store the other day and looked at computers, There was one for $700. It had 6GB RAM, 2.2 GHZ and it was and HP, I think it had 750 GB hard drive. And then another one was only $350 but 2GB and 2.7GHZ. We tried to ask the guy there why the differece in price was, but again there was a language issue :( These are the pc s without monitors.

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

P.S. This is a really useful website and thanks for replying back :)

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
jack7h3r1pp3r
Posts: 2815

i think the best thing you can do is just look around and see some of the prices and if you have a general idea of what you want then it will be a bit easier

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
Aleeve
Posts: 2818

Vista, although more power-hungry than XP certainly DOES NOT use 'a whole core' :D

I think you should stick with Vista, because even though it may take you a little while to get used to, it is the new platform, and really is very good (so speaks an avid Vista user since the past year!)
I have had no issues at all, and all the bugs have been ironed out!

Overseas - as in where?
US side, or Europe?
$700 is not bad, but a little expensive I think

Those computers are very odd pricing!

Why don't you go to a place your own language?

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

Korea. It's a store on the american base here that i had issues with. So thats why im even more skeptical about going to the korean electronics market. I saw some pretty cool stuff online, a 22" monitor for only $200! so thats a definite maybe. And this one comp i fouind on ebay that said it was 'overclocked' to 3.7 GHZ. And it was only 600 i think without the operating system or monitor and all that. Sorry for writing so much b4.

But again since im in Korea, not many people will ship computers here, if its even allowed \./
Since this is a Forum about computer terms, What does OVERCLOCKED mean?

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

Ah ah, I saw another goodly priced one on ebay that says 'quad core'

What is this 'Quad Core'?

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
madmacs
Posts: 1438

Quad Core means that a processor has 4 cores. I made the mistake about 6 months ago thinking a Quad would be a faster processor than a Dual Core, which is not the case!!! Most games that are available only support dual core (at least for now!!). Quad core is only really interesting for people that are using it for video decoding. At the end of the day you should be looking for a fast Dual Core, personally i think an Intel E8400 is a fairly cheap and fast enough processor for gaming

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

Ok thanks for the heads up.

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

And about the Intel Dual Core, I was checkin some reviews and they all say its a BEAST. they all gave it 5 stars and the only problem ive seen so far is that one guy said it wasnt compatiablewith many motherboards, but seeing as how im buying a new comp this shudnt be a problem.

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
jack7h3r1pp3r
Posts: 2815

over clocking basically means that you are running the hardware faster than it is meant to go but by doing this you will need to be more cautious of heat because a over clocked system will put out a lot more heat than just the out of the box product. i would say that you most likely don't need to over clock as long as you get a nice speedy computer

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
Aleeve
Posts: 2818

Overclocking is probably a little un-necessary unless you are doing hard-core gaming, and really know what you are doing - could be a little risky!
I'd leave it if I were you.

James - what are you actually looking at? Made any decisions yet? =P

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

Ya, ive seen a few I like online, their pretty cheap, but my dad still hasnt decided to really buy one yet. Its just his personality and im used to it. But also i have a rich friend that says he can sell me an alienware area 51 for 600$ with the monitor and all the stuff like keyboard and mouse included, so im bending towards that one. Andalso i want to buy one right now b4 the christmas consumeristic (nice word huh?) season rolls in and the prices go up. my dad says that we should w8 until after christmas to buy it. Im kind of frustrated but oh well.. so i hope he'll let me buy the one from my friend. Thanks for all ur help guys, if i dont get the one from my friend i'll buy one with the Intel E8400 that madmacs specified.

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

U have some creativity aleeve. u and all the mods. u made me laugh when i was reading that GAME! forum with the camel and the going to the moon and the nepalese babies and all that. how do u have so much creativity? lol.

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
LH
Posts: 20002

James, with monitors, you really need to see them in action before you make a choice.
A few months ago, when I was looking to buy a 22", I think I must have read every report, on every one on the market.
The overall consensus, was to go for a mid-range model. The cheaper models did not really rate that well.

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
Aleeve
Posts: 2818

Lol James
I remember that games forum, quite old now :D

Nice one - I'm not a mod though lol

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

oh ur not! but u know alot about computers. they should hire u

yea and im going to go see my friends computer, but he says it has Xp and is about 2 years old sooo.. i may not buy that. I have a taco salad w8ing now. I hope your floating horse that moves back and forth in a mysterious manner is doing alright. ;l

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

that face turned out wrong. why is the text down here ain a different font?

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
Aleeve
Posts: 2818

Haha, I think my horse is ok - haven't talked to it in a while

Thanks btw :)

Well, by all means have a look at, but 2 years in technology is a very long time, and things have greatly improved since two years ago, so maybe this isn't such a good idea.

Have a look at some of the Dells floating around, I have heard good stuff about them :) Not sure on the Korean front, but I imagine sites such as Amazon will deliver to the Korea (that is the US site, UK site is here)

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

then again my friend has some alienware laptops (or so he says :/) that have vista and arent that old, so i might buy one of those maybe, but playing on a desktop is a lot more fun i think that a laptop. and besides, im not going anywhere, so a desktop would be more efficient i think. If u have any desktops uve seen around the tech market please share the URLs and other data with me. I'll be keeping my eyes open for with nice technology like the jet plane that Sherlock holmes secretly had and was flying around to savethe world with. In the words of sherlock, I bid u adiue old chap!

