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Difference Between Pentium and Athlon

Pentium vs Athlon

The names Pentium and Athlon are probably two of the biggest when it comes to microprocessors. These two were the competing names for almost a decade. Pentium is a microprocessor line from the industry giant, Intel , while Athlon is a microprocessor line from its biggest rival company, AMD. During this period, there were times when the current Pentium offering was better than the current Athlons and vice versa.

Aside from the different companies that manufacture them, the most major difference between them is the socket type. Although some Pentiums and some Athlons do not share the same socket type, you can never use a Pentium microprocessor on a chipset intended for Athlons or Athlons on a chipset that was intended for Pentiums. You can never interchange these two and your upgrade paths are always limited to the same line unless you change your motherboard along with your processor.

Pentiums run at a much higher clock speed than Athlons. Despite this, the performance of contemporary Pentiums and Athlons are never really that far from each other. In terms of performance, you really can’t say that one is absolutely better than the other as there are multiple factors that you need to consider. But in general, Pentiums are considered to be the top performer but is often very expensive while Athlons provide the best value for your money. Because even though Athlons tend to be a bit slower than Pentiums, they are also priced much lower. And for the ordinary home user who rarely, if at all, pushes his machine to the limit, there is no difference between these two.

With the most recent shift to multi-core microprocessors, Intel has finally dropped the Pentium name when they adapted the Core architecture. Their most recent microprocessors are now under the Core and Core 2 brands. AMD is also following suit with the introduction of the Phenom line of microprocessors, which are also multi-core. Despite this, some Pentium and Athlon microprocessors can still be found in the market today but they are now slowly being phased out in favor of the newer and more powerful lines.


1. The Pentium is an Intel microprocessor while Athlon is an AMD processor
2. Pentium and Athlon do not share the same socket type and electrical connections
3. Pentiums run at higher clock speeds than Athlons
4. Pentiums offer the best performance while Athlons offer the best value
5. The Pentium name was dropped in newer Intel processors while the Athlon name is still in use

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  1. AMD now uses other brand names as well!

  2. “Pentium is a microprocessor line from the industry giant, Intel , while Athlon is a microprocessor line from its biggest rival company, Intel.”

    there is a correction in te above sentence ,line 3 ,printed above.

  3. Pentium is not phased out, it’s name now signifies a budget INTEL chip (still better than Celeron). Premium chips are now called i7, i5, i3 (from fastest to slowest). There’s a lot of new Pentiums available, those based on socket 775 being slowly phased out in favor of new Socket 1155 Pentium chips (Sandy Bridge right now, and Ivy Bridge coming soon),

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