It can be a very confusing world in a shop looking for your new notebook or desktop computer. Bombarded with terms you are not familiar with can be daunting. The next few sentences will make the terms a little more clear.
HDD this refers to the Hard Disk Drive where information is stored on the computer along with the programs and operating system. The operating system on all new computers should be Windows 7 Home Premium. You have the option to upgrade to professional or ultimate. The first one is plenty for the home user and or student in the house. The hard disc drive is measured in Gigabytes, the larger the number here the more space you have to save files, music, movies and photos.
RAM is Random Access Memory, this is the component is loaded with information from the hard drive so that when it is needed it is displayed on the screen faster. Most RAM now is measured in Gigabytes like the hard drive, it is normally only around 2GB and in some computer stores they may offer an upgrade to 4GB or 8GB. Same as your hard drive the bigger the number the faster the computer can run.
CPU refers to the Central Processing Unit. This is the brains of the computer. Most new computers will have at minimum a Dual Core Processor. The newer i3 and i5 is still a Dual Core with the advantage of interlacing that is it can deal with more work than the standard dual core. The i7 processor is a quad core with interlacing so they act like its working with 8 processors.
DVD Drive also referred to as your Optical Drive, the basic model will have a DVD reader and most will have DVD burners now and some could have the new Blu Ray reader. You can find in the more expensive models a Blu Ray Burner. This drive depends if you need it or not.
USB ports are the ports you attach external devices to like your printer, camera, mobile phone and other items. The more ports mean you can have more items connected at the same time.
If you have digital cameras you may want your computer to have a media card reader installed most of them now have these card readers. For a small price you can purchase and external multi card reader that connects via the USB port for those computers that do not have it.
The screen or monitor is now and important part along with the processor that runs it, most computers now come with an average of 1GB of dedicated RAM to process the video or imagery. The next thing to consider is the screen size, for a desk top you can go to town with a monitor as large as you need provided you have the space on your desk for it. 22 inches is a good size to start for a desktop computer. With a notebook you have to consider the size more carefully as the larger the screen = more weight and the notebook becomes less portable than one with a smaller screen. 15 to 17 inch screens are thin and light weight enough to still be portable whereas the 19 to 22 inch laptop screens make them very large and harder to carry around.
All new computers purchased from a major chain like Dick Smith, Harvey Norman etc. will come with free trial software ranging from a 30 to 60 day trial of Office, most will come with a trial version of an antivirus and they all usually come with trial games. You will need to consider the purchase of Microsoft office if you have students or require it for home/Office use. There is the option of downloading for free Open Office which is an Open Source program that does the same job and is compatible with Microsoft; you can find more information here http://www.openoffice.org/ .
In the end a new computer for the home or your child who is nagging you for one comes down to the price. Compare prices look for the best deal and don’t be afraid to haggle, if it’s not on special they will normally reduce the price or throw in some discounted software or accessories.
This tip bit has been written with care, it is to give you the user options and understanding, you must do your research before purchasing a computer or downloading any software. Take care installing anything on your computer. Read every page as there are options to tick or un-tick depending on the program.