PC Car analagy

Published: Thursday, 17 July 2014 15:12

I often get asked by customer who are trying to understand what they need to know when buying a PC or Laptop, I normally talk them through a simple analagy relating to cars (which most people understand):

The PC Car analagy

The CPU within a computer is like a cars engine, the faster it runs, the more you can do with it. The CPU is normally measured in Gigahertz/Ghz (although when I first started this was Megahertz/Mhz)


The RAM or memory inside is used to run the applications is like the number of seats in the car. The more RAM you have ie 2Gb could relate to 2 or 4 seats allowing you to run more applications or seat more people in comfort.

The Disk is used to store applications and data, which is like the space available in the cars boot. This is measured in Gigabytes/Gb. The disk space allows you to store more.


Now a CPU can come with multiple cores I was looking for another analogy, which someone suggested that its like the number of clyinders in the engine. A single CPU can have 1, 2, 4 or more cores and threads and just to complicate it further a server can often have more than one CPU (with a number of cores inside) Each of these cores can be doing separate tasks so unlike an engine which would be doing the same task to add power to the engine.

If anyone has a suggestion of how we can improve on this analagy I’d be happy to hear.