AMD vs. Intel, beyond value and performance

I'm trying to decide if I should upgrade my s478 system to a current AMD or Intel system.

As a poor student I want to keep my expenses down so AMD is a bit more interesting as they are simply cheaper systems. But I'm not sure what I'd lose in stability and otherwise going with AMD, as nVidia seems to have a habit of unleashing unfinished products to the public. Intel makes their own chipsets and they obviously work fine.

I'm not into overclocking and SLI is no of interest for me.

Are other chipset manufacturers even worth considering for keeping prices down?

I'm looking for any information on what AMD and Intel have to offer that the other doesn't besides value and performance. I already looked in to the topic of power consumption, and as both offer 65nm and 65W it doesn't seem to matter much.
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  1. Quote:
    I'm trying to decide if I should upgrade my s478 system to a current AMD or Intel system.

    As a poor student I want to keep my expenses down so AMD is a bit more interesting as they are simply cheaper systems. But I'm not sure what I'd lose in stability and otherwise going with AMD, as nVidia seems to have a habit of unleashing unfinished products to the public. Intel makes their own chipsets and they obviously work fine.

    I'm not into overclocking and SLI is no of interest for me.

    Are other chipset manufacturers even worth considering for keeping prices down?

    I'm looking for any information on what AMD and Intel have to offer that the other doesn't besides value and performance. I already looked in to the topic of power consumption, and as both offer 65nm and 65W it doesn't seem to matter much.

    Staying on the cheap side you've got VIA chipsest. The K8M890 series makes the cheapest AM2 motherboards and it has even integrated graphics. If you don't overclock at all, there's not that much difference between the best and the worst chipset there is, really. Staying on the AM2, after a $50-60 board, an AM2 X2 3800+ is around $125 now, a good starting option.
    .. the only problem is if you start to like overclocking; that's how I found myself cursed with an excellent CPU and a motherboard that won't let it go from 1.8GHz to 2.8 :D
  2. I guess I should mention that I intend to use my upgraded system as a DAW.

    So my plan is to get a future safe system with PCIe, Dual channel DDR2 and NCQ, which means that I wouldn't save that much money on AM2 atleast compared to a 945P conroe board.

    Too bad Intels price cuts wont be until Q2 07 :roll:

    Any suggestions?
  3. Quote:
    Too bad Intels price cuts wont be until Q2 07 :roll:

    Any suggestions?


    1) Time machine
    2) Rob a Fry's
    3) Get an E4300. Killer CPU, amazing price. So cheap you can switch chips later.
  4. Quote:
    Too bad Intels price cuts wont be until Q2 07 :roll:

    Any suggestions?


    1) Time machine
    2) Rob a Fry's
    3) Get an E4300. Killer CPU, amazing price. So cheap you can switch chips later.

    Cool. I'll consider :D
  5. Don't mention Fry's, I'm still pissed they refuse to build one in my city of 1/2 million people. Otherwise, I like the way you think.
  6. The e4300 will arrive next month. It's projected price tag of $163 seems a little steep though.
  7. Quote:
    I guess I should mention that I intend to use my upgraded system as a DAW.

    So my plan is to get a future safe system with PCIe, Dual channel DDR2 and NCQ, which means that I wouldn't save that much money on AM2 atleast compared to a 945P conroe board.

    Too bad Intels price cuts wont be until Q2 07 :roll:

    Any suggestions?


    I'm using a Turion X2 laptop for my DAW (SOnar) and it does 8 simultaneous 24bit96 tracks with FX, so a 3800+ will do a little better (not that you'd really need it to).
  8. Quote:
    I guess I should mention that I intend to use my upgraded system as a DAW.

    So my plan is to get a future safe system with PCIe, Dual channel DDR2 and NCQ, which means that I wouldn't save that much money on AM2 atleast compared to a 945P conroe board.

    Too bad Intels price cuts wont be until Q2 07 :roll:

    Any suggestions?


    I'm using a Turion X2 laptop for my DAW (SOnar) and it does 8 simultaneous 24bit96 tracks with FX, so a 3800+ will do a little better (not that you'd really need it to).

    Cool!


    How about integrated graphics? Any disadvantages?
  9. Quote:
    But I'm not sure what I'd lose in stability and otherwise going with AMD, as nVidia seems to have a habit of unleashing unfinished products to the public.

    Stability is not a worry. Unstable CPUs are a thing of the past. :D
  10. Quote:

    How about integrated graphics? Any disadvantages?


    If you try to run something more graphically intensive than a spreadsheet you system will hate you.

