Choosing The Right CPU Processor

Socket type

Intel Pentium 4 processor, compare computer processors
AMD Duron

In the early years of chip making, both companies stuck to the same socket types for their processors and to compare computer processors was easy. But as the requirements of CPUs became higher and the need for greater speed came along, the two companies splits paths and started making their own sockets, it also became harder to compare computer processors. Newer socket were needed for newer chips like the Intel Pentium 4 processor and AMD Athlon 64.

  • Socket 478 (Intel) - This socket is used by Intel and no new chips will be produced for it. The advantage of this socket is that the chips for it are older and you can get better deals on them. They don’t however support the latest high bus speeds. For both the Intel Penium 4 processor and Celerons.
  • Socket 775 (Intel) - This socket is currently in use by Intel. All of the new chips including the Intel Pentium 4 processor are produced in this socket format. The advantages are that they support all the latest speeds and technology. The down side is the drain on your pocket as the price of the latest chips is always high. Purchasing and older model of the same socket can be a great money saver.
  • Socket A (AMD) - The most famous socket type. AMD utilises this socket from 2000 to 2004, and the first chips that brought it so much fame were made for this socket. It is no longer in use buy its use is widespread. Many budget computers use the Athlon XP chips that work on this socket. Their prices are now extremely low and can be superb for a system that just does internet surfing and documents, perhaps even some audio or graphics related tasks.
  • Socket 754 (AMD) - After the Socket A came the 754. It offers some speed advantages over the Socket A, which AMD needed to keep up with the times. None of the new chips are made for this socket type, but there are still many chips available for it. The Semprons made for this socket are quite good offering a good balance of budget and speed, but still faster than those for Socket A.
  • Socket 939 (AMD) - Although a socket 940 came along for a while it was abandoned after a few months of use, and the 939 is now firmly in place as the socket for AMDs latest offerings. The Athlon 64 and Athlon FX are made with this socket type. Very expensive if you get the latest releases.

Clock speed

Intel Pentium 4 processor, compare computer processors
Intel Celeron

Within the computer there is a clock. This clock helps to keep all the other parts running in order. The other parts look to the clock to know when things should be sent or done.

A higher clock speed usually means a faster computer. However there has been a war of sorts between Intel and AMD. Both of these manufacturers tried to just push the clock speed as far as it would go in a bid to outdo each other. That time has more or less passed.

Besides the clock speed there is more that makes the processor faster. For example AMD chips have always had a lower clock speed than their Intel counterparts. They were not slower however as they make better use of the clock cycles and perform more operations in a single clock cycle, making them as fast if not faster than the Intel chips.

Clock speed is most useful within a range. It’s most sensible to compare computer processors within a range using clock speed but not across different brands.

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