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Intel VS Athlon: Which Processor?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by illuminate100, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. illuminate100

    illuminate100 CTR

    Aug 14, 2002
    At the end of 2006 I think I am going to build my own PC. RIght now I have a poopy (it's the only word I could think of to describe it) Emachine with a Celeron 2.0 Ghz processor, 384 MB of RAM, 40GB HDDD, and a 128MB Nvidia card which I added later but hasn't done much for me since a) I don't have a FSB or Cache fast enough and b) It's an old PCI based system and c) the card is a crappy 3rd party deal that licenses the Nvidia name or worse. For now the system serves me fine since most of what I do is email, WP, and some Photoshopping.

    ANYWAY, my question is this: when I do build my own system I am torn between Athlon and INtel. Most of my buddies tell me to go with an Athlon AMD but a guy from church who is the real deal (networking, etc.) tells me that Intel is better and Athlon is popular because it's cheaper. Who to believe? He says they both do the same thing anyway, but differently.

    I think I want to go all out and get a dual-core processor and throw that in with a Gig or RAM, etc so I have something that's going to really offer me felxibility (I love to multi-task and have 2-3 (NOT 203, that was a TYPO) programs or more running simultaneously, and I notice that while I'm burning a CD or printing my processor goes nuts and everything slows down).

    So what's your take on the processor choices??
  2. mitchshrader

    mitchshrader Deceased

    Jun 14, 2005
    programs. you don't need to run your ferrari at a 5000 rpm idle either.

    run what you need. close what you don't. delete programs you aren't going to use. throw away garbage.

    even a nice vehicle isn't immune to overload. don't stress it for no reason.

    that said: i have 6 AMD comps with a gig of ram & 500 gigs drive space each..

    and any of em work just fine. AMD 3200s..

    and i got all 6 + network router + scanner + 2 printers for around 7K$

    spent over 2 years or so.

    roughly 1000$ machines. you can build those same comps now for maybe 700$ or so.

    dual proc isn't sensible. single proc is. you don't need dual proc but for one (usual) home job.

    video rips & edits. if you do a Lot of em, get Intel. and expect to spend 1000$ for your video card. comp total price 2500-3500$ ..

    if you don't, get AMD and expect to spend from 800-1200 $ ..

    and it's gonna ROCK. a monster fast comp.

    you'll lose 30% of your performance cause XP sucks, and few know to put win2K on.. or how to tweak XP to get close to that same economy ..

    but if you're lucky enough to find a dedicated geek who will do either, it's the cheapest investment you can make.

  3. The newest form factor is BTX.Looks like it's replacing ATX.The BTX is suppose to handle heat and electric power(current) better than ATX.BTX uses a different motherboard (layout) and that needs a different BTX case.The BTX cases I've seen so far will still take ATX motherboards but there are suppose to be some BTX cases that only take BTX MB's.The power supply for BTX is the same as the ATX power supply.With the newer,bigger video cards and faster,dual core processors BTX is suppose to become the new standard.
  4. Toyman


    May 6, 2003
    West Michigan
    Do you actually have 203 programs running at one time? Or were you exaggerating?
  5. Hailstorm

    Hailstorm Boom Shacka

    Jan 7, 2002
    Canton Mi
    I do suggest going with daul core. You did say at the end of 2006 right? By that time your looking at daul core being the norm. The cost will be down. Infact, I just put together a Intel 2.8 for pretty cheap. If you have done any reading about the 2.8 D chip then you have probly read that it performs poorly. I disagree. The system that it replaced was a P4 3.2 with 1 mb L2 cache. Not a slow pc at all. 1 gig of ram and a ATI 9800XT it was pretty fast I must admit. My new system is a 2.8 D series. 1 gig of cheap ass ram. ASUS P4LD2 Motherboard and a 7800GT OC vid card. I did some testing and thing new system beat the pants off my 3.2. Then if you run a CPU burning program while doing the test, the scores are one third higher for the new PC than the old.

