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Poll: Do you care what brand the processor is and why?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / April 20, 2012 8:16 AM PDT

When you're shopping for a PC, do you care what brand the processor is and why?

-- Yes. (Please explain.)
-- No. (Please explain.)
-- It really depends. (Depends on what?)

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Has to be Intel
by ESUNintel / April 20, 2012 10:31 AM PDT

I have an Intel bunny people bobble head on my desk, and it come to life to take revenge on me if I purchase anything that's not Intel.

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Brand of Processor
by Ron Geiken / April 20, 2012 10:50 AM PDT

I have a desktop and laptop computer both with an i7 processor. I also have a Netbook with an Intel Atom N550 processor. Unfortunately the Netbook only has 2 gig of ram while the the Laptop has 6 and and the desktop has 8. The i7 with effectively an 8 core processor is really fast and it is a joy to use not matter what I am doing. The desktop with 8 gig of ram seems to be a little faster than the laptop with only 6 gig, and also the processor speed of the desktop is 2.8 gig while the Laptop is 2.2 gig. The Netbook has effectively a 4 core processor, but the speed is only 1.5 gig. I think that the amount of ram is also a big consideration, and an effective 8 core processor with 8 gig of ram for about a $1000 in my desktop is my preferred configuration as the moment. I saw an ad at Costco for a ZT computer with a 6 core AMD processor with 12 gig of ram for about $600, and imagine that must be a screamer. Also the processor is rated at 3.3 GHZ. For the average user, a 6 or 8 core processor with 8 gig or ram irregardless of the brand will provide them a superior performance. The cost of the lower speed i7 would be comparable to the 6 core AMD 3.3 GHZ, so the issue especially if you go to some place like Fry's Electronics is other features of the computer and the price point. I have bought computers at Fry's, and also other places, but Fry's selection allows you to look at a wide variety of products by many manufacturers and make a decision on that basis. I have a Lenovo Desktop now, and the one before that was a custom made one from New York, and the one before that was an HP. The newest one is obviously the best, since I select my computers to be somewhere in the range between the cheapest and most expensive, and that has served me well. If I keep the latest Lenovo at least 4 years, the cost per year is about $250 which is less than $1 a day, I consider that very affordable. If you pay $3000 for a super computer, then you are a little loath to move to a new one due to the amortization cost. $600 to $1000 today will get you a very good computer. Rather than AMD or Intel, you might want to make you decision on other factors. Whatever you decide, I am sure that it will serve you well. All of my computers have Windows 7 64 bit except for the Netbook which has Windows 7 32 bit.

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Yes, I care. No Celerons or Semprons for me.
by sbill / April 20, 2012 11:01 AM PDT

Both Intel and AMD make some good processors, and some not-so-good processors. The good processors currently include the Core i3/i5/i7 brands, the Pentium Dual-Core brand, the Athlon II and Turion II brands, and of course the Phenom brand. The not-so-good processors include the Intel Celeron, AMD Sempron, and AMD V-Series.

I don't mind AMD versus Intel, and I actually prefer AMD for desktops, but I make sure to avoid the cheap processors mentioned above.

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In a Laptop, yes.
by Crash2100 / April 20, 2012 11:50 AM PDT

As long as it does what I want, I don't really care what brand the processor is. But I will admit, I like AMD centered stuff better. AMD PCs tend to give you more for your money.

From my experience, the only place the processor brand really matters is in a laptop. In laptops, good Intel chips give you a lot more in battery life.

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Don't make it a complexity
by hifly.liu / April 20, 2012 11:54 AM PDT

If you're not a programmer for embedded system, IPC, game, ERP, Math software and so on, I would say acturely there's no difference to you in Intel and AMD. But who knows what will happen in your future life ? Most above applications are based on Intel chips cus the market share. So in order to avoid not necessary problem, choose Intel when buy a computer.

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by whamio / April 20, 2012 1:27 PM PDT

The life of a pc is 1-2 yrs for me... i build what i can afford..budgets are tight so I go with the big guy intel. easily up gradable and now they have oc's insurance. $20..... never a chip problem on a new build it's not the machine that counts it's does it do what you want with out downtime....

