need help deciding which processor to get

By BrownPaper ยท 25 replies
Sep 7, 2003
  1. hi all. i am building a system for my brother and i am undecided about which cpu to get.

    the cpus in question are the amd athlon xp 2500+, amd athlon xp 2800+, and the intel p4 2.4c. the 2800+ and 2.4c i can get at the same price. is that 800mhz fsb and hyperthreading worth it? i hear that the 2.4c could OC pretty good. or should i just save 100 bucks and get the 2500+ and OC that. i am unsure at what i should do.

    thank you all in advance.
  2. Steg

    Steg TS Rookie Posts: 269

    the 2500+ with some good cooling and fast RAM will go easily and cheaply to 3200+ speeds (which is faster in games than MOST P4s and MUCH cheaper)
    get a 2500+, a A7N8X Deluxe, and 2 sticks of 256(or 512)meg DDR3200 corsair CAS 2 ram

  3. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    I'll go along with that, though if you can get a 1700+ of the right stepping (i.e. a 2400+ in disguise) then you'll also be able to hit 3200+ speeds for even less.
  4. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 407

    thank you steg and nic for your help.

    i decided to get the 2500+. i got some corsair pc3200 twinx ram lying somewhere around here, so it will go well with that soon to be overclocked 2500+.

    once i again, i appreciate the help. thanks a lot! :)
  5. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    man, i wish i had corsair pc3200 ram lying around somewhere :haha:
  6. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Posts: 863

    The 800MHz FSB is worth it when utilizing 800MHz ram.
  7. Steg

    Steg TS Rookie Posts: 269

    personally i would recommed the 'magic' 1700+ - rather the barton - the increased cashe does wonders for the performance
    but there you go

  8. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    800mhz = 200mhz quad pumped = 200mhz true bus = DDR = PC3200 = nothing special

    No such thing as "800mhz" ram excluding RAMBUS, which is not the same thing.
  9. Deception`

    Deception` TS Rookie

    Athlon XP's tend to run UT 2003 better than certain P4 systems, but you'll see a very significant increase in memory usage by a P4 system over an Athlon XP system. This will greatly affect certain games (for example, those running the Q3 engine - Sof2, RTCW, JK2, etc.)
  10. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Athlon XP Quake3 DLLs for increased performance
  11. Greeno

    Greeno TS Rookie Posts: 281

    Dual Channel PC3200 works a treat though...

    and you say is the 2.4c + HT worth it ?

    There are a few things to consider, you need XP Professional w/SP1, a compatible mobo + BIOS to use HT.

    (I know Server 2003 and 2k advanced server support HT, but the chances of him having one of those is tiny)

    800MHz isn't as good either.
  12. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 407

    i haven't made any purchases yet (got to study for classes).

    once again, i would like thank everyone for your input into my inquiry.

    greeno, i can get XP Professional w/SP1. if i get a compatible intel board like from asus or abit, then do you think the 2.4c w/ HT would be worth it?

    hehe yeah. i needed some ram, so i asked my uncle to get me some. well he got more than i had requested. better too much ram than not enough, so to speak. ;)
  13. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    I'll keep that in mind, as 1700+ is fast becoming unavailable. It is very cheap though.
  14. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Re: i haven't made any purchases yet (got to study for classes).

    You'll need fast ram to overclock a P4 2.4c, as the clock multiplier is locked, so you need to overclock the fsb. Check out this article ...

    Intel Pentium 4 2.4C Overclocking
  15. Greeno

    Greeno TS Rookie Posts: 281


    Dont think he's on about overclocking the 2.4c, he just wants to know whether HT's worth it.

    I confess...I'm a big Intel fanboy *ignores most of you guys booo's!*

    But I certainly think its worth it :)

    It gives you about 20/30% increase in performance, where i've played about with it :)

    2.6's aren't much more expensive now though are they? I believe there's a price drop early next month on high end P4's too*.

    edit : *in the UK trade channels :)
  16. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    He does mention overclocking in his original post (at top) :=).

    I'd agree that HT is a good thing to have, but only because it smooths out multi-tasking in some cases.

    That 2.4c is a damn good overclocker and can reach as high as 3.6GHz with normal air cooling and decent heatsink. Hitting 3.2GHz with the supplied heatsink/fan is pretty much guaranteed (if you read some of the reviews).
  17. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    HT works on W2K (with a few bugs) / XP Home / XP Pro. You can still get the cheaper XP Home, if you don't use the extra features that the Pro version has.
  18. Dantrag

    Dantrag TS Enthusiast Posts: 135

    wait a little for the price drop... then get the 2.8 p4 533 really fast :D but get a new mobo that supports the p4c i've seen a 3200+ and a 2.8 p4b run together and the 2.8 is just way faster :) go for 2 sticks of cas 2 256 mb pc3200 :D
  19. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Posts: 863

    RAM is Random Access Memory, now what you're basically saying is that RAMBUS is NOT Random Access Memory?
  20. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 407

    i read the article you showed me. i guess my cas 2 pc3200 ram i have right now is not quite fast enough. i am building this computer for my brother so if my ram is not fast enough to overclock that 2.4c, then i probably shouldn't get it since i don't feel like spending any more money on expensive ram. maybe i'll play around with that 2.4c for myself when the price drops (or maybe even one of the newer offerings that will come from amd/intel).

    i am building this system for my brother, and since he is basically just playing games and homework on it (not like he's going to use a photoshop filter and scan for viruses at the same time a lot) then it probably would not be worth it then in his case. am i correct?
  21. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    I think you'd be better going for the AMD Athlon in your case. It will cost you less, and you can overclock to get a very fast system. The P4 2.4c would be nice if you had faster ram, and I don't think getting the P4 2.8c would be worthwhile due to cost. HT would be useful if you were playing a movie and scanning for viruses, or burning a CD in the background. You can do this without HT but you'll likely notice occassional stutters. Most of the time things will run just fine.
  22. Greeno

    Greeno TS Rookie Posts: 281

    Strictly true in real life terms, but in reality... XP Home is a single CPU licensed product isn't it.

    You would be violating MS Licensing terms using HT.
  23. Greeno

    Greeno TS Rookie Posts: 281

    I think he's merely discounting RAMBUS, coz its not really an option nowadays is it... decent P4's and AMD Don't use it do they...
  24. Steg

    Steg TS Rookie Posts: 269

    just as a recommendation - if u are bying a A7N8X deluxe and want to overclock and like silence - get the Zalman 7000a - check it will fit - but if it does than it will cool an overclocked 2500+ near silently!

  25. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Taken from Anandtech

    No problems there.:)
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