But as CNET's Justin Jaffe points out, computers with the different chips perform better for different things. Also, be aware of something IT department folks (that means the techie computer guys) have told me: There can also be functionality differences. Not all software that works on one chip will necessarily work on another. So, for example, if you've bought certain office-suite software to run on your Intel-based laptop, it might not work perfectly on the AMD-based one. How to know beforehand? Some vendors make different versions of the same software for the different chips. I'm afraid the only solution I've been given is to ask them.