Dedicated describes a person or thing devoted to a single function, purpose, or service. The following examples in alphabetical order are where the term dedicated may be used when dealing with computers and computer-related topics.
With power, a dedicated circuit is a circuit in an electrical box that's intended to be used with a single power device. For example, your home should have a dedicated circuit for the fridge, which draws a lot of electrical current consistently.
You can determine if dedicated circuit is needed when using a shared circuit that frequently trips, like a circuit breaker tripping and turning off the power when plugging in a computer. It's often required or recommended that fixed appliances (e.g., washers, dryers, fridges) or appliances with motors run on a dedicated circuit.
Dedicated graphics / dedicated graphics card
A dedicated graphics card or dedicated video card is a video card that is an expansion card and not a video card that is part of the motherboard. A dedicated video card allows tasks that require video processing to use the video card's GPU (graphics processing unit) and memory, instead of the computer's CPU (central processing unit) and RAM (random-access memory). Dedicated graphics make the computer and video games a lot faster and capable of doing more than an onboard video card.
A dedicated IP (static allocation) is an IP address that doesn't change or get re-allocated to another customer. For example, Internet websites have a dedicated IP address that allows them to be found online. However, most home users have an IP address that frequently changes.
Dedicated memory is all memory or a portion of memory reserved for a particular device or program. For example, your video card has dedicated video memory also known as VRAM (video random-access memory), which is memory only used by the video card. With the video card using its own memory, it doesn't use the computer's memory.
An onboard video card may only have a portion of the system's memory dedicated or have no dedicated memory.
With telecommunications and networking, a dedicated line is a communication connection between two points with a guaranteed amount of bandwidth. In contrast, a shared line's bandwidth decreases and increases depending on how many people are using the line and what they're doing.
A dedicated phone or dedicated phone line is a unique number that connects directly to a person and is not shared. In contrast, a call center or business may have its employees use the same phone number, but have an extension for each employee.
Dedicated server / dedicated hosting
A dedicated server or dedicated host is a server that's dedicated to one customer or one website. By having only one customer or website dedicated to the server, it can run more reliably because the server has less to manage. As a website gets more traffic and services, it needs to run on a dedicated server instead of a cheaper, shared hosting server with multiple websites and clients.
Dedicated support / dedicated customer service
Many companies outsource their customer service and support to companies that offer a shared service to help lower their costs. These companies offer general customer service and support for many different companies, products, and services. However, dedicated customer service is customer service that's not outsourced or outsourced to a company that only specializes in that company's products and services. Dedicated support and dedicated customer service often offers a higher quality level of support and helps with more complex problems, but is a higher cost to the company.
Many companies may offer both solutions. They outsource customer service and support for general questions that require little or no training, and escalate more complex problems to dedicated customer service or support.