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What denotes a good processor?

by Fender 88 / August 22, 2006 10:31 AM PDT

Ok, I'm finally upgrading from my family's outdated 1.8ghz celeron. After months of savihng, i can finally afford something decent.
I'm just unsure about processors. What is it exactly i should be looking for, to decide what's fast and what isn't. I've been looking at clock speeds and caches and making decisions based on those numbers, but i'm sure there'd be much more to it.
Most dual core Intels have 3.2ghz clock speeds and 2X 2MB caches, whereas the middle-of-the-road AMD's are 2.4ghz with X 512kb caches, and AMD is supposibly better, how's that work? So really, what numbers should i be looking at..
I'm a bit of a gamer, i often run dual monitors and multitask. Say watching a movie and trying to move large files around simaltaneously, nothing professional though. I want something that isn't going to become obsolete as soon as Vista is released, so if anyone can suggest a processor, that'd be cool.

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by Jasus-2068124281316719548 / August 22, 2006 11:38 AM PDT

#1 you mentioned that you were a gamer i would recommend that you build you're own customized pc or just got the new dells optimized for VISTA!

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Consult the charts...
by John.Wilkinson / August 22, 2006 11:41 AM PDT

It used to be that you could simply look at the clock speed and tell which processor was better. However, that's no longer the case, illustrated by Intel and AMD using processor numbers, not clock speed, to refer to different processors.

The best way to find out which processor is better, and the best bargain, is to consult the charts, with this one from Tom's Hardware being one of the best. Just choose two processors and then the benchmark...you have your choice of various games, audio ripping/recording, video splicing, etc, so you know which will be best for your uses.
Now, there's also another issue...compatibility. Remember that each motherboard can only accept specific processors, so you will most likely have to replace it in order to use a newer processor. Also take into consideration the memory (RAM) the board uses...it may not be the same as what you have now, so it'll be another thing to add to your shopping list.

Hope this helps,

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