About Laptop Processors

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    Intel

    • Intel features eight different laptop processors: the older Pentium and Celeron CPUs and the dual-core midrange i3, i5 and i7 processors. This is topped off by the high-end i7 Extreme dual-core, second-generation rocket designed primarily for gamers and those working with complex and bandwidth-eating graphics and coding applications.

    AMD

    • AMD has a similar lineup of laptop CPUs with the low end including the Sempron and the Turion. The step-up models with dual-core processors are the Athlon and the high-end Phenom ll series. Although it has been the popular rumor among Silicon Valley talking heads that AMD is always playing catchup to Intel, this has not always been the case. For example, AMD's Phenom ll series is extremely popular among the gaming community due to its combination of high read-write speeds and excellent integration with any number of AMD's NVidia graphics chips.

    Benchmarks

    • Taken on a strictly "as advertised" scale, Intel laptop processors have a consistent, if not complete edge on CPU benchmark testing. However, AMD created its own edge with overclocking capability, especially among its stable of Phenom ll CPUs. The AMD laptop processors are seemingly far more amenable to taking increased voltage and boosting clock speed than Intel's equivalently matched processor.

    What's Best for You

    • Depending on your needs and desires from a processor, both Intel and AMD have much to offer to the individual user. If crunching numbers in complex spreadsheets with links to multiple databases is what you spend much of your time doing, Intel laptop CPUs may be a good option. On the other hand, if you're looking to take your games on the road, AMD CPUs have much to offer. However, according to David Chernicoff of ZDNet, the "combination of price, support, experience and reliability is usually much more important than the vendor name that appears on the CPU."

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