    I hear that a company called Palit makes excellent video cards (which, I hear, overclock very well on stock coolers) at an excellent price.
  11. I recommend read the "Rules of Thumb for Great Performance at Low Prices" post in the hardware--Homebuilt forum. It should tell you a couple of things worth considering. While it's more for people spending above $800, the principles are still useful for cheaper systems.
  12. Quote:
    I guess I should mention that I intend to use my upgraded system as a DAW.

    So my plan is to get a future safe system with PCIe, Dual channel DDR2 and NCQ, which means that I wouldn't save that much money on AM2 atleast compared to a 945P conroe board.

    Too bad Intels price cuts wont be until Q2 07 :roll:

    Any suggestions?


    Yeah --- get the board you want, or better yet the 965 FOXConn is a good option, cheap, nice feature set.
    http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2898

    Wait until first or second week in January when the E4300's are released (as cheap as the 3800+, within 15 bucks anyway -- but will run faster than a 3800+) and enjoy.... you can upgrade later after saving up some money to a higher class CPU and use the E4300 as a key chain. :)

    Jack

    Or just overclock the E4300 to 3GHz+. :wink:
  13. Quote:
    I guess I should mention that I intend to use my upgraded system as a DAW.

    So my plan is to get a future safe system with PCIe, Dual channel DDR2 and NCQ, which means that I wouldn't save that much money on AM2 atleast compared to a 945P conroe board.

    Too bad Intels price cuts wont be until Q2 07 :roll:

    Any suggestions?

    Did anyone notice he said "future safe"?

    AM2 is a great way to save money, but if you want "future safe" as you stated(there is no such thing) , AM2 may not be the best way to go. If you're OK upgrading to an AM2+ CPU just for higher clock speed down the road, AM2 is still a good choice, but if you want the added features AM2+ or AM3 will bring, It will mean a new mobo and RAM as well as the CPU.

    It looks like you have to decide whats more important to you: If you want dirt cheap, AM2 is the best option, but youre going to forfit long term upgradability. If you want longevity/upgradeability over cheap, socket 775 will suit you better.
  14. *that* idea about am2+ and am3, is just the situation that the thread on am2 upgrades addresses.

    As I just posted there, actually you can have your cake and eat it too, with a beautiful upgrade path, with low costs and nice upgrades!

    You can transistion to an am3 board with 1 motherboard upgrade years from now, and never be really out of date.

    You go from your current am2 chip to a quad am2+ drop-in upgrade, and eventually to an all am3 system, on the cheap, and easy upgrades, just 1 new motherboard in 3 years.

    Suggest if you wish to discuss it, add the response to that thread.
  15. It's not very good time for purchasing right now.

    Cheaper CPUs are around the corner (this month already), board prices are likely to go down too and next generation low-end video cards are also about to surface soon so if I were you I would lay it off for a while.

    Thinking of some minimum, 945 chipset will work fine, DDR2-667 4-4-4-12 will also work fine if you don't intend to overclock. I would skip on integrated graphics though because it really sucks compared to even the cheapest PCI-E card.
  16. What is your budget?
  17. The E4300 looks like an interesting option but looking at early prices it's too close to the E6300.

    The cheapest discrete graphics cards use system RAM anyway and I wont be in need of good 3D performance. Would it still be a bad idea?

    I haven't really thought so much about what kind of clock speed and latency I should aim at for memory.
    This article shows that a conroe system wont benefit from DDR2-667 over DDR2-533 memory.
    http://www.madshrimps.be/?action=getarticle&number=4&artpage=1965&articID=472
    Whats the situation with AM2?
  18. Quote:
    The E4300 looks like an interesting option but looking at early prices it's too close to the E6300.

    The cheapest discrete graphics cards use system RAM anyway and I wont be in need of good 3D performance. Would it still be a bad idea?

    I haven't really thought so much about what kind of clock speed and latency I should aim at for memory.
    This article shows that a conroe system wont benefit from DDR2-667 over DDR2-533 memory.
    http://www.madshrimps.be/?action=getarticle&number=4&artpage=1965&articID=472
    Whats the situation with AM2?


    Unfortunately AM2 does not perform well with DDR2-533. You need at least DDR2-667, or preferably DDR2-800, in order to get optimal performance from the platform.

    http://www.anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.aspx?i=2800&p=7

    C2D does benefit slightly from faster memory, but not to the extent of AM2.

    If you are after performance on a budget then an E4300 with DDR2-533 (or heck, even DDR2-400 since it's an 800FSB chip) will be adequate if you don't intend to overclock. Then again, IMO it's kind of foolish (from an enthusiasts POV) to not overclock the E4300 because early samples have shown these chips can overclock to 3 - 3.5GHz on air cooling - that's a cool 80% overclock and puts it above the levels of a $1000 X6800 chip.

