Computer specs?



I consider myself a pretty avid gamer, been playing games for the majority of my life, and as I start making gaming friends and playing more mmos and fps’, I’ve had people ask me about my PC. The specs, how much RAM, etc… can someone explain what all that is? I have a general idea but would like to know enough to be able to hold a conversation with someone. Also, how does one check their specs?

Edit: thanks so much for all the in depth replies! Learned a good bit as well 🙂

In: Technology

The PC specs are the physical components of your PC.

At the core they consist of your CPU, graphics card, hard drive, motherboard and RAM. Sometimes people mention stuff like their PC case, cooling, monitors or other peripherals.

You can either find them on the receipts from when you bought them or your computer has most of them listed at various locations. Task manager names the components in advanced view under the performance tab.

Partial answer only as you’re asking for a very long explanation because there are a lot of different specs.

To check specs, most online stores include a “spec sheet” as a downloadable page or columned report. Google a gaming computer’s model number and it usually takes you to a site that spells things out. These SHOULD be better than the minimum specifications listed by the game you’re targeting to play, the more they exceed minimal spec, the better.

If you google “how to buy a gaming rig”, you’ll almost certainly get the answer you’re looking for on individual components and what they do.

Here’s a guide on how to look up all your relevant specs:

RAM is random access memory. It’s temporary storage that all your programs and the operating system itself uses in order to quickly store and retrieve information. It’s a *lot* faster than storing it on a hard drive or even solid state drive, but it is also not long-term – once the program decides it’s done with it, that data gets cleared off so more data can be stored there. The more RAM the better, but there are also differences in how fast the RAM itself is (not as important as just knowing how much you have). Normal amounts of RAM these days are measured in Gigabytes (GB), generally from 4 to 16 GB, though you might have more (and hopefully not less).

The Central Processing Unit, CPU, is like the brain of the whole operation. It’s receiving tasks and figuring out how to load them or where to send them to get loaded and then sending that information back to the program so it can display all the information you need. The faster your processor the better. These days it’s measured in Gigahertz (gHz). There are also cores… those are like additional brains in the CPU itself that help it multitask even more.

You’ve also got your Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) which is like half processor and half RAM, and it’s designed *specifically* to handle all the visual effects and graphics renderings for games and videos and video software so that your *computer’s* RAM and CPU can be freed up for handling all the other stuff (sound, physics, background data, etc.).

Besides that you’ve got your permanent / long-term storage solutions, usually Hard Disk Drives (HDD – these are spinning disks) and Solid State Drives (SSD – think flash memory, like what you’d put in your cellphone or digital camera). HDD are cheaper but they have more moving parts and are slower to load data; SSD are more expensive but can load data much more quickly.

The easiest way to check your specks would be to check the system information, just go to the start menu and type system and a ”system information” option should appear

The main specks of a computer go mostly acording to what components your PC is made of, so they would be mostly CPU(processor), GPU(graphics card), RAM, system memory(hard drives and SSDs), these would be the components that mostly matter, other components of the PC would be the mother board, the PSU(power supply), and a bunch of other stuff you can use…

The CPU/processor is what you have probably already heard about intel i3, intel i7, Pentium, ryzen r5 and all of those, this is a kind of complicated thing because there are generations, and ”sizes” so a ryzen 3 is smaller than a ryzen 5, but a ryzen 3 of the last generation is better than a ryzen 5 of the last one… Think about them a bit like boxers, usually a 100kg boxer will be stronger than a 60kg boxer, like a intel i5 is stronger than an intel i3, but a 100kg boxer that is 60years old can be weaker than a 25yo 60kg boxer, so that’s why the generation matters… you can ”know” the generation by the numbers that go after the processor, so for example, an intel i5 9400F is the 9th generation the 400 means how good it is within its own generation and withing the i5, so usually there will be a bit of range within a same generation so you can have i5 9500, 9400, 9300 and such, usually the higher number means a slightly better processor, but it doesn’t usually change a lot… what it can change a lot is what comes after those numbers so for example, you can see a i5 9600K, the K means its unlocked and you can overclock it (overclocking is kind of asking the processor to put on the turbo) so having a processor with the K means you can increase its power, but something like G means it has a built in GPU, these built in gpu are usually ”ok” and they can be enough to run simple games like fornite, CSGO or LOL, when the name has a T or a U it means its designed to work using less power and being ”smaller” so its a good option for something like a laptop, this is what you usually find in laptops, but a T or U processor is usually much weaker than the ones without the T or a U (this is kind of a douche move from intel), as for AMD, the numbers work pretty much the same, but they don’t have K processors since all of their CPUs are unlocked…

