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Pentium 4 or AMDAthlon 64 3200 Tech Question

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by andyxxx, Nov 20, 2003.

  1. andyxxx

    andyxxx
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    I hope this is the best forum to ask this.

    I am about to swap my computer.

    My choice is P4 3.06 Ghz or AMD Athlon 64 3200. My question is why is the Athlon considered better and quicker as its speed is rated at 2Ghz?

    My logic having no computer tech knowledge tells me it should be two thirds as fast?

    Is there a simple explanation - or am I missing something simple?

    Cheers

    Andy
     
  2. DucatiEVO

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    Smarter technology in the chip basically, the AMD can process instructions more efficently than the Intel and hence doesn't need to be clocked as high to match it's performance.

    I'd take the AMD anyday as it's already faster in most things than the Intel P4 3.06 Extreme Edition, let alone when you switch to a pucker 64bit operating system and take full advantage of it.

    Just think what it will be like overclocked! ;)
     
  3. andyxxx

    andyxxx
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    Thanks for the reply. It seems amazing that Pentium have allowed themselves to be leapfrogged like this - but I guess thats just the technology race (and they could have something up there sleeve that will knock the socks off AMD?)

    Andy
     
  4. CENSORED

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    Watch those prices! 64 bit and 'extreme' cpu's have mental price tags at the moment.
     
  5. Apocalypse

    Apocalypse
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    Intel don't need to satisfy the enthusiast sector which is custom PC builders like you or me as we only make about 1% of their sales if that. Intel are far and away the biggest company in the CPU market however. I'm just glad for the competition, can only be good for the consumer.
     
  6. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Athlon 64s are ludicrously expensive at the moment. I'd go for a P4 system, if I were you.

    The answer to your original question, Andy, is that CPUs are nowhere near as simple as you might think they are. For example, most modern CPUs have multiple "pipelines" - they can do more than one calculation simultaneously. The performance will depend on how many pipelines there are, and how efficiently they can be used.

    There are also issues like how much level one cache there is on the CPU, how fast the cache is, and how the data in it is arranged. Similar issues apply to level 2 cache.

    Then there are system issues - for example, the architectures of the main memory systems on AMD and Intel systems are very different.

    There's a lot more stuff I could talk about - these are just a few examples - but I won't bore you any more. :)

    It actually isn't accurate to say that Intel has been leap-frogged, either. The fastest version of the P4 (P4 Extreme edition) outperforms the Athlon 64 in just about every test. And Intel could quite easily have released it many months ago. They chose not to, because they felt there was no need to bother.

    Frankly, AMD really needs to get its act together. Back in the glory days of the Athlon they actually had a CPU that was faster and cheaper than anything Intel had. These days the best they can do is be cheaper - and the Athlon 64 isn't exactly cheap.
     
  7. james.miller

    james.miller
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    Athlon 64 3200+ - £339.58 inc vat
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_AMD_CPUs_51.html

    intel p4 3.2c - £314.31 inc vat
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_Intel_CPUs_15.html

    intel p4 3.2c EXTREAM - £734.48inc vat
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_Intel_CPUs_15.html

    Not quite as "ludicrously expensive" as you make out, NicolasB and concidering its performance lead over the normal p4, it really is a no-brainer.

    Now, you want something to compete with that SEVEN HUNDERED POUND p4 3.2 EE? look no further than the ATHLON FX-51 400 - £610 at overclockers.co.uk. It's faster in just about every test that matters (no, quake 3 doesn't matter).


    SO, AMD do infact have the faster AND cheaper cpu's.

    http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NTI0LDE=
     
  8. Apocalypse

    Apocalypse
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    Komplett do the Athlon 64 for £315, for CPUs they tend to be the best place for prices :lesson:
     
  9. GagHalfrunt

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    I must admit that I always buy CPUs a couple from the top.

    I'm sure that that a £300+ cpu now will plumet in price within a short space of time so I consider it to be a waste of money for the sake of a few months.
     
