Processor models vary according to cache size, clock speed and RAM speed. If you run compute-intensive programs, the more L2 Cache you have the better. If, however, you use your PC for gaming, streaming video or watching movies, the size of your L2 Cache is not as significant as having a speedy Front Side Bus and some juiced up Clock Speed. That being said, every year, software developers design programs and applications that demand more and more of all three of these elements. So, our advice is to think about tomorrow’s needs as well as todays. Still don’t know if you should err on the side of caution or throw it to the wind? Choose the best processor you can afford. No matter what, you’re bound to be blown away.
Here is some guidance to consider when looking at our notebook processors:
>Intel Core2 Extreme mobile processor: _QX9000 series: For the best competitive gaming and/or media performance
>Intel Centrino processor technology: _T9000/T8000 series: Great for visually intense gaming and/or high definition media_T7000/ T5000 series: Create and store your photos, videos and music
>Intel Pentium dual-core processor: _T2000 series: Aptly handles a variety of simple computing tasks simultaneously
>Intel Celeron dual-core processor: _T1000 series: For when you want to run a few basic tasks simultaneously
>Intel Celeron processor: _500 series: For when you just need the basics
Here is some guidance to consider when looking at our desktop processors:
>Intel Core2 Extreme processor:_QX9000 series: For the best competitive gaming and/or media performance
>Intel Core2 Quad processor:_QX9000 series: For the best competitive gaming and/or media performance
>Intel Core2 Duo processor:_E8000 series: For creating and storing photos, videos and music
>Intel Pentium dual-core processor:_E2000 series: Good for a variety of simple PC tasks.
>Intel Celeron processor:_400 series: For when you just need the basics
Software developers chop up their code (known as threading) and run each piece concurrently through whatever processor core happens to be most available. And, increasingly, software developers rely on Intel® quad-core and dual-core technology so their multi-threaded program can do more things simultaneously producing faster, more efficient results for you.
Tip! For exceptional multitasking, look for Intel® dual-core processors. If you’re a mega-multitasker, gaming elitist, or media maven, look for Intel quad-core processors.
The simplest way to understand clock speed is to imagine a stopwatch measuring laps. Question is, where is the stopwatch: an Olympic pool, a racetrack or a track meet?
Just like a stopwatch, a clock speed measures how fast a processor performs an activity. But which activity?
That’s up to you; how will you use your computer? Will you make a video of your child with your new HD camera? Then find a benchmark test that tells the clock speed of the processor running a media-intensive program. Do you love re-touching photos? Then look up how a processor was benchmarked running the photo software you like to use.
Tip! Yes, you will find numbers. You will see rates in gigahertz (GHz) which means a billion cycles per second.
But numbers don’t tell the story. How you use your processor is what you want to find out. After all, you wouldn’t compare a lap time from a swim meet with an Indy car, would you?
Tip! Whatever system you choose, make sure the components work together. For example, if you’re building a media computer, having a 1333 MHz front side bus that can handle HD video is wonderful—but make sure the CPU is adequate for the challenge.
That’s L2 cache. It remembers the information accessed most frequently in your computer so you can easily get to it without those annoying lags. (Just don’t expect it to remember documents you didn’t save. It’s just a computer, not your mother.)
Tip! More L2 cache reduces bottlenecks and helps speed memory performance.
45nm – A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. Transistors on our latest processors are just 45-billionths of a meter wide. To get an idea of the size of the technology: you could lay over 2000 of our transistor gates side-by-side and almost equal the diameter of a strand of human hair. The new Hafnium-infused Intel 45nm process allows transistors to be packed more densely than the 65nm process. With the use of hafnium oxide replacing silicon dioxide (in use since the 1960s) the new transistors leak less energy, produce less heat and switch faster.
Nearly doubling the density of our processors means leaps in performance, an up-to-50-percent larger L2 cache, and new levels of breakthrough energy-efficiency. Cool—in more ways than one.