    Whats this mean for you. If you plan to build one in late 2006, then all the parts will be cheaper. You'll be able to put together a really nice system for about $700 no problem. This PC should last you a good while. Now for the AMD or Intel. This is a Ford OR chevy thing. Both will do the job well. I bought Intel because of the purchase program. No other reason really. I am a gamer so, AMD actually has a slight edge on Intel. SO, what ever is the cheapest at the time of the build would dictate the AMD or Intel choice for me at least ;f
  6. RaiderRodney

    RaiderRodney Just Win Baby

    May 22, 2003
    North Carolina
  7. JMag


    Feb 7, 2001
    USA:Love it or leave!
    AMD without question.
  8. illuminate100

    illuminate100 CTR

    Aug 14, 2002
    Hmmmm...I guess it'll just depend on what's for sale at the time. By the way, sorry about the TYPO, I meant 2-3 programs at once, NOT two-hundred and three!!!! :)

    I want to future proof the machine a bit, and I do plan on doing a lot of video-editing, so I think I am going to go for the dual-core set up. By then, prices will be down and if I'm willing to pay a bit more, I'll be able to pick up something a little bit newer which may have an edge on the existing dual-core processors.

    $1000 will be my target range for the totals. My buddy gave me this quote to give me an idea of what I could do now, this seems good to me...check it out:

    Here's his little foreword:
    "About the PC, I’d be glad to help. The systems I’ve put together are all AMD, which comparing stats, are quite comparable if not better than Intel. Plus I’ve heard it said that they have a better approach to the dual-multi core setup. There chip layout is (at least to me) so much easier. Basically with AMD, the best bet is to go with the 939 chipset. You can use both the AMD64 and the AMD64 X2 (the dual core) processors. The computer you spec-ed out is pretty hefty. One thing about building your own is choosing the quality of each part. This can greatly affect the cost and the performance. Some good brand names are MSI / Asus (mobo/gpus), Asus being more for over-clocking. Seagate (hard drives), corsair (ram), and Antec (power supplies). Just my preferences though. is an awesome website, might be able to find better deals but they have a great selection and delivery is great. is good for benchmarks and reviews. Just a side note, I’ve heard that with the current operating systems, after 1GB of ram the benefits drop of rather quick, it still benefits but to a less degree. Here are some prices I put together, keep in mind this is just for the computer, no keyboard, mouse, or monitor. The components are high quality though. I wished I would have written out the price for each item but for some reason I didn’t. Probably won’t need the modem or floppy, and Office is like $160.

    Mid Range – great for everyday applications (I built this one for work, it was fast, loaded windows in seconds )

    * Processor: AMD Athlon 64 3200+
    * Memory: Corsair XMS 512MB (2x 256MB)
    * Motherboard: Asus ASN-E NVidia nforce4 Ultra
    * Video Card: Geforce 6600 128MB
    * Hard Drives: 2 60GB Seagate 7200 RPM SATA
    * Multimedia: DVD/CD Burner
    * Floppy: Standard 2 ½”
    * Modem: Standard 56kbs
    * Case: Antec Mini Tower with 350W Power supply
    * Operating System: Windows XP Pro
    * Software: Office 2003 Basic
    o Price: Approx $1,210.00 (After tax, shipping, and handling)

    Mid-High Range- faster, good for using more applications at once

    * Processor: AMD Athlon 64 3500+
    * Memory: Corsair XMS 1GB (2x 512MB)
    * Motherboard: Asus ASN-SLI Premium
    * Video Card: Radeon x700 Pro 256MB
    * Hard Drives: 2 60GB Seagate 7200 RPM SATA
    * Multimedia: DVD/CD Burner
    * Floppy: Standard 2 ½”
    * Modem: Standard 56kbs
    * Case: Antec Mini Tower with 350W Power supply
    * Operating System: Windows XP Pro
    * Software: Office 2003 Basic
    o Price: Approx $1,392.00 (After tax, shipping, and handling)

    High End – Uses new technology. It is faster and can handle multiple high taxing applications at once. This setup is good for longevity.

    * Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+
    * Memory: Corsair XMS 1GB (2x 512MB)
    * Motherboard: Asus ASN-SLI Premium
    * Video Card: Radeon x800 256MB
    * Hard Drives: 2 60GB Seagate 7200 RPM SATA
    * Multimedia: DVD/CD Burner
    * Floppy: Standard 2 ½”
    * Modem: Standard 56kbs
    * Operating System: Windows XP Pro
    * Software: Office 2003 Basic
    * Case: Antec Mini Tower with 350W Power supply
    o Price: Approx $1,780.00 (After tax, shipping, and handling)
  9. ngray


    Feb 3, 2005
    Port Richey, FL
    1gb RAM is the minimum nowadays, consider 2gb for your mid and high range setups. Don't pay exorbitant amounts for low-latency RAM, it doesn't pay like a proc upgrade does. $100/gb tops.

