|It never fails. Just after you upgrade your CPU, Intel or AMD
announces a new processor, pushing technology to new limits
at least its next processor.
To make things even more
muddled, AMD and Intel each offers multiple
families of processors ranging from those designed for value-oriented
family PCs to powerhouse CPUs
designed to run most tasking 3D games smoothly. Added
into the mix are a host of additional featuresis as well as a new selection of dual-core processors designed
for 32-bit or 64-bit computing.
If you find yourself looking through
computer store flyers and wondering exactly what an "Athlon 64 X2"
is or what the difference between a Pentium 4 and a Pentium D is,
then this is a good place to start. We provide an
overview of some of the newer and more common families of
processors from Intel and AMD.
To make understanding processor
technology a little easier, you can use our "Key Terms" list to
decipher some of the technical processor lingo, view reviews and
specifications for each type of processor, and, of course,
check out the links page to follow-up for more
Key Terms To
A silicon chip that contains a CPU. In the world of personal
computers, the terms microprocessor and CPU are used
interchangeably. At the heart of all personal computers and most
workstations sits a microprocessor.
Also called clock rate, the speed at which a microprocessor executes
Dual-core refers to a CPU that includes two complete execution cores
per physical processor.
The AMD Sempron processor is designed to meet the
needs of home and business PC users. AMD Sempron processors are
offer capabilities that include
technology, up to 512K total high-performance
frontside bus and an integrated
DDR memory controller.
AMD Sempron Web page
||AMD provides product
briefs, benchmarks, technical documentation and more for their
Sempron 3400+ Processor Review
|Review by SharkyExtreme
- "The main part of the Sempron market appeal is related to its low
price and high value, and even though the Sempron 3400+ is the top
performer in the AMD entry-level line, relative pricing actually
took a slight dip."
The Duron Successor
hardware Guide - AMD's AthlonXP + The Athlon64 = Sempron
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core
The AMD Athlon 64 X2
Dual-Core processor contains two processing
residing on one chip, which increases efficiency and speed while running
multiple programs and multi-threaded software. It enables a seamless
transition from 32-bit to
64-bit applications. Both 32- and 64-bit
applications can run virtually simultaneously and transparently on the same
Athlon 64 Web page
||Includes links to
information on Athlon 64 FX, Athlon 64 x2 Dual-core, 64 Processor
for Desktops, and Mobile Athlon 64
Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Processor Review
||Review by SharkyExtreme
- "The Athlon 64 X2 processors are the first true dual core
processors for the desktop, and compared to the Intel Pentium
D/Pentium EE design, offer a more streamlined and forward-thinking
AMD Athlon 64
AMD64 provides full support for x86 code base for 32-bit computing and
is ready for 64-bit applications. AMD64 technology doubles the number
of processor registers and increases the system memory
The AMD Opteron processor offers simultaneous 32- and 64-bit computing,
using AMD's Direct Connect Architecture. It's designed to run existing
32-bit applications and offer simplified migration path to 64-bit computing.
The AMD Opteron processor is available in 1 to 8-way servers and 1 to 4-way
The Intel Celeron D is a value-priced processor. The Celeron D processors
include a larger integrated L2 cache and faster processor system bus when
compared to Celeron processors. Celeron processors are available at speeds
ranging from 1 GHz to 2.80 GHz. Celeron D processors offer a 533 MHz
multi-transaction processor system bus with 256-KB Level 2 cache. Intel
added Extended Memory 64 Technology to its value oriented Celeron D line.
The Intel Pentium 4 processor family supporting
Hyper-Threading Technology (HT Technology) is best-suited to desktop
PCs and entry-level workstations. The Pentium 4 processor is designed to
deliver performance across applications and uses where end-users can
appreciate and experience the performance. These applications include
Internet audio and streaming video, image processing, video content
creation, games, multimedia and multitasking user environments.
