Past PC Recommendations
Past Mac Recommendations
Dell University Program
Apple Higher Education
FSB, or Front Side Bus, factors into how
quickly a processor can transfer data between itself and other components
such as the memory or the hard drive. 1066Mhz FSB indicates that a processor
can transfer data at 1,066,000,000 times a second.
RAM (Random Access Memory) is where the computer stores data needed for
running programs. SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory) is a type
of memory that runs quicker than most by synchronizing itself with the
processor's bus speed (see above).
Hard Drive: This is the computer's main storage device, where programs and files are kept. In the case of the desktop recommendation, the 250GB refers to the storage capacity.
The hard drive contains platters - disk-like
elements - and an actuator which moves across the platter retrieving or
recording information on the platters. The platters rotate at speeds of 5400
RPM or more. For desktop computers, we are recommending platters that rotate
at 7200 RPM.
Optical Drive: The "optical" here refers to lasers which can read and, in this case, write data on optical disks such as CDs and DVDs. The number before the "X" refers to the how many times faster than the first DVD drive the drive in question is. Thus, the drive recommended for both the desktop and notebook recommendations is 8 times faster than the first DVD drive.
The "+/-" indicates that the drive can use
both standards of DVD media: DVD+RW and DVD-RW (both of which can store
4.7GB of data). The "RW" indicates that the media is rewritable, or can be
recorded to and erased multiple times.
Ports: Device ports are the physical interface between a computer and peripheral devices or other computers.
USB (Universal Serial Bus) can transfer data to and from a wide range of peripherals, including mouse devices, keyboards, scanners, printers and digital cameras.
FireWire (or IEEE 1394) allows faster
transfer than USB, as it was developed for devices using larger amounts of
data, including digital camcorders, DVD players and digital audio equipment.
A computer display, or monitor, is the visual component of a computer. WSXGA+
(Wide Super eXtended Graphics Array) is a display of 1680 x 1050 pixels - a
"wide screen" ratio.
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