    My computer, with only the NForce4 drivers and utilities, a virus scanner, and MS SQL developer ed/ASP.Net running in the background, doing nothing, runs, between 400 and 600mb. The NForce4 drivers ARE HOGS, fyi.

    Dual core isn't just for the rabid alt-tabbers and video rippers. It's for anyone that realizes that windows runs all your services, anti-spywares, virus scanners, firewalls, and system tray apps in premptive multitasking mode, at the same priority class as all other non-foreground tasks.

    It also seems you're paying a bit much for what you're getting in those systems you listed... I could be wrong though.

    FWIW, consider the 6800GS over the x700 Pro 256MB. You also might omit the floppy and modem. I haven't used the floppy since Asus lets you flash the bios in windows now. Make sure you're getting the OEM version of Windows and Office, it's cheaper, and the same thing, minus the phone support, and you're entitled to it, since you're buying hardware. 2x60GB drives might be small, I had to get a USB 160gb drive to add to my system once I ran out the 120. Between Windows, dev tools, Office, MP3's, and Games, it adds up quick.
  10. RaiderRodney

    RaiderRodney Just Win Baby

    May 22, 2003
    North Carolina
    Wow, nice tips about what brand of parts ;)

    That first setup is VERY close to what I am building over the holidays for a friend! Only a little cheaper because he already has windows and doesn't do much gaming so I went with the MSI board with onboard ATI graphics.
  11. epsylum

    epsylum Boolit Hoze

    Sep 4, 2004
    Racing Capital, USA
    I have owned nothing but AMDs. they are great processors and don't cost as much as Intel. They are the thorn in Intel's side and IMO the only reason Intel is trying half as hard as they are to push the technological envelope (read: good competition, something that Microsoft needs). They both have thier fanboys. In reality they both have thier good points and bad points. I just prefer AMD as I have never been dissapointed with any of their products (the lower price helps too ;) ).

    Who is more powerful can change by the week. So don't let numbers sway you too much.

    That being said, get an AMD. ;f

    edited to add:

    your buddy gave you excellent advice. His systems do have very nice compnents and should work very well.
  12. Altaris


    Feb 16, 2004
    Round Rock, TX
    I would upgrade to a bigger hard drive. 60 gb is pretty small, especially if you plan to do any video stuff. My Mp3 folder alone is 55gb. I have a 75gb 10k rpm drive as my main one, and a 300gb drive as my storage one, and I am almost full on both of them.

    Every work computer I have used has been Intel, and every home machine I have built for myself has been AMD. Never had a problem with either of them, so personally I would just go with what is on sale at the time.
  13. HAVOC

    HAVOC Remember Millennium Member CLM

    Jun 20, 1999
    Location: Location:
    Right now for desktops AMD rules pretty much across the board. Intel still wins in laptops though.

    Now, as for those basic setups...

    Floppy drives are 3.5", not 2.5", and I highly reccomend you at least have one around, even if it's not installed.

    Make sure you need a modem before you bother with that. I still put floppies in every machine, but modems are long gone. I have a serial modem if I really, really need one for something.

    Springing the extra $$ for an SLI board and putting a Radeon in it is pretty silly. Replace the X700 or X800 with a 6600GT or 6800. Or go seriously upscale with the 6800GT.

    2 60GB drives..? 60GB drives are kinda few and far between these days with the platter densities currently in use. The price difference between a 40GB drive and a 160GB drive is about $40. Upgrading to a 250GB is another $30 or so. 6x the capacity for 2.5x the money is a good deal, to me.

    Come to think of it, I wonder if that wasn't supposed to say 160GB... Seagate only shows as having made one model SATA drive in 60GB.

    Avoid mini-towers for general purpose systems, they are confining and harder to keep properly cooled without a tornado.

    2 optical drives, while not a must, are surely nice to have. CD-RW/DVDRoms are like $30 these days.