AMD Vs. Intel: The 64-Bit Battle

Finally retaliating to AMD’s Athlon64 and Atlhlon 64-FX processors, Intel has come along with their Pentium 4 6xx models.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Find answers to questions like, whats a CPU (processor)? What makes these special? which one is better.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ First of all one must understand how the CPU works to understand why they make a difference.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Most of you reading this most likely have a 32-bit processor (unless you’ve spent a lot of money on your computer or you’re that pimp).Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Now, what are bits?Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ They are single digits in the binary numbering system of 0 and 1.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Each 0 or 1 describes one bit of data which are represented as electrical signals.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ If a current is present there is a 1, and if there is lack of current it is a 0.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½
Alright back to the CPU.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ It receives and sends data through a ‘pipeline’Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ called the front side bus.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ This front side bus is Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½connected directly to the CPU, the memory (RAM), andÃ?¯Ã?¿Ã?½a big chip on the motherboard called the North bridge.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ So the bit rating on the CPU (and subsequently the motherboard) is the number of wires connecting this front side bus to the 3 components.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½
So why explain the numbering earlier? The commands that the CPU receives are interpreted by the CPU with a predefined command list.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ So in essence, it receives 32 or 64 little 1’s and 0’s and matches the current impulse received through each wire to the command list and performs the action in the command list.
Sending and receiving might cause some collision in the front side bus lines won’t it?Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ No it won’t, because the components are on a time clock.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ This clock is measured in millions of cycles per second (a cycle is each command sent or received by the processor) and is represented in Hertz or Hz.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Also the use ofÃ?¯Ã?¿Ã?½cache (pronounced ‘cash’) memory in the processor stores a certain amount of Megabytes received from RAM. This isn’t all for cache.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Cache is separated into two layers, L1 and L2. L2 is further from the core of theÃ?¯Ã?¿Ã?½CPU and slower whileÃ?¯Ã?¿Ã?½L1 is closer to the core and faster.(8 bits=1 Byte as well bit=b and Byte=B)

Okay, now that you know this information, it should be easy to understand that having 64 lines between key components in the PC instead of 32 would allow you send more data per second.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ The newer 32-bit systems’ FSB speeds maxed out at 400MHz.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Now with the advancement of 64-bit processing and dual core technology, FSB speeds have reached speeds of 2000MHz.

Of course Intel has yet to develop a dual core 64-bit yet AMD’s version will be left out.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Apples to Apples always creates a honest comparison.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ I will compare the 2 fastest 64-bit processors between Intel and AMD.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½

The AMD Athlon 64 3800+ (this represents the speed matching ofÃ?¯Ã?¿Ã?½Intel’s processor clock in MHz)Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½running at 2.4GHz.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ This processor does have a 2000MHz FSBÃ?¯Ã?¿Ã?½with 1152KB of totalÃ?¯Ã?¿Ã?½cache memory.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Remember L1 and L2 cache? AMD hasÃ?¯Ã?¿Ã?½2 separate 64KB L1 cache for sending and transmitting.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ It also has 1MB of L2 cache.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ It as well as the Intel use Hyper-threading Technology although AMD was first to use it.

Okay now to Intel’s 64-bit.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ It runs at 3.73GHz with only a 1066MHz FSB.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ As for cache, it has 2MB of L2 cache and no L3 cache.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ The L1 cache is on the motherboard of these processors.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½

So as it stands, AMD has a faster FSB and L1 cache located on the CPU itself.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Intel has a larger amount of cache and much larger when the L1 size changes.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ They both have about the same relative compared CPU speeds.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Now with the faster FSB speed with the lack of RAM to run the speed of the FSB pretty much negates AMD’s Faster FSB speeds due to the 3 components have to be on the same time clock.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ But they still have the advantage of the L1 cache being on board.

Solid resolution of this verses cannot be determined without a benchmark test.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Since I don’t have either of these processors and I’m not allowed to steal anyone’s work, I cannot run this test.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ However, I have a prediction.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Since the Intel has a massive amount of cache while running at the fastest RAM speeds I would guess the Intel should beat the AMD in a present day Benchmark.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ This will not prove true to the future when faster RAM capable of a 2000MHz clock rate is produced.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Of course the future is never far away when it comes to computers.

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