Pentium 4 or Athlon 64, which & is the time right?

  Nicols0n 09:59 28 Sep 04

1. I am about to replace my desktop, and want the best spec fastest I can buy so that it will have the maximum product life. Both chips seem v good, but which should I specify for a mainly business machine, using accounts, the internet, and occasionally digital image & multimedia.
2. Also, I understand that the new top end chips need a special motherboard to make the best of their speed - what is the current thinking.
3. seeing as these new chips have only just come to market, would it be financially better to wait til, say January to get the best value for money?


  t.long 11:27 28 Sep 04

I do not think you should get to carried away with the CPU. For office applications any will do, but one thing you will want is memory, just make sure it is the fastest avalible - currently PC3200.

As for waiting till January, well truth be told there is never a good time to buy a computer. So you might as well take the plunge.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 12:20 28 Sep 04

For your uses there will be no difference whatsoever. Waiting until January will make no difference as well, they might be cheaper but they could be more expensive.


  Sion 22:20 28 Sep 04

If you wait, they will drop in price, but only because the latest and greatest chips will have just been released, then you'll just be tempted to hold off your purchase until they come down in price, and so the vicious circle will continue !

AMD64 tends to be cheaper than Intel, runs a lot cooler, and are generally quicker than intel. (i maybe slightly biased to AMD having built many machines around them, but i have yet to see a comparison test where the reviewer has plugged for intel over AMD).

If you do go for the AMD system though, be sure to get one based on the socket 939 motherboard, as it a lot more future proof than socket 754. As for intel, their new motherboard is LGA775 i believe, you would want to opt for that model.

Hope this helps.

  t.long 22:51 28 Sep 04

If you go to click here there is a long series of benchmarks. This may be more helpful than the more general ones used by most PC reviewers which give more of an overview than brakdowns by function.

Look at the apps/types of apps you intend to use, and select the write processor. But I think that RAM and a decent sized HDD are just as important. Also if like me you find yourself spending hours looking at spreedsheets a nice big monitor might actaly be more important than the latest fastest CPU.

  sctang 04:03 29 Sep 04

I think, for your uses, the best option would be the Athlon 64.

It's a lot cheaper than the P4 and is a lot more future proof too.

Athlon 64 also has a few tricks up it's sleeve. The cpus are multiplier unlocked downwards which means the cpus can clock down automatically to lower speeds and lower vcore thus allowing a cooler and quieter pc. All you need to do inorder to take advantage of this feature is to find a motherboard that has the AMD Cool and Quiet feature.

As for the differences of the socket 754 and 939. The only difference is the memory controller, the 939 is dual channel. However, this doesnt mean the 939 is a lot faster than the 754 as the architecture of the cpu controllers (built into the cpu rather than adopting the use of the northbridge) means there's a lot less latency and performance has been improved dramatically.

The only reason to go for a P4 would be if you actually do a lot od encoding, the P4's are considerably faster than the Athlons, however, for your uses, the A64 seems the more appropriate.

  Nicols0n 15:21 13 Oct 04

- have bought AMD & very happy!

  speedy12 21:02 14 Oct 04

Just seen the Tom's hardware review. I have that FX-53 system :o) ...smug smile :op

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