How-To Choose a Notebook Processor
Joined: 03 Apr 2008
Location: AVA HQ
Topic: How-To Choose a Notebook Processor
Posted: 16 Apr 2008 at 3:48pm
How to Choose a Notebook Processor
Deciding upon the processor for a notebook is not as important as deciding a desktop processor. Notebooks come already equipped with motherboards, and can only accept a narrow range of processors. These ranges of processors provide the best performance matched with the rest of the system.
Terms and Technologies
Front Side Bus (FSB): The FSB is the connection between processor and a component called the chipset. This connection speed determines the amount of data that the processor can communicate with the motherboard. The higher the FSB is, usually the higher the performance that can be obtained.
Hyper Transport (HT): AMD’s solution to the aging FSB technology. This solution allows the processor to have direct access to the memory, bypassing the chipset altogether. This in turn allows lower latency.
Cache: The cache is a small amount of fast memory directly inside the chip. Multiple accesses to this memory instead of slower ram can greatly improve performance. Many chips feature multiple levels of cache so that it can have both small and large cache memory. The smaller cache is to provide the best read and write speeds while the larger cache is to provide better performance than reading or writing to much slower ram.
Thermal Design Power (TDP): The TDP is the amount of power that the processor consumes at full load. This rating is rated in
Frequency: The frequency is the speed at which the chip operates at. Measured in GHz, the higher the rating, the faster the chip operates on instructions. With the advent of more efficient technologies and multiple core designs, frequency is no longer an effective way of determining performance.
Die: A die in the context of integrated circuits is a small block of semi conducting material, on which a given functional circuit is fabricated. Typically, integrated circuits are produced in large batches on a single wafer of electronic-grade silicon (EGS) through processes such as lithography. The wafer is cut into many pieces, each containing one copy of the circuit. Each of these pieces is called a die.
Overview of Intel
Intel is more known for its extreme speed ratings and reliability. With those qualities, Intel chips usually cost more than AMD chips, but provide more performance for the added cost. Intel is also known for staying on the edge of technology line, always incorporating the newest technologies into its product line.
Core Processors (PM Microarchitecture)
The Core brand refers to Intel's 32-bit mobile dual-core x86 CPUs that derived from the Pentium M branded processors. The Core's microarchitecture was a slightly more advanced version of the Intel P6 architecture that was eventually superseded by the new Core 2 microarchitecture. It emerged in parallel with the NetBurst (Intel P68) microarchitecture of the Pentium 4 brand, and was a precursor of the 64-bit Core microarchitecture of Core 2 branded CPUs. The Core comprised two branches: the Duo (dual-core) and Solo (Duo with one disabled core, which replaced the Pentium M brand of single-core mobile processor).
Core 2 Processors (Core Microarchitecture)
The Core 2 brand refers to a range of Intel's consumer 64-bit dual-core and 2x2 MCM quad-core CPUs with the x86-64 instruction set, based on the Intel Core microarchitecture, derived from the 32-bit dual-core Yonah notebook processor.
Merom, the first mobile version of the Core 2, was officially released on July 27, 2006 but quietly began shipping to PC manufacturers in mid-July alongside
Intel's new 45nm Penryn-based Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme processors were released on January 6, 2008. The new processors launch exclusively within a 35W thermal envelope. The T9500 offers a 2.6 GHz clock speed, faster than all but the Extreme Edition of the Merom range, and 6 MiB (rather than 4 MiB) of Level 2 Cache.
Overview of AMD
AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) is more known for its lower cost and efficient processor design. It is usually stated that AMD chips at the same rated speed of an Intel chip will usually perform better. AMD usually is slower to adapt to newer technologies as these newer technologies usually drive up the price of the processors.
Turion 64 (K8L Microarchitecture)
Turion 64 is the brand name AMD applies to its 64-bit low-power (mobile) processors codenamed K8L. The Turion 64 and Turion 64 X2 processors compete with Intel's mobile processors, initially the Pentium M and currently the Intel Core and Intel Core 2 processors.
Edited by MattSlagle - 20 May 2008 at 12:38pm
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