AMD vs. Intel Laptop Processors

by Anthony Markesino

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Intel Corporation are two of the largest producers of processors that go into the most popular brands of laptops across the globe. AMD has concentrated most of its technological upgrades for laptops into the Turion line of mobile processors. Intel, although it initially supported both the Pentium M single core processor as well as the Core 2 Duo for mobile processors, it has since discontinued the Pentium M.

Clock Speed

Core clock speed is the main way to compare differing hardware computer products without trying to weigh the merit of features. Intel features many processors in the Core 2 Duo line ranging from 1.06 gigahertz (GHz) to 3.33 GHz. AMD's Turion line is slightly slower, ranging from 2.0 GHz to 2.4 GHz. This does not tell the entire story of speed because you must also take into account front side bus which limits communication between cores.

Front Side Bus

The front side bus (FSB) is instrumental in enhancing communication between multiple processing cores, as well as other devices such as memory. Intel has made major gains in its construction process reaching front side bus speeds of 533 megahertz (MHz) to 1600 MHz. AMD developed beat Intel to the 45 nanometer process, giving their products a FSB of up to 2.6 GHz for the Turion.

Turion Features

The AMD Turion processor has many features packed into its dual core technology. The Turion introduces such features as CoolCore and PowerNow! technology, intended to counter the increased power consumption and heat generated. The Turion also includes Enhanced Virus Protection (EVP), built into the chip as an additional defense against malware and viruses.

Core 2 Duo Features

Intel was able to improve its processors through Intel Wide Dynamic Execution (WDE), which made more efficient use of each clock cycle instead of CPU clock speed increases. The Core 2 line has also integrated vPro technology to prevent infections from external sources as well as allowing remote maintenance by Intel.


AMD took an early lead in the competition for the most effective laptop processors due in part to its advanced manufacturing process. This allowed more circuits and cores to be fit onto a single casting die. Intel did catch up and with some of its higher end Core 2 Duos have fit as many as 8 cores on a single chip. While significantly more expensive, the Intel products now have a significant advantage in speed since overclocking on laptops is impractical and often dangerous. The AMD Phenom may eventually tip the scale with its quad processors and enhanced FSB.

About the Author

Anthony Markesino is a freelance writer and senior editor for UGO Entertainment, specializing in the video game industry and MMO's. He also has several design credits on such prominent games as the new Wolfenstein, as well as Rogue Warrior and the Fear series.