Don't know your USB from your PCIe or your RAM from your ROM? We explain some commonly used terms.
Central processing unit, also called the processor or chip. This is the engine of the computer. Generally the higher the processing speed, the better your computer will perform.
Double Data Rate Random Access Memory. A very fast type of RAM (see below). DDR2 is even faster.
A separate graphics processing card with memory specifically allocated to graphics.
A very fast port, often used for transferring data from a video or digital camera.
Gigabyte. A measurement of data. 1GB=1024MB.
Hard disk drive. The central storage area of your computer for files and programs.
A chip on the motherboard that shares the video memory with the processor. These generally don't perform as well as dedicated graphics cards.
Megabyte. A measurement of data.
Your computer has two types of memory: long term (hard-drive) and short term (RAM).
Also known as PCI Express, this is the most common internal connection slot on modern computers for attaching components such as dedicated video cards and sound cards.
Random access memory. RAM stores information only when the computer's power is on.
Read Only Memory. ROM stores information even when the computer's power is off. Most often used to hold instructions for the computer rather than storing user data.
Universal serial bus. A very common port for attaching peripherals such as scanners, digital cameras and printers.