What is the difference between an Athalon and Pentium.


I am considering buying a new tower. What is the difference between an Athalon and Pentium. Don't play video games or need excessive graphics capability.



This question was answered on February 11, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

The Pentium 4 is Intel's latest line of microprocessors, which, for the uninitiated, are the brains of a computer The P4 has 42 million transistors in it, whereas the PIII and Celeron have 28 million The rule of thumb is the more transistors the faster the chip

The P4 have clock speeds starting at 1.3 gigahertz through to 1.7 GHz at the time of writing By the end of 2003, you'll see 2.8GHz chips and eventually 3 GHz By comparison, the fastest PIII has clock speed of 1.13 GHz A gigahertz is 1,000 MHz So a 500 MHz chip runs at half a gigahertz

Clock speed refers to the rate at which a computer executes instructions The faster the clock speed, the more instructions the computer can execute per second.

Clock speed is a good rule of thumb to compare chips by However, this is not absolute, because there some key components - including memory, the system bus and cache -- in a computer that change performance beyond the clock speed.

AMD, the main competitor to Intel in PC processors, makes two lines of chips The Duron, the company's budget chip, goes head to head with Intel's Celeron AMD also makes the Athlon chip, which competes with the Pentium III and Pentium 4 chips The Athlon currently tops out at 1.4 GHz

The Athlon is less expensive than the Pentium chips If you're after a budget computer that does word processing and Internet surfing well then a Athlon computer will serve you well.

The Pentium 4 chips are especially tuned for multimedia functions The Athlon also gets rave reviews Currently AMD is making claims that their 1.4 GHz Athlon chip out performs the Pentium 4 chip at 1.7 GHz

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Posted by Felix of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on February 11, 2003