AMD processors are found in many leading manufacturer's computers such as Dell, Sony and Lenovo. If you're looking to build your own desktop PC, you can purchase an AMD processor and motherboard at any number of computer retailers and get the same performance at a lower price.
Before you set out to build your PC you'll need to know how fast you want it to be. The processor is your computer's brain and its speed will determine how fast your computer can process graphics and applications. If you know you want to do a lot of gaming, for example, look at the system requirements for your favorite games. That'll give you an idea of how fast your processor, or chipset, needs to be.
A processor is also called a chipset or a Central Processing Unit (CPU). AMD manufactures CPUs ranging from dual-core to six-core. Dual-core processors are found in most entry-level computers while quad- and six-core CPUs are found in higher-performance machines that are built for graphics or gaming. To determine which AMD CPU best fits your needs, check annual CPU benchmark tests like the one put out by Tom's Hardware Guide. Benchmark tests compare how fast CPUs perform specific tasks, from gaming to image processing to power consumption.
If the chipset is the brain, the motherboard is the body of the computer. All the components of your computer -- your graphics card, network card, hard drive and all the ports that support peripherals -- are connected to a thin, rigid circuit board called the motherboard. Each motherboard is made to support a certain type of processor. AMD's website maintains a list of their compatible motherboards and chipsets. Once you've chosen your chipset, match up the compatible motherboard.
In 2011 AMD announced a new chipset it calls an APU or "Accelerated Processing Unit." The Fusion APU combines the processing power of a CPU with the graphics performance of a separate dedicated graphics processor. The APU can be installed in place of a CPU in compatible motherboards and may eliminate the need for a separate graphics processor.
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