April 17, 2013

Our recommendations for the office, the AMD Sempron145


It might be tricky to choose the right hardware for the office in a sea of options, the winner is usually the best looking PC at the store (within an affordable price), and this leads most business to end with Intel Atom powered computers, why? well, Intel invests a lot on advertising and it's deals with most major manufacturers makes it the most common option, giving the impression that it is better... but then, this is why most people associate office computers with poor performance. This is not only the processor's fault, bad configuration (both hardware and software) and poor maintenance.

Also, it is common to expect that a new computer, made by some famous computer manufacturer will come in optimal configuration just out of the box (especially since opening the computer to add anything will void the warranty in most cases), but this is not true at all! this company's usually care more about revenue and need to comply with contracts, this is especially true in entry-level level computers (and all Atom/Sempron computers falls in this category).

My favourite feature of the Sempron145 is it's the amount and kind of RAM it can handle, up to 32Gb of DDR3 (1333mhz) (we recommend a minimum of 4Gb and a maximum of 8Gb) with 10.6GB/s of memory bandwidth, which out scales Intel Atom, who can only hande up to 4Gb of DDR3 (1066mhz for the latest Atom 2800, the rest is 800 mhz or less) with a memory bandwidth of 6.4GB/s (Intel Atom D510). Why is this huge difference? Mostly because of the physical address extension, the Sempron has 62 bits and the Atom still uses the old (and now insufficient) 32 bit.

Another difference is the internal architecture for data handling, the AMD Sempron145 it's core has a Single-core/Single-thread at 2.8 Ghz which makes sense in the Office where people usually requires a single task done pretty fast at a time, while Intel Atom focus on parallel processing wtih 2-cores/4-threads but running at only 1.6Ghz (for the Atom D510), so it "can handle many things" in theory, but in real life, it handles everything so slow that overall performance just seems slow.

A more direct aproach to compare this could be done by benchmark scores (performance average tests) on both, so let's see what http://www.cpubenchmark.net/ says about it on its benchmarks list, for the Atom N2800 (1.86 Ghz) its 644 and 678 for the Atom D510 (1.66 Ghz) while the AMD Sempron shows 847, that's even above some Intel Core2 Duo models.

You can find the complete information from the manufacturers in the following links:

AMD Sempron 145
 http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/processors/sempron/Pages/AMD-sempron-processor-for-desktop.aspx

Intel Atom D510
http://ark.intel.com/products/43098/Intel-Atom-Processor-D510-1M-Cache-1_66-GHz

Intel Atom N2800
http://ark.intel.com/products/58917/Intel-Atom-Processor-N2800-(1M-Cache-1_86-GHz)

For a well balanced, cost-effective solution we recommend pairing the AMD Sempron 145 with a video card like the AMD Radeon ONE HD5450 (very cheap and comes with 512mb or 1Gb of video memory) and 8Gb of DDR3 1333mhz RAM. This build is ready (and great) for Dual-Screen, which helps people in the office to be much more productive, specially with the nice performance this build provides in most office applications, including Full-HD video-conference. We recommend Samsung's wide screen LED displays for being stylish, cost-effective and provides great images, 19" and 21.5" are the most popular choices for the office, looking for a nice and cost-effective wireless mouse and keyboard? add Logitech's MK220

Feel free to let us know about your ideas, suggestions, requests, etc. at the bottom of this article.