RAM basis for purchasing a computer

These recommendations are designed to provide you with the basis for purchasing a computer that will be powerful enough to run the latest CAD, imaging, and 3D modeling software, and to be upgradable in order to last for the duration of the academic program.


The RAM (Random Access Memory) is the memory in a computer used to store running programs. There are mainly three types of memory available, SDRAM the older form of memory that is now been superseded by the newer versions, DDR (Double Data Rate) SDRAM it is faster and the most common type of memory used today and RDRAM the latest and fastest but also the most expensive type of memory. The computer performance can greatly be affected by the type and amount of RAM installed, the more RAM you have, the faster the programs will run. Graphic design software can run smoothly within the range of RAM capacity of 512MB and 2GB though a bit higher and upgradeable memory is recommended

Video card

Video card also known as video adapter,graphics-accelerator card,display adapter, orgraphics cardis anexpansion cardwhose function is to generate and output images to a display. It is one of the most important components in the computer meant for architecture design. Video card features are clock speed, on-board memory, memory bandwidth and fill rate. Clock speed of the Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) determines the number of pixels video can process per cycle. However, a faster clock speed does not always result in better performance. On-board memory used for graphics operations; this ranges from 128MB to 512MB and higher. The graphic work might need a huge amount of memory and therefore the higher the better. The bandwidth and fill rate also important features in the video card as it is a speed at which the GPU can talk with the on-board memory and speed at which pixels are drawn onto screen memory respectively. Fill rate measures graphics processor's performance in millions of pixels per second. Therefore, the more bandwidth and fill rate for video the better.


The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the brain of the computer, it has arithmetic and logic unit which performs calculations and logic functions, it is responsible for smooth running of the operating systems as well as application programs. The CPU governs the speed of the computer and is measured in MHz speed. The most commonly used types of CPU are intel and AMD. To enhance speed and performance of the system, the following will be adequate specifications for the architecture design; speed 2GHz or higher, cache memory size of 3MB or higher, 32 or 64bit, core dual/quad as it multitasking that runs more than one program at the same time.

Hard Disk

Hard disks (also known as C drive) is the main data storage area within a computer used to store operating system, application programs and data. The three main features in a hard drive is the speed, size, and the type of interface. The SCSI and ATA are basically two types of hard drive interfaces. The ATA standard is now been separated into Parallel ATA (PATA) and Serial ATA (SATA) with SATA being the interface used by the majority of recent drives. The SCSI is the fastest and perhaps the best hard drive interface available but it is considerably more expensive and mainly used in servers. The data access speed is measured in RPM and memory cache helps to speed up the accessing of the information on the drive. Since the intended system is multipurpose for architecture design and accounting, Computer Aided Design and Accounting package applications software are going to be installed with the normal office application software and the data storage. Therefore, the capacity of the hard disk is very important, the higher the better. The hard disk with at least 500GB memory capacity, speed of 7200RPM and 32MB cache memory might be adequate to deliver maximum efficiency.


As the CPU considered being the brain the motherboard sometimes described as the central nervous system in the computer as it is where all other components connected to and responsible for relaying information between all the internal components. Different types pf motherboard are XT, AT, and ATX but most importantly the choice depend on compatibility with the other components such as processor, memory hard disc etc. Therefore, if somebody has to buy one then it is recommended to have the other components in place and check if they can be supported by the motherboard chosen including socket type etc. But this is specifically for someone building her own PC or replacing the older one because computer system goes together with built-in motherboard and other components.


The following are most commonly printers. Dot matrix printers, they're cheap but slow, noisy and very old technology, Inkjet printers with a cartridge and may be found in black & white, or colour and black & white. Inkjets are cost-effective for small to medium print runs. However, cartridge for printers can sometimes cost almost as much as the printers themselves, but they have high-resolutions with good quality digital images. Laserjet printers, the most expensive in terms of running costs, due to the cost of the toner rolls. They are usually black and white. Colour laserjets are available, but they're very expensive compared to a colour inkjet. Many laserjet printers can print graphics as well and mostly preferred by corporate and professional reprographics companies. A plotter, are employed solely by graphic designers and architects, they use a custom-designed pen to draw line art onto a page. Plotters are the best choice for architectural drawings but incredibly expensive and bulky machines which can not be used for small business.


The CRT and LCD are standard display monitors types for desktop computers. LCDs are fairly new to the desktop computers compared to CRT with the following advantage. They have native resolution
for the common sizes; 17 inch: 1024x768, 19 inch: 1280x1024, and 20 inch: 1600x1200, viewing angle, the angle at which the image can be seen clearly, high response rates up to 2ms for extremely response rate. Specifically LCD monitor advantages are Less power usage, Smaller and lighter, Easier on the eyes while for CRT monitors are Cheaper, Better colour range, Faster response, Multiple Resolutions and Less Fragile. However, still LCD monitors seems to be more preferred.

The type and amount of RAM in the video card is significant for speed and colour resolutions respectively. Several types of graphic cards with different capacities are available including

The video card has clock speed





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