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 Understanding Laptop Buzzwords

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PostSubject: Understanding Laptop Buzzwords   Tue Jul 31, 2007 4:12 pm

When you go laptop shopping, you're going to discover a bewildering bazaar of various technical terms. Most of these terms are marketing terms, meaning that non-technical types invented them to describe technical things. This is okay because technical people tend to overuse the words keen and neat-o.

Here's a round-up of some laptop technical terms you may encounter during your shopping exercises:

* Celeron M: This term describes Intel's version of its Celeron microprocessor that's comparable to the Pentium M (which you can read about later in this list). In both cases, the M stands for mobile.

The Celeron M is a low-cost alternative to the Pentium M. It isn't considered part of the Intel Centrino design (see the following bullet for the lowdown on what Centrino means).

* Centrino: Intel uses this term to describe various laptop technologies - specifically, stuff designed for a mobile computer that you won't find in a desktop. The Centrino technology includes a special chipset (the main circuitry on the laptop's motherboard), a specifically designed laptop microprocessor, and wireless networking technology.

* Centrino Duo: The Duo suffix describes a newer version of Centrino technology, specifically with an Intel dual-core microprocessor.

* Core Duo: The Intel replacement microprocessor for the Pentium. The Core Duo chip contains two CPU cores, like getting two microprocessors on one chip.

* Core Solo: The Intel single-core replacement for the Pentium microprocessor.

* DDR: Also known as DDR-SDRAM, it stands for double data rate. This type of computer memory is better than plain ol' SDRAM, which you can find more info on later in this list.

* Dothan: Intel originally used this name to describe the next-generation Pentium M microprocessors. Intel wanted to get away from the number-naming thing, but this notion failed, and the Dothan eventually became known as the Series 700 Pentium M.

* GHz: An acronym for gigahertz, or billions of cycles per second, this speed measurement is used to gauge microprocessors.

The actual speed, of course, varies, and it's often difficult to tell the difference between a microprocessor running at 2.0 GHz versus 2.4 GHz when you're doing mundane tasks. But that doesn't stop the manufacturers from boasting about their chips' speed.

* Mobile Sempron: An AMD processor designed for laptop (mobile) computing. It's the economy version of the Turion flavor chip (you can read about Turion later in this list).

* Pentium M: The M stands for mobile, and the Pentium M chip is the Intel microprocessor specifically designed for use in laptops.

* SDRAM: This acronym stands for Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory, the most popular type of memory used in computers today.

* Turion 64: The AMD version of Intel's Pentium M, a powerful 64-bit mobile processor that comes in single and dual core models. The dual core is named Turion 64 X2. The Turion was formerly named the Mobile Athlon 64.
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