Dual Core CPU's according to PCPartsPicker

I was looking at PCPartsPicker for a dual core CPU when I noticed something strange:

The most expensive:
Intel Core i5-680 @ 3.46Ghz for $282.53

The fastest:
AMD Athlon X2 370K @ 4.2GHz for $56.24

Intel CPU's are stereotypically faster, so how is AMD faster in this category for a fifth of the price?
4 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about dual core cpu pcpartspicker
  1. Because that is based purely on clock speed which means absolutely nothing.
  2. Because you are doing a dumb comparison.

    The 680 is a few generations old and is discontinued so the prices are grossly inflated on it. The Athlon X2 370K has a much higher clock speed but wouldn't perform 20% better, it would perform about equally.
  3. Best answer
    What do you mean "fastest"? CPUs have long passed the point where you can measure the performance of two CPUs just based on their clock speed. If you'd like to know more about that, there's a short video here, but the i5-680 is still faster than the X2 (but not by enough to justify that price).

    The i5-680 is probably the most expensive because it's no longer in production and is likely a bit of a collector's item. That's the only reason. If you want the fastest dual core in terms of real world performance, you're probably going to look at a Haswell i3.

    UPDATE: Specfically, the i3-4360 is probably the fastest dual core you'll find at base clocks, though the recently released Pentium G3258 might be able to catch it given that it's unlocked (you can overclock it easily).

    But yes, it's no longer the point where a dual core 3.0 GHz CPU will be hands down faster than a 2.5 GHz CPU. Ignoring core count, it really all depends on architecture and how efficient one architecture is over another. You're right that Intel CPUs are generally faster than AMD counterparts, but that's not because of clock speed. If it were, AMD would have the best non-server grade CPU out now with their FX-9590 which has broken the 5 GHz barrier. However, it's not the fastest by a long shot (though that's somewhat application dependent). Again, click the video I linked above to see more about why.
  4. That's a very old i5 to start with, and clock speed means very little nowadays with multi-core and architecture advancements. A 5Ghz single-core CPU could not compete with a 2Ghz Quad-Core CPU in demanding tasks, that's just how it is designed nowadays.
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