There are two types intels way and amds way. They will be explained to you bellow.
Amd xp chips are based off the architecture Quantispeed. Hence Quantispeed architecture.
Now this architecture is based on combining two things, clock frequency and the amount of work accomplished in a cycle (ipc). So what amd does is give a little bit of both worlds, it doubles intels ipc but gives less clock frequency, but they combined just the right amount of both amd chips can affectively perform at the rate of .8ghz higher clock speeded chips.
Now everybody knows every cpu has a core, and this core must work afficently to make the cpu good.
At the heart of amds xp cpus they have a nine-issue, superscaler pipelined core. These pipelines allow more pathways to feed more and more application intructions into the execution engine of the core. This is what gives amd its high ipc.
Longer pipelines dish out less ipc but allow more clock speed. So these cores are based on a slower horse but in a smaller track than intels fast horse in a huge track. There for amd chips optomize the ipc flow inside of their chips.
Amd has found away to keep cpu stalling to a minimal. This is by translation look-aside buffers(TLB) near by. What TLB does is keeps maps to critical data so the cpu is never searching for that crucial peice of imformation that will get your computer up and moving. When TLB started out they came in relatively small sized by the cpu but now the have got much bigger and almost double in size. This means the TLB now can sort out duplicated info and through it out the door which allows more space to be freed up in the lvl 2 cache for other useful info for the processor. Think of it as a bouncer.
Thats the over view of amd architecure. INTEl will come soon my opinion with it