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Building a PC, NeeD help chosing proc, Please

By Xenix ยท 9 replies
Oct 27, 2003
  1. I am looking into buiding a new computer (of course, I am gaming with it), so I may have a few posts on these boards...

    I'm sure that this topic has been talked to death, so, sorry if its a dead horse, but i have to know if i am ever going to start buying parts. I want to get the motherboard first, but i need to know what proc to stick in it.

    Mostly anyone who I see/talk to who knows anything about computers or builds thier own PC uses AMD procs. So, checking out the specs on them, I saw that they are seemingly inconsistant with the performance reported by people who use them. So I figure that I must be (and I am) uninformed on this topic, so, before i go out and buy an AMD anyway, I had better figure out what is so good about them, or if i should just go Intel.

    This is what i am wondering over:
    Intel Pentium 4
    Processor Clock Speed: 3.06GHz
    Cache Size: 512KB
    Processor Interface: Socket 478
    Bus Speed: 533MHz

    AMD Athlon
    Processor Speed: 2.2GHz XP 3200+
    Cache Size: 512KB
    Processor Socket: Socket A
    Bus Speed: 400MHz

    Well, there's the price first of all. I thought these were supposed to be cheaper? The value per dollor isnt there for AMD, just by the numbers alone (I'm still waitng on the rest of the story from you guys;) )These prices were obtained from Tigerdirect.com 10/27/03

    It >looks< like the Intels perform faster, from the specs. I mean, isnt having an 800FSB better than having 400? Is the FSB not how fast data can be extanged between the proc and everything else? Come to think of it, i guess i should claim ignorance and ask, What the heck is an FSB?

    Also, it looks like the Intels run at a higher GHZ than the AMDs. I understand this is cyles per second. Could anyone elaborate on this a litte? Like i said, the Intels look like they run faster.

    With all due respect, please don't talk to me about overclocking. I am not looking into doing that at this time, i would rather get something great out of the box than get something good out of the box that i can force into being something great.

  2. snowman

    snowman TS Rookie Posts: 183

    FSB= Front Side Bus. it is how much data can travel to your processor. and helps determine CPU speed settings, along with
    voltage and clockspeed settings.

    intel CPU's have higher clock speeds but an AMD Athlon xp 2.2 Ghz 3200+ performs as good as an Intel P4 3.2 Ghz

    That AMD processor is very pricey. an Athlon XP 2.1 GHz 3000+ 400fsb is about $100 cheaper and just as good as the 3200+.
  3. conradguerrero

    conradguerrero TS Rookie Posts: 307

    if your gaming i would get a cheaper processor and use the money saved to get a faster graphics card.

    also if u live in the US then also look at www.newegg.com they are cheap cheap cheap
  4. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,310

    No. Intel's 800mhz FSB is actually a 200mhz FSB "quad pumped". There isn't much of a different between Intel's 800mhz FSB and AMD's 400mhz FSB as far as performance. Take a look at some benchmarks.

    Well, that is why AMD uses the "p-rating". For example a 2600+ Athlon XP means it performs at about the speed of a Intel 2.6GHz processor. Your best bet is to look at benchmarks but to get the best "bang for your buck" you should go with AMD. Their prices are much better.

    I would suggest going for something like a 2600+ which is going for about $95 OEM, or $115 Retail (which includes a heatsink, thermal compound, etc).

    Take a look at www.newegg.com they literally have about the best prices you can find if you intend to buy a lot at once. If you want to buy single items then search around and find the lowest price you can. NewEgg ships 3-4 day FedEx and in LOTS of cases offers free shipping on items.

    At the moment I would say the best system for power and your money would be something like...

    Athlon XP 2600+ (around $95)
    512MB PC2700 (preferably Corsair) (around $97-$113)
    Asus A7N8X-X motherboard (around $80-$90)
    ATI Radeon 9700 Pro (around $200-250)

    That is actually my system at the moment which I have upgraded about 3 times and I am very happy with what I have. With those spec's you'll have a very powerful computer for a very decent price.

    Asus recommends Corsair for their motherboards.

    The A7N8X-X is actually a lower cost version of the A7N8X but the only difference is it lacks a few features such as RAID I believe. Nothing you would probably ever use. The on-board sound will NOT tax your system and has a built in amp, AND is just really amazing.

    The 9700 Pro is about the best card you can get now for a good price.

    These may not be the spec's you want for Half Life 2, but regardless of what anyone says you WILL be able to run Half Life 2 with this system with no problem as long as you aren't trying to run in some really high insane resolution. HL2 isn't due out till Spring anyway so either stick with a system like this for now, upgrade later. I suggest doing one of those and not buying the best card you can get right now for $450 because video cards out right now still aren't "built to par" for Half Life 2 so you would pretty much be wasting your money which is another reason I suggest either going with a 9700 Pro or waiting.

    Good luck :)
  5. Supra

    Supra TS Enthusiast Posts: 190

    Today only Newegg.com has a Athlon XP 3000+ OEM on sale for $199 and free shipping. If you ask me that is an excellent deal. And this would be the processor to compare to a Intel 3.06 for price not the 3200+.
  6. Xenix

    Xenix TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    where can i find these benchmarks?
  7. conradguerrero

    conradguerrero TS Rookie Posts: 307

  8. somekid007

    somekid007 TS Rookie Posts: 270

    amd athlon64 3200+ wastes everything, ties the 3.2EE (which is a xeon in disguise) and the sibling Athlon64FX... combine that with the Asus K8V and some high performance ram and you'll get a speed demon
  9. snowman

    snowman TS Rookie Posts: 183

    also a money eating demon =)
  10. somekid007

    somekid007 TS Rookie Posts: 270

    he was considering a p4 3.0c and athlon xp 3200+. the athlon64 is $404 at newegg last time i checked, so it is $45 cheaper than the 3200+ and only $5 more than 3.0c. it wastes both and the asus k8v has the features of a top of the line i875p or nforce2 mobo at around the same price
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