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Buying a Cheap computer CPU

Should I use Intel or AMD?

 The choice depends on what your computing demands are and what you are comfortable with. I will not go into much technical detail here, but there are some differences. Opinions fly like crazy on the internet about which CPU is best. Having used both over the years; my opinion is that both AMD and Intel are good solid CPU's. My advice is, do not get caught up in the speed wars and there is no need to buy the latest and greatest. If you purchase the right motherboard, you can up grade later.

Here are some things to know when shopping for a CPU.

Visit your motherboard manufacturers website and locate your motherboard specifications to find which CPUs are compatible with your motherboard. You can also find all compatibility specifications in the motherboard manual. Make sure you match the CPU manufacturer, CPU speed and the CPU socket type.

CPUs are rated by MHz and GHz and 1000 MHz = 1 GHz. CPUs are also rated by FSB, (Front Side Bus speed) which is also expressed in MHz. The FSB speed depends on the motherboard memory bus speed and the RAM speed used. The higher the combination of the two speeds the faster the CPU. Example: A CPU rated at 1.8GHz with a FSB of 400MHz will perform slightly better than a CPU rated at 1.8GHz with a FSB speed of 333MHz.

Cool Site Alert! AMD Live

 Intel has gained a considerable amount of trust from users over the years and for good reason. The Intel CPU is a fast and reliable performer. But try not to be swayed by the hype Intel produces. Intel offers many CPU socket types and speeds. As with all CPUs, match the socket type and bus speed with the motherboard.

 The Intel Pentium 4 being the top of the line performer and the Celeron is the slower budget CPU. The biggest news is of course the announcement of the x20, x30 and x40 dual-core processors. At present, it is not clear if these are the final names for these parts or simply placeholders. And they are expensive of course. If the idea of using a computer that says, "Intel Inside" makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, go for it. Intel is a good choice.

 AMD processors on the other hand, have historically been sort of a niche underdog for PC Technicians and builders of high speed gaming systems. But in the last few years AMD has also gained the trust of its considerable customer base. AMD has also partnered with many hardware and software developers to create some impressive results, including Microsoft and nVidia.

 AMD has led in the development of CPU technology in the last few years. The technology and processor features being developed by AMD are setting industry standards, as they did with DDR (Double Data Rate) memory. AMD's latest releases are the AMD 64 line of processors and have proven to be solid, reliable and fast. The AMD 64 has been used by Microsoft to test their next release of the Windows 64 bit operating system.

 AMD's most popular performer is the Athlon line of processors. Just as Intel does, AMD has a slower budget CPU the Sempron. Without going into details, AMD's CPU technology is solid and is a great performer. I have been using AMD CPU's for years and have never experienced the bugs some others claim to have. So AMD is also a good choice.

 Tip: If you are building a high performance graphics machine. PC gaming system or just want a high performance system, consider an AMD Athlon 64 series of CPUs.

System Memory and CPU speeds:

 The list below might help you understand Memory and CPU speeds. In case you are not familiar with these CPU family names as they are used below, they are...
Intel: Pentium, II, III, 4, Celeron
AMD: K6, Duron, Athlon, Athlon Thunderbird, Athlon XP, AMD64 (Sempron: is a New Line)

 If your processor has a, ?MHz FSB then the system clock speed should be: ?MHz.

If ?MHz FSB Your CPU is... Clock Speed ?MHz
 66MHz  (Various Celeron and older)  66MHz clock
 100MHz  (Pentium II / Pentium III / K6)  100MHz clock
 133MHz  (Pentium II / Pentium III / K6)  133MHz clock
 200MHz  (AMD Athlon, AMD Duron, Athlon Thunderbird)  100MHz clock
 266MHz  (Thunderbird, Athlon XP)  133MHz clock
 333MHz  (AMD Athlon XP)  166MHz clock
 400MHz  (Pentium 4)  100MHz clock
 400MHz  (AMD Athlon XP)  200MHz clock
 533MHz  (Pentium 4)  133MHz clock
 800MHz  (Pentium 4)  200MHz clock
 800MHz  (AMD64)  200MHz clock
 1066MHz  (Pentium 4 / LGA775)  266MHz clock
 2000MHz  AMD Athlon™ 64 X2  400MHz clock

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