  10. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Most Athlon 64 motherboards aren't exactly cheap, though - you need to factor that into the cost of the whole system.

    IIRC, there are also some issues with certain features not being properly enabled for certain Athlon 64 motherboard chipsets. (Nvidia's version doesn't have a full-speed hyper-transport bus between the north and south bridges, thereby harming AGP performance, while other chipsets have less efficient access from CPU to main memory for other tasks. Something like that, anyway!)

    Pentium 4 has been around a lot longer and has had more of a chance to stabilise.
     
  11. Apocalypse

    Apocalypse
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    A mild overclock of a say a 2.8GHz P4 will easily reach 3.2GHz and save you a vast sum of money with little or no risk, plus with a decent Zalman cooler it can still be ultra quiet.
     
  12. CENSORED

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    Probably more cost effective is a P4 3.0GHz, the retail version of which costs around £217 from Overclockers. With the stock heatsink and fan (included) it is possible to hit 3.5GHz with the right motherboard and memory! I was getting 3.75GHz in a Vapo but a recent bios upgrade on the mobo sorted out some PAT issues and I can now hit 3.9GHz with all voltages at stock :eek:
     
  13. andyxxx

    andyxxx
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    It has been interesting reading your explanations and opinions. I have learnt a bit, though i must confess I am now no further forward in making a decision on which cpu to go for!

    You guys obviously know what you're talking about and lost me on N & S Bridges, AGP, Overclocking, PAT, etc.

    However, I am happy in my ignorance - I struggle to remember how to use the bloody computer without trying to learn how to build one!

    Which leads me to ask this question.
    (though it is a new thread really)

    If you were to purchase a new computer (to be used primarily for wprocessing, digital photography and internet) what components would you go for and where would you go to buy it/have it built?
    On a budget of £1-1500.

    Thanks

    Andy
     
  14. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    If you don't want the hassle of building it why not have a look at the medion PC mentioned in this thread (direct link to the offer: http://www.aldi.co.uk/specials_01_11/offers_nav.htm)

    For £850 you get a P4 3GHz, 512MB DDR RAM, Radeon 9800XL video card, DVD burner and loads more.

    I priced up the components on ebuyer and, with the OS and all the software, you'd be looking at at least £1300, probably more.

    They seem to have a good reputation, so maybe worth an early morning visit to Aldi this thursday (that's the day they're released and they don't tend to hang around long).

    HTH
    Owain
     
  15. Apocalypse

    Apocalypse
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    There is a catch with the above and all PCs bought from the likes of Dell/Time/Tiny etc, they use custom made motherboards that can be a nightmare when you come to upgrade the PC with add-on cards. Also it's a nice theory saying you only want a PC for this or for that, you ALWAYS end up branching out and wanting to try different things with the PC, this is where "proper" components come into their own as they offer far better options for upgrading. My advice is build your own PC, putting the hardware together is easy, you'll only need assistance when it comes to installing an operating system from scratch but many people can help you out on this forum or PC specific forums.

    It's source of much argument as to what CPU format to choose, having used both formats for years I'd go with Intel personally, not for price or performance specifically, Intel chipsets (Motherboard Northbridge) are arguably more stable IMO. That's not to say AMD are unstable, it's a case of one is at 98% and the other is at 99% if you see what I mean.

    To use an AV analogy, going from shop built PCs to DIY PCs is like going from Argos HiFi systems to seperates.
     
  16. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    Not sure this applies to this aldi PC though, I don't own one, but I've read a fair bit about them.

    They are made by a German cmopany called Medion and use, AFAIK, components that are widely available. This particular PC has an MSI PT8 MB, MSI radeon 9800XL video card (standard AGP 8X interface), Seagate 160Gb HD - all pretty commonplace choices for components. I know that Dell do the kind of things you are talking of, but I'm not sure it applies to all pre-built PCs.

    Owain
     

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