Microprocessor Update

Overview Microprocessor technology is changing at an astonishing rate as the two major microprocessor manufacturers, Intel and AMD (Advanced Micro Designs) compete for their share of the personal computer market. With so many microprocessors from which to choose, it is often difficult to select one that will meet your needs. Understanding how microprocessors work might make that decision a little easier. There are many Web sites that provide valuable information about changes in microprocessor technology, the differences between microprocessors, and even their flaws and weaknesses. 

Processor Resources and Information A good starting point to help you to decide which processor is the right one for you can be found at www.howstuffworks.com/microprocessor.htm. The site describes basic microprocessor design and function, as well as information about microprocessor function, history, and performance. Additional information for gamers looking for the best processors to use in gaming applications can be found at extreme.pcvsconsole.com/view.php?news=155. The site www.x86.org includes articles about the x86 microprocessor design. It also provides links to processor and motherboard manuals, Intel “secrets”, and related microprocessor articles, making it easy to keep current in this rapidly evolving field. 

Intel Microprocessors Intel designs and manufactures more PC microprocessors than any other company in the world. They have a long history of processor development, starting in 1968 and introducing the world's first commercial microprocessor in 1971. Intel’s line of x86 microprocessors, which includes modern Pentium processors, makes up more than half of all of the processors found in new PCs. Visit the Intel Web site at www.intel.com to learn more about their processors, including where to purchase them, and what developments to expect in the future. Intel also hosts a Webpage that offers users a thorough description of the workings of their microprocessors at this Intel Web page. This document is just one of many educational resources about Intel microprocessors that can be viewed at Intel's "Intel Innovation in Education" webpage.

AMD Microprocessors AMD is Intel’s major competitor for the x86 processor design used in PCs. AMD holds a full 30% of the market share of PC microprocessors and its growth continues. AMD’s competition with Intel to build superior processors has kept the technology in this field progressing and the pricing down. Read all about AMD microprocessors--including their designs, features, and prices--at their Web site www.amd.com. Visit their FAQ page for additional information. 

Additional Links You can gain valuable insight into the secrets and bugs in the world of microprocessors at both www.cs.earlham.edu/~dusko/cs63 and www.x86.org/secrets/intelsecrets.htm. Additional information about x86 microprocessors is available at this Webopedia definition page. For more information about microprocessors in general, see this Wikipedia page. These two sites also provide valuable resources, including microprocessor terminology and links to other pages that cover specific topics related to microprocessors. Visit this page for information on the latest Mac processor technology.