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by brooklyndentist / June 19, 2012 10:43 PM PDT
In reply to: yes....

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AMD v. Intel
by Flatworm / April 20, 2012 10:17 PM PDT

Intel has left AMD in the dust over the past two years or so, technologically speaking. Their manufacturing processes are patented, proprietary and significantly superior, and their high-end CPUs perform at a level that AMD cannot approach, at least not now and not until they score a significant leapfrogging breakthrough, something that may never occur given Intel's focus on dominance.

However, Intel's chips come at a price. AMDs provide perfectly adequate performance at all but the very top levels and are MUCH cheaper than comparable Intel chips at the levels of performance they are capable of, as are the motherboards that support AMD sockets.

I go with Intel myself but my computers are something I don't skimp on. For most users who do web browsing, emailing and some word processing and spreadsheets, AMDs should serve just fine.

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One Technician's Opinion
by jayhawk13 / April 21, 2012 12:25 AM PDT

I do PC work for 100 or so local customers, split about equally between AMD and Intel. My customers are NOT gamers or graphic-intensive users. Either brand is fine for light surfing and general tasks. I'm currently recommending Intel (i3, i5, and i7) for replacements and/or new purchases because the Intel's run cooler and are less complicated from a driver maintenance perspective. The newer Intel line continues the evolution toward a single chip solution for processor, memory, and graphics. Simpler "usually" means less trouble, easier diagnosis, and faster fixes. The AMD multi-chip / multi-vendor approach can deliver better results in the right environment (gaming) but just adds another layer of complication for the general user. It definitely introduces the possibility of a driver "mismatch" down the road. Yes, the brand decision may add $50 - $75 to the price but one less service call over the 5-7 year life of the box should more than compensate for that.

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by pgc3 / April 21, 2012 12:47 AM PDT

For the average home user purchasing a box store tower for everyday surfing and basic stuff I don't think it really matters, one is as good as the other AMD or Intel. For builders and serious uses it might be a slightly different story. For my builds I highside on Intel as a personal preference. As far as laptops are concerned I would rather run Intel, i-3 or i-5, I am still a little goosey of the i-7 for L/T use although I have heard the issues, heating etc. have likely been resolved.

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It's hard to forget a bad experience
by geostud / April 21, 2012 3:44 AM PDT

...especially when one is spending a lot of money. I tried an AMD processor once, back somewhere in the 90's. I don't remember when but it's when AMD first started giving INTEL a bit of competition. I was very disappointed because I had over heating problems with the computer. I tried different cooling options but it would still overheat. I ended up getting rid of that computer and getting an INTEL based Pentium computer. I just retired that computer in order to upgrade to an i7 and Windows 7. The Pentium I was running did a great job with Windows XP, in fact I think I will reformat the HD, reload Windows XP and sell the thing.

AMD may have solved the overheating problem but I feel like if they did, it was at my expense. I won't give them another opportunity.

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No. With me...
by ahtoi / April 22, 2012 2:14 AM PDT

it's always about money; so bring on the BARGAIN! Also.. that's the reason I don't have any Apple product, hehe. The other reason is because I have always built my own (have never bought a computer).

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Intel vs AMD
by Poppypbr / April 22, 2012 6:07 AM PDT

I've had INTEL at work and AMD at home for over15 years and more than one of each. Both are stable if the software has been written properly. Intel makes pretty good motherboards, but I would prefer an ASUS (Nagami), Biostar, AS Rock and several other motherboards with an AMD processor for less money and put that money towards the video section. Intel's video cannot compare with AMD's offerings. AMD has always cost less and has had more "bank for the buck". One must recognize that AMD has done a magnificent job with the ATI line of video cards, surplanting Nvidia as the video card of choice at most price points. As far as the latest and the greatest CPU, they are simply not on my radar screen...I prefer to wait a year, perhaps two and pick up a new offering when the prices have dropped considerably and manufacturing quality has improved. Both AMD and Intel have had products with heat issues but that is more the exception than the rule today, and it is easily rectified with a single large 120-140mm quiet fan added to the case exterior. If it wasn't for AMD, computers would cost a lot more, but if it wasn't for Intel and Microsoft's maneuverings, the computer industry would not be as far along today as it currently exists. Intel is more concerned with profits than AMD and has historically not been very forthright or honest with the computing public about floating point defects or how it obtained its "breakthrough" technology (the Pirates of Maynard, Massachusetts!) Nonetheless, its a good thing that Microsoft and Intel "borrowed" a few ideas. and moved computers forward dramatically from the days of $10,000 Apple Macs. I continue to support AMD in my private purchases because it is better for all of us that AMD remains a tough, viable competitor. Viva la competition!

