We are getting closer to the end of the year, which means that Christmas sales are around the corner – the time when most users will be purchasing new computer systems or upgrading the already existing ones. In response to numerous questions from our readers, we prepared a series of comparative articles featuring majority of components available in stores today. Our today’s article will open a series dedicated to the performance of contemporary processors, which modifications are currently so diverse that even an experienced user may occasionally get lost. Of course, if we cast a quick glance over the existing offerings from AMD and Intel, we will see that both leading manufacturers of x86 processors have a great variety of products. They have solutions for four different platforms featuring one, two, three, four or six processor cores working at 2.6-3.6 GHz frequencies and equipped with cache-memory varying from 1 to 12 MB in size.
In fact, it is hard to imagine anything that could be more interesting and needed, especially, because it has been a while since we posted our CPU guides. However, there is one more reason why we decided to get to massive processor performance tests and analysis. The thing is that the upcoming year 2011 should become the time of dramatic changes in the processor market. At least two of four contemporary platforms (LGA775 and LGA1156) will become obsolete within a few short months. The remaining two platforms will be approaching their dawn in the second half of next year. So, at this point a processor shoot-out like that becomes some kind of a farewell to quite a few CPU models, which we will no longer see in our upcoming tests.
The first article is devoted to inexpensive processors from the value segment, which are officially priced in the sub-$100 range. There are 14 different models available today in this price range. Let’s take a closer look at them.