CPU Buying Guide


What is SSE3?

SSE3 is the third iteration of Intel's Streaming SIMD Extensions. Like its predecessors, it's a series of dedicated instructions designed to speed up processor intensive applications such as speech, video editing encryption and gaming. The SSE3 technology was introduced with the first Prescott cores, but it's also available in the Core 2 range of CPUs, and even most of AMD's, thanks to cross-licencing between the two manufacturers.


What is Speedstep?

Speedstep is Intel's power-saving and heat-reduction technology. Originally only available on mobile processors, where energy consumption is a key concern, it's also implemented on a number of Intel's desktop processors. On the desktop it's got a dual role to play, reducing power needs as well as lowering the heat output of some of Intel's hotter processors. Speedstep has undergone several revisions in its lifetime, but the basic operation from an end-user perspective has remained unchanged, as it throttles back processor frequency in response to user needs, so that when your system is idling, it's also not burning itself out.


Mobile Processors

Mobile processor

Intel's current mobile processors don't differ drastically from their desktop counterparts. In fact, the Core micro-architecture was first introduced in notebook computers -- with the Core Duo and Core Solo CPUs -- and then to desktop computers via the Core 2 micro-architecture. Core 2 Duo is now available for both the desktop and mobile platforms, but they do vary slightly in performance.

Mobile Core 2 Duo CPUs are restricted to a top front side bus speed of 800MHz, and 667MHz is far more common, while desktop CPUs have a top front side bus speed of 1333MHz. If you're in the market for a powerful notebook, look for one based on the Core 2 Duo, and if you want to stay ahead of the curve, get one that runs an 800MHz front side bus speed.

The Core 2 Duo for notebooks is also a 64-bit CPU, meaning you can load up 64-bit versions of Vista or Linux, while the Core Duo is only a 32-bit CPU. Both the Core 2 Duo and the Core Duo are dual-core CPUs, but the Core Solo is a single-core CPU. All of Intel's mobile CPUs feature power-saving techniques that shut off various parts of the CPU or slow down the CPU when running on batteries, in order to provide more longevity while on the road.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

PC World Staff

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?