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Hickory Dickory Dock, What Happened To The Clock?

When it comes to discussing processor capabilities, clock speed may be old hat.

Well, will wonders never cease? Advanced Micro Devices has been saying for about two years, a company spokesman says, that clock speed isn't the way to delineate the essential properties of a microprocessor. So AMD processors have been referred to with model numbers for about that long.

And now Intel seems to have thrown in the towel, although Intel an Intel spokesman says that it's just the company's judgment that it's better to use model numbers rather than clock speed to talk about its processors, at least in the consumer-product arena.

Clock speed is, of course, still an important processor parameter. The faster a processor runs, other things being equal, the faster it can do its job. But, say both defenders of the new schemes for describing their microprocessors, other things just aren't ever equal.

And that means if you really want to understand which processor will get the job done best in a server that you want to buy, you have to understand a whole host of things about those processors in contention: clock speed, cache size, bus size, processor topology, memory topology supported, etc., etc., etc.

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