A computer is made up of several different components, and each of these components contribute towards the functioning of the machine. People who assemble machines together and people who have sufficient knowledge about the working of a computer will be well aware about the many differences between the various computer parts, but there are still many people who are uneducated about such things.

The very first thing that any prospective computer buyer wishes to know about a machine is how fast it will run, and there are a few specifications that he should look at in order to get a better idea about the performance of the machine. Two of the most important components for this purpose are the processor speed of the machine, and the amount of RAM on the machine. If either of these specifications are low, the speed of the machine will suffer as a result, since they both play a complementary role in determining the performance of the machine.

What is Processor Speed?

Processor speed is also referred to as the clock rate of a computer by technicians, and it simply states how fast the machine is going to run and perform various functions. Manufacturers are required to state the clock speed for their machines when they are selling them, and they can then set the prices for the machines based on these speeds. The processor of a machine is what is known as a synchronous circuit, and this means that the digital circuits inside work in an oscillatory manner and are clocked from the beginning of the cycle to the end. For a CPU this implies the rate at which various processes are started and then completed, and this gives a fair indication of the efficiency of the machine itself.

The value for representing clock rates is Hertz, and the speed of the fastest machines can be around the 3 GHz mark. Various standards and benchmarks are set when a computer's processor speed is determined, and on this basis their clock rate is presented to potential buyers. Hence you will find processors with different speeds like 1.6GHz, 1.88GHz, 2.3GHz, 2.5GHz, 2.66GHz, 3.5GHz and 5.2GHz as well.

What is RAM?

Simply having a fast processor does not imply that the machine will work smoothly. This is where the concept of RAM comes into the picture, and this helps the machine multitask better. RAM stands for Random Access Memory, and this is basically the memory unit where the processor stores temporary data. When the machine is performing several different tasks at the same time, it temporarily stores some data in units, and then accesses it later. The more RAM there is in a machine, the faster the processor can recover data that it had stored there previously. Hence the speed of a machine is greatly influenced by the amount RAM that is present.

Today there are machines available with around 8GB of RAM in them, which is truly phenomenal. For a standard home owner, 2GB of RAM is more than enough. Even smartphones and tablets that are available today are sold with around 1GB of RAM, so its size is gradually increasing and improving performance along the way.

A computer owner will be performing several different tasks like web browsing, playing games, watching HD videos, listening to audio files, editing HD videos and editing documents and spreadsheets simultaneously. For this reason, the computer must be sufficiently equipped with a fast clock rate and a large amount of RAM as well, so that it perform all these functions seamlessly. The difference between processor speed and RAM should be known to every computer user, and the fact is that both of them are vital components for the functioning of any computer and electronic computing device.