Tuesday, 16 August 2011


Intel vs AMD

Start by choosing which processor that you want:
Both Intel and AMD make quality processors, both of which are completely capable for gaming spec PC's and upwards. There are a number of different factors that you have to be aware of.

At  the time of writing this guide, Intel have without a doubt the best processors. Their 1155 socket
type also known as Sandybridge are incredible processors, they are divided into 3 groups. The i3, i5 and i7. The i3 are aimed at light processing power (value range), the i5 are performance processors, coping very well in all areas of processing, especially gaming. And finally the i7, this range is.
AMD's current processors are the Phenom ii, which are also very good, however do not stand up nearly as well against the Intel. They range from dual core to hex core (6) which are much better suited to multi tasking, or applications which utilise multi core processors, which in my opinion will be a lot more common in the following years with the release of AMD's new processor due to be launched known by its codename "Bulldozer" is shaping up to be a great competitor. The Bulldozer sports 8 physical cores!! 
AMD processors for as long as I can recall have had a lower heat threshold than intel, this is fine if you are just using them at stock speeds however, when it comes to overclocking it leaves you with less room to play with on the temperature front. I am expecting the same with this new processor type however I would love to be proven wrong - If the processor has a higher roof on the temperature limits, then I will be very excited to see how far the overclocking potential can be pushed.
I do not really want to get too deep into different processor types, as by the time you read this, there may well be brand new processor types out and this whole area of the article will be outdated.

A term that you will hear a lot when discussing PC's is "Bang for Buck" - simply put, how much performance you get for your money. Would you spend an extra £100 on a processor for a 5% increase in performance?  This brings me on to my next point.... Cost
AMD and Intel processors come in a range of prices - generally the most expensive are the Intel i7 range. They are the fastest processors, great for those who require a fast PC to do number crunching, encoding, graphical design etc, or just for those who can afford the price tag and simply want a computer that does everything, but just that bit faster than the rest.

Socket Types
Processors are divided into sub groups - socket types. For instance, the latest Intel processors are using the LGA1155 socket type and the latest AMD socket type is the AM3+.
Each processor has to be paired up with a motherboard sporting the same socket type as the processor, this is just something to bear in mind when choosing your computer components.

Once again, when chosing a mother board there area  few factors to bear in mind,
1) Cost
2) Performance
3) Brand
4) Socket type
5) Usage

You can pick up a motherboard on the (intel) 1155 socket type for as little as £60, whereas you can pick up a motherboard on the (AMD) AM3 socket type from £35. Not only are the motherboards cheaper on this socket type, but the processors can also be picked up at a great price (from under £30)!
As you might expect, the faster the processor / motherboard, the higher the price tag, although a recent article I read which was comparing different motherboards in the same 1155 range found that the difference in performance was negligible from board to board!
When choosing a motherboard, brand names are usually down to personal preference, I personally prefer the ASUS brands of motherboard as I have never had a problem with them. I do suggest that you stick to the well known brands such as ASUS, MSI, GIGABYTE as they are all well manufactured.
When choosing a motherboard, in the description it will let you know what type of RAM is supported, here is an example (just part of the list):

It is always best to refer to this list (found on the manufacturers website) before purchasing any memory modules for your new PC to ensure a perfect match.


  1. Personally, i'm an intel man, myself.

  2. Yup, got an i7 920. Does the trick quite well. Hopefully I won't have to upgrade for a while.


  3. I prefer Intel... but I don't know sh*** about AMD :P