The processor is your computer?s brain. It allows the computer to run the billions of calculations required of most software programs. There are two major competitors in this market: Intel and AMD. A higher speed (usually measured in GHz) means faster processing ability.

Intel?s most popular chip is the Pentium IV (sometimes called ?P4) but as the name implies there are also Pentium III?s, II?s and the Pentium I, plus the Celeron line of chips. AMD makes the Duron and Athlon chips (among others).

Light home use; web browsing; office documents:
Intel Celeron, Intel P4 up to 1.5 GHz, AMD Duron up to 1.3 GHz

Moderate office work; moderate gaming; multitasking environment:
Intel P4 1.5-2.4GHz, AMD Athlon up to 1.4 GHz

Serious gaming; graphic design; heavy multimedia: Intel P4 2.4 GHz and above, AMD Athlon XP2700 and above


 

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Processors