Pentium 4 Extreme
The Intel Pentium 4 processor Extreme Edition supporting HT Technology
features 3.46 GHz with 2 MB of L3 cache and 3.73 GHz with 2 M of
L2 cache to
offer high levels of performance targeted specifically for high-end
gamers and computing power users. It provides flexibility for future
applications that support both 32-bit and 64-bit computing with Intel
Extended Memory 64 Technology and is a
processor (two physical cores in one processor support better system
responsiveness and multi-tasking).
Pentium 4 6x Series
The Intel Pentium 4 6x series offers 2MB L2 Cache and
of 3 to 3.80 GHz. Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology is available on
the 600x processors. This provides flexibility for future applications
that support both 32-bit and 64-bit computing.
Pentium 4 5x Series
The Intel Pentium 4 5x series offers 1MB L2 Cache and clock speeds
of 2.80 to 3.80 GHz. Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology is available on
the 600x processors is available only on some of the 5x models (571,
561, 551, 541, 531, and 521).
Intel Pentium D processors are designed to provide users with more power
while running multiple applications (for example, editing videos while
downloading files). Pemtium D processors offer 2x1MB L2 cache,
ranging from 2.80 GHz to 3.20 GHz and an 800 MHz
These processors are
offer Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology as well.
Pentium 3 (Pentium III)
Intel builds on the technology it developed
with the Pentium II microprocessors. The Pentium III processor comes with a
Synchronized Dynamic Random Access Memory (SDRAM),
allowing for an extremely fast transfer of data between the microprocessor
and the memory. Pentium III's offer enhanced multimedia and 3D performance
with 100 MHz front-side bus speed, a muti-transaction system bus, and
Did You Know...
The observation made in 1965 by Gordon Moore, co-founder of
Intel, that the number of transistors per square inch on
integrated circuits had doubled every year since the integrated
circuit was invented. Moore's Law predicts that this trend would
continue for the foreseeable future. In subsequent years, the
pace slowed down a bit, but data density has doubled
approximately every 18 months, and this is the current
definition of Moore's Law, which Moore himself has blessed. (Moore's
Vangie 'Aurora' Beal
Last updated: October 21, 2005
Founded in 1969 and based in Sunnyvale, California, AMD provides
microprocessors, Flash memory devices, and silicon-based solutions for our
customers in the communications and computer industries worldwide.
For over 35 years, Intel Corporation has developed technology enabling the
computer and Internet revolution that has changed the world. Founded in 1968 to
build semiconductor memory products, Intel introduced the world's first
microprocessor in 1971.
Webopedia's "Did You Know... What Is CPU Overclocking?"
If you think overclocking sounds like an ominous term, you have the right idea.
Basically overclocking means to run a microprocessor faster than the clock speed
for which it has been tested and approved.
Webopedia's "Did You Know... What Is 64-bit Computing?"
While talk of 64-bit architecture may make one think this is a new technology,
64-bit computing has been used over the past ten years in supercomputing and
database management systems.
Webopedia's "Did You Know... All About Dual-Core Processors"
Dual-core refers to a CPU that includes two complete execution cores per
physical processor. It combines two processors and their caches and cache
controllers onto a single integrated circuit (silicon chip). It is basically two
processors, in most cases, residing reside side-by-side on the same die.
The Sharky Extreme
Weekly CPU Price Guide
This CPU Price Guide is a weekly update on CPU prices SharkyExtreme staff finds
around the net. The guide can be sorted by manufacturer; (AMD or Intel) or
sorted by price (tables showing only high-end or low-end CPUs) to make your
research and subsequent buying decision a bit easier.
There are many microprocessors available to the public. Not knowing the
differences can be quite frustrating -- especially when it means saving or
spending a couple hundred dollars.
Provides detailed technical information about all the major processor families
used on PC-compatible computers. Covers every major x86 processor from the first
Intel 8088 used in the original IBM PC to the latest released hot chips. This
page is from "The PC Guide".