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Differences What are the advantages of each

Front view of Intel Atom Z550

Reasons to consider the
Intel Atom Z550

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Much better performance per watt 6.48 pt/W vs 1.03 pt/W More than 6.2x better performance per watt
Much lower annual home energy cost 0.58 $/year vs 40.03 $/year 69.2x lower annual home energy cost
Much lower annual commercial energy cost 2.1 $/year vs 138.41 $/year 65.8x lower annual commercial energy cost
Front view of AMD A8 3870K

Reasons to consider the
AMD A8 3870K

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Much more l2 cache 4 MB vs 0.5 MB 8x more l2 cache; more data can be stored in the l2 cache for quick access later
Significantly higher clock speed 3 GHz vs 2 GHz 50% higher clock speed
Much better geekbench 2 (32-bit) score 5,339 vs 934 Around 5.8x better geekbench 2 (32-bit) score
More advanced architecture x86-64 vs x86 A 64-bit architecture allows more RAM to be installed and accessed by the processor
Has a built-in GPU Yes vs No Somewhat common; A separate graphics adapter is not required
Much newer manufacturing process 32 nm vs 45 nm A newer manufacturing process allows for a more powerful, yet cooler running processor
Much more l2 cache per core 1 MB/core vs 0.5 MB/core 2x more l2 cache per core
Much better overclocked clock speed (Air) 3.56 GHz vs 2.16 GHz More than 65% better overclocked clock speed (Air)
Supports trusted computing Yes vs No Somewhat common; Allows for safer, more reliable computing
More cores 4 vs 1 3 more cores; run more applications at once
Better PassMark score 3,596 vs 381 Around 9.5x better PassMark score
Newer Dec, 2011 vs Apr, 2009 Release date over 2 years later
More threads 4 vs 2 Twice as many threads
Much better overclocked clock speed (Water) 3.67 GHz vs 2 GHz Around 85% better overclocked clock speed (Water)

Benchmarks Real world tests of Atom Z550 vs A8 3870K

GeekBench (32-bit) Data courtesy Primate Labs

Atom Z550
934
A8 3870K
5,339

GeekBench

Atom Z550
934
A8 3870K
7,554

PassMark Data courtesy Passmark

Atom Z550
381
A8 3870K
3,596

Specifications Full list of technical specs

summary

Atom Z550  vs
A8 3870K 
Clock speed 2 GHz 3 GHz
Cores Single core Quad core
Socket type
441
FM1

features

Has a NX bit Yes Yes
Supports trusted computing No Yes
Has virtualization support Yes Yes
Instruction set extensions
SSE4a
SSE2
MMX
SSE3
SSE
AMD64
AMD-V
3DNow!
Supplemental SSE3
Supports dynamic frequency scaling Yes Yes

power consumption

TDP 2.4W 100W
Annual home energy cost 0.58 $/year 40.03 $/year
Annual commercial energy cost 2.1 $/year 138.41 $/year
Performance per watt 6.48 pt/W 1.03 pt/W
Typical power consumption 1.95W N/A

details

Atom Z550  vs
A8 3870K 
Architecture x86 x86-64
Threads 2 4
L2 cache 0.5 MB 4 MB
L2 cache per core 0.5 MB/core 1 MB/core
Manufacture process 45 nm 32 nm
Transistor count 47,000,000 1,178,000,000
Max CPUs 1 1
Clock multiplier 15 30

overclocking

Overclocked clock speed 2.16 GHz 3.56 GHz
Overclocked clock speed (Water) 2 GHz 3.67 GHz
Overclocked clock speed (Air) 2.16 GHz 3.56 GHz

integrated graphics

GPU None GPU
Label N/A Radeon™ HD 6550D
Latest DirectX N/A 11.0
Number of displays supported N/A 2
GPU clock speed N/A 600 MHz
Turbo clock speed N/A 600 MHz

bus

Architecture FSB FSB
Number of links 1 4
Clock speed 533 MHz 100 MHz
Intel Atom Z550
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AMD A8 3870K
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