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AMD vs. Pentium CPU question

Discussion in 'Computer Talk' started by Lotus49, Mar 4, 2006.

  1. Lotus49

    Lotus49 Emperor

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    I'm getting a new computer pretty soon, and am considering my options. One of which, obiously is the type CPU. From what I've read, it seems that the latest AMD Athlon chips are defintely the way to go... however, I asked this guy at work -who's training to become a computer game programmer- and he says the Athlon CPUs are only worth it if you're going to over-clock them. If you're just a typical user running them 'stock' (no mods whatsoever), then you're better off w/ a Pentium chip. Apparently the AMD's only really outperform when overclocked, by design (so he says). I'm not savvy at all when it comes to overclocking, if I were to go that route, I'd just go get my setup from Alienware, and have them do it for me w/ a liquid-cooled system.

    Is there any remote truth to this, or does this guy just not have a clue what he's talking about? He's going to school to learn this stuff, so I'd like to think he's worth listening to. But, whatever.

    Btw, I'll be asking more questions, over time - as I zero in on my new PC. I didn't do enough research last time, and was disappointed. Not going to let that happen again. Appreciate the help! :goodjob:
     
  2. Lozzy_Ozzy

    Lozzy_Ozzy Rapture

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    From all accounts Athlons are generally better, if you're running games.

    And I wouldn't go with Alienware, they may be quality, but they are definately overpriced.
     
  3. Lotus49

    Lotus49 Emperor

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    Yes, I am trying to avoid going that route at all costs. I see you guys here like buying stuff off NewEgg, and piecing it together yourselves. I'd like to think I could do that. Provided there's no sodering & stuff, I should be OK. Just need to make sure everything I'm buying individually is compatible, when it's all put together, that's all. But, that's for a later discussion, when I determine more specifically what hardware combo I want. Right now I'm still looking broadly at different things.
     
  4. Lozzy_Ozzy

    Lozzy_Ozzy Rapture

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    What's your budget?

    I'm sure plently of people here would be willing to help you in your choices.

    And, if you're worried about putting it together, you should be able to get it done at a small computer shop for around £10-£20.
     
  5. Lotus49

    Lotus49 Emperor

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    Well, I don't want to say I have an unlimited budget, because I am not keen on throwing money at something, just to have "the best & latest". I still have a sense of value. For example, this thousand-dollar AMD chip everyone says is the best right now, I don't think I really need that. But, I'll do my research, and if it's worth it, I'll consider it. On the other hand, if I get a motherboard that will let me upgrade to it later, once it comes down in price, I'll get a more economical CPU for now.

    Bottom line is, I want to hava really good foundation. I guess that means motherboard, power supply, case, liquid cooling system(?)... but as far as the memory goes, I guess 2 GB is what I'll go for, video card... no idea. Not sure if this SLI thing is really necessary, or efficient. Then there's the operating system. Ideally, I'd like XP Pro, but on Dell's site (not that I'm actually going to get a Dell, just looking at what's out there) if you want the TV tuner option, you have to have the media center XP OS thing. Not too sure about that.

    Anyway, I'm currently driving an old, tired, obsolete, weak car (computer), and I don't want to jump to something totally insane all the sudden (like a McLaren F1) - but, I do want a system that can stand with the best of them. I've gotten behind in recent years, with what's out there in terms of PC hardware. Now there's all kinds of 'specs' that I have no idea what they mean. Same situation I was in... *cough* 6 years ago when I bought a machine, and didn't even know what an 'AGP' was. Thus, I quickly learned how not knowing the technical details is a great way to get caught w/ a system that is, well... let's just say "not ideal". Don't want to get stuck in that situation again. That's why it's been so long. I've been timid to buy a new machine, because I screwed it up last time. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Padma

    Padma the Inbond Administrator Supporter

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    SOunds like the guy at work is an "Intel Snob". ;)

    AMDs work as well as Intels, even without overclocking. They're *easier* to overclock, but that isn't required for great performance. :)
     
  7. dragokatzov

    dragokatzov Warlord

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    that guy at work is smoking crack. thats the biggest load of bull **** i've ever heard. let me put it this way, AMD is better than Intel period! The only thing that intel is better at is stuff like video editing, due to their multimedia extentions. other that that, amd beats intel in pretty much every way.

