AMD vs. Intel

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I was looking to buy a new PC and was wondering which company has the most bang for the buck? Any input would be well apreciated.
 

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  • #2
dduardo
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I would have to go with AMD. They make high quality processors that are cheap. I currently on a 1.4Ghz AMD Thunderbird and I'm very pleased with its the reliablity and performance.
 
  • #3
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If you do a lot of media encoding (video, etc.), then a P4 is the best choice (but stay away from the new Prescott P4, go with Northwood).

If you play a lot of games and similar applications which like the low latency of the on-die memory controller, go with the AMD Athlon64 or Athlon FX-51

If you just want a cheap system with still enough power to run the latest games, get an Athlon XP-based system.
 
  • #4
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An AMD chip will definately give you a cheaper solution for similar performance. If you want to get a high end chip, go for the Athlon-64 or Athlon FX chips (I havent been keeping up with chips....bad me). They run about $300 lately, depending on what you get. If you just want something good but cheap, go with a AMD AthlonXP chip with a Barton core. They are in the 2500+ and 3200+ chips (and a few others, but I can't remember what they are right now).

You can get a 2500+ barton chip for around $90 USD retail (which means it has a warranty and a heatsink/fan). For a motherboard, it depends. You can get a good reliable motherboard for around $70-$80, but if you like features (such as firewire, serial ATA, etc) it can get up to $110-$150, depending on the board. I haven't been keeping up on motherboards either....but last I checked, the best AMD board on the market is the Abit NF7-S...it's got all the goodies, for about $110. But keep in mind that if you get an Athlon-64 or an AthlonFX, you can't use this board....you need a board that is compatible with the 64 or FX. Again, I've been out of the loop for a while so I can't help ya there, lol.

Hmmm of course, this is assuming that you will build it yourself, which I dunno if you will or not, lol.

If you get a company to build it, you will probably get a price break on an AMD system, but that's not a bad thing. AMD chips have what's called PR numbers, which are supposed to compare the chips to their older Athlon Thunderbird models, but they're more of a comparison of Intel chips of that speed. For example, an AthlonXP 2500+ doesn't actually run at 2.5ghz. It runs at 1.8 or so ghz, but because of it's design it performs about the same as an Intel P4 at 2.5ghz. Usually the AMD chips are cheaper, too, for the same performance.
 
  • #5
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I was looking to buy a new PC and was wondering which company has the most bang for the buck? Any input would be well apreciated.
Bang for the buck always goes to AMD.

And right now, their processors are the fastest according to the latest benchmarks.

Are you thinking of buying a pre-configured computer, or are you building one yourself?

That can also determine which is the better choice.
 
  • #6
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Originally posted by kenikov
And right now, their processors are the fastest according to the latest benchmarks.
Don't know where you got this information but it is biased, in the history of CPU benchmarks I still haven't seen a conclusive result toward either side. The AMD processors tend to be better at low-latency operations such as video games, where it's not how much it can do that matters but how fast it can do it. Intel processors seem to have more raw processing power for things such as compressing, encoding, decoding, etc. So if you're a gamer on a budget, or only use your computer to browse the web and check e-mail, get an AMD. If you use your computer for things that require serious power (like watching or recording movies, manipulating databases, and other tasks that might tend to slow the computer down), get an Intel. Despite being more expensive, they run cooler (about 140°F as oppose to 190°) and in my experience are much more stable.
 
  • #7
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http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/article/0,aid,114156,00.asp [Broken]
 
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  • #8
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I couldn't find any benchmarks there... where are they? All I saw were comparisons based on specifications alone.

Here are some that illustrate my points:
http://www20.tomshardware.com/cpu/20020107/index.html
http://www.linuxhardware.org/article.pl?sid=04/02/02/1654234&mode=thread [Broken]
 
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  • #9
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Originally posted by Pergatory
Despite being more expensive, they run cooler (about 140°F as oppose to 190°) and in my experience are much more stable.
That wasn't true before (both Athlon XP and P4 up till Northwood dissipate about the same of heat) and certainly isn't true now with Prescott: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/prescott_12.html

And as a rule of thumb: a hotter CPU is harder to cool, making it less reliable.

AMD Opteron and Athlon64 CPUs dissipate about the same amount of heat as Athlon XP CPUs.

Other things which might affect stability are the mainboard, PSU and RAM, but if you buy good brands (Tyan, Antec, etc.), then this shouldn't be a problem.
 
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  • #10
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Originally posted by Pergatory
I couldn't find any benchmarks there... where are they? All I saw were comparisons based on specifications alone.

Here are some that illustrate my points:
http://www20.tomshardware.com/cpu/20020107/index.html
http://www.linuxhardware.org/article.pl?sid=04/02/02/1654234&mode=thread [Broken]
Look HARDER.

They are there, called "Worldbench Scores."
 
