Know your processor !

What’s a Core i7 and why is it better than an i3? There’s also Core i5? And what about AMD? Figuring out your processor is half the battle of buying a PC.

What are cores?

In simple words, a core is the part of the processor responsible for carrying out calculations needed to execute programmes. When a chip has multiple cores, it means it can process multiple instructions at the same time, thus increasing the software’s speed.

Intel has three main Core families…

Core i3: Has two cores and Hyper Threading (HT) – a technology that simulates more cores than actually exist on the processor. This improves performance of programs that can utilize the extra cores. The i3, however, lacks Turbo Boost for extra muscle when needed. Ideal for average users.

Core i5: Has four cores, but no HT. Consumes a little more power than i3. The i5 comes with Turbo Boost that allows for an increase in clock speeds in the range of 300 to 400MHz. For example, if the processor has a speed of 2.8GHz, Turbo Boost will push the speed up to 3.1GHz. Ideal for power users

Core i7: Has four to six cores, with HT. The least power-efficient, but the most powerful. Ideal for professionals who work in 3D or edit multimedia.

Don’t forget AMD

While AMD doesn’t have Intel’s raw performance, it’s still good enough for everyday tasks and comes at a cheaper price. Of the lot, two AMD processors deserve mention.

The A 3870K: Has four cores and is part of the Fusion series. It promises better graphics at budget prices. Ideal for average users who want a bit of a gaming boost.

The FX 8150: Has eight cores and is part of the Bulldozer series. Not power-efficient and a bit slow in less demanding tasks. But works great in intensive processing tasks like video encoding and 3D modeling. Ideal for a professional on a budget.

The new processors What is Ivy Bridge?

Every year, Intel comes out with a new class of processors. The new Ivy Bridge is the third generation of Core i processors, and can be identified by model numbers that begin with 3. In terms of performance, Ivy Bridge processors average 10% faster than last year’s Sandy Bridge processors. They are also more power-efficient.

And what is Trinity?

Trinity is AMD’s new architecture, replacing the current A series Llano CPUs like A3870K. They can be identified by model numbers that begin with 5. They will be slightly better in general computing like web-browsing or office work, but offer vastly better performance for 3D gaming.

Source: The Times of India

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