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All posts tagged "processor"


Monday, May 28, 2012

Understanding The Differences Between Core i5 And i7

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Digital Home Talk" @ 06:30 AM

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,281...,2404674,00.asp

"Discounting Core i3 (mainly found in budget systems) and AMD processors (another article entirely), the difference between Intel Core i5 and Core i7 can seem daunting, especially when the prices seem so close together once they're in completed systems. We break down the differences for you."

Have you ever wanted a summary of the differences between these two processor families? If so, a recent PC Magazine article may help. While both processors are infinitely capable, there are some benefits to the Core i7 family in certain circumstances. The article compares the processors along the lines of price and marketing, performance, cache, turbo boost, hyper-threading, and integrated graphics. It is not a deep-dive by any means, but it is a nice summary.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

What Is The Best Bang For The Buck Upgrade

Posted by Richard Chao in "Digital Home Talk" @ 07:47 PM

http://lifehacker.com/5883376/what-...only-afford-one

"What Hardware Upgrade Will Best Speed Up My PC (If I Can Only Afford One)?"

What hardware upgrade is your best bang for the buck if you can only choose one? Of course there is no definitive answer as PCs vary in configuration and it also assumes you are able to make upgrades to begin with. Many people are moving from desktops to laptops at home so this question will depend on your equipment.

If you are running a laptop, your hardware upgrade options are typically limited to RAM or storage. If you have a desktop, your options are wider and range from video cards, processors, RAM and storage. So, the first step is to examine your system. If your PC has 512MB to 2GB of RAM, an upgrade to 4GB will be the cheapest way to get a performance boost. However, if your PC already has 4GB, another few extra gigs won't give you the same boost and therefore your money will be better spent elsewhere. If you have a laptop, your other option is converting from a HDD to a SSD. If you can swing the money on a good SSD, you will not only see performance gains but noticeable gains in run time as SSDs use much less energy.

If you have a desktop, you have a few additional options. If you game, you may want to take a look at your video card. If you run multiple intensive process at once, you may want to take a look at upgrading to a multi-core processor.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fastest Phenom CPU Yet: AMD Launches Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 02:11 PM

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/ne...MC-R3A917316679

"AMD faithful and bargain hunters alike have a pair of new toys to play with starting today, as AMD launches two new processors for its socket AM3 platform, the Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition and 945. Both parts boast compatibility with AM2+ (DDR2) and AM3 (DDR3) motherboards, while the Phenom II X4 955 BE supplants the AM2-based 940 as AMD's new flagship entry in its Phenom line. Coinciding with the launch, AMD has also overhauled its Dragon Platform Technology, saying "every aspect of the platform has been improved and the overall value is impressive." And we'd have to agree, considering both new chips are being priced below $250."

Things have been bumpy for AMD lately, but they're still in the game, and with the release of the 3.2 Ghz unlocked (meaning easily overclockable) Black Edition CPU at a street price of $245 USD, they're proving they've still got some fight left in them. This chip doesn't measure up to the Intel Core i7 mind you, but in this craptastic world economy, AMD seems to have the right idea: performance matters, but so does the cost of the parts.


Monday, January 19, 2009

AMD To Launch Dual-Core Neo CPU in 2009

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 07:00 PM

http://www.dailytech.com/AMD+Will+L...rticle13992.htm

"AMD showed off a new platform at CES called Yukon that featured a new single-core Athlon Neo processor. The HP machine featuring the platform was very thin (think MacBook Air) and looked fantastic. HP is set to begin shipping the notebook in 2009. EWeek reports that AMD will also be fielding a dual-core version of its Neo processor that will be part of the Congo platform. Congo and the dual-core Neo are reportedly set to launch later in 2009. Congo will be a platform for new types of ultraportable laptops. AMD was very clear in meetings at CES that the Neo was not for the netbook market."

I haven't had a chance to benchmark the Neo CPU, but coming in at 15 watts, it's a power-hungry beast compared to the Intel Atom chip (which sips a dainty 2.4 watts under load) - yet even though it runs at the same 1.6 Ghz as the current Atom, it's said to offer more performance. The biggest difference between the Neo CPU and the Intel Atom is that the Neo CPU is paired with a nice ATI graphics solution on the HP dv2, whereas all Intel Atom-based systems I've seen are paired with the entirely useless Intel graphics solution. I like seeing Intel having competition, so I wish AMD well with this line of CPUs.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

September Launch for Intel's Dual Core Atom

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:34 AM

http://www.dailytech.com/Report+Int...rticle12720.htm

"Regardless of what internal opinion of the Atom processor is at Intel, the roadmap for the processor is moving forward and the next stop is the dual core Atom 330 desktop processor. Like its Atom 230 sibling, the Atom 330 is based on Intel's 45nm fab process and will incorporate HyperThreading technology -- in the case of the Atom 330, the processor will appear to have four cores within the operating system. According to Register Hardware, the dual core Atom 330 processors will be soldered onto Intel's upcoming 945GX-based D945GCLF2 motherboard which supports up to 2GB of DDR2 memory."