    I only have a intel becasue I got it cheap!
     
  8. Speedo

    Speedo Esse Quam Videri

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    Unfortunately he has no idea what he's talking about. It sounds like he is, like many people, holding on to problems that AMD had 10 years or so ago, but that have been gone for a looooong time. At this point in time, looking at CPUs out of the box, there's very little comparison between AMD and Intel. Put simply, AMD CPUs are more efficient, and can in general do more work per clock. The only Intel models that pull the playing field anywhere close to being level are the ultra-high end ones, that will cost you $1000 or so.
     
  9. Lotus49

    Lotus49 Emperor

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    As a side note, I've been told that AMD chips are also more 'efficient' in that due to the fact that they run at lower (giga)Hertz, they suck less power. Apparently, it's running at the higher Ghz that makes the CPU eat more electricity. Anyway, just wondering about that. I remember a day when a 386 was a 386, and a 486 was a 486 (cough nevermind the 8086), and other than that, the MHz was king, back then, when judging a computer's speed. So, this whole, "well, yes, you see - it runs at a slower Hz, but it's actually faster - because it's more efficient"... is a new concept to me. I'm trying to get w/ the times. :crazyeye:
     
  10. Speedo

    Speedo Esse Quam Videri

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    Well, that's the way it's going to be from now on. ;) Gone are the days of Intel confidently predicting that they'd hit 5GHz in a few years, and that they could coax 10GHz out of the Pentium4. They ran into Mr. Thermal Wall, and he beat the crap out of them. So now, even they are backing away from their traditional brute force clock speed approach. In fact, their new approach seems to be "use a complex, confusing and non-sensical number system so that the consumer has no idea what he's actually getting."

    And yes, Intels suck a lot of power and produce ungodly amounts of heat. The current top line Intel CPU, the 955EE, runs right around 100C at full load, cooled by air. The comperable top-end AMD offering, the FX-60, runs at around 50C on air and under full load, while offering better performance.
     
  11. Comraddict

    Comraddict C.IV

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    AMD is more efficient than pentium 4 per clock, roughtly about 30%..in other words 2000mhz athlon 64 is as good as 3000mhz pentium 4. pentium 4 was designed that way to allow running at higher clocks but at perfomance cost. so, in any way, you are better with athon 64...
     
  12. Zakharov

    Zakharov Academician

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    I can only agree with what has been said already. If you take an AMD cpu and compare it to an equally priced Intel cpu, the AMD cpu will perform better in most tasks. Intel's next line of cpus may close that gap though, and I will be interested to see how they perform, but that is a discussion for another time. For now, AMD remains on top.

    Lotus49, you say you have an unlimited budget but you want to avoid the overpriced components. In that case I would recommend the AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+. It will perform very well for most tasks now, plus it is dual-core so it will perform even better once multi-threaded programs are more common. It is also good value for money compared to other dual-core cpus.
     
  13. Sildo

    Sildo A circle

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    In resoponse to your origional question, AMD = good, Intel = bad.\
    For your personal reasurch CPU speeds, and computers in general this site should help you alot:Toms Hardware
    The one problem with geting a system now is that in June AMD is going to unleash an entirely new socket (AM2). Although reports show it dosn't have a huge performance increase it will use DDR2 memory and it is where all of AMD's new processors will go. Because of that it will be upgradable with signifigantly more powerfull processors in the future.

    Case Thermaltake Tai-Chi $430
    Motherboard ASUS SLI delux $210
    Grafics card X1900XTX $629
    Processor FX60 $1,065
    CD/DVD drive PLEXTOR DVD burner $80
    First Hard driveRaptor 150GB $281
    Second Hard drive Barracuda 400GB $275
    Operating System Windows XP $146

    If you want to shave some mony off choose this processor:
    Processor 4400+ $458
    If you want even more memory double to 4GB
    Change the X1900XTX to a crossfire edition and get two for better grafic performance.
    The total is $3116
    The pluse of what I said earlier is that after June socket 939 processors are going to decrease in cost segnificantly, so if you get a 4400+ now you can get a FX 60 when the price goes down. I'm not sure if it is worth your $400 investment, however.
     
