Computer Processors

Dual-Core Processors

Dualcore processor may be right for you. Since these kinds of processors are relatively new, more models are in development right now and will be available on the market soon.

Buying Tips

There are a few pivotal concerns when choosing a processor. Remember that the overall capabilities of your entire computer will be dependent in part on the speed of your processor. Here are some tips to guide you through the purchasing process ... '''Buy What You Need: '''As with any PC component, it's most important to determine how you plan on using your computer before deciding what processor to purchase.  If you only use your PC for office applications, basic music and video playback and other light functions, there's no need to buy an $800 dualintensive programs at one time or do video rendering, going with the cheapest memory card will leave you with a slower system and compromised capabilities. '''Know Your Motherboard:''' Certain motherboards do not work with certain processors. It's important to buy a motherboard that works with your processor or a processor that works with your motherboard. Matching a motherboard with the specifications you want (number of expansions slots, memory capability, RAID compatibility, etc. etc.) to the processor you want can be confusing for the first-time components buyer. Mosey on over to the Motherboards section and read up on sockets if you need clarification. '''32bit processor now may prevent you from having to ditch your system later on. '''Understand Cache:''' Processors come equipped with onboard memory referred to as "cache." Without cache memory, a processor would always be required make a long trip (in computer terms) to get the particular memory required to open a program. There are three levels of processor cache ... * L1: L1 cache contain very little memory and thus can search that memory very quickly. If the memory you need is in the cache, it will find it fast. * L2: L2 cache is accessed if the required data was not stored in L1. L2 cache have more memory than L1s. The extra time it takes for the CPU to finish searching through this larger supply of memory is mitigated by the time it takes for the computer to check on L1. * L3: L3 cache has historically been reserved for server, but some of the high-end PC processors, like the Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition, offer it. L3 cache is significantly larger than L1, with upwards of 2MBs.


There exists a risky, but sometimes incredibly lucrative, to "speed up" the capabilities of some processors. This technique is called "overclocking" because it involves running a processor at clockspeeds it is not expressly intended to run out. Overclocking can sometimes result in overheating, but if you're careful, and have enough know-how, you can make it work without significantly damaging the life of your processor. For users looking for more information on overclocking, here's a link to Neoseeker's comprehensive guide. Changing clock speed first requires understanding of your motherboard's BIOS, so if you're already scratching your head this section is probably not for you. !