    Of course, you'll require DDR2-667 if you intend to seriously overclock the E4300, although DDR2-533 will suffice for moderate sub 3GHz overclocks.
  19. Cool, the smaller need for high cost memory balances the price for a C2D system even more.
  20. Not exactly, because, however you put it, you'd always be better with high quality RAM in mant cases.
  21. Quote:
    Not exactly, because, however you put it, you'd always be better with high quality RAM in mant cases.


    Why spend $100 more on RAM when the slower stuff is almost as fast?
  22. Yes, but it's not that price balancing, that's the same for an AMD system; it's a bit more sensitive to RAM but it's still peanuts.
  23. Emphasis added:

    Quote:
    I'm trying to decide if I should upgrade my s478 system to a current AMD or Intel system.

    As a poor student I want to keep my expenses down so ...


    Does your current system do the job at hand. Eating is much better for your spirit than a faster computer.

    As for who is 'more stable' that will depend more upon the motherboard and other components than the CPU. The flaws in the nForce 3/4 based chipsets is what kept me from upgrading until now. (To the naysayers: Active Armor and IDE drivers)

    As noted above you haven't mentioned your budget, but additionally what is your current processor clock? What kind of performance bump are you looking for?
  24. Quote:
    Too bad Intels price cuts wont be until Q2 07 :roll:

    Any suggestions?


    1) Time machine
    2) Rob a Fry's
    3) Get an E4300. Killer CPU, amazing price. So cheap you can switch chips later.

    You love your Big Boobs - an observation
  25. Quote:
    Yes, but it's not that price balancing, that's the same for an AMD system; it's a bit more sensitive to RAM but it's still peanuts.


    Peanuts? http://www.anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.aspx?i=2800&p=7

    AM2 is a lot more sensitive to RAM speed compared to C2D. I don't know how you can brush that off as a non issue.

    A C2D with DDR2-533 performs 2 - 5% worse than DDR2-800.

    In comparison, AM2 with DDR2-533 performs 10 - 20% worse than DDR2-800.

    10 - 20% is not 'peanuts'. It's equivalent to 2 - 3 CPU speed grades. It means an X2 4600+ with DDR2-533 will only perform at the level of an X2 3800+ with DDR2-800.

    When people say an X2 3800+ is '10 - 15% slower' than an E6300, they are judging by DDR2-800 results. This puts it close enough to the E6300 to be a viable alternative (at stock speeds of course), because it is $40 cheaper than the E6300, and AM2 mobos are generally a bit cheaper than 965P mobos as well.

    However, if we use DDR2-533 on both platforms, the X2 3800+ will then be 20 - 30% slower, and that puts it at a distinct disadvantage when compared to the E6300.

    Such a significant performance hit from slower memory is one of the key weaknesses of AM2. A 10 - 20% hit is an awful lot of 'peanuts'. Better watch that waist line. :wink: :lol:
  26. Quote:


    Peanuts? http://www.anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.aspx?i=2800&p=7

    AM2 is a lot more sensitive to RAM speed compared to C2D. I don't know how you can brush that off as a non issue.

    A C2D with DDR2-533 performs 2 - 5% worse than DDR2-800.

    In comparison, AM2 with DDR2-533 performs 10 - 20% worse than DDR2-800.

    10 - 20% is not 'peanuts'. It's equivalent to 2 - 3 CPU speed grades. It means an X2 4600+ with DDR2-533 will only perform at the level of an X2 3800+ with DDR2-800.

    When people say an X2 3800+ is '10 - 15% slower' than an E6300, they are judging by DDR2-800 results. This puts it close enough to the E6300 to be a viable alternative (at stock speeds of course), because it is $40 cheaper than the E6300, and AM2 mobos are generally a bit cheaper than 965P mobos as well.

    However, if we use DDR2-533 on both platforms, the X2 3800+ will then be 20 - 30% slower, and that puts it at a distinct disadvantage when compared to the E6300.

    Such a significant performance hit from slower memory is one of the key weaknesses of AM2. A 10 - 20% hit is an awful lot of 'peanuts'. Better watch that waist line. :wink: :lol:


    Very well stated! :)

    I expect that your thesis will also apply to the coming e4300. This should put considerable competitive preasure at the low end. :D
  27. Quote:
    Very well stated! :)

    I expect that your thesis will also apply to the coming e4300. This should put considerable competitive preasure at the low end. :D


    Indeed. In fact, you can be a total cheapskate and use DDR2-400 if you don't intend to overclock (n00b! :lol:). Eh, I don't even know if they sell DDR2-400 anymore, the lowest I've seen in a while is DDR2-533.
  28. Quote:


    Peanuts? http://www.anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.aspx?i=2800&p=7

    AM2 is a lot more sensitive to RAM speed compared to C2D. I don't know how you can brush that off as a non issue.

