Processor Types

A few years ago, choosing a processor was pretty straightforward. AMD and Intel each produced two series of processors, a mainstream line and a budget line. Each company used only one processor socket, and there was a limited range of processor speeds available. If you wanted an Intel processor, you might have a dozen mainstream models and a half-dozen budget models to choose among. The same was true of AMD.

Nowadays, choosing a processor isn't as simple. AMD and Intel now make literally scores of different processor models. Each company now offers several lines of processors, which differ in clock speed, L2 cache, socket type, host-bus speed, special features supported, and other characteristics. Even the model names are ...

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