Intel Dual Core Vs. AMD Quad Core

By Anthony Markesino

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Intel Corporation are two of the largest manufacturers of computer processors in the world. The latest revolution has involved the use of multiple processing cores on a single chip, enabling faster speeds than a single processor. The Intel Dual Core (Core 2 Duo) supports from two to four processors, while the AMD Quad line such as the Phenom X4 are able to put 4 processors together for your personal computer (PC).

Core Clock Speed

Core clock speed, or core speed, is a speed rating that determines the raw processing power of a single processor. While this does not tell the entire story in a multi-core processor, it is a good general comparison. The Intel Core 2 Duo line of products have processors with core speeds ranging from 1.06 gigahertz (GHz) to 3.33 GHz. The AMD Quad Phenom ranges from 2.5 GHz to 3.4 GHz.

Front Side Bus

Front side bus (FSB) represents how quickly a processing core can communicate with other cores and devices such as memory. The Intel Core 2 Duo line has a strong range of 533 megahertz (MHz) to 1600 MHz. The AMD Phenom runs a much smaller range at the high end, 1800 MHz to 2000 MHz. This, combined with a faster core, makes the Phenom faster then comparable Core 2 Duos.

Intel Core 2 Duo Features

Intel brought together many of its best innovations on the Core 2 Duo including Intelligent Power Capability, Smart Memory Access, Advanced Smart Cache and HD Boost. These features are designed to increase energy efficiency, while optimizing memory bandwidth and improving the use of each processing cycle. HD Boost deserves special attention, as it sets aside processing power specifically to enhance the quality of high definition programming such as BluRay movies.

AMD Quad Features

AMD also spared no expense with their Phenom chip, using their much more advanced 45 nanometer (nm) manufacturing process. This process allows their cores to run faster without producing nearly as much heat as their competition. The Phenom also integrates AMD's HyperTransport technology, which allows multiple cores to communicate much more quickly with each other than Intel multi-core products. There are also several software solutions for reducing energy consumption and improving battery life, much like the Core 2 Duo.

Conclusions

The Intel Core 2 Duo series of processors was Intel's first attempt at multiple processing cores intended for retail to the general public. The biggest problem was that they had yet to refine their own 45 nm process like AMD already had. This means that the AMD Phenom is slightly faster, communicates better, runs cooler and most importantly, costs less then comparable Intel processors. Because of exclusive licensing deals and brand name recognition, the Core 2 Duo still outsells the more powerful Phenom.