Computer Specifications: Some Analogies.. - Hire Intelligence

Computer Specifications: Some Analogies..

Hire Intelligence offer for rent a broad selection of hardware, with a wide range of specs and capabilities. When describing the options for computer hardware it’s sometimes useful to use analogies…

These imperfect analogies I hope help to explain the differing roles of different parts of computers:

  • The CPU (Main Processor),
  • GPU (Graphics card),
  • RAM (Active Memory),
  • Hard Drive (Storage Memory):

Transport Analogy:

In this instance the computer is represented by a transport company …with various vehicles and resources available:

  • The CPU is represented by a courier motorbike…This vehicle is great for getting any whole journey done – it can handle all routes…but can’t carry lots of goods at once.
  • GPU – A haulage truck….this can handle lots of things at once…but only operates on the right type of road (i.e. when given specific tasks) and can’t manage all types of jobs.
  • RAM – This is the size of the wall planner/map/diary – how many journeys can be handled by the company at once.
  • Hard Drive – Combined warehouse & vehicle storage space.

Kitchen Analogy:

In this instance the computer is a commercial kitchen:

  • CPU – Represented by the main chef at the cooking hobs – getting main part of cooking done.
  • GPU – Specialised blender, or a multi-armed pastry-chef – which can get special and complex tasks done well and in parallel…but not prepare the whole meal.
  • RAM – Counter Top space – how many meals can get worked on at once.
  • Hard Drive Memory – Cupboard/Fridge space

Office Analogy:

In this instance the computer is a project office:

  • CPU – represented by the project manager – working with lots of different bits of information, in order, and moving the project along.
  • GPU – Specialist mathematician or consultant asked to do lost of specific ‘number crunching/complex tasks’ simultaneously.
  • RAM – Desk space available for the staff for the tasks they are working on.
  • Hard Drive Memory – Draws for files and plans of the project.

So what does this mean?

Well, it means that depending on the type of work you’re doing, you’ll need different specifications of computer hardware:

Easiest example – if for whatever reason you’re creating a lot of content…

  • In the analogies – moving lots of goods, making loads of food, or creating a lot of paperwork….…then you’ll need large ‘hard drive’ memory.
  • In reality what does this mean? …. Well…if creating large files – huge spreadsheets, or long videos, or lots of photos, or recordings…then make sure you have more than 1TB of hard drive storage.

If you’re ever having to do specific/complex tasks with similar processes in parallel…

  • In the analogies –  i.e. lots of goods moving in same vehicle, a specialist group of pastries being made at once, or lots of specialist mathematical analysis done at once………then you’ll need a powerful GPU
  • In reality….if processing complex images/animations/video streams/gaming/rapid data processing (machine learning, crypto mining) – then you should make sure you have a dedicated graphics card. The more complex the graphics, and the more important the speed and smoothness, then the more you should spend.
    • If I was editing standard video, I’d want a GPU that was not more than 2 generations old, and likely would have a standalone cost of ~ £300.
    • If I was rendering, running animations, or complex games, then I’d want a GPU which was not more than 1 generation old, and have a standalone cost of >£600.

If you’re regularly trying to do many different types of action at once

  • In the analogies – lots of different types of transport trips simultaneously, lots of different types of meal prep on different dishes, or updating lots of different parts and tasks on a project at one time……then you’d need a lot of RAM.
  • In reality…. If you’re running a program on your computer that needs loads of different things done at once – sounds / video / statistical analysis….whilst you’re also downloading something else, and sending emails…..and if you’re at all impatient and have previously found yourself annoyed at waiting 20 seconds for things to load, then you’d want a PC with at least 8GB RAM.
    • If you’re handling multiple signals in (from sensors, camera feeds, or a complex game), and have other tasks running in the background, or are using the PC to edit and broadcast streams, then with these intensive multiple tasks going on, I’d insist on at least 32GB RAM.

Whatever you’re trying to get done….

  • In the analogies – the vehicle that you could rely on for most journeys, the chef at the main hob, the overall project manager. These are clearly critical for all tasks. …and thus you’ll want the best CPU you can afford.
  • In reality, I’d advise anyone should source the fastest processor they can afford from a reputable brand. From intel there are different levels – i3, i5, i7, i9, ….but of course there are different generations too… do take a look at ‘speed benchmarking’ websites which score and compare the different processors .
    • Personally as a manager of a small business, I would not go back to lower (or older) than an i5 processor from 10th Generation. (Released in late 2019). As I’m not playing games, or editing complex video, or running huge stats spreadsheets, I don’t feel I need an i7 processor or above.
    • Speed benchmarking website of choice:,4312.html

I hope the above proves a useful reference document for hardware considerations.

Examples for Hire Intelligence stock:

  • We know our clients quite often use our mobile phones for filming, and our workstations for storing video footage – this means large files, so we buy assets with larger hard drives
  • We know sometimes laptops are used for gaming events, or for handling livestreams from remote locations – so we bought high-end laptops with a lot of RAM, and decent GPUs.
  • We know that for most short-term business events (conferences, training courses, and exams) time is precious…and thus even our standard laptops have a high quality i5-11th generation CPU/Processor and 8GB RAM. We have never received complaints about the speed of our corporate hardware, as we source the best CPU we can for that price.

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