Processors come think and fast these days, every few months we can one that's faster, or bigger, or one with 'go faster stripes'. No sooner had AMD finished gloating about their 1ghz Athlon and we started hearing about this Duron, the chip that is supposed to knock the celery for six. Intel come back with the wonderfully titles Pentium 4, let alone the current battle for you wallet, raging as I type The folks at Gotapex are as confused as you and I about this processor battle and have posted a Guide to Deciding Which processor Solution is Right for You.
Of course this is not as straight forward as it may seem. Both AMD and Intel are guilty of releasing a bundle of products that seem to be almost identical, with minor changes, lets take the Intel Pentium 3 for example, "You see there are three versions of the 550MHz Pentium 3. The first one out has 512KB of L2 Cache running at 1/2 the speed of the processor. The second out the gate was the 550E SECC2. SECC2 is an acronym for Singe Edge Contact Connector, and the 2 represents the use of the new style SECC packaging. This chip fits in Slot 1 motherboards, has 256KB of on die L2 cache running at the full speed of the processors core, and is based on the .18um Coppermine chip. The core die shrink from .25um on the original Pentium 3 550MHz to the .18um of the Coppermine based Pentium 550 chips, means that the Coppermine 550 will require less voltage, 1.65 compared to 2.0, thereby allowing the processor to run much cooler."
Now, before you run out and get yourselves a P3, AMD have jargon to beat the band aswell, but AMD have a problem, "The speed of the Athlon's cache for processors in excess of 750MHz drops down to 2/5 of the processors core speed. While it is true that the robust 512KB may out pace a 256KB full speed cache in certain office applications, for gaming give me the full speed cache any day."
At the end of the day, neither processor is perfect and each person should buy based on their own requirements, this article is more than a bit of help in that decision making process.