Processor Shopping Guide

A few years ago, choosing the perfect processor for your personal computer was a easy fix. You just had to compare the clock speed of available processor in the market. It was as simple as a 400 MHz Processor is faster than a 333 MHz one.

Today, clock speed alone fails to ensure the best processor for you. Introduction of multi core processors changed the scenario in processor market. Multi core processor with even a bit lower clock speed performing higher than a higher clocked single core processor.

Multi core processors equipped with different level and amount of cache memory yielding improved performance. Also processor manufacturers shipping their units with advanced technologies and features. This features like Intels hyper threading, turbo boost technology or AMDs HyperTransport™ Technology, Turbo CORE Technology boosting the processor performance in different ways.

So choosing the right processor which best suits your computing need is a bit tricky. This guide will make this easy for you by discussing the major areas to compare while shopping processor.

Today the top and only 2 manufacturer of desktop computer processor are Intel and AMD. You have to choose any 1 of them. Both Intel an AMD offers various and latest processor family for entry level to high end Personal Computer. Each processor family of Intel and AMD has different versions targeting customers of different computing needs.

Clock Speed and Multi core functionality.
So, its not the clock speed which gives the performance of a processor. Its today the number of core present in the processor. You Will find Intel Core i7-2600 Processor running at 3.4 GHz and Intel® Core™ i7-2600S Processor running at 2.8 GHz. It means Core i7-2600 Processor running faster than the Core™ i7-2600S Processor but both of their tourbo frequency is 3.8 GHz and they are designed for different power consumption and a slightly different performance. AMD Phenom II processors typically work at 3.6 Ghz with tourbo boost activated. Also clock-speed comparisons aren’t valid when looking at different architectures.

You will still find single core processors but they are leaving markets. As both Intel and AMD is producing cheap multi core processors. Intel has entry level and mid range processors like 2nd generation core i3 and core i5 processors with high end core i7 and core i7 extreme edition processors. They basically dual and quad core processors featured with advanced technology like hyper threading and Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 making the processor act as combination of maximum 8 processor virtually. in other hand AMD with their Phenom II X2, X3 and X4 offering dual, quad and six core processors.

Cache Memory
The Cache memory work as a buffer between RAM and CPU and helps the internal processing speed act faster. A L2 or level 2 cache memory provides faster access recently accessed data, which lessens the computing time of the processing core. Bothe amount and multiple level of cache memory increases the processing performance. So while choosing your processor focus on higher amount and multiple level of cache memory.

The FSB Front Side Bus specify how quick the processor communicates with the memory controller. This specification is present only on Intel processors, which have varying FSB speeds. A faster FSB means less time in RAM-intensive operations. Intel’s newest chips use a 1,333MHz FSB. On AMD processors, the memory controller is located on the chip, giving the processor faster access to it.

64 bit
Major 3d and video editing software’s use the power of 64 bit computing. Also game developers today support and release 64 bit versions, so all of today’s midrange and high-end processors from Intel and AMD support 64-bit instructions. Though the technologies have different names-Intel 64 and AMD64-they’re same in all practical ways.

To take advantage of 64-bit software, you need to run an operating system that specifically supports the technology, such as the 64-bit version of Windows XP or Windows 7. You’ll also want to look for applications and drivers compatible with 64-bit processors. A few 64-bit apps are available today, but even when running 32-bit software, multitaskers can still benefit from 64-bit processors’ ability to address more than 4GB of RAM

While building your PC you must make sure that you choose a processor compatible with your mother board processor sockets. The Intel 2nd generation Core processor family support LGA1155 sockets and AMDs Phenom II family supports AM3 sockets.

Graphics specification:
Both AMD and Intels processors today come with processing technologies targeting graphics. Advanced graphics technology for processors boosting the graphics performance and quality of HD vedio.

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