Understanding Computer Specifications And Finding Hard Drive Size

by on January 17, 2008

Q: My home computer says it has 1.40GHz and 248 MB of RAM. My soon to be new laptop has Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5450 (1.66GHz/667Mhz FSB/2MB cache) and 1GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 667MHz and Size: 250GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM). My question is this, does my laptop have more space than my home computer (which I think is 5 years old, or so) I think I already can figure out the answer, but how MUCH better is it?

A: You actually did not give us the size of the hard drive on your desktop computer so lets break down what the numbers that you gave us are and then discuss how we can go about finding out how large your hard drive is. From there we will talk about how much better it is.

As of now when you see a GHz number you can assume that it is the speed of the processor. The processor is what does all the number crunching so the faster your processor the more work that can be done. In this case we do not know what kind of processor is in your desktop computer but we do know that it is 1.40 GHz and that it is about 5 years old. This tells us that it is probably a single core processor. I recently wrote an answer “Processor Speed Is Not The Only Thing To Look At” that will give you more in depth information about that. So the conclusion we come to is that your new processor can probably do significantly more work than your old processor.

When you see an MB number or a small GB number (meaning less than 4) we are probably talking about RAM. RAM stands for Random Access Memory and it is where your computer stores information it is using or will be using. RAM is multiple times faster than pulling information from the hard drive so your computer will figure out what it needs, pull it off the hard drive, and put it in RAM. The more RAM you have the more information your computer can get at faster and the faster your computer will run because it wont have to wait to pull things off the hard drive. In this case it looks like you have four times as much RAM on your laptop as you did on your desktop. This alone will make your laptop faster than your desktop. With that said, if you are going to continue to use your desktop you might want to consider upgrading it to at least 512MB of ram or even 1GB of ram as that upgrade would help your desktop come to life.

The larger GB number, usually anything over 8, is the hard drive. In this case your laptop has a 250GB hard drive. The size of the hard drive has nothing to do with how fast your computer will run, it just tells you how much data you can store on your computer. So the difference between your desktop and your laptop is not a big deal but you did want to know so here is how you figure out how much data your desktop computer can hold.

If you are running Windows you will want to get to My Computer, depending on the version of windows you are running it will either be on your desktop or you can find it by going to Start. Once you are there you will want to find the Hard Disk Drives header and then right click on the drive that most likely says Local Disk (C:). A menu will appear and you will want to select Properties. This will bring up a new window and in the window you will see a pie graph appear and above the pie graph is the key explaining how to read the pie graph but directly above the pie graph you should see Capacity and that will tell you how large your hard drive is.

If you are running Mac OS X you will want to right click on your Macintosh HD, if you did not rename it, and select Get Info. A new window will appear and in it you will see a few different headers. You want to look for the General header and under it you want to look at the Capacity number. This will tell you how much data your hard drive can store. The number below it, Available, will tell you how much room you have left and the number below that, Used, will tell you how much you have used.

The laptop seems like it is more up to date than your desktop and considerably more powerful. So congratulations on the new computer we hope you enjoy it.

2 Responses to “Understanding Computer Specifications And Finding Hard Drive Size”

    i was trying to help my grandson on his dell laptop install a game.. when he tried to play it a box came up saying graphic adapter didn’t have enough space … it needed 70 and they only found 66… what do i need to do to get more>>>>>


    We have a great answer for cleaning up space here http://www.askageek.com/2007/03/26/check-hard-drive-and-free-up-space/

    Also please make sure to check the “Related Answers” below the answer as well as there is always more than one solution!