What Are Specs: A Complete Guide to Computer System Information

Shopping for new computers is incredibly exciting…and confusing if you aren’t familiar with computer system information lingo.

Computer manufacturers try to help you make informed decisions by providing PC hardware specifications, or specs for short. So, what are specs? It’s a summary of a computer’s internal components and other system information, including RAM, processor, and operating systems.

With PC specs, you’ll better understand how powerful a laptop or desktop computer can be. Being familiar with important terms will even help you choose which device is perfect for work, gaming, or both! Keep reading to take a big leap toward understanding your PC better.

PC Specs You Need to Remember

Let’s begin by discussing the important hardware specs of a computer: the processor, RAM, storage, and graphic processing unit. Stores commonly display their products with the following details on hardware components:

    1. Processor

The central processing unit (CPU) is the brain of a computer that’s responsible for processing all instructions and calculations to run the device. It’s also a tiny yet powerful chip that interprets all computer commands and ensures your operating system works smoothly.

    a. Processor Core

This component is a processing unit that reads instructions to perform specific actions. Here are the six most common types of processor cores and the year they were first released in:

  • Single-core (1971);
  • Dual-core (2005);
  • Quad-core (2009);
  • Hexa-core (2010);
  • Octa-core (2014); and
  • Deca-core (2017).

Usually, as the “core” of a processor increases, so does its power, speed, and performance. This is because the processing of work gets divided among each of them.

Let’s use the HP ProBook 450 Notebook as an example; it features a quad-core unit, offering excellent performance and multitasking capabilities. This makes it possible for you to use heavy photo or video editing software and even heavy games.

    b. Processor Type

While there are many processor brands out there, you’re likely to have already encountered the specs Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7 before, which are Intel’s three families of consumer-grade processors and among the most popular ones you’ll encounter on the market. What do they mean?

Well, Intel’s first Core processors made their debut in 2006. Since then, more than a dozen generations of Intel Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 CPUs (and even Core i9!) have been released.

Intel Core i3 – comes with value-packed processors to deliver outstanding performance for basic, everyday tasks.

Intel Core i5 – provides exceptional performance for home and business PCs—perfect for gaming, creativity, and multitasking.

Intel Core i7 – offers accelerated computing supporting high-end gaming, connectivity, and security. It performs excellently for the most demanding tasks.

Intel Core i9 – delivers 4K Ultra HD and 360-degree video, robust gameplay, and ultra-fast multitasking performance.

As for the HP ProBook 450 Notebook, its Core i5 processor is perfect for web browsing, basic work, and gaming.

    c. Maximum Turbo Speed

This refers to the frequency a CPU targets when stressed by demanding applications, such as editing software or games. It’s the maximum single-core frequency a CPU can possibly achieve while staying within safe temperature and power limits.

Again, if we take a look at the HP ProBook 450 Notebook, its maximum turbo speed stands at 4.20 GHz. The term “GHz,” refers to the speed of the processor’s internal clock. Each time the clock ticks, the processor can carry out instructions or read and write data. So, 4.20 GHz would mean it has 4.2 billion opportunities per second to execute an action.

On average, 3.5 to 4.2 GHz is a good speed for a processor—that means this laptop can withstand heavy-duty usage and is powerful enough to run multiple tasks at once!

 A computer’s processor chip

    2. Random Access Memory

Random access memory or RAM is a computer’s temporary memory storage. It’s what the processor uses to store data and retrieve it quickly when needed. RAM works by helping the processor deliver tasks like surfing the web or opening an application instantly.

However, don’t rely on the RAM for long-term storage because it wipes out everything as soon as you turn the computer off. That’s why you must invest in good storage, but more on that later.

RAM comes in 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, and 32 GB storage; now the question is—”How much RAM do I need?” Well, 4GB of RAM is the bare minimum memory needed to run a base computer model, which usually isn’t fast enough to run two applications at a time. 8GB RAM is enough for casual computer usage like web browsing and document creation. On the other hand, 32GB RAM is compatible with gaming, graphic designing, and coding, while 16GB RAM is the middle ground for both perks.

An employee uses a computer with 32GB RAM, perfect for coding.

    3. Storage

Let’s move on to the long-term or permanent storage solution aspect of computer specs. They’re called hard disk drives (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD), and these dictate how much memory a computer can handle.

HDDs are affordable storage devices that keep large amounts of data, but an SSD performs the same tasks as the former with a few extra steps. The latter works faster, consumes less energy, and retrieves stored data instantly in just one click.

When looking at computer specs, it’s best to go for a computer with an SSD because it promises better processing power and fast data retrieval. Although, you must be willing to increase your budget since this storage type is costly!

A side-by-side comparison of an HDD and an SSD component

    4. Graphics Processing Unit

In the list of computer specs, don’t forget to check the graphics processing unit (GPU) or graphics card! This primary component is responsible for enhancing computer graphics and image processing—think of it as the eyeglasses of a computer; upon wearing it, all pictures become high-definition.

If it’s a powerful work computer you need, the ENVY x360 Convert 15 is perfect. This device uses an AMD Radeon graphics card, offering stellar quality for images and other media. With 8 GB of RAM and 1 TB of SSD, you’re ready to finish all deliverables in no time!

A computer graphics card

Where to Find the Details: What Are the Specs of My Computer?

It’s easy to check your computer specs on Windows. Simply follow these instructions:

  • Go to the Windows settings menu, then click the gear icon displayed within that area. Doing so will lead you to the settings app.
  • Next, look for the ‘System’ tab, then click the ‘About’ button.
  • A page displaying your computer’s specs will appear on the screen.

You can also find computer specs by looking for the System Information app in the Windows search bar. Once it opens, look for the ‘System Summary’ tab for a detailed description of your computer’s hardware and Windows version.

Why Is It Important to Check Computer Specs?

Computer specs represent a notebook or desktop PC‘s power, capabilities, and limitations. Knowing all this information will help you make informed decisions and find the most suitable model for your needs.

With the right computer, you’re more likely to accomplish goals efficiently. The correct set of specs will boost productivity and morale, enabling you to finish strong at work, school, or wherever you’ll be using your device.

Learn All About the Details with Integr8

Understanding system specifications can feel like a daunting process, but Integr8 is here to help. We’re more than happy to guide you through all the components and make you well-versed in technology as you search for a computer that meets all your needs.

Browse our available products today and view their specs to see how they differ. If you have any questions, feel free to send us a message!

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