Processor Fundamentals

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Desktop PCs are developed and designed with different users in mind. For this discussion, we will focus on the average home user. The average home user can be described as someone who uses the PC for word processing, web surfing, basic gaming and home theater applications.


It interprets and executes instructions and data contained in software programs. Intel is the leading CPU manufacturer in the market today and actually the first one that introduced the microprocessor in the market. It came out with the 8080 in 1974, the 8088 in 1979 followed by 80286, 80386, 80486 and then the Pentium series.
There are several different Intel microprocessor product lines today. From the Pentium 4 and Pentium D (dual-core) for the mainstream segment, to the Celeron D for budget and entry-level users, to the Core 2 Extreme and Pentium Extreme for high-end users and enthusiasts.
AMD or Advanced Micro Devices is the next leading supplier of microprocessors in the market today. It also offers several desktop processor product lines. The most popular is Athlon 64 that is intended for the mainstream segment. The Sempron is for budget and entry-level users, the Athlon 64 FX for high-end users and gamers, and the new Athlon 64 X2 for more demanding applications.
With the wide array of microprocessors currently available in the market, an average home user might be at a lost which one to choose for his particular requirement. In order to aid the selection process, we chose four different desktop PCs with four different microprocessors from Intel and AMD. ...
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