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Pentium D 820 vs. Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego

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January 28, 2006 11:00:31 PM

Hi,
I am about to purchase a new CPU and have come down to two CPU's to choose from, the Intel Pentium D 820 or the AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego.

Which one would you recommend I get? I am leaning towards the San Diego more but I like the sound of dual core in the D 820. Price wise the differencre is about $30 (Australian) more for the D 820.

Thanks
January 28, 2006 11:13:22 PM

If the P D 820 is the only one in your price range then go for it. You wont regret going to dual core. Just make sure you understand an Intel will be about $10 more a month on your power bill.
January 28, 2006 11:31:35 PM

If you are considering the 820D, try to get the 920D. The 920D is the 820D's replacement and it'll only be maybe $20 more and falling. The 920D has double the cache so it'll improve performance a bit especially in the bandwidth constrained dual core circumstance of the processor. The 920D is also made on the new 65nm process to control power and heat. SpeedStep isn't working on the 920D right now though, but it may be corrected by a BIOS update in the future. Whether it will or not, the 820D doesn't have the feature to begin with.

In any case, it depends on what you plan on doing. If you mainly game then the single core is a good idea. Otherwise, you may benefit from a dual core. It's also interesting that if your game supports dual core your benefits can be huge. In Quake 4 with SMP enabled the 820D is faster than the FX-57.

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=265...
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January 28, 2006 11:34:57 PM

If he can spare a few more bucks I'd say the AMD X2 3800, the 900 series from Intel still uses to much power. As for his price range he cant go wrong with an 820, as long as he understands the power draw of Intels.
January 28, 2006 11:51:53 PM

The X2 is only $30 more?
It performs at least 10% faster, so that would be great value from where I sit. That kind of money for a lot better performance, and a lot less heat, is a real steal. Get the X2.
January 29, 2006 12:10:54 AM

Just a rant here:

People ask about parts with a money range and it doesn't help them when you all say spend $X more for X part. Yes that would be ideal but I'm sure they have the price range for a reason.

/end rant.

EDIT: Could he save $100 or more a year with a Dual-Core AMD hell yeah. I just cant recommend single core anymore becuase they are too slow and unresponsive.
January 29, 2006 12:38:02 AM

If I were to get an X2 3800+ that would cost about $75 more than the San Diego, I do want a dual core CPU. Is the X2 3800+ really better then the D 920 because the X2 3800+ only has 2GHz and 2 x 512KB L2 Cache when the D 920 has 2.8GHz and 2 x 2MB L2 Cache.

Just to make sure, is the D 920 64bit?
January 29, 2006 12:46:33 AM

I cant comment on Intel other than the numbers I've seen. The 920 does lower the power draw but not enough. The AMD X2 3800 is still the best entry level dual core chip, but as I said if the 820 or 920 is in your price range and you understand your power bill will be more then get it. The AMD X2 3800 will probably blow the doors off anything (except higher clocked X2s) other than an Emergency Edition P4 (Just my personal opinion).
January 29, 2006 12:48:41 AM

So it doesnt't really matter that the X2 3800+ is only 2GHz and has 2x512KB of L2 Cache?
January 29, 2006 12:54:56 AM

A 2Ghz AMD is like a 3.6Ghz Intel and Cache doesnt matter much on AMD thanks to the Integrated Memory Controller. Dont be fooled by big numbers or your just another sheep.

EDIT: And to avoid being called an AMD fanboy it Intel came out with a chip that ran cool and didn't suck the juice I'd recommend that.
January 29, 2006 1:00:37 AM

Ok looks like ill try go with the X2 3800+, last question is does this CPU have the equivalent to Hyper threading technology? And I know I could just google it but what exactly does Hyper-Transport do?
January 29, 2006 1:04:04 AM

No, but it has somthing better, real threading via two cores ;) 
Does support SSE, SSE2, 3Dnow, MMX
January 29, 2006 1:05:32 AM

When I look at the mother of all CPU Charts 2005/2006 it shows the X2 3800+ often as the lower performing ones, several times below the 3700+ San Diego even, What makes this CPU better than?
January 29, 2006 1:09:58 AM

At the moment a higher clocked Single core will beat a dual core for games. Personally I dont miss 6 frames per second and most game makers are writing for dual cores now so a dual core is more future proof.

EDIT: And once you see how responsive a dual core is you'll wonder how you ever got along with a single core. (just my personal opinion)
January 29, 2006 1:17:31 AM

Well thats what ill go for then, thanks for your help
January 29, 2006 1:57:56 AM

Id Agree, And The Funny hing Is The 3800+ X2 At Stock Core Speeds Still Outruns Even The Mid-End 9xxx Series Dual-Cores In Most Tests (Especially Gaming Tests) Its Ironic Considering The 1000MHz+ Differance In Clock Speeds, So Id Say Hed Get A Better Value From An X2 (And One More Thing To Consider, In General AMD Motherboards Are Cheaper Than Intel Ones So Even If He Goes AMD X2 And Spends A Few More $$, In Reality Hed Still Be Getting The Better Deal... Think About It)
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