Ever walked into to a laptop or computer store, hunt for a laptop and be completely stumped by the buzzwords you hear? Sometimes I wish Intel and AMD would stop using bizarre words like Centrino and Core 2 Duo which confuses the heck out of people. In this article, we will take a look at the top 10 terms you might come across when buying a laptop. Learn about these terms so that you won’t be stumped at the store again!
1. Intel Core 2 Duo Now, what precisely does ‘Intel Core 2 Duo’ mean? Almost every single laptop you come across in the market now will tell ‘Intel Core 2 Duo’. Don’t let that confuse you. The ‘Core 2 Duo’ is easily the Intel CPU replacing the elder Pentium. The ‘two’ in ‘Core 2 Duo’ easily means that the chip contains two CPU cores. So you’ll, like, get two CPUs on one chip.
2. Intel Core Solo Next confusing term is ‘Intel Core Solo’. If you’ve been reading carefully so far, you’ll know that the ‘Core Solo’ is nothing but a stripped down version of the ‘Core 2 Duo’ CPU chip. It replaces the Pentium CPU in laptops, but it has only one CPU core, unlike the Core 2 Duo.
3. Intel Centrino The term ‘Centrino’ does not refer to an Intel CPU. I know you always hear about ‘Intel Centrino’ and I used to think it refered to a CPU, like the Core 2 Duo or Core Solo. Well, it is not. ‘Centrino’ simply refers to the various laptop technologies specifically designed for a mobile computer that you won’t find in a desktop. So we’re talking about specially designed laptop microprocessors, wireless networking and cooling technologies.
4. GHz Important term Number Three is ‘GHz’. This stands for gigahertz – which essentially is a speed measurement used to gauge microprocessors. You’ll hear the laptop salesman boast about this or that laptop running at 2.4 GHz, while another is only 2.0 GHz. The truth is, these days, if you have a 2.0 GHz microprocessor, you’re all set to do anything you want on the laptop. I don’t really believe in super high GHz speeds though – many manufacturers just use it to sell their chips.
5. DDR Memory This term pertains to your laptop’s memory capacity or RAM. DDR is also known as DDR-SDRAM. The ‘DDR’ stands for double data rate – which is a cut above the standard SDRAM. Usually, the latest laptops will contain DDR-SDRAM. And you’ll want at least 1 GB of DDR memory for decent Windows Vista performance. Incidentally, you can get some really great laptop deals at Crucial.com – do check it out.
6. SDRAM Memory Well, naturally, SDRAM is the older version of DDR memory. The ‘SDRAM’ acronym stands for ‘Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory’. This is the most popular type of memory used in computers today.
7. nVidia Now, the term ‘nVidia’ refers to a 3D graphics card company. So if your laptop spec has ‘nVidia graphics card’ in it, you will know it has a dedicated graphics card built into it to render graphics for games and multimedia.
8. Wireless 802.11 The term ‘Wireless 802.11′ used to stump the heck out of me. Well, now I know better. Just remember that wireless technology in laptops and desktops come in 3 flavors – Wireless 802.11a, Wireless 802.11g and Wireless 802.11n. Wireless 802.11n is the latest and greatest in terms of speed.
9. UMPC ‘UMPC’ is a relatively new term in the laptop market. It refers to ‘Ultra Mobile Personal Computer’. We’re talking about the likes of the ASUS EeePC 900, MSI Wind and the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC. These computers are smaller than conventional laptops but are bigger than say, your PDA. And this category of computing device is literally taking the world by storm.
10. Operating System The term ‘Operating System’ is critically important for all your computer related purchases. You need to decide if you want Windows XP, Linux, Windows Vista, etc. installed in your laptop. These days, most laptops come with Windows Vista pre-installed – check if it is the Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows Vista Ultimate version. If you use the laptop mostly for home computing, Windows Vista Home Premium will do just fine.
Conclusion I hope this article has taught you some key terms you need to know about laptops. This will certainly help you out when you’re purchasing or upgrading your laptop. The more you learn about laptops, the less likely you’ll be stumped or cheated by laptop salesmen. So it’s definitely good to brush up knowledge there. I’ve consolidated a lot of basic laptop information into a little guide book. If you’d like to find out more about laptop basics, be sure to to download it.
Francua Smith is a skilful Computer specialist who has a lot of experience on laptop computers. He will help you to choose your own skilful laptop computer.