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Which is better? AMD Athlon or Intel Pentium 4?

By SharkFiNbowL · 177 replies
Apr 22, 2003
  1. Which is better? AMD Athlon or Intel Pentium 4? I wanna get some ideas and comments from this forum. I know that AMD is cheaper than P4, but I know that they're about the same. What do you guys think? Why? What would you buy (what do you have right now)? ... wanna get some comments here.. plz post and reply :) thx!
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,512   +65

    This has been discussed quite a bit. :)

    My personal idea is that the Pentium 4 can make a faster system than an Athlon becuase it reaches such a high clock speed.

    But the Athlon does outperform the P4 clock for clock for the most part... It's just AMD does not really have anything to match a 3.06GHz P4 with HT in my opinion... Also, the P4 has higher memory speeds, which result in better performance overall.

    Athlon XP vs. 2.5GHz P4 or less - AMD wins by a long shot for peformance/price.

    Athlon XP vs. 3.06GHz P4 - Intel is the speed king here, but is a bad value. I'd still choose an AMD in this case because of the extraneous pricing of the P4, but those who want the absolute best system - The P4 3.06 is really the fastest CPU out right now.
  3. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,222   +485

    I used to agree with what Rick said - but now that I have had an Athlon XP system for a while I am switching back to Intel. I have never had a problem with an intel machine due to issues with the processor, but I and many of my buddies have with our AMD systems. Lots of heat issues even before any overclocking. I've never had heat issues with my intel machines and I have several of them. Also, things just seem to work with Intel systems - not saying that AMD systems aren't stable, things just seem to be smoother on the Intel machines that I've used. My next machine with be an Intel machine, I guarantee that. I just hope that I don't have to eat these words.

  4. negroplasty

    negroplasty TS Guru Posts: 509   +12

    Personally, I don't think you can compare the two; they both have their pros and cons. I prefer Intel over AMD for the simple reason that I think more expensive components MUST be better, which I have learned can be wrong sometimes :( . And the fact that my processor was the best at the time just knocked AMD off my mind. Despite all of this, I could definitely see myself buying AMD products in the future, but for now I think I will stick with Intel.
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,512   +65

    Yeah, you have to be careful there. :) There's plenty of examples of expensive products not living up to their price.. Of course, the opposite can be true as well.

    Price isn't always accurate, but many times you do pay what you get for. :)
  6. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,312   +13

    I can't really compare the two, but I've got one of those P 4 3.06's and it's great. All I've ever had was Intel, PII 300, PIII 600,700, P 4 1.7 and now the P 4 3.06. The only problem I have with either one, is they come out to fast with new models. I'd sure like to stay top of the line for a while, but that didn't last long.
  7. negroplasty

    negroplasty TS Guru Posts: 509   +12

    It is a really stupid way to think and I deserve what I get!! I have made the mistake once, and will undoubtedly make it again; it must be some human instinct that lay dormant in everyone else except me :( ! The best way for me to go, would be to have both an AMD system and an Intel system, or more expensive and less expensive if you prefer; I only wish I had the money to take this plan into action though :blackeye: !
  8. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,310

    The fact of the matter is.

    AMD = cheaper and faster
    Intel = more expensive and slower

    Buy AMD. That is all you need to know.

    Thank's drive through.
  9. RustyZip

    RustyZip TechSpot Paladin Posts: 322

    I got an Intel, i decided to go that way because a few people were telling me about AMD Heat problems, and after all the fans etc they installed, they can't hardly hear any sound from the speakers unless they cranked them right up to cover the noise of the fans !!!
  10. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,652   +406

    Funny my 3x2000rpm fans are keeping my £70 2100+ @ 11.5x200 2.3Ghz and 200fsb (400DDR) @ 55C load. Sandra gives it a PR of ~3400. Which is almost up there with £430 3.06 P4 (without Hyperthreading :S )
    Just tweaking CPU and Ram voltages for complete stability now.
  11. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,519

    Both Intel AND Amd have had problems in the past.

