Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
DarkHelmet

Computer Jargon Manual

Recommended Posts

Technology is always changing and it wasn't that long ago that Computers were used almost exclusively for Business. Now they're not only used for Business but also for Entertainment and the components that make up a Computer along with all the specifications or values associated with said components can make anyone that isn't literate in Computer jargon stare at it until they're blue in the face. It wasn't that long ago that I was one of those people but through a ton of reading and research I slowly learned what each component does along with what most of the specifications on components mean. Granted I will say that I'm not perfect(so CompFreak or anyone more knowledgeable, feel free to correct me by editing or replying) but below is my own personal Computer Jargon Manual.

 

To start, I highly recommend you take a look at this site: ComputerHope Jargon. When I started out, I found this website and it was a lifesaver trying to figure out what was important and what each specification was for. Much of what I will post here comes from that site along with my own personal take.

 

CPU: AKA Central Processing Unit and is basically the calculator of the Computer. The more cores it has, the more calculations it can do. The frequency of each core also determines how quickly they can do said calculations so the higher the frequency, the more calculations it can do per second. Hence 4.2 GHz is faster than 4.0 GHz. When looking at CPU's, you want to see what their frequency is(faster the better), #cores(generally the sweet spot for gaming is 4), the number of PCI-Express lanes it can support(see Motherboard below for more info) and what socket it has(corresponds to what type of Motherboard you'll need).

 

Motherboard: I consider Motherboards to be the Computer's Nervous system. Everything in the Computer, including the CPU is connected to it. When looking at Motherboards, especially for the first time, its like looking at a jigsaw puzzle with you having little or no idea what goes where. Fortunately there are helpful diagrams and how-to videos online for one to utilize when putting components of a Computer together. When picking out a Motherboard, the most important thing to note is what socket it has for the CPU. If the Motherboard won't accept your CPU, what's the point in buying it? That's why the general rule of thumb is to buy the CPU first, then get the corresponding Motherboard. In addition to having the right socket, you'll want to note how many Expansion slots there are(PCI-Express for example), RAM or Memory slots(I'll explain what RAM is below), what speed of RAM it supports(Your CPU supports a certain speed of RAM naturally but a Motherboard can support speeds faster than what the CPU normally does with a tweaking of its Memory settings in the BIOS) and other slots(like USB). Also look to see if its SLI and/or Crossfire capable(see GPU for more info). Most current Motherboards are able to do both.

 

RAM: Also known as Memory, RAM is basically short-term memory that allows the CPU and other hardware to access data faster. Most common form of RAM today is SDRAM which has evolved into DDR4. DDR5 is on the horizon with other forms of RAM currently in development. When it comes to RAM, the most important aspect is SPEED or the MHz value associated with it. Although its CAS value, aka CAS Latency has some impact, its not as noticeable as the SPEED. Amount of RAM you can have in a Computer is dictated by the Motherboard. Certain Motherboards can support upwards of 64 GB while others go up to 128 GB. With the development of DDR5 and newer Motherboards that ceiling will certainly be breached. When it comes to gaming however, the sweet spot Gamers push for is 16-32 GB. Unless you're doing hardcore programming or tasks that require tons of RAM, there is no reason to go overboard on filling every single Memory slot.

 

GPU: Also known as the Video or Graphics Card, this is what makes Gaming the surreal and exciting experience it is today. The power of these components has come a LONG way over the last 25 years and has basically made Gaming on 4k Monitors a reality. Be sure to check what connectors your GPU has. Most current Monitors use DVI, although I read that the latest NVidia GTX 1080 Titan lacks a DVI connector(meaning you must use HDMI). When it comes to GPU's, amount of Graphics Memory, as well as speed, matters. The former King of Graphics Cards was the NVidia Titan XP but that was claimed by the GTX 1080Ti due to shattering performance records previously held by the Titan XP. There are newer cards always coming out so don't be ashamed if you buy a really good GPU card and a few months later a new one comes out as the card you bought should last you awhile. When connecting a GPU, you want to place it in a PCI-E slot. That way it performs optimally. SLI or Crossfire simply means that you have one or more of the same GPU working in tandem. SLI is for NVidia GPU's while Crossfire is for ATI or AMD GPU's. Most gamers won't need more than 1, at most 2 GPU's. Only if you're doing heavy computer animation or graphics intensive work would you consider investing in 2 or more.

 

Power Supply: Basically the Battery or source of power for your Computer. When picking out a Power Supply, you first have to figure out what power demands your Computer will require. Higher end GPU's tend to require more power, as does higher-end CPU's. Using PCPartpicker is a great way to determine your power needs. The other important factor when picking out a Power Supply is its grade. The Grade determines how efficient the Power Supply is at certain loads and typically the higher the grade, the more efficient the Power Supply is. Whether its worth the cost is up to you but frankly I find anything above Gold to be pushing it. I mean you could do Platinum but Titanium is overkill as I see it.

