Confusion on amd vs intel processor speeds

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This is actually for my friend who is even more computer illeterate then me
lol. We both don't know the answer to this question. He wants a amd dual
core 4200. The processor speed in the specs say it's a 2.2ghz. Is that the
same as a pentium chip that is also 2.2ghz? Or do intel & amd rate things
different from one another.
   He has been looking at software & such & some things only list like intel
pentium 4 - 1.6ghz or better with no amd mentioned. Is it to be assumed that
they are both the same or not?
 I know other things figure into the overall speed of the computer like the
video card, how much ram it has and such. I just want to know about the
processors. I haven't had much luck finding info online. Here is a computer
from hp that lists the specs for it's 4200 chipset. Now this isn't what he's
getting this is just a example of how they list things that get confusing.

Thanks for any help.

Re: Confusion on amd vs intel processor speeds

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AMD chips have a performance rating - my XP2400 runs at 2ghz but performs
equal to a Intel 2.4 and that 4200 performs like a 4.2ghz cpu even though
its clocked at 2.2ghz

Re: Confusion on amd vs intel processor speeds

On Sat, 25 Feb 2006 22:29:18 -0500, "warthog9"

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you should Google search for this, it is a very basic info
as it was the situation for several years now.

In short- they rate things different.  AMD does not use GHz
to compare because they have higher performance "per Ghz"
than intel does, but intel's average Ghz number is higher.
So, use the model names, not the Ghz figures to compare, but
further, compare only in the context of the specific
applications because these are different cpu architectures
and thus, performance depends on the tasks as well as the
CPu and/or CPU speed.

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I have no idea what you mean, ask, with this question.
Generally when software mentions "Intel x.x GHz", it has
nothing to do with Intel, or AMD, but is a very generic
approach of a software vendor to specify a generic level of
performance based on the age of a system, a performance
level they consider merely adequate, sometimes even barey
sufficient, to run their software.  For the most part, you
can ignore these kinds of statements and focus on what the
specific software actually requires.  I cannot be more
specific since there is no context, no mention of any

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The short answer- in general AMD has higher performance than
Intel at "this moment".  Some things are still faster on
Intel CPUs- if you have such a task, research it's
requirements.  Other than that, set the budget and buy based
on it, there isnt' really much point in trying to directly
compare CPUs without a specific context, not even
considering what the rest of the system will be like.

In other words, a $330 CPU in a system with integrated video
and 512MB of memory is mostly a waste.  Similarly, one
wouldn't typically buy a celeron plus a Geforce 7800 and 2GB
of memory.  The system specs should be balanced based on the
most demanding and/or most common uses.  Set the context
first and then aim for performance at it's use, not the
other way around trying to rate CPUs generically.

Re: Confusion on amd vs intel processor speeds

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You can get an approximate comparison, using this web page:

I don't trust the results on that page 100%, but it should get
you into the right ballpark. Choose an activity from the menu,
that will be the dominant use of the computer, for best results.
Gaming, for example, is one place that AMD does well.

If you have a single program that you want to run fast, if the
program does not use multiple execution threads, then one core
will be busy, while the other core is idle. There are probably
a few video games that fall into that catagory. There are also
games, where two threads are used, but one thread does way more
work than the other - the dual core only offers a little bit of
speedup as a result. In a way, the dual core you buy today, is
an investment in the future, when more programs can take
advantage of the speedup offered by multiple processors.

Photoshop has been able to use multiple processors for years,
and at one time, could even use co-processor boards designed
just for the purpose of acceleration. Graphics processing is a
problem that allows a divide and conquer approach, unlike
less orderly computing problem types.

Even though dual CPU motherboards have existed for years, there
has been little desktop software to make good use of them. The
more processors on a motherboard, the harder it is to give them
all equal quantities of useful work to do. Buying a single core
processor is the best insurance against uncertainty, but if
you look at the pricing structure of processors, buying a high
end single core isn't cheap either. (But have a look at
your favorite computer store - I see a 4200+ dual core
Manchester for $359, and a 4000+ San Diego single core for
$334. Check the benchmarks carefully, to see how many things
that single core wins at.)

If your friend likes to run DVD Shrink in the background, while
doing other work, then two cores might be the right solution.
On the other hand, if your friend only does a single thing at
a time, at full computing intensity (say, gaming), then a single
core might be the answer. In my own personal use, I find little
opportunity to get value from a dual core. But not everyone is
the same.

And rather than buy prebuilt computers, you may get a better
selection by building your own (maybe not a better price, but
you get the components you want in there). If you wanted one,
I don't know if you could find a prebuilt computer with a
4000+ San Diego in it. After all, the prebuilt computer makers
want to use the mid priced commodity components, so they can
be price competitive.

The selection process is not an easy one.


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