Computer Brains

It has been an exciting year for computer brains or as they are more commonly known, CPUs or processors. Every computer has a processor or CPU, which stands for Central Processing Unit. Look down at your laptop or desktop and you will likely see an AMD or an Intel sticker on it somewhere. It more than likely has an Intel sticker since they have dominated the market for the last several years.

My early years in IT were spent working at Tim’s Computers in Baton Rouge. I eventually moved up to building custom PCs for the company which is my fondest memory there. I loved putting all the new computer parts together and getting to put my initials on the bottom of it. At that time Intel and AMD were fierce competitors, so I built a pretty even amount of computers using each CPU manufacturer. But at some point, Intel starting leaving AMD in the dust. I believe it was when they moved from the Pentium 4 and Pentium D to Core 2 Duo in 2007 and eventually Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 lineup in 2010. That was when the CPU fight stopped being about how fast the CPU runs, represented by GHz or Gigahertz, and more about how many cores and threads the CPU contains. AMD became mostly only relevant in the budget PC market. If you wanted to play video games, you bought a computer with an Intel Core CPU in it.

This year AMD has come out of ashes with its new Ryzen 3, 5 and 7 CPUs to compete with the Intel Core i3, i5, and i7. They have also released their Threadripper CPU lineup which is cheaper then Intel’s top of the line desktop CPUs and even out-performs them in some cases. Intel’s top available desktop CPU has 10 cores and costs a little over $1000. AMD’s top desktop CPU costs $999 and has 16 cores! AMD is even taking on Intel’s business market with their Epyc server CPU lineup which has been dominated by Intel Xeons for a very long time. AMD’s top Epyc processor will have 32 cores. We have left the days of dual core and quad core processors being top of the line!

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