The AMD and Intel MHz Controversy

I’ve been into computers since I was like 10 years old, now 25. Ever since then I always thought that Intel jacked up their clock speed to make it seem faster than AMD processors to the normal computer user. Until a few years ago that is still what I though, that Intel was trying to fool everyone intel cpu for sale. I now know what the difference is and that Intel was not lying about their clock speeds they just had different factors that made it higher.

This post is directed at people who have the same belief and to set the record straight. This is by no means meant to be an in-depth article into pipelines and how cpu’s work etc. This is just to give you the basic idea behind why there is a difference between a AMD MHz and Intel MHz.

First off a MHz is a MHz no matter what, there is no difference in any MHz. a MHz is a unit of measure similar to an inch, foot etc. A MHz is one million hertz, MHz is short for megahertz. MHz are used to measure the transmission of data on electronic devices. Basically 1 MHz means the device can process the data one million times per second. Now lets move on to how AMD and Intel are different.

A computer program runs on your computer and send instructions to the CPU to be carried out. The program send out the instructions in order like 1,2,3,4,5 but the CPU may execute the instruction like so 3,4,1,2,5, this is called “out of order execution”. The CPU breaks each instruction down into pieces like 1a,1b,1c and so on, but the CPU may execute 3a before 1a and 2a last because it is waiting for data from 1c. It gets very complicated and I could never explain how all of it works. This is just so you understand that CPU are very complex and the execution of programs is very complex.

Basically this is where Intel and AMD differ. The speed difference comes from how fast the CPU can execute instructions out of order and how fast the pieces can be executed. Imagine you need to build a brick garage and you have 22 or 31 small trucks to carry the bricks to the construction site. Then imagine at another site you have 12 larger trucks to carry the bricks. Which do you think will get done faster? If you chose the 12 larger trucks your right and this is the path that AMD chose. Intel chose the other path which turned out to be the wrong one The information on the pipeline is referring to the older Intel and AMD processors.

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