With the Christmas season fully upon us, everyone with something to sell is ramping up their new products for the big Holiday sale. Likewise, we as consumers have been pinching pennies and checking coin-return slots in phone booths, trying our best to scrounge up to treat ourselves to the latest and greatest (after all, if we can't upgrade for Christmas, when can we?) in speed-boosting our computers.
When talking computer upgrades, few things get the blood pumping like drooling over the hottest new CPUs. While more RAM may allow you to run more programs at once with less slowdown, and a new hard drive will let you cram more bloatware into your system, but there's no denying how sexy a new CPU is. Let's face it, a Xeon 450 with a 2GB IDE hard drive and 64MB RAM is still going to turn more heads than a Celeron 266 with a 24GB RAID array and 256MB RAM.
Even if you're considering a new system purchase, the burning question isn't "3DFX or TNT," or even "Dell or Compaq," but rather "what processor speed should I get?" Even those of us who know better, who understand the negligible difference in a few MHz and the (waning) possibility of overclocking, still agonize over whether to spend a few hundred dollars more on a 450 rather than a 400.
This is where the FiringSquad CPU guide comes into play. We'll keep you up to date on all of the hottest processor trends, and which CPUs provide the best bang for your buck. We'll also provide details on what's next from Intel and AMD, and which future CPUs are slated to take over in the near future as King of the Hill.