AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800 Socket 939 Dual Core or Intel Pentium D 940 Presler 800MHz FSB

By mofo91105 · 13 replies
May 1, 2006
  1. I was wondering which one you guys would buy. I know there is a big debate over the new dual cores, so I am looking for the one that will be the best quality, and one that I can use for a while and not have to upgrade for sometime. Mind you, I will not be gaming, I am only looking for performance running many programs at the same time such as itunes, aim, word, outlook, etc, and encoding and dvd decrypting. Please give me your recommendations and why and let me know some good accompanying parts such as mobo, heatsink, ram etc. Thanks for your help
  2. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    If you won't be gaming, then the intel would probably be somewhat faster for your uses. They are pretty close in performance, but the amd is faster for gaming. You say you won't be gaming though, and the intel is cheaper, so go for it IMO.
  3. AMDIsTheBest010

    AMDIsTheBest010 TS Rookie Posts: 398

    do AMD all the way. AMD scores higher i benchmark tests over Intel every time

    Pentium D score: 123 (overclocked to 3.46GHZ)
    AMD X2 4400 score: 141, the highest score ever for a non-overclocked CPU!
  4. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

  5. mofo91105

    mofo91105 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well yeah I would love an AMD X2 4400, but my wallet seemingly always tells me what I can and can't have, and right now, I can't have an X2 4400 hahahah. Don Nagual, thanks for the recommendation, I see intels price is a little lower, but when you talk about performing better, in what aspects are you talking about (i.e. multitasking, decoding)? Also, whats a good board for the Pentium D 940? Thanks as always, you guys are a great help in decision making.
  6. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    If you use that dropdown list, you'll see the Pentium D 940 outperforming the X2 3800 in some applications, and vice versa in others. They are not that much different really, but that PentiumD 940 is almost $50 cheaper.

    I myself am into games, so I'd go with the X2 3800, but in your case, I'd say the $50 could be spent on a nicer motherboard (for example).

    What kind of budget are you working on? Do you have some other parts you are hoping to reuse, or are you building a complete system?
  7. mofo91105

    mofo91105 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Everything is new except my radeon x800. I am doing a complete system and I just want to get good quality stuff that will last. I am not planning to overclock (not yet anyways), just have something reliable that will satisfy all of my needs. I am currently running an athlon 2400 XP with 768mb of ram, so anything would be better hehehe. DonNugaul, I am interested to know what you would get along with the Pentium D 940? Your input is appreciated. Budget is tough to gauge, because it will be based off what I will making in the summer, but my guess is around 800-900? That too low, or could I build something quality for less? Please don't laugh at my noob status too much :)
  8. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    Will you also need a monitor? WindowsXP? Keyboard? Mouse?

    You are going to use your current graphics card, is it AGP or PCI-e? If it's AGP, that's a bit of a tough spot to be in....

    For building a new system, I'd highly recommend getting a motherboard with a PCI-express graphics slot, not an AGP slot. This would mean you COULDN'T use your X800 (which will hurt) but what it will do is future proof your system for you.

    AGP graphics are a dead end street. In a year, or more importantly two years, you will not be able to upgrade your card to anything usable, as AGP cards will not be powerful enough. You will be wishing you had a PCIe slot.

    Can you sell your X800?
  9. mofo91105

    mofo91105 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have a 15 inch LCD monitor, keyboard, mouse, and XP Pro.

    I am upgrading the following: CPU, Motherboard, RAM, Power Supply, Case, Heatsink and Fans, Hard Drive, and 1 new DVD Burner

    I never paid for the X800, so I guess I could give it back to my buddy. Also, I was planning on getting a mobo with pci-e slot since most of the dual core mobos are pci-e equipped. I don't game so I don't need a phenominal video card, i just want something decent.

    DonNagaul, hopefully now you can make recommendations knowing what I am upgrading. I am basing things around the Pentium D 940, so i would like to hear what you would buy considering I don't game. I am not looking to make some super fast machine, just something that is versatile and not too much on the wallet.
  10. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    Very nice high end motherboard: ASUS P5WD2 Premium $197

    Very nice budget level motherboard: Gigabyte GA-8I945P-G $99

    CPU: Intel Pentium D 940 Presler $256

    Ram: CORSAIR VALUE SELECT 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM Unbuffered DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) $77

    CORSAIR ValueSelect 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM Unbuffered DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) $146

    Case (this one is tough to recommend, as everyones taste is different)
    Antec LifeStyle SONATA II w/ Antec 450w psu $90
    Happens to be the case I have, and I love it. The pics don't do it justice. Very elegant high gloss black case. You can see your face in it. And with a high quality antec 450w power supply, you can't go wrong for the price.

    DVD multi drive:
    NEC 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model ND-3550A $38 (combo with case special)

    Hard drive:
    Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $90

    Graphics card: XFX 6800 XTreme 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16
    This card is WAY more powerful than you will need (as you don't play any games), however the price is absolutely amazing at $99 after the mail-in rebate. You won't find a better deal right now. With windows Vista coming out, you'll want a 256mb graphics card.

    Heatsink/fans: personally, I'd go with stock.

    So with the higher end asus motherboard and only 1Gb ram, this totals $850
  11. mofo91105

    mofo91105 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    DonNagaul, that was just what I was looking for! Everything you recommended looks great and I sincerely appreciate your input. This will make piecing everything together a lot easier.

    I do wonder though why you say just go with the stock heatsink? I have heard that these Pentium Ds run very hot, and i wouldn't want to fry a nice new dual core.

    Again though, thanks for everything
  12. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    Of course you can go for a 3rd party heatsink should you choose to. You won't overheat with the stock fan (assuming your seat it correctly and put some good ol' arctic silver in there), but a 3rd party fan will keep it even cooler, and if you choose well, quieter.

    A lot of it depends on the case you get too. The case i have recommended above is more focused on keeping things quiet, so if you do go for the case I have recommended, perhaps a nice Zalman CPU heatsink/fan would be a good idea since the case only has one 12" fan blowing out the back.

    Or you could upgrade to a great cooling case such as the P180

    (note, it doesn't come with a PSU, so you'd need to add one to your list in this case)
  13. mofo91105

    mofo91105 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I was thinking about the Zalman, just to be safe and also to have it be queit.

    Does the Zalman clear everything (space wise) in the case you linked me from newegg?
    Antec LifeStyle SONATA II w/ Antec 450w psu $90
  14. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    Which Zalman fan are you going to get? Go to their website and tell me how much space they say the heatsink/fan needs, and I will measure to see if there is enough clearance.

    It won't be exact since my mobo and CPU are different from yours, but should be close enough to give you an idea.

    By the way, when you open up the Sonata II case you will immediately see something different from other cases. It has this plastic tubing system for airflow. If you are going to use the Zalman, you will not be using the case's tubing system because it takes up so much room inside the case. No worries, it comes out very easily.

    Here is a review of the case, and he talks about the "air duct" system and it has some pictures of it so you know what I am talking about.
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