The processor is the beating heart of your machine. As a general rule, the faster it goes, the speedier your computer. Faster processors do run hotter, however, which may result in more noise if the fan speeds up due to the extra heat.

Whilst processor speed is naturally important, all SpaceCubes are fast, and you may well find that spending money elsewhere gives better performance for your money. For example, opting for a graphics card (rather than the onboard graphics) will give a major boost to the whole feel of the system, not to mention smoother games, video and other graphics application performance.

Some SpaceCube and RISCube machines (and also the RISCBooks) use Intel Centrino processors which are worth further comment. These have low clock speeds, but are extremely efficient at running code - a concept which should be pretty familiar to RISC OS users! As a rule of thumb, you can effectively double the number shown (eg. 1.7Ghz becomes 3.4Ghz) to gauge the equivalent Pentium 4 or Athlon CPU. These CPUs are fast!

The Intel Core2Duo is the evolution of Centrino platform. Intel rebranded the Centrino processor line as its "Core" range of processors, adding Duo for dual core, and the number 2 for the second, improved version. As a result, the Core2Duo range of processors takes the many advantages of the Centrino platform, coupling them with the latest desktop features for top notch performance both in terms of speed and efficiency.

It is worth noting that dual core processors won't necessarily give you better performance (RISC OS only uses one of the processor cores, for example), but will usually give smoother running. For example, if you are running RISC OS on one core, Windows can use the other core for its housekeeping and other operations.

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