AMD : Computer Hardware Buyers’ Glossary



a competitor to Intel that makes compatible CPUs (Central Processing Units). Some may soon be sold under the IBM (International Business Machines) brand name. AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) and Intel both came out with 64-bit chip designs. Intel’s Itanimum did not catch on and Intel then started emulating the AMD chips, rather imperiously renaming the design to make it look as if they invented it. Most software, of course, still runs in 32-bit mode, though Windows now come is both 32-bit and 64-bit version on the same distribution DVDs (Digital Video Discs). Java also comes in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. The same class files and jars run on either runtime. It is just that the 64-bit version supports more RAM (Random Access Memory).

The current lineup of AMD desktop CPU (Central Processing Unit) s, in order of increasing power is: Sempron, Athlon, Athlon X2 (2 cores), Athlon II, Phenom X3 (3 cores), Phenom X4 (4 cores), Phenom II (4 cores), Phenom II X6 (6 cores), Opteron (2 to 12 cores). Fastest clock speed is 3.6 GHz. The newest AM3+ Bulldozer/Zambesi chips are called the FX series. The fastest I know of is the FX-8170, 125 watts, 3.9 GHz without overclocking, 8 cores. They dunked one in liquid nitrogen, cranked it up over 8 MHz and beat the Guiness world speed record. Last revised/verified: 2012-01-03

The sockets in order of increasing power are: A, AM2, F, AM2+, AM3, AM3+.

Black edition CPUs come in more expensive black packaging. They are designed for overclocking, where you can trade off additional speed for reduced reliability. This feature is of interest mainly to gamers.

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