• 08/15/2005
    2:30 PM
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CPU Buyer's Guide

We've put together a comprehensive buyer's guide to Intel's and AMD's lineups, from performance processors to the high-end, mid-range, and value categories. We have specs, prices, and pertinent performance information.

Loaded with one megabyte or more of L2 cache and boasting extremely high clock speeds, these six CPUs are the Ferraris of the processor world: Practically no one needs them, but they sure are fun to drive. These CPUs offer such outrageous performance they merit a category all to themselves. At $1,000 a pop, they're not cheap, either. All CPUs in this category support 64-bit computing.

While no one would refuse such power, the only people who really need this level of performance are:

  • Hard-core gamers
  • Professionals or prosumers who engage in high-powered video editing

  • PC geeks looking for superior performance bragging rights

    And that's it. The price delta between these CPUs and ones in the high-end category does not justify their purchase for anyone else.

    Note: Intel's and AMD's CPUs run at different clock speeds. This does not indicate faster or slower performance.

  • Meet The CPUs

    AMD FX-57: If you're looking for superior performance -- in games and otherwise -- AMD's FX-57 is the king of CPUs. Running at a clock speed of 2.8GHz, the top of the line for AMD's processors, this CPU features a massive L2 cache of one megabyte. In benchmarks, the FX-57 has posted superior performance numbers in almost every category that doesn't involve multi-tasking. One nice feature of the FX processors is that for the processing power they offer, they don't run at very high temperatures. That typically translates into increased stability. But at $1,016, they're definitely not cheap.

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