    Personally, I've never bought Intel since the days of Pentium III, and I never had any problems with my AMD systems.

    Most issues that others have had are usually the result of other system components, as nearly all software is developed on Intel systems, and therefore has been tested on these systems prior to release.

    The main reason I buy AMD (apart from lower cost) is that if AMD were not to exist, then the cost of Intel CPUs would not be affordable to the masses, and the pace of technological advancement would be significantly slower. Imagine if we were all still today waiting for Doom 2 to be released so that we could play it on our Pentium 2 systems. Now there something to think about.:p

    AMD needs support and as long as they are making good CPUs at fair prices I see no reason to switch back to Intel (unless Intel falls significantly behind AMD). Really, you will be your own worst enemy if you ignore the benefits of AMD and simply choose Intel in the false belief that you are doing the right thing. Competition is good for consumers, and we all should help keep competition healthy so that we can all benefit from faster, and lower cost, systems. :blush:
  12. eddy05

    eddy05 TS Rookie Posts: 147

    I got an AMD just because I want to be different :cool:

    Of all the friends I knew right now, there are only around 3 AMD users, the rest of them use Intel CPUs. I do not deny the fact that Intel does stringent tests on their CPUs to ensure compatibility, but other than the danger of a failing fan, Athlons worked fine. The only issue I had is using Lancraft, which is also quite buggy anyway.

    One thing I looked into, though, is scalability. While Intel keeps changing their platform, AMD has been using the Socket462 for quite some time now. If anyone had a Duron then when the Socket462 first came out, he still has the option to upgrade to an Athlon XP 3000+ (No Kidding). They are finally moving to the Socket754 which I don't mind since it's about time.

    I gave up on Intel when I bought my Socket423/i850 combination.

    I'm waiting to get my hands on the Athlon 64.
  13. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,512   +65

    .. Ouch. :)
  14. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,519

  15. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,929   +15

    I go AMD simply over price. It cost alot more for an Intel CPU thats the same speed as a AthlonXP (Ghz wise, keep in mind the XPs perform ~400mhz faster compared to the P4s).

    --Now just look at that bowl of SharkFiN soup...we've come along way my friend :D
  16. SharkFiNbowL

    SharkFiNbowL TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    AMD Athlon XP2000+ speed in Pentium 4

    I am curious, AMD Athlon XP2000+ says it is 1.67GHz, but some people say that Athlon XP is like whatever Mhz, 400 from agassi's post, so does AMD Athlon XP2000+ equal to a Pentium 4 1.67Ghz or higher?

    By the way, thx! Try the soup, you can probably get it at some expensive chinese restaurants! Watch out, they may be very expensive lol, but very delicious!! :p
  17. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,218

    Ok, here is the official answer Sharky: An Athlon XP 2000+ performs equal or better than a 2GHz P4(that is pretty much AMD's explanation)

    Agissi shouldn't have used MHz as a measure of performance because it tends to cause confusion. We have discussed the performance differences between the two here before and I see what he meant by the statement but MHz and performance is two different things. To try and explain this better, if we look at an XP and a P4 of the same clock speed, the AMD outperforms the P4. That is what agissi is saying. Maybe he is saying that a P4 400MHz faster could match that performance. However, the fastest P4 will currently outperform the fastest XP because of several factors as was previously mentioned. The cost is not really worth it IMO though. If you add it all up, including cost, the XP is the best performance, especially for the money IMO.
  18. cogenmaster

    cogenmaster TS Enthusiast Posts: 117

    AMD for Now

    I have been using AMD processors since I dumped my HP computer with a 200mhz mmx intel processor. I built an athlon slot A 600 overclocked at 750 for the entire time I owned the processor. It is still running this day overclocked at my brother-in-laws house. I replaced the 600 with a amd xp1700 and soyo mobo. Had a lot of problems with the mobo at first but since getting those issues fixed my machine has run error free for 2 years. I play lots of games and do a lot of web surfing computer is rock stable and never crashes.

