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Intel & AMD Processors

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What’s the big deal in choosing a processor? The processor (also called CPU, short for Central Processing Unit) is the brain of the computer. It is the most important component in determining how fast or 'snappy' the system will operate across applications both now and in the near future. The processor can be considered as an analogue to what an engine is to an automobile, for -- like the engine -- the processor can be fast, slow, power hungry or power efficient subject to the kind of work the computer is being considered for. It is important to round out what kind of things you will be doing on the system to best select a computer with a CPU most suitable to your needs.

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Unlike other components of a notebook computer, the CPU is -- with rare exception -- a fixed component. This is in contrast to RAM and hard disk storage which can typically be upgraded. Therefore, another consideration is the fact that (important as the CPU is) the CPU you choose will be the same throughout the life of the system. This implies that as programs become more sophisticated, the computer's ability to handle such programs will be directly affected by the decision made at purchase all that time ago. This choice may mean the difference between a system that is useful for another year or two versus one that isn't -- much sooner.

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As a final consideration in choosing a CPU is the suggested or minimum requirements of either the programs that is planning on being run, or academic department recommendations as a guide as to the relative kind of performance required for a particular field of study.

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Product Line Comparisons

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High-end Processors Intel Core i7 As Intel's newest flagship processor, the i7 is a 64-bit processor offering either 2, 4, or 6 cores of the highest levels of performance available. The i7 combines Hyper Threading and Turbo Boost technologies for the most demanding and advanced of applications.

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AMD Phenom II X6 AMD's Phenom II X6 represents the industry's first consumer class six-core processor. The X6 offers the highest levels of performance ideal for the most intensive of tasks - bolstered by AMD's new Turbo Core technology, the X6 is able to optimize performance in a variety of situations.

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Intel Core i5 Based upon the same architecture as the i7, the i5 is also a 64-bit processor that features 2 or 4 cores at a similar class of performance of the i7 processor at a lower cost. The i5 features Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading technology but do not possess as much cache memory as the i7.

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AMD Phenom II X4 AMD's latest generation of consumer class 4 core processors, the quad-core Phenom II X4 chips are designed to deliver performance ideal for all kinds of multimedia as well as in the most demanding of applications such as virtualization.

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Intel Core i3 Derived from the same architecture as the higher end i5 and i7, the i3 is available strictly as a dual core processor. Though Hyper Threading is available, it does not feature TurboBoost . The Core i3 processor presents higher levels of performance than the Core 2 at a smaller cost.

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AMD's Phenom X3 and X2 processors boast 3 or 2 cores that offer excellent performance value; great for all around usage on a small budget all while utilizing AMD's latest architecture technology seen in the Phenom II X4 series

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Intel Core 2 Quad The Core 2 Quad features 4 processing cores to optimize gaming, video, and image processing. Built on the same architecture as the Core 2 Duo, this processor excels on multi-tasking with performance hungry applications.

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Intel Core 2 Extreme Available in both 2 and 4 core versions, distinguishing features of the Extreme series include higher bus speeds than the non-extreme versions, and an unlocked clock multiplier for further customization of your computing performance.

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Mid-range Processors Intel Core 2 Duo Contains two processing cores to optimize gaming, video, and image processing. Laptops with this chip tend to be thinner and and more energy-efficient.

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AMD Phenom I X3 & Phenom I X4 AMD's first generation of consumer class processors featuring quad and triple core performance found in desktop builds. Features 64-bit computing performance as well as AMD's HyperTransport bus technology.

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Intel Pentium Dual Core Dual core processor based on the Core microarchitecture . A class beneath the Core 2 Duo and Core Duo of Intel's processor offerings, the Pentium Dual Core is available in current desktops and laptops.

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AMD Turion II Ultra / AMD Turion II The Turion II and Turion II Ultra are AMD's mainstream mobile processor platform; they provide excellent all-around performance for multimedia such as high definition video. As these are often paired with AMD/ATI graphics, budget configurations containing these processors are also sufficient for basic 3D graphics and gaming.

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Intel Core Duo / Intel Core Solo The Intel Core Duo and Core Solo are dual and single core processors based on the Core microarchitecture . The Core Duo and Core Solo offers modest performance for office and limited multimedia oriented tasks.

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AMD Athlon II X2 The AMD Athlon II X2 is a 2 core desktop processor that is 80% faster than it's single core counterpart. Great for multitasking and multimedia consumption on a budget.

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Economy Processors Intel Centrino / Centrino Duo A mobile-oriented processor based upon Pentium M or Core Duo architectures; the Centrino also integrates wireless networking technology allowing for smaller sized laptops. Offers slight performance boost over simply choosing a core duo and dell wireless card (which is typically less expensive.)

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AMD Sempron The AMD Sempron is a budget class processor seen in low cost notebooks and desktops and are considered a class above netbook / nettop processors such as the Intel Atom or the AMD Neo platforms.

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Intel Atom Primarily found in netbooks and nettops , this processor has been designed with price and power consumption in mind. As a result, it offers much less processing power than other current Intel alternatives. This processor is available in 1 or 2 cores, with the single core option being far more prevalent.

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AMD Athlon Neo / Neo X2 The Athlon Neo and Neo X2 are single and dual core processors seen in ultra-mobile platforms such as netbook and nettops . They are featured with ATI integrated graphics for reasonable multimedia playback performance.

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Intel Celeron Intel's economy model processor. It is the most basic, and thus the slowest. It has less cache than other Intel processors, so even if it has the same Ghz rating as another processor, it will be slower. We usually do not recommend this processor because it offers the least in terms of longevity.

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Special Features

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Intel Hyper Threading The operating system treats the processor as two processors instead of one. This increases the speed of the computer. Pentium 4, Core i7, Core i5, Core i3

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Turbo Boost Allows the processor to intelligently overclock themselves so long as thermal and electrical requirements are still met. Core i7, Core i5

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Intel QuickPath Interconnect (QPI) A new Intel technology which replaced Front Side Bus (FSB) -- similar in purpose to AMD's competing HyperTransport technology. Implemented in some fashion in all Intel core iX series processors

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Execute Disable Bit Prevents certain viruses from infecting the system by labeling some data "executable." Current Intel processors

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vPro Best for IT people trying to maintain several workstations. It is able to detect systems, even in powered-off states. Synchronizes remote desktop, security, and other multi-station support features. Decreases desk-side maintenance visits. Core Duo, Core 2 Duo

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ViiV technology Intel's bundle for enhancing multimedia. Supports HD resolutions 720p up to 1080i. Pentium D, Extreme, Core Duo, Core 2: Duo, Extreme, Quad.

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AMD Hyper Transport Feature that allows for faster processing speed and better energy efficiency. Current AMD processors

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Cool'n'Quiet Reduces heat and noise of processors allowing for increased energy efficiency. Phenom I & II, Athlon , Sempron (with exceptions)

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Turbo Core Turbo Core allows for contextual overclocking of the processor to optimize performance subject to electrical and thermal requirements/specifications. Phenom II X6

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CoolCore Limits unused elements of the processor such that power is conserved -- allows for increased notebook battery life on a single charge. Phenom I & II, Turion

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Dynamic Power Management Allows for dynamic power management to optimize energy consumption while maintaining performance levels. Phenom I & II, Turion

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Report In Computer IV - Prepared by : Crisel Santos Cedrick Valencia (IV-Calcium) Ms. Grace Galang

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