Computer processors or central processing units (CPUs) are what execute programs on computers. A powerful CPU can get more things done than a slower processor. There are two leading CPU manufacturers in today’s computer market: AMD and Intel. Both are pretty popular with a large following so it is a difficult decision to prefer one over the other. Some factors that are helpful to consider when comparing the two large brands are price, performance, life span, and overclocking potential.

* Price

Price differences between Intel and AMD are constantly fluctuating so this can only be a reliable factor to consider if you are actively following computer trends and developments. Every time a new CPU technology is discovered and introduced by either Intel or AMD, the prices of the previous generation of their processors go down. Price battles between Intel and AMD are as much technology wars on who gets to develop a better and improved CPU first.

* Performance

CPU performance largely depends on the generation of the processor. There was a time when AMD ruled the PC gaming niche and offered more value for the dollar. Ever since Intel released the Core 2 Duo processor, however, the company has been offering faster and more stable processors than AMD at very affordable rates. Intel is currently king when it comes to high-performance CPUs, especially with its newest technology: the Quad Core technology. AMD still offers high-performance CPUs but they are usually more expensive than their Intel counterparts. This could change in the near future.

* Life Span

AMD processors usually build up a lot of heat when performing intensive user applications like games and multiple graphics software. Oftentimes, standard cooling features are not enough to protect AMD processors from damage due to overheating. Intel’s Core 2 Duo line of CPUs, on the other hand, show remarkable tolerance to heat even with a standard heat sink and fan. Nonetheless, if overheated, processors from both AMD and Intel can be damaged beyond repair. The life span of a CPU is not really such a big issue since the average computer user generally upgrades his or her computer every three or so years.

* Overclocking Potential

Only hardcore gamers and heavy multimedia users can relate with CPU overclocking. Overclocking involves running the CPU at speeds greater than its specifications. For example, it is possible to overclock Intel’s E6600 from 2.4GHz to 3.2GHz. That is a whopping speed increment of 800MHz! Generally speaking, overclocking a CPU can increase overall system performance. For now, many Intel processors have greater overclocking potential than AMD processors.

As mentioned before, you have to keep up with the latest updates from Intel and AMD to get the best processor in the market. The moment either CPU manufacturers release a new product, you can expect a big drop in the prices of the displaced line of CPUs.

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