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RAM, CPU, Hard Drive

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RAM, CPU, Hard Drive

Old 12-29-01, 11:25 AM
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RAM, CPU, Hard Drive

In novice terms, what are the basic functions of the computer's RAM, CPU, and Hard Drive, and how do they interact with one another?

Which of these need to be upgraded to make the computer run faster?
Old 12-30-01, 02:51 AM
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RAM is the equivalent of a human's short term memory. The computer will store information is needs to work with in RAM. It does this because it's fast to access info in RAM than it is on the hard drive. I've heard it being explained as going to your fridge for milk (RAM) vs. going cross country to get milk (Hard drive). RAM is volitile, meaning once you turn your computer off or reset it all the info in RAM is lost. No need to really worry about this though.

Your hard drive is where all of your files are stored. This includes the operating system, program files, word documents, pictures, movies, etc.

The CPU is the brain of the whole computer. The acronym CPU or Central Processing Unit is exactly what it says, it's the place where all the information is processed. Programs send instructions to the CPU and the CPU does them.

Making your computer run faster can be done in a variety of methods. If you want to speed it up without buying anything then defrag it. But if you want to buy new parts each one will improve performance. Some are just more noticable than others. A faster CPU will allow your computer to get more done in a shorter amount of time. More RAM isn't necessary good. Having 256 megs is about what you want to have on a modern computer. You're not going to notice your computer being faster if you have 512, 1 gig, etc. A faster hard drive will improve performance since the computer can access more info faster. It's like trying to run water through a straw compared to running water through a hose.

Since I don't know what the specs on your computer are I can't really recommend what you should upgrade. If your CPU is less than 800 MHz I'd upgrade that first. If it's faster than 800 MHz I'd get a 7200 RPM hard drive. And RAM is so cheap now-a-days that you have no excuse to buy a lot.
Old 01-03-02, 01:28 AM
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Thank you so much for the detailed reply. It brought clarity to the little that I already knew about these things.

Scott
Old 01-03-02, 01:53 AM
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np, glad I could provide a little help.

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