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Buyers Guide Part 3 - The Processor

Posted Thursday, April 29, 2004

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So when buying a new computer always look for fastest you can afford. The fastest on the market at the time of writing this article is 3.4 GHz (3400 MHz). Remember though that it is not necessary to purchase such a fast processor, balance your needs, do you really need top of the range? Especially when the difference between a 2.8 GHz (2800 MHz) and a 3.4 GHz (3400 MHz) processor will be barely noticed (if noticed at all) by you, while the price difference is around £100. With the money you save you could get a nice printer and scanner package.

Now that we have covered the speeds, there is one more important subject to cover. Which processor? There are 3 competitors at present, the AMD Athlon XP, Intel Pentium 4 and the Intel Celeron.

The Intel Pentium 4 is the most expensive of them all, and remains today the most popular on the market. In layman’s terms it’s the designer processor. Personally I would purchase a Pentium 4 processor quicker than any of the others as I find it more reliable.

The AMD Athlon XP processor is a direct competitor to the Pentium 4, and if you want quality without the expense than this should be your choice. One thing to note though is that AMD lists its processor speeds at what it calls a comparable rating to the Intel Pentium 4. An example of this would be the 2200+ Athlon XP processor, which actually only runs at 1.8 GHz (1800 MHz). To me it feels like a bit of a rip off.

Lastly there is the Intel Celeron; this processor is a budget version of the Intel Pentium 4, the processor you find in most budget computers. If the purse is tight, and you need a computer, then this is your port of call. You will find many sub £500 computers fitted with this processor.