Normally I'd be excited about this, but just last week I placed a pre-order for the MSI Wind with a 6-cell battery...and now this new dual-core CPU looks like it would be pretty sweet. Although it's hard to say what would happen to the power consumption and pricing of the MSI Wind if it came with one of these CPUs. My personal circumstances aside, it's great to see more performance coming in these ultra-low power processors.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Intel Reveals Nehalem Processors

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 04:38 PM

http://www.dailytech.com/Intels+Nex...rticle12625.htm

"The impending launch of Intel's Nehalem processor in Q4 2008 already has the hardware community buzzing. Nehalem has already shaped up to appear quite the performance beast. With the power of eight logical cores (four physical, doubled by hyper-threading) built on a 45 nm process to leverage, it's shaping up to be a strong offering. The new processor will feature QuickPath, Intel's answer to AMD's HyperTransport, an on-chip memory controller, SSE4 instruction support, and an 8 MB cache pool. Chips have already been demoed running at 3.2 GHz, so early indications are that Intel has had relatively little process problems."

These new processors look great, but the hard truth is that even with four hyper-threaded cores rocking eight threads, unless software breaks through the current barrier of being coded for a single core (or maybe two if you're lucky), performance isn't going to go up by very much. Leveraging multiples cores matters the most when it comes to media encoding, and the problem is that most developers don't seem to be able to code their applications to take advantage of multiple cores. I've read that it's difficult to code applications to encode in parallel, but software developers have had a few years to figure this out - and I'm consistently disappointed with almost every piece of software I try. If Intel wants people be excited about their muti-core CPUs, they might need to take a few million dollars and develop a truly kick-ass multi-threaded encoder - then give it away for free so it can be adopted by all of the companies who make video editing software.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Intel's 'Larrabee' Graphics Chip is Really a Bunch of CPUs?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 01:00 PM

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-1...=1&tag=nefd.top

"Intel has disclosed details on a chip that will compete directly with Nvidia and ATI and may take it into unchartered technological and market-segment waters. Larrabee will be a stand-alone chip, meaning it will be very different than the low-end--but widely used--integrated graphics that Intel now offers as part of the silicon that accompanies its processors. And Larrabee will be based on the universal Intel x86 architecture."

I was wondering what Intel was up to, and it seems they're doing what Intel does best: CPU stuff. Larrabee is really going to be a bunch of CPUs on a card, and not a GPU-based solution that early speculation thought it was going to be. CPU's tend to be vastly less efficient at 3D graphics than dedicated GPUs, which is why we've seen the industry adopt dedicated GPUs as the solution of choice for 3D gaming. Intel's approach is quite interesting - one the one hand, it seems foolish to ask a CPU to do a GPU's job. Having eight CPUs on a card might be an expensive, power-hungry approach. Read more...


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

AnandTech Delves Into Intel's Nehalem CPU

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 11:00 AM

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipset...aspx?i=3326&p=1

"Two years ago in Taiwan at Computex 2006 Gary Key and I stayed up all night benchmarking the Core 2 Extreme X6800, the first Core micro-architecture (Conroe core) CPU we had laid our hands on. While Intel retroactively applied its tick-tock model to previous CPU generations, it was the Core micro-architecture and the Core 2 Duo in particular that kicked it all off. At the end of last year we saw the first update to Core, the first post-Conroe "tick" if you will: Penryn. Penryn proved to be a nice upgrade to Conroe, reducing power consumption even further and giving a slight boost to performance. What Penryn didn't do however was shake the world the way Conroe did upon its launch in 2006."



Intel has had a "tick tock" strategy for years: the "tick" is a relatively minor, but still important improvement in their CPU (such as moving from 65nm down to 45nm), and the "tock" is a big leap forward (such as a new microarchitecture). Nehalem is a big step forward, and based on AnandTech's early preview, we're going to be seeing 30% to 40% improvements in a variety of areas such as media encoding. I can't wait!


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