Processors, for gaming, don’t matter too much, gaming doesn’t use that much processing power, so you’re usually good with something like an i5 or a R5, or even a modern i3/r3

What gaming depends on is mostly the GPU, the graphics card, this is quite a long thing to explain so I’m sorry but I continue later XD


Ok, you do have multi part question. I will start with the easiest one. How to find your specs. Easiest way is to push the “window” button on ur keyboard (or press the windows logo which is usually bottom left while you have the computer turned on) and type “system” one of the option that shows up should be “system information”.

This will get you an overload of all the specs. The main ones to look for are:

“installed Physical Memory (RAM)” : this shows much RAM you have. RAM is very fast small storage location, games use to temporary put the information they need for the game. So for example, the game will load your map into the RAM, so when you move from one room to another, instead of reading the shape of the room from the harddisk where the game was installed, they will read it from memory which is much faster. Thats partially what is happening during the “loading” stage of the game

“Processor”: That will have the name of the CPU processor you have, and inside the name usually there is a mention of A)speed which denoted with Mhz or Ghz, B) number of cores, and other stuff. for example Mine is : “AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 2700U w/ Radeon Vega Mobile Gfx, 2200 Mhz, 4 Cores”. So when i tell people about my cpu, i say, it is AMD(the company) Ryzen 7 (the model), 2.2 Ghz (the speed) 4 cores (number of cores). usually it is sufficient to say I have Ryzen7

Another important aspect, is your standalone graphics card. I do not have one on my laptop, but usually it will named something like

“Graphics processor”: this is very important for gaming, since how good that is more or less determines how good your gaming experience is… usually. It similar to the CPU name, it will have graphics card name, speed, and it might have the memory on the graphics card too (graphics card have their own temporary storage to access things fast )

Hopefully this helps

in the system info window, there are a loooooot of information about everything in your pc. You can get details about specific things in the other menus. Since this is only giving information, you can explore it, it is safe to look around there since you cannot change anything from that window.

I didnt rly get what you tried to ask, so i wrote some simple definitions of basic computer components.

RAM – this is basically a “short term memory” for your computer – RAM is very fast, but gets cleared when computer is turned off, and has much much less space on it than a hard drive.

(in videogames RAM can for example store textures you see, so they can be quickly processed and displayed on your monitor. if not for ram, then the computer would’ve had to load everything from the hard drive every time you look at a texture.)

having more RAM is good, since when you run out of space on it, the computer deletes the least useful thing that is on there, but if it turns out it needs to use it again, it’ll need to load it again from the (slow) hard drive.


CPU – its used for calculating stuff, for example could calculate how fast you are moving, etc. basically does a lot of math stuff.


GPU (Graphics Card) – it generates the actual image for your monitor, it calculates other stuff that the CPU doesn’t. basically it makes the image you see on your monitor, from the information given to it by other computer components


hard drive – it stores stuff – its the place where all of the stuff is. the more space the hard drive has, the more files it can have on it. it stores documents, images, programs – everything!

Right click on the task bar in Windows (i.e. where your windows button and search bar are, but just in an empty space), then click on Task Manager. Click More details. Then click the Performance tab. You’ll have everything you really need to know here (and can see resources being utilized, which is neat). I would look into each component individually if you want a better understanding of them, but as far as what “matters” when listing things out for other people, just look at the following:

* CPU: Click into it and look at the name in the top right e.g. Ryzen 5 3600.
* Memory: Take the largest number underneath “Memory” and then click into and take the speed, e.g. 32GB 3200 MHz
* GPU: Click into it and look at the name in the top right e.g. RTX 3080
* Storage “Disk # (<drive letter:>)”: This doesn’t often matter as much to people, but if they’re ever curious, count the amount of disks you have, note the type (listed below the Disk # heading e.g. SSD), and click into each one to see the capacity. If you’re familiar with storage sizes, you can basically round up. E.g. 932 GB ~= 1TB.
* Ethernet doesn’t matter, but it shows your network activity if you’re curious.

Again, there is more nuance to each component, slight variations between the CPUs and GPUs even of the same name, and there are other important components in PCs, but these are generally what people want to know when asking for specs.