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Intel System vs AMD System - Advice

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September 13, 2006 10:28:06 AM

I have a decision to make and wonder whether performance may dictate such a decision.

I need to know which of the following two systems is likely to perform best. Both for 'Office' applications and of course 'gaming'.
When I speak of gaming, I tend to play Red Orchestra and that type of FPS genre.

Dell Optiplex 170L
Intel P4 3.2ghz cpu
1GB DDR400 (PC3200) RAM
Windows XP Pro SP2
1x40gb HDD (7200rpm) 8mb cache, ATA133
1x120gb HDD (7200rpm) 8mb cache, ATA133
Nvidia Geforce FX 256mb 5200 Ultra PCI (no AGP slot) GPU
Onboard Sound (not 5.1 though)

or

Barebones 'shoebox' sized machine (home built)
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ cpu
1GB DDR400 (PC3200) RAM
Windows XP Pro SP2
1x40gb HDD (7200rpm) 8mb cache, ATA133
1x120gb HDD (7200rpm) 8mb cache, ATA133
Nvidia Geforce FX 128mb 5700 Ultra (AGP) GPU
Onboard Sound (5.1)

The Intel CPU is quite possibly 'faster' than the AMD, but the AMD is the 64bit variety and so may offer improvements over the older P4 Northwood architecture.. !?!
Pretty much everything else is the same in the machine, apart from the fact the home built system will have an AGP slot, so I can move away from the SLOW PCI card I have (Dell Optiplex 170L doesn't have AGP or PCI-e slots, just the old old PCI standard).

Comments appreciated. Of course, the home built system has AGP, so at some point I could upgrade the card for an ever better AGP card (e.g. 6800 or 7800).
September 13, 2006 10:54:56 AM

If i had to choose between those two, i´d go with the second one. Both are more than adequate for office duties, but the Geforce 5200 of the first one just sucks. And the Athlons are, compared to P4s, simply better for gaming.



If i were you i´d consider a third option though. Build your own. AGP and DDR are dead and have no upgrade path.
September 13, 2006 10:59:53 AM

IMO your AMD system would perform better/yield higher results because
1. I can't remember where in this forum, somebody posted that Athlon64 3200> Intel P4 3.2GHz

2. Your AGP-based FX5700 are of course more powerful than PCI-based FX5200

But as Slobogob mentioned, go buy system with DDR2 mem etc (AMD/Intel is your pref. but Intel's C2D might perform better than AMD's AM2)
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September 13, 2006 11:13:56 AM

I know that by no means are either system 'cutting edge' or even entering the 'high performance envelope...

But...

I want something to tide me over until later in 2007 when I plan to build a new system from the ground up. I will of course be looking then at the AMD 64 II or something similar and using 7950GTX cards (2 or 4 of them) etc.

For now, I want the better performing machine setup to run some games.

It now seems I will be running both machines anyway, as the Dell will remain in use (no need to scrap it). The AMD system will get a new 250gb SATA (10000rpm) HDD to replace the 40gb one, which will stay in the Dell. Installed on the new drive will be a validated license of Windows XP Pro SP2.

Many thanks for your comments and confirmation of my thoughts. I'll go ahead and sort out the AMD system (transferring second HDD and data). I may even pick up a GF6/7 AGP card for the interim to push things on a little further until the new build 2007 machine materialises.
September 13, 2006 11:15:48 AM

>PCI graphics card
>5200

Oh dear.

The Athlon will perform infinitely better in basically everything (with the possible exception of encoding movies / music).

Go with the Athlon. Definitely. No questions, no fuss, no muss, Athlon!
September 13, 2006 1:26:16 PM

Quote:
The Intel CPU is quite possibly 'faster' than the AMD, but the AMD is the 64bit variety and so may offer improvements over the older P4 Northwood architecture.. !?!


I am assuming by faster u mean higher frequency for the P4(3.2 vs 2.2)
however if this is wat u mean GHZ doesnt matter much.

it annoys me wen i talk to most of my friends etc. and tell them about my computer and tell them i have a 2ghz athlon64 they say "haha thats crap its only 2ghz. my P4 or celeron is 2.x or 3.0ghz. unfortunently 90+% of ppl arent computer smart.

anyway back 2 the point.
the athlon64 is better than the P4, expecially at gaming and the fx5700 is much better than the fx5200

so the amd system is EASILY better at games.
the only benifet of the intel is probably video encoding.
September 13, 2006 2:27:26 PM

deffinately go with the AMD based system.Just having the agp video card is a huge improvment.But yes there are reasons to have a 64bit cpu.Like being able to run 32bit and 64bit applications simultaniously.i would also check and see if you can upgrade that video card for a few dollars more as the 5700ultra is pretty low end these days.Good luck.

Dahak

EVGA VF4 SLI MB
X2 4400+@2.4 S-939
2 7800GT'S IN SLI MODE
2X1GIG DDR400 MEMORY IN DC MODE
WD300GIG HD
520WATT PSU
EXTREME 19IN.MONITOR
3DMARK05:11,582
September 13, 2006 3:13:45 PM

I aren't buying the system, it is being cobbled together from bits and pieces I already have in my possession (taken from systems I've broken down that aren't any longer in use).

The 5700 Ultra is the card I have 'spare' at the moment. Of course, I could look to spend some cash and buy a better card but I would prefer to simply get the most out of what is available and save the money for building a new machine in 2007.

I'm glad the concensus seems to be that the AMD machine will be a significant improvement over the P4 Dell (mostly due to the GPU change and AGP availability).

I look forward to some improved gameplay then.
!