Get an Understanding of
Computer Terms

If you’re upgrading your PCs, you might run into many IT terms and computer-related words and phrases that are difficult to understand. We’re to help you know what you’re getting!


Also known as 'chip' or 'CPU', the processor controls everything your computer does. It lets you do several things like work, email and surf - all at the same time. More powerful processors are better for more demanding tasks so get one that performs a little above your current needs.


The computer uses random access memory (RAM) to process what the user is doing as they are doing it. This includes multitasking, writing a letter, editing a photo or browsing a web site. 4GB of RAM should be enough for most of your everyday needs, and you can always upgrade and add more RAM later.

Hard Drive

Think of the Hard Disk Drive (HDD) as your computer’s long-term memory. It acts as a filing cabinet for your documents, data, media files and so on. The size or capacity of a hard drive is measured in gigabytes. If you plan on storing a lot of videos and other big files, get a larger hard drive. Another option is to purchase an external USB 2.0 hard drive. Some new notebook PCs now use solid-state drives (SSD) with no moving parts, making them more resistant to shock, quieter and with faster information access.

Processor Number

Acting like a serial number, the processor number differentiates features within a processor family, with a higher number generally indicating more features. You can use this number to verify that your chosen processor includes the features you want. Keep in mind that processor numbers do not work across different processor families.

Intel® HD Graphics

Available as a built-in visual feature on selected Intel® Core™ processors, Intel® HD Graphics enables discrete 3D graphics performance without the added cost of a separate graphics card. You’ll enjoy crisp images with the highest frames per second for mainstream videos.

Intel® Quick Sync Video

Intel® Quick Sync Video accelerates hardware performance during video editing, burning and sharing to significantly reduce waiting time from hours to just minutes.

Intel® InTru™ 3D Technology

Watch Blu-ray videos in stereo 3D and full 1080p resolution on your computer with Intel® InTru™ 3D Technology.

Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0

A feature available on selected 4th gen Intel® Core™ processors, Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 automatically provides an even greater boost of speed to reduce lag time to meet the heavy processing demands of high-end apps.

Integrated Graphics

A graphics component needed to view images. Integrated graphics offers the performance for everyday tasks like watching HD videos, viewing photos and creating presentations. Standard in selected Intel® Core™ processors, integrated graphics improve graphics performance and notebook battery life.

Intel® Clear Video Technology

Intel® Clear Video Technology delivers higher visual performance for sharper images, richer colour and superior audio and video playback.

Intel® Wireless Display

This built-in visual feature allows you to wirelessly view your personal content, online TV shows, movies and videos on your home TV screen.

Clock Speed

Just like a stopwatch, clock speed measures how fast your processor performs one activity cycle. A faster clock speed enables your computer to execute instructions more quickly, benefitting most applications from spreadsheets to video editing and more. Clock speed rates are shown in gigahertz (GHz). (See GHz)

Gigahertz (GHz)

A unit to measurement commonly used to express processor speed, also referred to as clock speed. 1 Gigahertz (GHz) = 1 billion cycles per second. A higher number used to mean a faster processor, but advances in technology have made chips more efficient. For this reason it’s not advisable to compare performance based on GHz or clock speed alone. (See Clock Speed)

nm (nanometre)

A unit of measure, a nanometre (nm) is one-billionth of a metre. The transistors on Intel’s latest processors are just 32nm wide, with older models at 45nm and 65nm. The smaller size allows transistors to be packed more densely, leak less energy, produce less heat and switch faster, so processors run faster, use less power and are more energy-efficient.

Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology

Available on selected Intel® processors, Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology makes more efficient use of your processor so you can run demanding applications while maintaining system responsiveness. With this technology, multimedia enthusiasts can create, edit and encode heavy graphics files while running other applications, without losing performance.

Cores and Threads

Cores and threads go hand-in-hand. Multi-core processors are single chips that contain two or more distinct processors or execution cores in the same integrated circuit. Multi-threading allows each core to work on two tasks at once, letting you do more things at the same time for faster results.

Built-In Visuals

A group of technology features designed to enhance the visual experience delivered by the Intel® Core™ processors. Built-in visual features include Intel® Quick Sync Video, Intel® HD Graphics, Intel® Clear Video Technology and Intel® InTru™ 3D Technology.

Discrete Graphics

This graphics component comes as an additional graphics card. While ideal for high-end 3D designers and video editors, it doesn’t add much performance for most business users. It’s important to note that only more powerful processors can make full use of discrete graphics.

Intel® Smart Cache

A cache is a fast storage area where the processor keeps frequently accessed data. Intel® Smart Cache maximizes this data storage. It allows each processor core to utilize up to 100% of the space and pull data faster, improving overall performance for rich media applications and games.

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