Should you go for Intel or AMD? Dual core, Quad core or Single core? Questions like these baffle everyone, so here is a simple guide to laptop processors, to hopefully make your next purchase a little less daunting.
Shopping for a new laptop can be a very exciting, but at the same time a very stressful task. There are so many different factors that you need to consider, and with technology moving so fast it is hard to keep track of the latest releases and terminology.
Should you go for Intel or AMD? Dual core, Quad core or Single core? Questions like these baffle everyone, so here is a simple guide to laptop computer processors, to hopefully make your next purchase a little less daunting.
Read on so you will never be confused by notebook processors again …
Intel Pentium M (Centrino)
This chip has the following variants: Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) Pentium M, Low Voltage (LV) Pentium M, Pentium M. The fastest model is the Pentium M 780 at 2.26 GHz. Overall these are considered the ultimate notebook CPU. Because the chip only requires a very limited voltage, it means that battery life is extended giving you much more flexibility. In fact, no other chip can compete with the efficiency of these processors. However, this does mean that you would expect a laptop using this chip to be more expensive, but if you need a long battery life then it is worth the extra cost.
Intel Celeron M
This chips has the following variants: Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) Celeron M, Celeron M. The fastest model is the Celeron M 383 at 1.6 GHz. The Celeron M is basically a stripped down version of the Pentium M. It manages to deliver fairly good performance while still only using very small amounts of power, so the battery life is acceptable too. The real downside to these is that they are not designed to handle gaming or multimedia applications, but for the bargain price, you couldn’t expect much more.
Intel Mobile Pentium 4
This chip has the following variants: Mobile Pentium 4 Supporting Hyper-Threading, Mobile Pentium 4. The fasted model is the Mobile Pentium 4 Supporting Hyper-Threading 552 at 3.46 GHz. This is essentially a desktop chip modified for use in a notebook, and as such the performance is absolutely outstanding. This blistering performance results in a very poor battery life though, so you really need to evaluate which is more desirable for you. Also, laptops with this chip tend to be very heavy and loud due to the massive amounts of cooling the chip needs.
AMD Athlon 64
This chip has the following variants: Mobile Athlon 64, Athlon 64 for Desktop Replacements (DTR).The fastest model is the Mobile Athlon 64 4000+ at 2.6 GHz. Again, this is essentially a desktop Athlon 64 which is capable of running at high speeds but using low voltages. Unlike the Pentium 4 machines, Athlon 64 notebooks tend to be very inexpensive, and they are usually also much faster. They give great performance with a relatively good battery life. The major drawback here is that it may take you a while to find a machine which features this chip, as the market tends to be dominated by the Intel chips.
AMD Turion 64
This chip has the following variants: Turion 64 ML Series, Turion 64 MT Series (Low Wattage). The fastest model is the Turion 64 ML-40 at 2.2 GHz. The Turion is a chip which is basically a downclocked version of the Athlon, allowing it to run a lot cooler. It offers you good performance for the price, and is an excellent alternative to a Pentium M. You will find though that it is fairly hard to find these chips, and they tend not to offer quite as much efficiency as the Pentium M family.
This chip has the following variants: Mobile Sempron for Full-Size Notebooks, Mobile Sempron for Thin and Light Notebooks. The fastest model is the Mobile Sempron 3300+ at 2 GHz. This chip is considered the budget version of the Athlon 64, however they do tend to out perform the Athlons on battery life, and for those on a tight budget, can really offer a great alternative to the Intel Celeron M. However, bear in my they are a budget chip, so will struggle with intensive tasks such as gaming.
Ultimately, you have to decide what you are going to be using your laptop to do. Video Editing will require a far more powerful processor than simple word processing for example. You must also consider whether you want to choose a budget or more expensive chip. Remember, the most important thing is to take your time, and make sure you do your homework to help ensure you get the best chip for your needs in your price bracket.
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