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Buying Guide

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Discount Motherboards
Discount CPUs
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DISCOUNT CPUs / PROCESSORS BUYING GUIDE

If motherboard is the backbone of the computer, the CPU is the heart.  CPU stands for Central Processing Unit.  It is the device that performs all the mathematical calculations of your tasks.

Interface

The 1st aspect that you should check is the interface that your motherboard supports.  For compatibility purpose, there are 2 leading manufacturers of CPU Intel and AMD.  The interfaces that AMD and Intel support are:

  • AMD:  Socket A, Socket 754, Socket 939 or Socket 940.
  • Intel:  Socket 370, Socket 478 or Socket 775

Make sure your motherboard supports the CPU you are choosing !

CPU Clock Speed

After determining the maker, AMD or Intel, you can now choose the speed of CPU made for the maker.  Examples of CPU speeds are 1.7 GHz, 1.8 GHz, 2.0 GHz, 3.0 GHz.  The slowest clock speed is sufficient for word processing, web surfing, and e-mailing.

Cache

You may notice that Intel has the same clock speed for some of its Celeron and Pentium 4 processors.  Take Celeron 2.4 GHz and Pentium 4 2.4 GHz as an example.  Although their clock speeds are the same, Pentium 4 has a better performance.  Its faster because Celeron offers only 128k of cache while Pentium 4 has a cache of 512k / 1MB.

Cache works like RAM, which stores frequently used data so that the CPU can access it faster.

Packaging Versions of CPUs

There are 2 packaging versions of CPUs:

Version

Characteristics

White Box / PIB (Processor in a Box) / OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)

 

It is meant to be pre-installed into computer systems by the OEM.

Pro

  • Cheaper than retail box (because its bought in bulk)

Cons

  • Offers shorter warranty period (1 yr, because its covered by the OEM)
  • Less descriptive manual (Meant to be installed by technical experts)

Retail Box

 

Meant to be installed by purchasers.

Pros

  • Offers longer warranty period (3 yrs)
  • More detailed manual

 

 



 

 

 

 

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