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I care which brand
by zclayton2 / April 23, 2012 1:05 AM PDT

because I have had much better results with AMD for my home builds.

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Is $$ an issue?
by Hippyhell / April 23, 2012 6:57 AM PDT

The short answer would be that Intel's Sandy Bridge E series crushes anything AMD has on the Market right now, but it's much more expensive. The last time I checked, this wasn't an opinion but a fact backed up by countless benchmark tests. Now if your question was "which is the better processor for the money?" we might actually have a real debate on our hands.

For the record I use my desktop exclusively for gaming so I can't give a first hand account of how this processor works with 3D rendering or video editing etc. However I believe the tests are still skewed in Intel's favor.

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by FunkyGos / April 24, 2012 2:04 PM PDT

I don't really care about the brand, all I care is the price/performance ratio. Happy

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I have not forgotten that Intel is a convicted antitrust vio
by whirty / April 27, 2012 9:15 PM PDT

I try to vote with my dollars when I can. Intel has been found to have violated antitrust laws pretty flagrantly. I do not buy Intel chips. Until Microsoft changed its ways (and Gates foundation) I tried to avoid Microsoft products. Apple is now in the same boat owing to their corporate behavior. If more people spent with their moral compass, companies and politicians would be forced to behave.

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Do I care what processor brand my PC has? Depends
by MuleHeadJoe / April 28, 2012 4:57 AM PDT

It depends on what the expected role for the PC is ... if I'm buying a "family" pc for home use, to be used for email, web surfing, playing games, it doesn't need to the fastest most powerful cpu, and AMD cpu's simply cost much less for comparable performance.

If I were buying a machine to regularly run scientific or mathematical programs where processing capabilities and efficiency would have more of an impact, or maybe even for heavy video processing, then I might splurge for an Intel-based machine.

For businesses, I think the key concern would be the support model, not the hardware itself.

For the past 10+ years, I've only personally owned PCs with AMD processors, but the PCs/laptops that my employers have provided are almost always Intel based.

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by doodyguy / May 18, 2012 3:40 AM PDT

i would say intel are the best because i have found that Intel are much by far better than AMD. Intel processors dont get as hot as AMD processors do (my AMD laptop caught on fire) and they are better for gaming. Yes AMD is cheaper but that is because they are a cheaper version of intel in other word. Also AMD processors are much bigger than Intel processors so are heavier. If you ask me try to go for a Intel but AMD`s are not bad.

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by CoronaAdvances / May 21, 2012 5:48 AM PDT

everyone talked about the heating problem of AMD, bu I'm using a laptop with an AMD processor .I don't see any difference

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has to be intex
by Goldentringle / June 1, 2012 9:25 PM PDT


I am very careful about the brand of processor but my Intex PC is not working well as we know that brand....I have face too much problems in that brand...

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I dont buy Intel chips ever

as a Vietnam Vet..my friends blood is still on the ground in that country.
We never leave behind our lost. We never forget.

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I changed my mind as I pushed
by sm8000 / June 28, 2012 12:00 AM PDT

The 'No' answer. Why the change? After months of reading several computer mags, sites, tutorials, I realized that if I were to buy today, that 'Yes', indeed, I'd learn everything I could about the components of the computer. I'd be a lazy buyer if I didn't, and previously that kind of behavior (a cousin to impulse buying) has only brought regret, and wasted time with returns, etc. So I change my 'No' to a big YES!

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