A classic battle of the titans in the computer business is AMD vs. Intel. AMD, the fabled underdog in this tale, always has a soft spot in the hearts of true nerds. Intel, however, has historically put out a better product flagship product and for this reason they are the uncontested champions of the enthusiast market.
AMD represents everything rebellious in the computer industry. Over the years, AMD has earned the right to call themselves Intel’s only true competitor in the gaming industry. It is important to understand, however, that AMD does things a little differently than Intel. AMD’s focus is on producing a product that is affordable. AMD processors are generally very underpowered compared to Intel counterparts, but they are smart in choosing this path. Unlike Intel, AMD does not care about being top dog. Instead, AMD would rather put out a product that costs 1/5th the cost of an Intel and performs at about 4/5ths the performance. In terms of bang for buck, AMD is a no brainer. Personally, I prefer AMD for this simple reason.
One thing that I do not like about AMD is the way which they have chosen to connect the processor to the motherboard. AMD uses pins protruding from the processor, while Intel uses pins protruding from the motherboard. This means the AMD pins are prone to bending much more frequently, especially when you have big cumbersome hands like I do. There is no worse feeling in the world than bending a processor pin beyond repair. To add insult to injury, AMD heatsinks use a pressure based application technique, which causes many processors to stick to the heatsink when you attempt to remove them. Again, the pins are more prone to bending because of this.
Intel has historically always produced the more powerful processor. There is no doubt about it… if you want the most powerful computer on the market you will need to go Intel. It will cost you, however. As I mentioned previously, Intel processors run significantly faster but also cost significantly more. For the enthusiast, there is no other option but to go Intel. For the middle way gamer, however, more discretion can be used.
A good place to look when comparing processor performance is http://www.cpubenchmark.net/. This website compares all of the latest processors side by side. While this isn’t the most accurate website in the world, it will give you a basic idea of what’s going on in the benchmark world presently.
These days more than ever, it is important to consider liquid cooling. Liquid cooling will significantly improve the life and performance of your processor. As processors get smaller and smaller, they produce more and more heat per unit area. The only real way to protect your system is to go liquid. StealthMachines sells liquid cooling that is closed system, meaning zero maintenance. Do yourself a favor and don’t risk it with air cooling. You used to be able to get away with it, but anymore liquid cooling is the only way to ensure a reliable system.
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