Laptop Configuration Guide: What Spec Do I Need?
Did you know that the Fugaku computer in Japan is currently the fastest supercomputer in the world? It has more than 7 million cores and it will become fully operational in April 2021. Its configuration is capable of handling supercomplex problems including medical research, weather forecast, and more.
Although no machine matches the specs of the Fugaku supercomputer, it’s good to know more about a computer’s configuration. For example, your laptop configuration dictates your gaming experience and work productivity.
If you plan to buy a new laptop, make sure that you know more about its specs. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about laptop specs and how to configure your laptop.
Make Sure That You Have at Least 8GB of RAM
The random-access memory is more important than you might think. This is the place where applications and programs are run. The more RAM you have, the better. In our day and age, it’s recommended to have at least 8GB of RAM installed on your laptop.
Anything less than that will make multitasking difficult, even if you’re a casual laptop user. 8GBs of RAM is usually sufficient to keep a few browser tabs open, listen to music, maybe run a game in the background, etc.
If your budget is higher, you should go for 12GB or 16GB of RAM. This is ideal if you spend a lot of time in front of your computer and you run complex apps/games. Find out if your laptop’s RAM is also expandable. It’s nice to have a free slot where you can add 8 more GBs of RAM in the future if necessary.
If You Watch a Lot of Movies, Go for a Larger Screen
You can do so much on a laptop these days such as playing games, working, rendering video files, watching movies, etc. If Netflix is your best friend and you like to spend a lot of time watching movies, make sure that you get a laptop with a screen size of at least 15.6 inches.
This is the standard size for most laptops designed for movies and games. If you want even more visual real estate, go for a laptop with a 17.3-inch screen. This is probably the largest display size you can go for in a laptop and it offers you an immersive viewing experience.
On the other hand, if you travel a lot and you take the laptop with you, it’s recommended to go for a smaller display. Anything under 14 inches is advisable for those who want a portable laptop. Not only that your laptop will be lighter, but it will also fit almost all bags and cases with ease.
Check out these Cyber Monday laptop deals to find a machine with a large-enough screen to accommodate your needs.
Opt for a Full HD Resolution
Display size and display resolution are two different things. The first refers to the physical size of the screen. The second refers to the number of pixels your screen has. The more pixels, the clearer the image.
There are several standard resolutions you can go for when it comes to a laptop’s display. The most popular are HD (1280 x 720 pixels), full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) and 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels). Ideally, you should go for a full HD resolution if your budget allows it.
A full HD display is capable of showing crisper, clearer images, and more attractive colors. Your viewing experience will be taken to the next level and you’ll see a big difference when you play games too.
If your budget allows you, it’s also a good idea to go for a 4K screen, but keep in mind that this will rapidly drain battery life. If you’re a casual user and don’t really care about display resolution, you could do fine with an HD screen too. Just that you won’t get the clearest and most vivid images possible.
Go for an SSD if You Want a Fast Booting Time
SSD stands for a solid-state drive. It provides a better and more reliable way of storing data in comparison with the classic HDD. Most modern laptops come with an SSD configuration and this provides a plethora of advantages.
First of all, SSD is insanely fast. You’ll be able to enjoy faster data transfer speeds and your operating system will load quicker too. Games run smoother when installed on SSD and so do other software programs and applications. The downside is that the SSD costs more.
If you don’t plan on installing large games on your laptop, you might want to go for a configuration with 128GB or 256GB of SSD. This allows you to enjoy a smoother and quicker computer experience without spending too much money.
On the other hand, if you plan to store large files on your laptop, go for a combination of SSD + HDD. install the operating system on the SSD to reap faster-loading speeds. Leave the HDD for large games, movies, and music collections.
An i3 Is Good for Basic Needs, i5 and Higher for Advanced Users
Let’s talk about one of the most important components of your laptop – the CPU or central processing unit. This is the brain that makes your computer tick and puts all other components to work. If you have a high-performance CPU, chances are that your laptop will remain usable for years to come.
Most laptops come with Intel processors because these are the most advanced. You could also go for the Ryzen processors from AMD. if you casually use your laptop and don’t need too much processing power, an Intel i3 processor should do the trick for you.
This configuration is usually powerful enough to allow light multitasking, internet browsing, and playing videos on full HD resolution. However, if you want to play the latest games or render large video files, you need at least an i5 processor.
Keep in mind that an i5 or i7 processor is designed for heavy users. If you plan to produce music with your laptop, edit large photos, or play the latest games, these are the processors you should look for. Be prepared to also take more money out of your pocket.
Ideally, go for a processor that has at least 2 cores. Some of them have 4 or even 8 cores and this is a good thing when it comes to performance. Having more cores means that your computer is capable of doing more work and handling multitasking with ease.
The Video Card Should Reflect Your Daily Computer Habits
Apart from the processor and RAM, there’s also the video card. This is a specially-designed component that handles images, animations, videos, and anything related to visuals. Most laptops come with an integrated video card, but if you want to play the latest games, you need a dedicated one.
For example, try to go for at least 2GB of video RAM. This means that your laptop will have 2 additional GBs of RAM just to handle images and animations. Avid gamers usually go for about 4GB of video RAM and this allows you to play most games with the details set on “Ultra”.
If you routinely edit photos or render videos in special software programs, you need a better video card as well. That’s why you should analyze your computer habits and see what’s best for you – a standard integrated video card for casual users or a high-performance one for gamers and videographers.
Go for a Backlit Keyboard Because Why Not?
One of the most exciting features of a modern laptop is to have a backlit keyboard. Although most basic models don’t have this feature, it can be very practical and it’s worth spending more money to get it.
Backlit keyboards allow you to easily type in the dark. You don’t need additional light sources, just your screen, and keyboard. Most models come with standard backlighting, but some gaming laptops allow you to configure an RGB keyboard.
This means that you can assign it any color you want and even set specific colors for different groups of keys. Your laptop will look much more attractive and your gaming experience will be taken to the next level.
Although you can do just fine without a backlit keyboard, why shouldn’t you have this cool feature? It adds personality to your laptop and it can increase your productivity. Be prepared to spend a little more money for a laptop with a backlit keyboard, but chances are that you won’t regret this decision.
Go Ahead and Find the Perfect Laptop Configuration for Your Needs!
Now that you’ve completed a quick course on laptop configuration and basic specs, it’s time to find your ideal machine. Go online and see multiple types of laptops with different configurations. This will help you narrow down your list and find a balance between price, performance, and portability.
As a tip, write your priorities down. Do you use your laptop primarily for gaming? Are you a writer or videographer? Do you prefer to watch movies and online videos? Based on your preferences, you’ll eventually come up with the right decision.
And don’t forget to check out the other articles on our website to learn more about laptops, gaming, and tech in general.