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Tech Terms You Should Understand Before You Buy A Laptop

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Once in a while, we wish to get a new laptop. This could be your first or just an upgrade from your current computer that is getting caught up by Father Time.

But what we can all agree on is that choosing the best laptop is pretty hard. Some would even say that it’s one of the hardest personal pieces of tech to choose from. There are lots of brands and more importantly, terminologies to choose from.

This can be even harder for a layman that just wants a good laptop but can’t seem to grasp what all the techy words really mean. “What is a processor and how do I choose the best?” How does RAM affect my choice of a laptop? And what are even all this SSD and hard drive that I keep hearing about?

Well, fear not for you are in the right place where we will help you understand what some of these terms really mean(or at least we hope so).

SSD or Hard Drive?

SSD v HDD

Image courtesy Avast

When it comes to storage, you will hear that trader using either of or both of these two terms. A hard drive is simply an old-school storage device that keeps all your files a moving read/write head to access data.

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On the other hand, SSD(solid-state drive) is a newer version of storage devices that brands are using a lot more with most of their newer laptops. The SSD is considered to be much faster and noticeably helps in the general performance of your laptop. This is mostly because consists of individual memory cells storing bits that are instantly accessible by the controller.

So, opening apps and files like videos or images become much faster with a laptop that has a solid-state drive.

However, when it comes to storage space, the traditional hard drive still reigns supreme to this day. Most laptops these days come with with a 128GB orĀ 256GB SSD. The equivalent would happen to be 1TB and 2TB hard drive respectively.

A 1TB hard drive stores eight times as much as a 128GB SSD and four times as much as a 256GB SSD. So you can just imagine how much a 2TB hard drive stores in comparison to the SSD. But it’s all up to you. Do you want more storage space or just better performance with your laptop?

Processor: Intel or AMD?

intel-core-i7-cu-laptops

Image courtesy Digital Trends

I have personally had to question myself over what is better between Intel and AMD? First, you should know that these are just two different companies that are now competing in trying to make the best processor chips in the PC market.

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Intel has been here for a while so it is likely that the Kenyan market has been getting AMD processors over the last few years.

However, AMD has been bravely pushing back against the dominant Intel by making chips worthy of being used in high-end laptops. Some of the latest AMD Ryzen CPUs are now considered to compete against Intel’s latest Core i3, i5,i7 and i9 chips.

But when it comes to trust, it is clear that Intel still holds the mantle considering the huge experience the company has. If you are choosing high-end performance laptops for video editing or gaming, we would recommend Intel Core i7 and Core i9 chips in their latest generations.

If you are one that still wants AMD, then Ryzen 7 chips work the best. If your needs are just for average work or school, then Ryzen 5 works just as fine for you.

In general, though, it is still clear that Intel processors are still preferred across the board over AMD. It is all up to you to choose whether you want the new kid or old man.

RAM

Out of all tech terms used, you’ve probably had RAM the most. Whether it’s for smartphones or laptops, you will hear techies asking each other, “RAM yake ni ngapi?

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RAM (Random Access Memory) is also referred to as system memory. It is a computer device that temporarily carries software and files in current use. So, once you open software, it is loaded from the hard drive or SSD. The task is then handed over to the RAM that determines how well the software runs or whether it is even kept open.

So, when you open several apps at the same time it is the RAM’s job to make sure that they all run at the same time.

The bigger your memory size is, the better your laptop can handle several apps. The most common size for midrange laptops happens to be 8GB. Lower-end models would happen to have 4GB although that would be classified as too low.

High-end laptops now including gaming PCs go with RAM as high as 12GB or even 24GB.

8GB would be the best for basically anyone. If you can afford to buy laptops with higher, then good for you.

*When it comes to resolution, there is so much that we have to explain that we had to do it separately.

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