Explanation Of Common Terms Used In PCs

When it comes to confusing terms and phrases, you need not look further than the world of PCs, and PC gaming, to enter into a minefield. From gigahertz and megahertz, to RAM, CPU and more, where do you even start when trying to unravel it all?

Don’t fret, here are a few of these terms, and an explanation of what they mean.


Most who have even a passing knowledge of tech understand these terms now, but it doesn’t hurt to refresh your memory. Central Processing Unit and Random Access Memory. The CPU has been referred to as the ‘brain’ of a device, but it is more accurate to say that it is centre point that virtually all other components rely on to communicate with one another.

RAM is extremely important, though most don’t understand that RAM works in much the same way as a hard drive. Only in the case of RAM the idea is not to permanently store information, but rather quickly store it when needed, and remove it when not needed.


Bytes refer to an amount of data, which is also commonly known. Kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte, terabyte. A kilobyte is 1,000 bytes, a megabyte is 1,000 kilobytes, a gigabyte is 1,000 megabytes, and so on.


Hertz is a term that is often confused, because it is incorporated in so many ways within the world of technology. Hertz refers to cycles per second. In the world of monitors and TVs, a 60 hertz refresh refers to the picture being updated 60 times every second. Interestingly, this also directly relates to FPS, frames per second, though the connection isn’t always made.

However, hertz is also used to indicate the speed of other components in a PC, such as the speed of the CPU, or the speed of the RAM. A CPU may have an indicated speed of 2.5 megahertz, for example, which indicates the component being capable of 2,500 cycles per second.

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When it comes to individual computer components, manufacturers can apply any sort of unusual series of letters and numbers. This is where things can get especially confusing. But a quick Google can clear this right up.

GTX refers to a series of graphics cards created by NVIDIA. RTX is the series that followed the GTX series, incorporating new technology.


This term is generally used when gaming online, referring to the communication between the player, and all other players. More specifically, it refers to a delay that can occur, resulting in noticeable anomalies in the world of the online game. If there is slow communication, the game can be perceived by some gamers as having a delay between actions being taken, and that action impacting the game world. For example, a player may shoot, and there may be a delay before the bullet hits a target.


Many use ping and latency interchangeably, but that isn’t really the case. Latency refers to a delay that can occur, while ping actually refers to the amount of time taken for data to be sent, and a response to be sent back to the sender. It is a ‘round trip’ of data.

Low ping is generally considered below 20 milliseconds, while a high ping is generally around 150 to 200 milliseconds.