    I do plan the go with Intel on my next system. I can't stand the damn fan noise with the AMD heat sinks.
  19. spun_1

    spun_1 TS Rookie Posts: 37

    I know its not saying too much,but I believe there's an article on the front page about Microsoft choosing Athlon over Pentijunk using in house benchmarks.oops I mean Pentium.
  20. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,310

    Not to say that Pentiums are all that bad because they aren't, but the point is there is no logic in buying Pentiums over Athlon other than the fact that you need a better cooling solution. BUT the fact is even with a more than efficient heatsing+fan your Athlon processor is going to cost you less than the Pentium equivelant. Athlon processors are higher end processors that run much faster than Pentiums, cost less, and are more "effecient" processors.

    I have to assume the role of Spock here when buying a Pentium over an Athlon for any reason whatsoever. I just don't see the LOGIC in it.

    If you wanted a fast car (not that I know anything about cars) why would you buy a 350 horse power car for a higher price than a 450 horse power car that costs LESS? (I know crap about cars so keep that in mind-- but I do know it wouldn't make sense).

    Also keep in mind that just because you had a problem with an AMD processor in the past it doesn't mean it was AMD's fault. That is hardly ever the case. It is usually because of an outdated BIOS, or other hardware problem other than your processor.

    Pentiums are like the guy that is almost a genius that has to work really really hard to get the grades that the genius gets by not even studying. Who would you hire for a job first? The genius that works fast or the almost genius that gets basically the same job done but slower????
  21. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,519

    The latest Athlons run cooler than Pentiums, so they don't require better cooling solutions any more.

    Also, remember the pentium floating-point bug? Compatability isn't an issue with AMD any more (Microsoft approved) and the choice really comes down to personal preference (mainly - if we ignore cost etc.).

    With nForce chip sets, the Athlon has one of the best performing and stable platforms on the market, and by supporting AMD, competition in the cpu market is maintained to everyone's benefit.

    I still remember when an Intel 486DX2-66 CPU cost me £400 ($600) and prices only started to fall when AMD cpu's were selling well and taking market share from Intel. If AMD didn't exist (and they are still not making a profit) then we'd all be paying the best part of £1000+ ($1500) for our CPUs, and no one wants that now, do they?
  22. teleport

    teleport TS Rookie

    I'm currently looking to upgrade to a bew CPU/mobo and what's really confusing me is this FSB business.

    Surely the Intel 533 FSB is much much faster than the Athlon 266/300FSB?

    Can someone Techy please explain why it's not.
  23. eddy05

    eddy05 TS Rookie Posts: 147

    I'm not techy, but i'll explain :)

    The speed of the Front Side Bus (FSB) determines how much data can be passed to the CPU (And your system). It does not represent the speed of how fast a CPU work. A huge FSB is generally better for processes where alot of data needs to travel to and fro the CPU eg. Media Encoding.

    If you want to select a CPU/mobo combination I suggest you search for benchmarks for the CPUs' practical performaces since you shouldn't really compare CPUs by their clockspeeds.
  24. teleport

    teleport TS Rookie

    Thanks for the reply Eddy. I'll look at the benchmarks.

    The one thing that is putting me off AMD is the VIA chipsets. VIA seem to rush out buggy chipsets, let you buy them then bring out fixed revisionA's later. I got a bit screwed with the KT133 and am currently looking towards pentium CPUs for this very reason.
  25. eddy05

    eddy05 TS Rookie Posts: 147

    It's perhaps a gd and bad reason.

    I chose AMD because of a similar reason like yours, only with Intel. Lessons will tell you that first released products are usually buggy. I'm using a KT400 now and it's working alright, although the KT400A's already out and better than mine. Still, I find mine running at an acceptable pace.
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