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  • #11
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I see them now. Unfortunately, they aren't very detailed and don't explain what exactly they mean. There are many aspects of CPU architecture that need to be measured. The number of stages in the pipeline, for example, or the amount of on-die cache, or clock speed, or FSB speed, etc. All these things affect performance in different scenarios, and one single number isn't indicative of a certain architecture's superiority. There's a lot of bad information on computer hardware out there, so you should be wary when accepting reviews like this. I suggest looking for reviews that are more detailed, as they are less likely to be biased.
 
  • #12
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Originally posted by Elledan
That wasn't true before (both Athlon XP and P4 up till Northwood dissipate about the same of heat) and certainly isn't true now with Prescott: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/prescott_12.html

And as a rule of thumb: a hotter CPU is harder to cool, making it less reliable.

AMD Opteron and Athlon64 CPUs dissipate about the same amount of heat as Athlon XP CPUs.
It's been my experience that AMD XP's run about 170°F+ on average, as high as 190°F, is that not correct? My home PC which is a P4 Northwood never exceeds 120°F even under heavy load, and that's without a CPU fan. (There is a fan but it's variable-speed and never even turns on.) Usually runs around 105°F. I've seen Intels run as hot as 140° before but that's the highest. That was on a mildly-overclocked P3 1.0GHz/133 also with no CPU fan.
 
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  • #13
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Elledan
And as a rule of thumb: a hotter CPU is harder to cool, making it less reliable.
Not a very good rule of thumb. As long as the temperature is within spec, it has no effect on reliability. A hotter cpu is harder to cool, making it harder to cool.
It's been my experience that AMD XP's run about 170°F+ on average, as high as 190°F, is that not correct? My home PC which is a P4 Northwood never exceeds 120°F even under heavy load, and that's without a CPU fan. (There is a fan but it's variable-speed and never even turns on.) Usually runs around 105°F. I've seen Intels run as hot as 140° before but that's the highest. That was on a mildly-overclocked P3 1.0GHz/133 also with no CPU fan.
My Athlon XP ran at 130F with stock cooling and at stock speed. I've upgraded the cooling and overclocked it by about 20% and now it runs at about 125F.

The Northwoold runs relatively cool, yes - but again, thats part of the design of the chip. A Northwood running at 125F would be a bad thing - for an Athlon XP, thats right where its supposed to be.
 
  • #14
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Originally posted by Pergatory
I see them now. Unfortunately, they aren't very detailed and don't explain what exactly they mean. There are many aspects of CPU architecture that need to be measured. The number of stages in the pipeline, for example, or the amount of on-die cache, or clock speed, or FSB speed, etc. All these things affect performance in different scenarios, and one single number isn't indicative of a certain architecture's superiority. There's a lot of bad information on computer hardware out there, so you should be wary when accepting reviews like this. I suggest looking for reviews that are more detailed, as they are less likely to be biased.
We're talking about PCWorld here. Just because it contradicts what you say, don't pass it off as unreliable.

PCWorld is one of the best selling computer periodicals. Unlike PCMagazine and Wired, PCWorld specializes in head to head comparisons between computers and they do loads of benchmarks every month.

As for undetailed, did you click on the World Bench explanation? Just because it isn't graphed, doesn't mean it's "bad information." Purchase the latest issue, you'll see all the benchmarks there.
 
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  • #15
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sweet thanks
 
  • #16
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Originally posted by kenikov
As for undetailed, did you click on the World Bench explanation? Just because it isn't graphed, doesn't mean it's "bad information." Purchase the latest issue, you'll see all the benchmarks there.
Indeed I did check the explanation:

Performance word scores reflect comparisons of PCs in the same category (power or value) running the same operating system.
My question is, did you read the links I posted? So tell me, after reading either of the links I posted, and after reading that a PC "has a score of 141," which do you think leaves a person better-informed? Which leaves more room for personal interpretation? Just because a company sells a lot of products doesn't mean their word is any less deceptive than any other company. If you walked onto a car lot and a salesman said "this car is really fast!" would you trust him or would you want to know more about it? Treat a PC the same way. If you're happy running out and buying whatever the world tells you to buy, then by all means use the PCWorld benchmark. For people like this, it probably doesn't matter whether they get an AMD or Intel, because if they cared, they would want to know more details. That's the heart of this whole discussion, and by posting a "single benchmark number" that isn't even really described, circumvents the whole purpose for this debate.
 
  • #17
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More Benchmarks

Your links are outdated. January 7, 2002.
 
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  • #18
russ_watters
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Originally posted by kenikov
More Benchmarks
As those benchmarks indicate, what you do with your computer has a big impact on which processor will perform better for you.
 
  • #19
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Yes, but I never denied that. Or did I? He did reply a day or two later, so I may have forgotten.

It is however clear that AMD's 64 leads the pack.
 
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