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
LH
Posts: 20002

Watch out!!! You will awaken Oma, (formerly known as TechGranny), who may very well attack you with "well aimed" cookies :)

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
Aleeve
Posts: 2818

Haha - we'll keep you posted :)

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

http://cgi.ebay.com/AsRock-Int.....dZViewItem

please tell me if this computer is a good one. I have a good feeling bcus it can actually be shipped here! The only thing i would want different on that list is a better keyboard+mouse. Its a good price, and i dont think the guy is ripping us off bcus he got 99% good reviews with 6000 or so reviews. So if u could look over it please and thank u's.

sincerely, #1 most intelligent kid in his school who is getting an F in biology :(

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
Aleeve
Posts: 2818

That's looking very nice to me!
Speedy processor plus ample RAM is promising.

I'd wait for somebody else on here before you buy it though, but that appears to be an excellent find!

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
madmacs
Posts: 1438

Hi James, this is the kind of system that blinds buyers. You said you wanted your system for gaming, well the processor is fine, the RAM too, unfortuantely the graphics card is definately a no go for serious 3D gaming, sadly, go for a 8800 GT at least. As for a floppy drive, well they´re hardly ever needed nowadays it would maybe be better to get a card reader instead, especially if your using a digital camera. The AsRock motherboard only supports 100 MBit LAN which if too slow for todays standards, 1000 MBit is good. Plus the fact AsRock don´t have a real good name for themselves (Asus are a name you can trust)!! I´d go for a slightly better power supply too, 450 seems to be the very least you should be looking at, 550-600 would be stabler.

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
Aleeve
Posts: 2818

That's what I didn't say :P

Not an expert on graphics cards sorry

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

yea i was kind of skeptical about the graphics card. i saw another one with 9400 so when i saw the 8400 i was not sure. but pls find me a good computer to buy tho because i dont know how to read all the stuff u specified. i mean i can look and guess but ya. thanks for the heads up madmacs

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISA.....=p3907.m29
http://cgi.ebay.com/Power-supp.....dZViewItem

Do u think the seller of this pc will upgrade the power supply straight onto the machine? and also on this one, im a little skeptical about the CD drive and the # of USB ports. is there only 2 USB ports?

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

and i dont think this guy'll ship the computer to me. it says UPS ground :(

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

http://cgi.ebay.com/Intel-Dual.....240%3A1308

this one seems ok except the video card

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

and wheres the power supply?!

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
raphoenix
Posts: 14920

James-Gameser,
Don't worry.
You will get your computer.
The Guy is Retail Reseller.
A lot large and also (One Person Companies) on E-Bay.
May even be a Sales Rep for a larger (Un-Named on E-Bay) Company.
Kindest Regards,
Rick P.♦:)

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

http://ati.amd.com/products/ra.....index.html

this is a good video card?

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

http://cgi.ebay.com/Intel-64-E.....240%3A1309

this looks like a good buy also but i dont know how to customize it and all that. its too confusing.

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

http://cgi.ebay.com/Intel-Dual.....m153.l1262

would i need more fans if there is a bigger power supply? and also, what is a 'controller card' and 'network card'? Im going to shut up now and leave it up to u guys. maybe i shouldnt customize the pc.

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
Aleeve
Posts: 2818

You seemed kinda hesitant about customising before...

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

yea but i feel a little more confident, since i was researching it for like 5 hours yesterday. i know approximately what kind of stuff to get since u guys helped me along and my research.

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
madmacs
Posts: 1438

Hi James, newer power supplies normally have 2 fans built in. One on the bottom facing inwards to suck the warm air in that´s in the tower, another at the back that blows the air out. So, you wouldn´t need more fans in that case. The 4800 series from Ati are indeed good video cards, but you have to make sure that the motherboard supports them. NVIDIA and ATI use different M/B´s as with Intel and AMD processors. Good motherboards have 1 or 2 network connections built in nowadays, so there´s no need for an extra network card. Controller cards can used for many different purposes depending on what they are made for, but as with the network connections, a good M/B should have evering onboard. (USB, Firewire, audio, etc,etc.)

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

alright, thx u saved me a bunch of money :) so now what would be a good mother board here?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Intel-Dual.....ingPayment

WOuld this be a good custom computer?

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

http://cgi.ebay.com/GeForce-98.....ingPayment

This one seems a little fishy... the power supply is at 500 watts, and then he goes on to explain how this is not too important. also, he has overclocked it so will that cause problemos?

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
LH
Posts: 20002

It's not really a good idea to overclock if you are inexperienced in computing.

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
Aleeve
Posts: 2818

Agreed ^

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
madmacs
Posts: 1438

Hi James, that´s one massive overclock on an E5200. The normal core speeds are 2,5GHz and that one has been pushed to 3,2GHz!! Unless the seller states that he gives you warranty I wouldn´t go for it. Intel definately won´t give you a refund if the processor fries after 6 months!!! The graphics card is a different matter, BFG always O/C their cards and have quite a good name for themselves. If anything happened to the card within the warranty period you would get a new one without problems.

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

okay wait. i thought the E5200 was the really good one. or was that e6400
im going to go check. anyways, ive decided not to buy any 'overclocked' thingies because their life expectancy would probably be lower with all the heat. am i right?

(my brain is too lazy to think today sorry)

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

nononono, nvm it was the e8400 i should get. :(

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

Guys, I want you all to know that i ordered my computer. it was like this:

Dell XPS
@3.16 GHz

@8 GB of RAM (I know thats not necesary but my brother said its a good deal and would make it future proof)

@750 W pow supply

@I think there are 2 good heatsink fans

@9800 GT video card

@500 GB Har drive

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
0zSpitt
Posts: 1037

is it a 420 or 630?

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
James-Gameser
Posts: 29

oh i thought i put that b4 my bad. its a 630 desktop

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 
madmacs
Posts: 1438

Good to hear you have finally got what you wanted James. 8 GB of Ram is a bit over-the-top though, have you ordered a 64bit version of Vista with your Dell?

Posted 8 years ago
Top
 



Topic Closed

This topic has been closed to new replies.