  14. Lotus49

    Lotus49 Emperor

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    Hmmm, thanks to all. I'll consider this, and do some research. More questions, for now:

    1.) I remember with my Voodoo 2 card I had in the late 90s, it had SLI capability. But, there was a debate about whether or not it was worth it, since a lot depended on your motherboard, as well as what software (game) you were running, as to whether or not it was even worthwhile. At least that's how I remember it. Compatibility issues, making it not really practical/ideal. Great for certain systems, and certain applications, but overall not something you could really count on to always be doing it's job. So, instead of buying another Voodoo 2 and go SLI, it was better advised to go get the Voodoo 3. The SLI was the 'poor man's' setup, because he couldn't afford the newer, higher priced card, rather just went out and bought the same one again, hooked them up, and hoped for the best.

    Is that still the case, now - or have they ironed all that out? And SLI is the same as 'crossfire', essentially, I think I read in here.

    2.) I like the idea of getting the 4400+ CPU now, and upgrading to the FX60 later on, once the price comes down. But, with this new line of AMD CPUs coming out in the summer, does that mean the FX 60 will be the dead-end CPU for the motherboard (and memory) that I'll be buying? Or will they make another chip or 2 for the 939-socket series?

    I can't be certain at this time, but it doesn't seem like that (going 939) would be something I'd regret anytime soon. I don't require the BEST of the best (in fact I always try to stay a little behind it, to get better value). And btw, how much do you think these new AM2-socket chips/boards/memory are going to cost for the first year they're out? Something highly expensive? See, I don't need that. That's why I HAVE money, because I don't go around blowing it. :lol:

    3.) Hard drives. I hear the best speed is the 10k rpm ones, and you really need to go that route, for performance. For one thing, I'm not someone that needs a 1-terrabyte HD. Apparently these faster harddisks are a good bit smaller in size capacity, but as long as I have 100 Gig, I really can't see myself ever having a problem. So, is that the way to go?

    Also, why do I need 2 HD's? Never had that before. Just the stupid partition-thing (which I don't care for). Is having 2, so I can run 2 operating systems? A backup of critical system files - so I can recover if need be?
     
  15. Sildo

    Sildo A circle

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    1. SLI increases preformance about 30%, if you arn't going to get the to of the line system then it just isn't worth it. Crossfire is the same thing.
    2. FX 60 will be the last 939 socket precceser, except for some selerons. The price of the AM2 processors will probably be only slightly higher the thier equivlents today. The catch is that the DDR2 800 that will make the AM2 socket worth it is about twice as expensive as DDR 400 memory today.
    3. If you don't need more then 100GB then the 150GB raptor (see hard drive 1) is the way to go. You would only need another if you needed space for music, vidios, ect.
    For power this PSU (SeaSonic $150) is the way to go.
    For more info on the AM2 socket: Toms Hardware
    edit: While looking over the artical again 2GB DDR2 memory set ups will eventualy be same prices or cheaper then DD2 by end of year.
     
  16. Zakharov

    Zakharov Academician

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    Not necessarily. The DDR2 compatible cpus are really only a stepping stone until AMD release DDR3 compatible cpus in late 2007/early 2008, or so I believe.

    I don't see why people plan for a processor upgrade anyway. By the time your current cpu needs upgrading, the technology will have advanced to a point where it would be far more cost effective to do a full scale cpu/mobo/ram upgrade than to put a slightly faster cpu into your current mobo.
     
  17. Genocidicbunny

    Genocidicbunny Bug squasher

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    @ sildo, if he wants to get two X1900XTX's in xfire configuration then he's going to need a different mobo than the one you have linked. IMHO i think he should rather go with an nvidia gpu for now and just get one 7800GT(maybeX). that way he could later upgrade but for now still have an exceptionally perfoming card.
     
  18. dragokatzov

    dragokatzov Warlord

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    why would anyone buy an SLI motherboard and use an ATI card in it, even if they have a million dollars to blow on a computer......
     
  19. MarkC1

    MarkC1 Warlord

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    err ya you should get a mobo with a radeon xpress chipset or something
     
  20. Comraddict

    Comraddict C.IV

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    or you shouldn't buy ATi at all. Or you want some horror stories about them?
     

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