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I need to buy a new laptop computer but I am not sure what processor to choose. Should I go for an AMD processor or Intel? Can you also explain the difference between Core Duo and Core 2 Duo processors?
Let's face it. Unless you devote your entire life to it, you probably won't be able to understand; let alone keep up with the gazillion types of microprocessors that Intel and AMD belt out of their product-lines every other day – and that's just a mild exaggeration. Luckily for you, I have decided that it's time to get a new 'mistress' that I could use on the go on my laptop (hush… I refer to computers here… but of course!) and therefore was forced to research micro processors anyway.
If you find yourself looking a bit perplexed when a snobby computer shop assistant asks you "Athlon 64 X2 or Intel Core 2 Duo?" it's time to hold on to your cash and hit the road to enlightenment.
These days, notebook computer processors are different from processors designed for desktops. This is because of the limited amount of battery power available for notebook systems. Processor manufacturers employ a large number of tricks such as CPU scaling where a processor scales its power usage (and thus performance) to the tasks at hand, to save power.
If you are on a tight budget, there are systems that are developed to provide a functional portable computer at a low price. Most of these systems would have older processors such as Intel Centrino or the newer low cost processors such as the newer Intel Celerons. The processors listed below should be able to do all the basic computing tasks including web browsing, email, word processing and presentation. They are also very capable of being used for DVD playback. About the only thing that value system processors will not be able to do well is gaming and high-end graphic applications. Here are some of the processors to look for in this range:
AMD Mobile Sempron
3000+ and Higher
AMD Mobile Athlon 64
3200+ and Higher
AMD Turion 64 ML-32 or
MT-32 and Lower
AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-50 or
Intel Celeron M 350 and
Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 and
Intel Core Duo T2050
Intel Core Solo
Intel Pentium M 760 and
Then there are the ultra-portable machines or systems that are designed to be as light and compact as possible yet powerful enough for most common business applications such as e-mail, word processing and presentation software. These systems are geared towards those people who travel a lot who want a system that is not very cumbersome. They are willing to sacrifice computing power and peripherals for portability. There are few choices in this category, but it makes comparison very easy. The following processors are quite suitable for ultra-portable machines:
Intel Pentium M LV and
Intel Core Solo U1300 and
Intel Core Duo L2300E
Intel Core Duo U2400 and
Thin and Light
Then, there are also systems which can vary widely in terms of their price and performance. They tend to perform better than the budget notebooks or ultra-portables but they are portable and smaller than the large media centric desktop-replacements. These middle range processors include;
AMD Mobile Athlon 64 3200+ and Higher
AMD Turion 64 3200+ and Higher
AMD Turion 64 X2 ML-32 or MT-32 and Higher
Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 or T7200 and Higher
Intel Core Duo T2300 and Higher
Intel Pentium M 760 and Higher
The most powerful type of notebook computers are usually used as Desktop replacement systems and are designed to be a complete system that has the equivalent processing power and capability of a desktop system, but in a mobile package. They tend to be larger and bulkier to fit all the components to allow the system perform at almost the same level as a desktop in all aspects of computing. In general a desktop replacement will perform exceptionally well and will even be able to run 3D games. Mobile gaming is getting close to desktop performance, but the cost is considerably high and still not the same as the top end desktop graphics. Some of the processors that power these high performance laptops include;
AMD Turion 64 MT-34 and
AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-56
Intel Core 2 Duo T5600 or
T7200 and Higher
Intel Core Duo T2600 and
The general perception is X.P., is that AMD processors offer better value for money than Intel processors which are hyped up and over-priced.
But consider the other hardware and software components in the system and choose a processor that compliments them. So good luck with your new investment, and I hope you would have upgraded yourself to 'Vista', next time you write in.