-The CPU is a big step and a big decision to boot. What is right for you and what is out there? Most of us think of Pentium rather than there Rival chip the AMD K6 Chip. Which is better? Hmm... This is a heck of an argument and I don't know that I can win on either side. So this is what I will do in this situation. I will tell you my experience and you decide.
-For the longest time there was just the Intel Processor. This is all I have ever used up until the last couple of years until the purchase of an AMD product. Now, long time Pentium fans will tell you the Pentium is the only way to go and AMD isn't as fast and not up to date yet! But in all fairness they at the moment (8/99) have the fastest processor and architecture there is (AMD Athlon)! My experience with the Pentium has been a hairy one and not to darn fast at that. The AMD however has remained trouble free and very fast. The CPU that I run in this system is a AMD k6-III and runs at 400 Mhz with 100Mhz Bus Speed. Against the Pentium in the same category you will see the AMD does as well or better with a big price difference. This is also running two different architectures of Socket 7 for the AMD and Slot 1 for the Pentium.
-Now for those of you that are worried about performance in heavy 3d games and applications, don't! I run all of them and run them fast. I can honestly say that I will never buy a Pentium Product as long as AMD is around and cant wait for the Athlon to ship from AMD! I will lay out some price comparisons from a internet company I use to by parts. These are cheaper than retail of course but you will see what I am talking about.
Keep An Eye Out For
-When shopping for a CPU look for the best you can afford and there is no reason to buy less than a 300Mhz CPU. You want to see 100Mhz front side bus or better and plenty on onboard cache. The more Cache the better, 64k and up if at all possible. Also when you make you purchase make sure that your motherboard will except the CPU you have purchased. Along with the motherboard your CPU is pretty central to all work done in your system. Look at high Bus Speeds and Fast Clock rates for the CPU! Another consideration is the 3D support and Floating point Unit. As spoken about above AMD processors offer this and more. If you taste is Pentium look at the Pentium II or Pentium III. The Pentium Celeron is pretty popular due to its cheap, but I don't recommend it.
CPU's and Classification
Pentium II,III are considered the high end market for Intel.
Pentium Celeron, is considered the low end CPU to keep up with low end market commonly found and considered to be the AMD processor. A note on this processor. It is cheap and very overclockable!
AMD K6-II, low end processor that is compared to the Celeron. Speeds are well over 400Mhz. Look into it if the K6-III is a little to much for your wallet.
AMD K6-III, mid range to high end processor depending on who you talk to . Well over 400Mhz. The main differences in the K6-II and III is the cache size.
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More About The CPU
Installing A CPU
TroubleShooting A CPU
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