AMD or Intel... best bang for the buck.

I just got through reading the THGC CPU Buyers' Guide. Boy was that a heck of a read. Many thanks for putting that together, Spitfire.

It was very enlightening. The only problem now is that is a bit outdated and prices have shifted since it was written. I'm looking to put together a PC that will have the following roles in order of importance:

1 - 3D rendering
2 - video capture / conversion (like from video tape to DVDs)
3 - games
4 - Multitrack recording
5 - regular boring word processing and spreadsheets

I do multitrack recording and some older games on my PIII now, so those I'm not worried about too much. It's the first 2 items that I think I really need to focus on. In the THGC CPU Buyers' Guide I saw that the P4 line was tops for 3D rendering, but some of the AMD processors seemed to come in a pretty close second. So, my question is, now that prices have dropped, would I get better overall performance for the above tasks by spending $200 on an AMD or an Intel processor?

Thanks for any insights anyone may have.

Max.
12 answers Last reply
More about intel bang buck
  1. I think the amd64 939 3200+ is the best cause its 180$
  2. The venice core A64 3500 is $201 @ newegg. You are not going to get anything near it for that money. Anything from Intel that would compete, would also require an aftermarket cooler.
  3. definitely AMD. the intel fanboys can't even argue with this one. :-)

    the two CPU's suggested (Athlon 64 3200+ & 3500+) are excellent recommendations.

    -mpjesse
  4. The AMD 3700+ is a great unit, and is only 234 dollars at newegg. Its a little over your budget, but it has a twice the L2 cache of the 3500+, and I had a better experience overclocking it then I did with the 3500+. But the 32+ and 35+ are both great units, it really just depends how much money you want to spend and how much power you want.
  5. Wow! I think I'm getting a clear picture that AMD is going to be the way to go. Thanks for all the responses.

    Quote:
    The AMD 3700+ is a great unit, and is only 234 dollars at newegg. Its a little over your budget, but it has a twice the L2 cache of the 3500+, and I had a better experience overclocking it then I did with the 3500+. But the 32+ and 35+ are both great units, it really just depends how much money you want to spend and how much power you want.


    $200 was just a rough figure. In your opinion, does the extra L2 cache give a noticable performance gain? Do you think a person would be able to tell a difference if a 3700+ was sitting next to a 3500+ (all other hardware being equal)? I've never been too keen on overclocking, so that's not really a selling point for me, but if I can expect a 5 to 10% decrease in rendering time I think it'd be worth the extra money.

    I assume that I can just use the rest of the hardware guides to pick out the best MoBo, RAM, etc for the processor I choose. Is SATA II available yet? I searched the forums and didn't see any mention of it.

    Thanks again everyone. I just discovered this message board (though I've used Tom's Hardware site for years.) I think this is going to be a fun community to be involved with.

    Max.
  6. Woops. Nevermind about the SATA II question. I just found this post:

    http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=120679#120679

    That seems to say that there's nothing to really wait for. After reading suggestions and seeing prices, I've decided to go with a DiamondMax III 250 SATA drive. It's a good buy and seems to have good performance reviews.

    After much research (mostly on Tom's Hardware) I also decided on an EPOX EP-9NPA+ULTRA nForce4 MoBo and Corsair TWINX1024-3200C2PT 1GB DDR400 XMS3200 Dual-Channel Memory.

    Considering that I'm tossing in an All-In-Wonder X600Pro and an Audigy 2 ZS Platinum and keeping the whole system under $900, I think I'm doing pretty good.

    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    Max.
  7. Quote:
    Woops. Nevermind about the SATA II question. I just found this post:

    http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=120679#120679

    That seems to say that there's nothing to really wait for. After reading suggestions and seeing prices, I've decided to go with a DiamondMax III 250 SATA drive. It's a good buy and seems to have good performance reviews.

    After much research (mostly on Tom's Hardware) I also decided on an EPOX EP-9NPA+ULTRA nForce4 MoBo and Corsair TWINX1024-3200C2PT 1GB DDR400 XMS3200 Dual-Channel Memory.

    Considering that I'm tossing in an All-In-Wonder X600Pro and an Audigy 2 ZS Platinum and keeping the whole system under $900, I think I'm doing pretty good.

    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    Max.


    Show me your build. Here is mine

    mobo - $93 EPOX EP-9NPA+Ultra NF4 ULTRA
    cpu - $200-AMD Athlon 64 3500+ 2.2GHz (Venice) 939 512KB
    graph- $208 eVGA GeForce 6800 GS 256MB GDDR3
    lcd - $334 Dell UltraSharp 2005FPW 20" LCD
    case- $100 Antec SONATA II
    ram-$73 Corsair VS1GBKIT400 1GB Kit DDR400 PC3200
    hdd-$117 250GB Western Digital Caviar SE16 7200RPM with 16MB
    dvd writer - $43 BenQ DW1640
    cooling - $32 Zalman CNPS7700-CU CPU
    thermal paste - $6 Arctic Silver 5

    Total: $1,206
  8. Hello,

    The 3200+ can overclock to 2.5ghz. Many of the regular AMD 939's can overclock to the next best speed w/o breaking the bank. This can give you the speed bonus needed for your work. Also, some of your apps may need 1gb or 2gb of RAM and/ or workstation video card.
  9. You WILL overclock when you realize how simple and safe moderate overclocking is. See my sig for my conservative, quiet and cool 2.5GHz overclock specs. Many people recommend the EPOX 9NPA+Ultra as a great board for a great price that also is a very good overclocker.
  10. jaybrog's build list is excellent, including his cooler, though I personally prefer the Thermaltake XP90. You could get by with the stock HSF if you don't O/C much. I'm also curious about whether the extra cache of the San Diego core is significant. I think it is not really, in most applications.
  11. Quote:

    Show me your build. Here is mine...


    Well, OK. I just bought the parts last night. Here's what I have on the way:

    Maxtor Maxline III 7B250S0 250GB Serial ATA 7200RPM Hard Drive w/16MB Buffer

    EPOX EP-9NPA+ULTRA nForce4 Ultra Athlon 64(FX) Skt939 DDR ATX Motherboard w/Audio, Gigabit LAN, RAID/SATA II

    Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Sound Card Retail

    ATI All-In-Wonder X600 Pro PCI Express 256MB DDR Video Card w/TV-Out , DVI & Video-In Retail

    Corsair TWINX1024-3200C2PT 1GB DDR400 XMS3200 Dual-Channel Memory w/Platinum Heat Spreader Retail

    AMD Athlon 64 3700+ Processor (San Diego) Socket 939 Retail

    Antec SLK-3800B Case with 400 watt PS

    I get a $100 rebate on the sound card, so my total cost (shipping on everything was free) was $873 after the rebate.

    I'm curious... since I don't plan to overclock, should I need anything more than the fan that comes with the processor?

    All great replies everyone. Thanks for taking the time to read through my post.

    Max.
  12. You dont need another HSF as long as you bought retail.
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