December 18, 2008

Buying a PC #1 Processor

So you want to buy a new PC and you're not sure what to look for.

This is the list in order of importance to me and the order I'm writing about them in.

1. Processor
2. Hard Drive
3. Memory
4. Network cards
5. CD / DVD / Writable drives
6. Accessories
7. Warrenty / Service plan

As far as the Processor (CPU) I would warn you to research your product before you buy.

In 1992 I built my first PC from a kit. At that time the 80486 chip was the new thing and the chips came in two varieties, the SX (without math co-processor) and DX (with math co-processor). I was sold a chip called a DLC and I bought it based on price only to find out it was no better than buying at 32 bit SX chip since I didn't understand that I would still have to add the 487 math coprocessor to it.

Since those times most CPU manufacturers have gone out of business or are just re-labeling chips made by Intel or AMD. I want to oversimplify these two chip manufacturers for you to get you ready for your purchase.

AMD chips use a process called Hypertransport. For single thread (or single processor request) applications Hypertransport will be faster.

Intel chips use a process called Hyperthreading. For multi thread (process that are written for multiple processors) applications or multimedia audio or visualy heavy programs Hyperthreading will be faster for you.

Another factor to consider is the speed of the chip. This will be rated in gigahertz or Ghz. The bigger this number is the faster it will be.

Also don't forget the price. The best chip in the world is worthless to you if you can't afford it. In general AMD chips are also less expensive than thier Intel competitors.

For beginner computer users I wouldn't get hung up on either chip unless you have specific software or games that you want to use.

In my opinion, I would be just as happy with either chip, but then again... I don't have time to play many games at this point in my life, perhaps when that changes so will my opinion.

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