Tech Know: AMD processors beat Intel in value and benefits


Thinking about upgrading that computer? Is waiting five minutes just to boot up finally getting on yournerves? Maybe it is time to buy yourself a newcomputer. Computer prices are the lowest they have everbeen. An entire computer system, including printer andmonitor, costs approximately $600. Not too shabby.

If your computer is more than two years old,you will discover that a lot has changed. Many people, eventhose who are not computer savvy, have heard the name Intel. The phrase “Intel inside” is recognized by almosteveryone from teenagers to grandmothers. But there is a newkid on the block who is giving Intel a run for its money:AMD.

AMD has been making processors for the lastcouple of decades, but recently it has taken the performance crownfrom Intel. Over the past few years there have been manydifferent models and revisions of AMD and Intel CPUs. Thelatest from AMD is their AMD 64-bit line or the k8 platform. This processor offers a whole new level of computing with many newand innovative solutions.

The new k8 line of chips range in speeds of1,800-2,400 MHz and is much faster than most processors of the sameMHz rating.

Because of the disparity inthe speed of AMDchips compared to other chips, the company has created a new speedrating. For instance, the AMD64 3400 runs at 2,000 MHz. The3400 number represents the equivalent speed of the computercompared to most other computer processors, mainly Intel. Soif you go to a Best Buy store and see an Intel Pentium-4 3400 MHzprocessor, the AMD64 3400 at only 2,000 MHz is nearly the samespeed.

The k8 line has a built-in memorycontroller. This means that the k8 provides faster access toall of the programs in its memory, making it quick and responsivecompared to Intel systems. Also, it communicates with othersystem devices such as CD-ROM and hard drive via a new high speedtransport bus (know as HTT). These two features of the k8line helps most media applications to operate at a fasterspeed.

One major benefit to AMD’s new line isits ability to scale down its speed when not in use. This ispossible because of a device called Cool ‘n’Quiet. The device is important because it preserves the lifeof the computer. Also, as the name suggests, it keeps the systemcool. In addition, the Cool ‘n’ Quiet slows thecomputer’s CPU fan to reduce the noise emanated by thecomputer.

AMD has many different levels of the k8 lineto meet price and performance needs. For those who needa computer primarily for the internet, word processing and otherless intensive tasks, the Sempron brand is available. The CPU ispriced from $60-$130. For the computer enthusiast, there isalso the AMD64 line, which starts at $140 and goes up to$600. For hard-core computer users, such as gamers and thosewho do intensive multi-media work, the exclusive FX level CPU isavailable for approximately $800.

Most major retailers sell AMD CPUs, except forDell, so finding one is not too difficult. Overall, AMDoffers a better deal than most of Intel’s recentoffers. If Intel doesn’t look out, the new phrase maybe “AMD inside.”