Advanced Micro Devices and Intel Corporation are two of the largest developers and manufacturers of central processing units in the world, according to Mercury Research statistics reported in PC World. The primary application for high-end CPUs is the gaming and performance personal computer market. Both AMD and Intel market heavily to gamers, but which company's products you should choose depends on your needs and budget. As of April 2012, Intel's most powerful CPU offering is the Intel Core i7 product line, while AMD's is the AMD FX series.
Core Clock Speed
Core clock speed, or simply clock speed, is representative of how quickly a processor can assimilate information and output instructions to other devices. This is the speed of each core operating independently of each other. The Intel Core i7 series of processors goes up to to 3.90 GHz, while AMD FX's highest base speed, without overclocking, is 4.2 GHz.
Front Side Bus
Front side bus is almost as important as core clock speed when determining how quickly a CPU can operate. The front side bus determines how quickly each individual processor can communicate with other processors as well as external devices such as physical memory. The Intel i7 series of processors has a range from 2400 megahertz to 3200 MHz. The FX series has a range from 2000 to 2200 MHz.
The AMD FX is considered the first native 8-core processor. The series also features Turbo Core technology to selectively increase performance of resource-intensive applications. In addition, Cool'n'Quiet reduces heat and energy draw when running media, making your PC considerably quieter while running media applications.
Core i7 Features
The Intel Core i7 line features Intel QuickPath technology, meaning that connections are direct from one point to another and the processors don't use a single bus, so they don't compete for bandwidth. They also contain an integrated memory controller, providing faster memory acess and less lag time.
While the Intel i7s are faster overall, the AMD FX models provide better framerates in gaming tests, according to benchmarks from Hardware Heaven, allow significant overclocking and are less expensive in 2012 than comparable Intel processors.
- Tom's Hardware: Best Gaming CPUs For The Money: April 2012
- AMD: AMD FX Key Architectural Features
- PC World: AMD Gains X86 Processor Market Share on Intel in Q1
- Intel: Intel® Core™ i7-3960X Processor Extreme Edition (15M Cache, up to 3.90 GHz)
- Intel: New Features in Intel Core i7 Processors
- Hardware Heaven: AMD FX-8150 Black Edition 8-Core Processor vs Core i7-2600K Review