CPU - AMD

The CPU is the central processing unit, literally the central component in a computer. It's responsible for processing instructions and controlling the other components. Many include basic on-board graphics processors too so you can power a display without needing a separate graphics card. Intel and AMD rule the desktop processor market, and each has a wide range of models suited to different tasks and budgets. Low-end, dual-core chips can be had for £25 or even less, but are only well matched to basic tasks, while the high-end is home to multi-core, high frequency monsters that can tear through the world's most intensive software. Before buying, ensure you've got a compatible motherboard and a cooler that can take the heat.

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AMD A-Series Socket AM1 APUs

AMD's APUs (Accelerated Processing Units) combine standard CPU cores with Radeon graphics cores on the same silicon. These low-end Athlon and Sempron models use the AM1 socket and retail for between £20 and £40, yet are capable of handling everyday tasks and high definition video playback without needing a graphics card. They're the perfect starting point for building a basic, budget PC.

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AMD A-Series Socket FM2 APUs

AMD's APUs (Accelerated Processing Units) combine standard CPU cores with Radeon graphics cores on the same silicon. The ones here require motherboards with the FM2 socket, and while they're not the latest generation, they pack significantly more punch than the Athlon and Sempron AM1-based chips, and those with a -K suffix can even be overclocked. They'll crunch through basic office tasks and are even suitable for gaming, albeit with the settings turned down a few notches.

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Tekspek Read all technical info: AMD Richland APUs

AMD A-Series Socket FM2+ APUs

AMD's APUs (Accelerated Processing Units) combine standard CPU cores with Radeon graphics cores on the same silicon. The models in this category are the flagship Kaveri chips, AMD's most powerful APUs, with Steamroller cores capable of keeping up with relatively demanding applications and enough Radeon cores to play many games at 1080p at reduced quality settings, making them great for building a cheap gaming PC. They also support AMD FreeSync technology. You'll need a Socket FM2+ motherboard for compatibility.

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AMD Athlon Multi Core Socket FM2+ Processors

The CPUs here are effectively versions of AMD's APUs without the Radeon graphics cores. X2 models are dual-core, while X4 represents a quad-core chip. With no on-board graphics, these budget CPUs are primarily aimed at those who know they want to build a rig with a discrete graphics card but still want to keep costs down.

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AMD FX-Series Multi Core Socket AM3+ Processors

The FX-Series is where you'll find AMD's highest performing desktop processors. Most models have unlocked multipliers for easier and higher CPU overclocking. With between four and eight cores, the chips are best suited to multi-threaded applications and games. They use the AM3+ socket so you'll need an AM3+ motherboard to match. These chips can also generate a lot of heat, especially when overclocked, so a cooler capable of taming them is a must.

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Tekspek Read all technical info: AMD FX Series

AMD Opteron 12 Core Socket G34 Processors

Opteron processors are designed for severs, which means they have more cores than desktop chips in order to handle intensive multi-threaded workloads. They support huge amounts of ECC memory, and use AMD's Socket G34, which is also designed for servers.

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AMD Opteron 16 Core Socket G34 Processors

AMD's sixteen-core Opterons are server chips designed using the same process as twelve-core models, but they're clocked slightly slower than those chips in order to allow for all of those cores. That means they're ideal for highly specialised, multi-threaded tasks, even if their raw speed isn't quite as impressive on paper.

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AMD Opteron 4 to 8 Core Socket G34 Processors

Opteron 4 & 8 Core processors are designed for severs, which means they have more cores than desktop chips in order to handle intensive multi-threaded workloads. They support huge amounts of memory, and use AMD's Socket G34, which is also designed for specifically for servers.

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AMD Opteron 6 to 8 Core Socket C32 Processors

Opteron 6 Core to 8 Core processors are designed for severs, which means they have more cores than desktop chips in order to handle intensive multi-threaded workloads. They support huge amounts of memory. These Processors use AMD's Socket C32.

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AMD Opteron Dual Core Socket 940 Processors

The AMD Opteron™ processor, enabling simultaneous 32- and 64-bit computing, represents the landmark introduction of the AMD64 architecture. The AMD Opteron processor is designed to run existing 32-bit applications with outstanding performance and offers customers a simplified migration path to 64-bit computing. This evolutionary processor provides a dramatic leap forward in compatibility, performance, investment protection, and reduced total cost of ownership (TCO). The AMD Opteron processor is offered in three series: the 100 series (1-way), the 200 series (1 to 2-way), and the 800 series (up to 8-way).

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AMD Opteron Dual Core Socket F Processors

Next-Generation AMD Opteron™ processors with Direct Connect Architecture introduce several new features including quad-core upgradeability, AMD Virtualization™ (AMD-V™), and energy efficient DDR2 memory. In addition, Next-Generation AMD Opteron processors are designed to advance AMD’s performance-per-watt capabilities and leverage the proven technologies introduced in 2003 with first-generation AMD Opteron processors.

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AMD Opteron Quad Core Socket AM3+ Processors

These Opteron Quad Core processors use the popular AMD Desktop Socket AM3+ and are intended to be an affordable entry level, enterprise-class solution for servers.

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AMD Opteron Single Core Socket 940 Processors

The AMD Opteron™ processor, enabling simultaneous 32- and 64-bit computing, represents the landmark introduction of the AMD64 architecture. The AMD Opteron processor is designed to run existing 32-bit applications with outstanding performance and offers customers a simplified migration path to 64-bit computing. This evolutionary processor provides a dramatic leap forward in compatibility, performance, investment protection, and reduced total cost of ownership (TCO). The AMD Opteron processor is offered in three series: the 100 series (1-way), the 200 series (1 to 2-way), and the 800 series (up to 8-way).

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