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Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung, NVIDIA: Who's the Fastest of Them All?

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Making the speediest devices doesn't always translate into market success.

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The fastest tech products, with their exorbitant prices, usually do not rule the markets. However, they often demonstrate innovation and are able to show a product's full potential.

And while it's become rare for someone to assemble his or her computer piece by piece, it's still good to know which computer parts are the speediest.

Here's a brief round-up featuring some of the fastest components out there on the market or hitting the market soon.

The Fastest Mobile Processor

According to preliminary graphics tests, Qualcomm's (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon 800 beats other processors -- including its closest competitor, NVIDIA's (NASDAQ:NVDA) Tegra 4 -- hands down. However, other benchmarks show that, in terms of raw processing power, Tegra 4 takes the lead. The preliminary tests have not included Qualcomm S800 commercial devices, either; they are due to arrive in the fall.


NVIDIA Shield mobile gaming platform, released on July, 31 and powered by Tegra 4. Photo courtesy of NVIDIA.

We'll need to wait until the actual products to arrive to make the final decision and name the official "winner." Still, it might be hard to objectively compare the handsets with benchmarks, especially in the light of the "tweaks" that Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) was caught doing to boost benchmark results.

On the other hand, leaders change quickly in this fast-paced industry.

Some upcoming products to watch for include Samsung's updated Exynos Octa; Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) A7 chips, which will power the next generation of iPhones and apparently contain some Samsung components; and mobile chipsets from Intel (NASDAQ:INTC).

The Fastest Desktop Processor

With chip makers pushing for more power efficiency rather than pure performance, and because there are a number of different approaches to measure performance, it's hard to declare which single chip is the ultimate leader.

Intel's desktop chips, led by the Intel Core i7-3970X Extreme Edition chip, generally dominates their AMD (NYSE:AMD) counterparts, according to performance benchmarks lists at Cpubenchmark.net, Cpuboss.com, and Futuremark.com.

However, the newest AMD chip -- FX-9590 -- might threaten Intel's reign, despite its limited availability (it's only bundled in PCs) and special cooling requirements. AMD gains way more points when it comes to value and the performance of its embedded graphics core.
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