 

Computer Chassis: AKA the Case, this is basically the protecting layer of skin that prevents foreign contaminants along with other objects from damaging the delicate hardware that makes up your Computer. Is it fool-proof? No and cleaning the innards may become necessary over time. Computer cases come in all different shapes and sizes and some even come with built-in cooling mechanisms such as fans or water cooling radiators.

 

Sound Card: Sound cards were a thing back during the 90's and early 2000's. Today their use has fallen off but a Sound Card can make listening to games or music through Speakers an exemplary experience. They're also a relatively inexpensive hardware component compared to GPU's or even CPU's.

 

Monitor: A Monitor is where the Operating System runs in a GUI(Graphical User Interface) that Apple pioneered back in the 80's. Initially, Monitors were basically condensed modified versions of CRT(Cathode Ray Tube) Televisions but now they are flat panel LED(Light Emitting Diode) with resolutions approaching 3840x2160(if not beyond that). When selecting a Monitor, note its dimensions(size diagonally), aspect ratio, resolution, its refresh rate(noted in Hertz) and its response time(noted in miliseconds). If you're into FPS games, response time is very important(anything 5ms or below is acceptable, although lower/faster the better). Also important is what FPS(Frames per Second) you get. This is determined by your Monitor's refresh rate, what game your playing and on what settings. Your GPU has certain FPS benchmarks for certain games and they can be found online. When it comes to Monitors, standard is 60 Hz or 60 FPS but some Monitors go as high as 144 Hz. You also might want to note if the Monitor is G-Sync or FreeSync capable. This is for NVidia and ATI/AMD GPU's respectively. Below is a video explaining what GSync is. FreeSync is basically the same thing but for their respective GPU's.

 

 

I or others will add/edit or otherwise update this manual when needed. If you need How to videos and what not, its not hard to find them. Also, if someone wouldn't mind placing a sticky, id appreciate it.

Edited by DarkHelmet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://outervision.com/power-supply-calculator

 

I use the free online utility above to determine power needs of a system, based on the components and devices you may have, including overclock settings / wear & tear / expected lifespan / etc. it really is a very useful tool!

 

CPU's: *Not all cpu cores are equal!!!

Edited by CompFreak(OD)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/24/2017 at 4:17 PM, CompFreak(OD) said:

http://outervision.com/power-supply-calculator

 

I use the free online utility above to determine power needs of a system, based on the components and devices you may have, including overclock settings / wear & tear / expected lifespan / etc. it really is a very useful tool!

 

CPU's: *Not all cpu cores are equal!!!

Not a bad tool indeed but it requires knowing every little thing you'd have plugged in and that's right down to every optical drive, wifi card or other hardware devices. As for your other comment, care to elaborate on that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd pick a dual core 3.2 GHz over a quad core 2.2 GHz all day.  Most games don't handle multiple cores well, so you want that single core clock speed. (Same with a lot of applications).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Hikato said:

I'd pick a dual core 3.2 GHz over a quad core 2.2 GHz all day.  Most games don't handle multiple cores well, so you want that single core clock speed. (Same with a lot of applications).

 

I really depends... if you are choosing an AMD dual core 3.2 ghz over an Intel quad core @ 2.2 ghz, then you would be wrong.  Which leads to my previous statement of "not all cores are created equal".  Current gen (FX processors by AMD and Skylake by intel) puts AMD at a severe disadvantage. For the past 5 or so years, every Intel Core has been processing as much as 2 AMD cores, but the newest Ryzen processors have been keeping up with the intel cores, blow for blow recently.

 

However, even within Intel, a skylake i7 vs. an x99 i7, as for single core performance, the skylake has shown that it is a more powerful single-core performer than even the more expensive x99 based processors. This is why many have stated that for gaming only, a "mainstream" processor is more preferable than an "enthusiast" processor, due to the fact that games currently do not have the ability to take advantage of more than 4 cores at a time. The "enthusiast" processors, meaning the x99 based, only excel at gaming when running multiple applications simultaneously while gaming. (See video below)

 

... And this video:

 

 

...Now mind you, I used to have an AMD fx-8350 (8-core) overclocked to 5.0 ghz, and from all benchmarks I ran, it was equivalent of an Intel I5 (quad core) clocked at 4.0 ghz...

Edited by CompFreak(OD)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To clarify, my dual <-> quad comparison was strictly Intel. :P  I've kinda counted AMD out of the fight for the last few years, although I have been hearing that Ryzen line is pretty impressive.


And majority of games don't support more than a single core.  More are starting to support it, but not many truly do.  More cores is generally better for multitasking (which is exactly what they're testing in the Linus video).

Edited by Hikato

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...