Chapter 2

CPU Benchmarks

A benchmark is a performance test that evaluates processors (CPUs) for a variety of devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and even video cards. If you are comparing two devices for possible purchase, it is worth doing a little research to see which one has the faster processor(s). While other factors, such as RAM, may affect performance, the CPU and video processors have the largest impact.

  • Cpubenchmark.net – Several charts that rank processors based on the PassMark benchmark.
  • Futuremark.com – Ranks CPUs, video cards, and other devices based on the popular 3DMark benchmark.
  • Notebookcheck.net – Excellent reviews on laptops that go deep into various benchmarks.

RAM and CPU Usage

Both PCs and Macs have a tool that lets you see how much RAM and CPU your open programs are currently using. This is a useful way to diagnose issues, such as programs that are stuck or the slow performance of computer.

  • Mac: Activity Monitor
  • Windows: Task Manager (Ctrl + Alt + Del)

Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts, which involve pressing various keys at the same time, can help you become a faster user on desktop and laptop computers. The following websites list some useful shortcuts for both Windows and Mac:

Speech Recognition

When using a mobile device, it can often be faster to speak your request rather than type on the small, on-screen keyboards. Google (Android), Apple, and Microsoft have all integrated speech recognition capabilities into their mobile operating systems. The following websites will provide some useful examples of what you can accomplish using nothing but your voice:

Monitor Ergonomics

Did you know that the improper use/positioning of monitors may cause eye and neck strain? The following websites will teach you how to prevent discomfort and injuries related to computer use:

Printing Supplies: Saving Money & Recycling

Ink and toner cartridges can be expensive. And like computers and other devices, they should be recycled when no longer in use. The following links will provide useful tips on saving money and recycling: