Processor Overview

Many newcomers to the PC world may well be perplexed by the apparent choice of PC’s that are available to choose from; CD or DVD drive?20Gb or 30Gb hard disk?However, possibly one of the most confusing issues to arise recently is the new choice between different processors that are available, or to be more specific, whether you should go for a AMD Athlon or Intel Pentium 4 Processor.

For those of you unaware, the processor in your PC is really the brains of the machine, it does all the calculations that allow the computer to function and without it, the machine wouldn’t work at all.It is therefore essential that you choose correctly the type of processor you would like your computer to have as a priority over other extras such as a DVD drive or scanner.

The main manufacturer in the processor arena has traditionally been Intel who have held a near monopoly for such a long period that you couldn’t imagine anybody else possibly getting a sizable foothold in the market.Surprisingly however, a company called AMD who have shadowed Intel for many years, mainly making budget versions of their chips although obviously with their own technologies suddenly released a revolutionary processor known as Athlon, which was quick to steal Intels thunder.Because of this, the market for buying a processor has never been better due to massive price cuts made by both manufacturers in order to increase the circulation of their branding of processor.

Therefore, this week I thought I’d do a comparison between the two chips so when walk into a computer showroom, you’ll hopefully be on a better footing to discuss your options with the salesman.

To start with the basics, processor speed generally is measured in Megahertz (Mhz), and is a measure of how many cycles the processor can perform every second.For example a 900Mhz computer can perform 900 million cycles per second therefore determining how fast programs that require a set number of cycles are run at.For your own interest and terminology, 1000Mhz is the same as 1Ghz; a bit like in measurement 1000 metres is equal to 1 Kilometre.

About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.