Intel x86 or x64 processors have traditionally been found in laptops and desktops, while ARM processors have been found in lower-power embedded devices, smartphones, and tablets. But you can now buy laptops with ARM chips and smartphones with Intel chips.
ARM and Intel offer two entirely different and incompatible architectures. Whether you’re choosing a Windows, Android, or Chrome OS device, you can choose between ARM or Intel x86/x64 — and the choice matters for software compatibility.
ARM vs. Intel: A Quick History Lesson
Intel chips have historically had the best performance, but have had the highest power consumption and price. ARM chips have historically had the lowest power consumption and been significantly cheaper, but haven’t been able to compete with Intel on performance. This isn’t a recent distinction — a cell phone from ten years ago will probably have an ARM chip, while a desktop PC would have an Intel chip.
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