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What should you look for in a laptop – RAM, Processor or OS?

by Sonal Shukla

Buying the perfect laptop is not an easy task. From considering the different specs to prioritizing them correctly, there are a number of areas where a buyer can go wrong. But there are three primary factors that are key to the performance of every laptop — the RAM, processor and the operating system. Here is everything you need to know about them, and their role in facilitating the smooth operation of your laptop.

What is the ideal RAM for your laptop?

Before we go any further, it is important to understand what the role of RAM is. RAM or Random Access Memory is a temporary storage space where the data of all your currently operating apps are stored for a short period of time. This is where the CPU gets access to essential data, instead of the hard disk drive. This is to make the CPU’s job easier and the laptop’s performance faster. From this, it is quite clear that sufficient RAM is essential for a swift showing from the laptop. However, when it comes to the size of your RAM, it can get a little tricky.

There is no correct answer to, “how much RAM do I need?” It all depends on your preferences and purposes. If you are a student or a casual user, 4 GB RAM can be sufficient for you. 4 GB RAM can be adequate to handle multitasking between various apps without the laptop hanging or slowing down. But for developers, graphic designers etc. who need to perform memory-intensive work, 4 GB RAM might not be enough. In that case, you can go for 8 GB RAM laptops that can handle the operations like coding and graphics rendering with ease. For gaming enthusiasts, it is usually advisable to go for models offering 8 GB RAM or above. This is because PC games are extremely memory-hungry, and need ample RAM to function properly.

Which processor should you choose for your laptop?

RAM alone doesn’t run your laptop. It works in collaboration with the processor to make the laptop perform at its optimum capacity. A good processor will have certain features that will automatically detect whether it is up for the task. To begin with, a processor’s clock speed is one of the most important aspects of the device. The higher the clock speed or frequency, the faster is the laptop’s ability to process instructions. Thus, a laptop having a high clock speed can perform multiple operations at the same time without slowing down. A good CPU will also ensure that the laptop does not run chances of overheating, and consequently, freezing all its operations.

The integrated graphics processor also makes a big difference, especially in the case of a gaming laptop. Processors come with integrated GPUs that are specifically designed for graphics acceleration. This makes your gaming experience seamless. An efficient GPU can also make the task of the processor easier. It can power the performance of 3D animation apps, video editors and even your web browser. It will make it possible for you to multitask, while watching shows on apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Here are some suggestions for processors, depending on what you use your laptop for. If you’re a casual user, and only use your laptop for browsing and studying purposes, an Intel Core i3 or an Intel Celeron CPU can get the job done. If you want to use your laptop for editing videos, graphics designing, or want to use heavy software, you can opt for an Intel Core i5 or an AMD Ryzen 5 CPU. However, for high-intensity gaming or designing purposes, it is recommended that you go for an Intel Core i7 or Core i9 processor. These are high-end laptops, and can cost around Rs. 1.5 – Rs. 2 lakh.

What is the ideal operating system?

Every user has their own comfort zone when it comes to operating systems. It is usually a good idea to stick to whatever OS you’re comfortable with. However, if you’re looking to explore other options, here is a quick guide.

Windows OS is extremely versatile for all sorts of users. It is compatible with almost all programs and apps, which makes it universal. Additionally, the latest Windows 10 OS version comes with amazing new features. Mac OS, on the other hand, offers a simpler interface. This OS, which is exclusive to Apple laptops, provides top-notch security, and also helps you become a part of the Apple ecosystem. Some coders also prefer Linux OS because it supports a number of programming languages. Hence, depending on your requirements, you can select whichever operating system suits you the best.

Apart from these features, there are other aspects like the display size, screen resolution and battery life that must be considered before buying a laptop.

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