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Processor Fundamentals - Essay Example

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Desktop PCs are developed and designed with different users in mind. For this discussion, we will focus on the average home user. The average home user can be described as someone who uses the PC for word processing, web surfing, basic gaming and home theater applications…
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Processor Fundamentals
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Download file to see previous pages It interprets and executes instructions and data contained in software programs. Intel is the leading CPU manufacturer in the market today and actually the first one that introduced the microprocessor in the market. It came out with the 8080 in 1974, the 8088 in 1979 followed by 80286, 80386, 80486 and then the Pentium series.
There are several different Intel microprocessor product lines today. From the Pentium 4 and Pentium D (dual-core) for the mainstream segment, to the Celeron D for budget and entry-level users, to the Core 2 Extreme and Pentium Extreme for high-end users and enthusiasts.
AMD or Advanced Micro Devices is the next leading supplier of microprocessors in the market today. It also offers several desktop processor product lines. The most popular is Athlon 64 that is intended for the mainstream segment. The Sempron is for budget and entry-level users, the Athlon 64 FX for high-end users and gamers, and the new Athlon 64 X2 for more demanding applications.
With the wide array of microprocessors currently available in the market, an average home user might be at a lost which one to choose for his particular requirement. In order to aid the selection process, we chose four different desktop PCs with four different microprocessors from Intel and AMD. We made a comparative analysis describing in detail the main features of each processor considering performance, power usage, reliability and longevity. Please refer to the table below as we go on with the discussion.

Brand/ Model
Lenovo Series 3000
eMachines ET1161-07
HP Pavilion Elite M9515F
Acer Predator Series AG7710-U7791A
Recommended Usage
Media Center
Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2220
AMD Athlon X2 4050e
AMD Phenom X4 9850
Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition 965
Processor Features
64 bit Dual Core
64 bit Dual Core
64 bit Quad Core
Nehalem 64 bit Quad Core
Processor Technology
65 nm
65 nm
65 nm
45 nm
CPU Speed
2.4 GHz
2.1 GHz
2.5 GHz
3.2 GHz
Front Side Bus Speed
800 MHz
2000 MHz Hyper Transports
4000 MHz Hyper Transports
Cache per Processor
1MB L2
2 x 512KB L2
4 x 512KB L2/ 2MB L3
4 x 256 L2/ 8MB L3
Thermal Design Power
65 W
45 W
125 W
130 W
Cooling Device
Heatsink and Fan
Heatsink and Fan
Heatsink and Fan
Heatsink and Fan
Average CPU Price
Operating System
Windows Vista Home Premium
Windows Vista Home Premium
Windows Vista Home Premium
Windows Vista Home Premium
Hard Drive
Optical Drive
Blu-ray & SuperMulti DVD burner
SuperMulti DVD burner
Intel GMA 3100
NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE
NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 1GB
Desktop List Price

Before we do a review of each of the microprocessor used in the four desktop PCs above, let us define some of the parameters used in the comparison.

CPU Speed

The CPU speed is a measure of how fast instructions and data signals can move in various branches of a CPU's many circuits. The megahertz or MHz, a unit of alternating current (AC) or electromagnetic (EM) wave frequency is used to express microprocessor clock speed. The unit is also used in measuring bandwidths for high-speed digital data signals. Newer processors released are actually in the gigahertz GHz range. 1 MHz is equal to 1,000,000 cycles per ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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