Intel vs. AMD: Today's generation compared


Questions asked, questions answered
— 12:00 AM on March 23, 2007

I SUPPOSE YOU COULD SAY we've conducted plenty of CPU reviews in our time, but we just can't bring ourselves to slow things down. The release of Windows Vista and a round of price cuts by AMD prompted us to hatch a devious plan involving Vista, a new test suite full of multithreaded and 64-bit applications, fifteen different CPU configurations, and countless hours of lab testing. That plan has come to fruition in the form of a broad-based comparison of the latest processors from AMD and Intel, ranging from well under $200 to a cool grand, from two slow CPU cores to four fast ones, from the lowly Athlon 64 X2 4400+ and Core 2 Duo E6300 to the astounding Athlon 64 FX-74 and Core 2 Extreme QX6700.

So, how do the latest processors stack up in Windows Vista? Will a sub-$200 CPU suffice for your needs? Have price cuts allowed the Athlon 64 to catch up to the Core 2 Duo in terms of price-performance? What about power consumption and energy efficiency? Can any of these processors stand up under the weight of killer new games like Supreme Commander? Can I possibly squeeze any more questions into one paragraph? Keep reading for answers to all of these questions and more.

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