PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM/Processor power

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Question
I have been building PC's since I was a kid, but in recent years there have been so many new types of processors I'm not sure what I'm looking for anymore.  I have always bought Intel, but I'd like to save some money and possibly go with AMD if they are just as good.  This is where I need some advice because I don't know how they perform. I've been looking at the Core i5 vs. the AMD FX series or the A8/A10?   Which is more important: a higher clocking rate or a higher number of cores?  For example (and I'm just making up numbers here) a quad core 4ghz or an 8 core 3ghz be a faster processor if all other variables are equal? Can you give me a recommendation for the fastest more cost effective processor?

Also I've always been a big believer in lots of RAM.  Even my laptop as 8gb, but I'm not sure I need that much.  I like to have a lot of applications open at once, but what necessitates the need for 8gb instead of 4?

Thank you so much for your help. I've been shipping barebones kits for like a week and it's exhausting looking at all these combinations.

Answer
I too have been building and repairing computers for years. I have used Intel, but for the most part have used AMD. There are some advantages to AMD. They are less expensive, more heat resistant (if you wanted to overclock), and seem to perform just as good as intel. It is my opinion that the more cores the better. I know processor speed is also dependent on cache size also. Hope this helps. Let me know if I can help further.

PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM

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Keith

Expertise

Experienced in complete system builds where knowledge of kinds and types of motherboards, processors, and RAM have to be compatible. This includes intermediate knowledge of video card technologies and the troubleshooting and repair of problems associated with said hardware.

Experience

11 years experience as a self-employed PC technician with 100% customer satisfaction.

Education/Credentials
4 classes from a Networking degree. Mostly self-taught.

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