Notebook Check: You must pay attention to this when buying

Shoe shopping is very simple compared to computer shopping: with a single number you are likely to find a pair that fits. Sellers in electronics stores, on the other hand, have a tendency to confused number and letter combinations to throwwhen they advertise their devices. What good is RAM? And how much do you need from it? explains what to look out for. And if you find the purchase of a computer still complicated after that, do not worry: How many techies could probably do with sizes such as 75 C something?

1. The processor - the heart of the machine

The seller says: "You get a 2.0 GHz XY processor, 1 MB L2 cache and 533 MHz FSB."

The seller says: The processor is the heart of the computer - it transports the computing power. Its speed depends on how fast your programs are running. Its performance is given in gigahertz (GHz) - the more, the better. You can safely ignore the other information.

Is that good for you?"A processor with 2.0 gigahertz is currently common"says EDV consultant Konstanze Gerhard (, because the Windows Vista operating system and standard programs such as Word require a lot of computing power for everyday tasks such as e-mailing, surfing the Internet, editing texts and spreadsheets very well served with 2 to 2.4 GHz.

On the next page: That's how much memory you need

2. The memory - here is calculated

The seller says: "The device has 1024 MB of RAM."

The seller says: RAM is the abbreviation for Random Access Memory and refers to the main memory - the brain of the computer. If the computer does not have enough of it, it takes longer to work on tasks. Incidentally, 1024 megabytes (MB) equals one gigabyte (GB).

Is that good for you? "Standard are now two gigabytes of memory," says Konstanze Gerhard. But you definitely do not need more than 3 gigabytes - because so much memory Windows can not manage.

On the next page: How much space should be on the hard drive?

3. The hard drive - your data warehouse

The seller says: "You have 160GB of HDD capacity here."

The seller says: HDD stands for "hard disk drive" and refers to the hard disk - the place where the computer stores all the data and does not forget even when you turn it off.

Is that good for you? The larger the disk, the more data you can store on your computer. Konstanze Gerhard recommends the new purchase 160 to 250 gigabytes of storage space, You can also burn your digital photos, music and other large files that you do not need all the time to CDs or DVDs.

On the next page: Which resolution is best

4. Screen and Resolution - you can see that

The seller says: "The resolution is 1,280 x 800 WXGA pixels, on a 15.4-inch screen."

The seller says: 1 inch equals 2.54 centimeters. The number indicates the diagonal across the screen. So with this device that's almost 40 centimeters. At the resolution applies: The higher it is, the smaller the font appears. The indication WXGA means that the resolution can also optimally represent wide film formats.

Is that good for you? For a notebook, a screen size of 15.4 inches is standard. In contrast, a monitor for a PC should, according to IT expert Gerhard quietly measure 19 inches. The resolution of 1,280 x 1024 is ideal: "At higher values, the letters are often so small that they are difficult to read." Of course, you can also watch movies on screens that do not have WXGA resolution - then the picture is just a little smaller and square.

On the next page: You need to know about the graphics card

5. The graphics card - for a nice picture

The seller says: "There's an XY graphics card with up to 256MB shared memory VRAM in there."

The seller says: The graphics card is a small device that controls the display of data on the screen. Depending on the size of the data, it requires additional storage space.

Is that good for you? You only have to invest in a high-quality graphics card if you want to play computer games with elaborate graphics. If you only need the calculator for simple games, movies, text editing and surfing, you need to to worry about the graphics card and probably get along with the one that's already included. When in doubt, ask best if the video card is right for your favorite game.

On the next page: These connections are useful

6thUSB and other interfaces - how to find a connection

The seller says: "It has a VGA, DVI-D and SPDIF output, you have 4 USB 2.0 ports and one each for modem, firewire, headphone and microphone."

The seller says: Today, USB is the most common system for connecting data carriers (USB sticks) or devices (such as printers, scanners or mice). Similarly, Firewire, developed by Apple competition system for USB technology. Via VGA you can connect a notebook to a projector or external monitor and via the DVI-D output to a cinema projector. An SPDIF interface is used to transfer digital audio files.

Is that good for you? Two to three USB ports should bring a notebook, a PC at least six. Konstanze Gerhard gives the tip: "See where the connections are, Ideally, they are on the front of the PC, on the left side of the notebook - this is the only way to easily plug and unplug devices and do not interfere with the use of the mouse on the right side of the notebook. "Headphones and microphones are required when making calls over the Internet Firewire you probably do not need - and if you do not want to connect your computer with a cinema projector, TV or stereo, you can also do without the other outputs.

On the next page: How to get online

7. The network card - ticket to the Internet

The seller says: "The device has a 100BASE-TX network card as well as WLAN 802.11a / b / g as well as an analogue modem for communication purposes."

The seller says: A network card allows the computer to be connected to a DSL modem or router via a network cable (LAN) or a wireless network (WLAN) that allows you to dial into the Internet. It also lets you communicate with other devices, e.g. sharing a printer within the family. The number 100 means that the network card transmits 100 megabits per second (Mbps). With an analog modem, you can connect to the Internet if your home does not have a DSL connection.

Is that good for you? IT specialist Konstanze Gerhard recommends a transmission rate of 100 Mbps for cable networks? this is usually enough to download larger files quickly. Wi-Fi is handy if you want to surf the sofa and the kitchen table with your notebook - however, wireless data transmission is slower, Make sure that your computer and the router - which sends and receives the signals between the computer and the telephone line - are WPA2-encrypted. This makes your network hard to crack from the outside. You only need an analog modem in a few regions in Germany today.

On the next page: These questions should be put to the battery

8. The battery - energy supplier for on the way

The seller says: "The notebook runs on a 4-cell, 65 Wh lithium-ion battery."

The seller says: The performance of the battery depends on the number of cells (between 3 to 12, again here: the more the better) and is expressed in watt-hours (Wh).

Is that good for you? The easiest way is to ask about the battery life. If you travel frequently with your notebook, the energy should last for two to three hours, advises the expert. The batteries are among the heaviest components of the computer, If you want to take the device with you regularly, make sure that the notebook together with the battery and the power adapter does not weigh more than three and a half kilograms.

What You MUST Know Before Buying A Computer (October 2020).

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