Don't know your USB from your PCIe or your RAM from your ROM? We explain some commonly used terms:

AGP: Accelerated graphics port. A dedicated slot on the motherboard for the 3D graphics card. Somewhat dated now.

CPU: Central processing unit, also called the processor or chip. This is the engine of the computer. Generally the higher the processing speed, the better your computer will perform.

DDR RAM: Double data rate random access memory. A very fast type of RAM (see below). DDR2 and 3 are even faster.

Dedicated graphics: A separate graphics card with memory specifically allocated to graphics.

FireWire: A very fast port, often used for transferring data from a video or digital camera.

GB: Gigabyte. A measurement of data. 1GB = 1024MB

HDD: Hard disk drive. The central storage area of your computer for files and programs.

Integrated graphics: A chip on the motherboard that shares the video memory with the processor. Don't usually perform as well as dedicated graphics cards.

MB: Megabyte. A measurement of data.

Memory: Your computer has two types of memory: long term (hard-drive) and short term (RAM).

PCI: Peripheral component interconnect. A port for attaching components. Still used, mainly for internal modems and sound cards.

PCIe: Also known as PCI Express, this is the most common port on modern computers for attaching components like dedicated video cards and sound cards.

RAM: Random access memory. RAM stores information only when the computer's power is on.

USB: Universal serial bus. A very common port for attaching peripherals such as scanners, digital cameras and printers.

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