The Phenom and i7 family of processors are the latest buzz in the personal computing market. But before we explore them, let's find out more about their parent companies, which are AMD and Intel respectively. Both these are manufacturers of world-class processors, and share a global market. However, without a doubt, Intel is the more popular one among the two, having much higher sales figures.
The AMD Phenom II X6 is the latest processor by AMD, while the Core i7 is the latest from Intel's factory. Here, we will try to find out which one between the two proves to be the fastest and the best.
AMD Phenom II X6
AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) is an American multinational company which manufactures computer processors and other related computer peripherals. They have been around for a long time producing really good processors. Some of the notable ones among these include the AMD Athlon, AMD Sempron, and the latest one - the AMD Phenom II.
The new breed of AMD processors, the Phenom II, are faster and meaner than the previous ones. They have a multi-core architecture, which makes them ideal for advanced multitasking. They are also quite energy-efficient, and provide exceptional quality visuals. Among them, the AMD Phenom II X6 has been marketed as the direct competitor to Intel's i7.
So, what is the Phenom II X6 made of? It is a 45nm chip, with clock speeds of a minimum of 3.2 GHz and a maximum of 3.6GHz. It is also AMD's first 6-core processor, which is two more than the Phenom II X4. It uses the same 6MB L3 Cache as the X4, but since the X6 has got two additional cores, it is faster and more efficient for multi-core/threads application.
Intel i7 Processor
Intel Corporation is also an American multinational company, which is known for its world-class range of processors. Intel chipsets can be found in most PCs around the world, and are definitely the most popular.
Intel was a hit right from the beginning, when they started selling their initial line-up of processors for personal computer. These included the Intel Pentium, Celeron, Dual Core, Core 2 Duo, etc. The latest from Intel's stables is the iCore range of processors, which are being marketed as the fastest ones yet.
Intel have introduced its Core i3, i5, and i7 family of processors from the iCore series. The Core i7 is touted to be the fastest and most powerful among them. It uses 8MB of Intel's Smart Cache, with 12MB from L3 Cache, and possesses the capacity of processing 8 threads simultaneously. There are many different versions of the Core i7 processors out in the market at present.
AMD Phenom II X6 Vs. Intel i7
Let's make a quick and direct comparison between the latest and best of both these companies: AMD Phenom II X6 and Intel i7 970.
We now know what the technical specifications of these two top processors are. The Phenom II X6 uses 6MB of L3 Cache, whereas the Intel i7 970 uses 12MB. Other versions of the i7 processor use 8MB of L3 Cache.
AMD has worked hard on bringing out the best of the best from its stable, and has succeeded to some extent. However, even with all its raw power, it still doesn't overpower the Intel i7. In a direct comparison, it can be clearly seen that Intel's i7 is definitely faster than its AMD counterpart.
The only point where AMD does manage to beat Intel is the pricing. Intel's i7 is faster, but then its speed comes at a hefty premium. It is priced at approx. $1,000. The AMD Phenom II X6, on the other hand, is priced at approx. $300.
Hence, if you aren't planning on squeezing out that last bit of processing power from your PC, then it would certainly be wise to save on $700, which is a considerable amount, and get the AMD Phenom II X6. Of course, a little compromise is required over here, but then the compromise might not be very substantial. However, if you want to find out what latest cutting-edge technology is capable of, and are prepared to pay that extra dollar for it, then the Intel i7 should be your choice.
To sum up, if we were to run a comparison between AMD Phenom II and Intel i7, statistically, Intel is the more popular of the two. AMD products are great to use and relatively cheaper, but then, Intel products still dominate the consumer market. However, that is not to say that AMD doesn't have a lot of takers. They have a dedicated customer-base of their own, albeit their numbers are less in comparison. Considering AMD's track record of being able to manufacture reliable and value-for-money processors, they should gain more popular acceptance in the years to come.