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Hardware & Software Advice

Mobile Computer Maintenance, Repair, and I.T Technical Support Services for Kenilworth, Warwick, Royal Leamington Spa, Rugby, Stratford on Avon, Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire.

 

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RAM (Random Access Memory

184 pin DDR/DDR2/DDR3 Desktop Computer Memory 200 pin SODIMM Notebook Computer Memory

RAM is where your computer does it's internal calculations. This is NOT the same thing as hard disk space.

Computer Solutions of Kenilworth would suggest that you can never have too much RAM. It is a relatively cheap upgrade. The amount of RAM will to some extent govern the overall performance of your computer. Regardless of which processor you have installed, it will always benefit from an inexpensive RAM upgrade.

Most entry level PC's today are usually sold with 2GB of RAM. 32 bit Windows home systems with basic motherboards will utilise a maximum 4GB of RAM. However the actual amount you will be able to use is dependent on which motherboard you are using.

With the advent of 64 bit Windows Operating Systems, up to 128GB of RAM can be utilised. Laptop and desktop computers are now being sold with 8Gb of RAM as standard. The 64 bit Operating Systems can makes much better use of this than their 32 bit predecessors did. Computer Solutions can supply all types of RAM.

Hard Drive (Storage Capacity)

Hard Drive or 'Mass Storage' unit

The size of a hard drive is related to how much of your personal information and software applications that it can store.

As software becomes ever more advanced , it will require more space in which to work. Large hard drives are coming down in price, assuming the manufacturers don't get flooded again and it is not uncommon these days to see 1000Gb (1Tb) drives fitted to some high end computer systems.

SSD (Solid State Drives) are becoming more common too. Although still quite expensive in the larger sizes, they do have the benefit of no moving parts and being extremely quick. The prices of these are expected to drop in the short to medium term, eventually matching the prices of traditional mechanical hard drives.

Motherboard or Mainboard.

An ASUS High Quality Motherboard

Most computer motherboards have a degree of flexibility to which a range of processors can be installed, assuming it has the same type of processor socket. Motherboard flexibility and facilities are allied to the cost.

The more expensive the motherboard the better it will be and the more flexibility it is likely to have. One facility that the gaming fraternity look for is the ability to "overclock" a motherboard. This means to make it perform faster than it was originally designed to do so.

Processor Cooling.

CPU CoolerCPU Cooler

Increased speed will cause the processor or CPU to run hotter than usual so upgrading the fan or processor-cooler would be advisable.

Processor coolers come in all shapes, sizes and technologies. Generally speaking the type of cooler you will need will depends on whether you have an AMD or an Intel processor and how fast you want to want to run it.

 

A Word About Software

Most computers now come 'pre-installed' with your Windows or Ubuntu Operating System and either Microsoft Works or with Microsoft Office.

Computer Solutions would point out that neither MS-Works nor MS-Office have EVER been part of the Windows Operating System. They are both entirely separate but competing products from the same manufacturer, which are bundled with your computer, usually on the hard drive, in a special area called the "Recovery Partition", which is not always visible to the user.

When you first take delivery of your laptop or desktop computer, it will usually request that you make a set of "Recovery Disks". If you don't do this and the hard drive subsequently fails, the factory installed software cannot easily be reinstated. Depending on how the drive fails will also indicate whether you lose any data or not too.

This is even more disasterous should problems develop with the recovery partition on the hard drive. We see many people that still do not take the time to make their recovery disks and this is simply asking for trouble. All mechanical hard drives will fail one day !

This will mean the purchase of a recovery disk compatible with your computer or the purchase of the Operating System that were originally supplied with your computer. Theoretically this should be free since you already own the software licence in the first place, but this is rarely the case. Most branded manufacturers like Dell, HP, Acer and Toshiba will all more than likely charge for these disks.

Windows 8 makes this problem even more serious. If the hard drive on your machine should develop a fault, you may find that many of the restore tools supplied with Windows 8 simply will not work. We have witnessed this on a number of laptops very recently.

This means that you the user is then left with no option but to obtain a full replacement hard drisk from the computer manufacturer, with the original content.

Failing that you could buy the replacement hard drive and a new copy of Windows 8 but then why should you pay Microsoft again for something that you already own ?

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