Intel Processor Maze

With the recent official launch of the i5 and the i3 processor lineups which add to their already existing Core2Duo, QuadCore, i7, Celeron and Atom lines, Intel’s offering suddenly becomes extremely confusing, not to mention the numbers they use to denote specific model. T7500 is NOT better than the Q3500 for instance…

Anyone know of any guide to selecting the right processor for that next purchase?

You can see the benchmarks on the CPU here:

Of course this is just a benchmark test thats pretty generic, but its an easy way to figure out performance per dollar for general applications.

Its also imporant to consider cores. Sure, I can get a dual core with a faster clock which is nice for my single threaded application but a quad core with a slower clock is better for my applications that run multithreaded natively. For typical use I’d stay with 2 cores and go with a faster clock speed.

On top of all this, the Intel CPUs are easily overclockable. So you can get a 2.2ghz dual core and knock it up to 3ghz with stock cooling.

Fun site - I like the plethora of older processors. According to this one my brand new desktop has approximately 11.96x the processing power of my old one. Guess it really was time to upgrade :D.,1/CPU,1/

Core2Duo and Core2Quad are 2 and 4 core processors based on a particular microarchitecture (most of them Penryn and Wolfdale). The i5s and i7s are the replacement processors, based on a newer archicture. Basically the i5s and i7s are more powerful. Last time I spoke to an intel rep he said the new architecture would be Intel’s primary platform heading into the future.

The i5s and i7s at the moment are 4 core processors. There will be dual core i5s released soon (in Australia that is). The core2duo and core2quad models will become low cost entry level processors, like the Celeron is at the moment. Celeron and Pentium and the moment are used to denote cheap, entry level processors. The Atom range are low power processors designed for netbooks.

You are correct, the range at the moment is very confusing if you haven’t been following it closely, and the best advice is to read CPU benchmarks from the links already given. Not much can be predicted about a processors performance by simpling looking at processor specifications, for example clock speed. I still see people who don’t understand a 1.6Ghz i7m is vastly superior to a 3.0 Ghz Pentium D, even though the clock speed is half. Since multi-core CPUs came out the clock speed taken alone gives almost no indication of performance. Even the number of cores doesn’t give much indication, as witnessed by the benchmark scores of i7s and core2quads. A benchmark is the only reliable way to predict CPU performance.

Thanks folks, rather informative replies.