    A C2D with DDR2-533 performs 2 - 5% worse than DDR2-800.

    In comparison, AM2 with DDR2-533 performs 10 - 20% worse than DDR2-800.

    10 - 20% is not 'peanuts'. It's equivalent to 2 - 3 CPU speed grades. It means an X2 4600+ with DDR2-533 will only perform at the level of an X2 3800+ with DDR2-800.

    When people say an X2 3800+ is '10 - 15% slower' than an E6300, they are judging by DDR2-800 results. This puts it close enough to the E6300 to be a viable alternative (at stock speeds of course), because it is $40 cheaper than the E6300, and AM2 mobos are generally a bit cheaper than 965P mobos as well.

    However, if we use DDR2-533 on both platforms, the X2 3800+ will then be 20 - 30% slower, and that puts it at a distinct disadvantage when compared to the E6300.

    Such a significant performance hit from slower memory is one of the key weaknesses of AM2. A 10 - 20% hit is an awful lot of 'peanuts'. Better watch that waist line. :wink: :lol:


    Very well stated! :)

    I expect that your thesis will also apply to the coming e4300. This should put considerable competitive preasure at the low end. :D

    Very well stated indeed. It also illustrates that the $45(US) more for the E6300 if offset by the cost of the more expensive am for the AM2 3800
  29. Quote:
    Too bad Intels price cuts wont be until Q2 07 :roll:

    Any suggestions?


    1) Time machine
    2) Rob a Fry's
    3) Get an E4300. Killer CPU, amazing price. So cheap you can switch chips later.

    You love your Big Boobs - an observation

    Dude, if you love my big boobs, then we've got a serious problem here... and stop checking out my a$$! :lol:
  30. I'm glad this turned out too be such an active topic.

    Quote:
    Emphasis added:

    I'm trying to decide if I should upgrade my s478 system to a current AMD or Intel system.

    As a poor student I want to keep my expenses down so ...


    Does your current system do the job at hand. Eating is much better for your spirit than a faster computer.

    As for who is 'more stable' that will depend more upon the motherboard and other components than the CPU. The flaws in the nForce 3/4 based chipsets is what kept me from upgrading until now. (To the naysayers: Active Armor and IDE drivers)

    As noted above you haven't mentioned your budget, but additionally what is your current processor clock? What kind of performance bump are you looking for?

    That are some good points.

    Right now I have a P4b 2.26 GHz(533 MHz).

    I'm not as poor of a student as I used to be now and I feel I need more performance for DAW work.

    So to summarize:
    People have issues with nVidia chipsets(just like their graphics cards).
    C2D are less sensitive to memory clocks.
    Price drops and cheaper models coming up for Intel soon.
    AM2 will be phased out sooner than s775.

    Looks like I'm leaning towards Intel more than ever.

    Still not sure if I should go with integrated or discrete graphics. I don't need good 3D performance but I don't know to what extent integrated, or cheap graphics cards that use system RAM anyway, affect system performance.

    This information has been very helpful so far!:)
  31. Quote:
    That are some good points.

    Right now I have a P4b 2.26 GHz(533 MHz).

    I'm not as poor of a student as I used to be now and I feel I need more performance for DAW work.

    So to summarize:
    People have issues with nVidia chipsets(just like their graphics cards).
    C2D are less sensitive to memory clocks.
    Price drops and cheaper models coming up for Intel soon.
    AM2 will be phased out sooner than s775.

    Looks like I'm leaning towards Intel more than ever.

    Still not sure if I should go with integrated or discrete graphics. I don't need good 3D performance but I don't know to what extent integrated, or cheap graphics cards that use system RAM anyway, affect system performance.

    This information has been very helpful so far!Smile

    Go with a cheap PCI-e card; it will always perform much better than the best onboard; onboard cards suck so many of those precious resources to your system.
    It is the same dilemma I had and chose a mombo with integrated graphics, but even the most miserable experience such as browsing files is totally different on a discrete video card; that's why I got a crappy FX5200 that is up to all my needs. You can chose either a FX5300 or a X300; they're so cheap and perform better than integrated video.
  32. Ditto on the Discrete graphics. Only for a 'headless' system (server) would I consider integrated graphics.

    The reason for this is that the integrated graphics essentially steals system memory bandwidth for graphics use. What you are left with is the equivalent of PC100 for the system (maybe a little overstated, but you get the point)
  33. I haven't tried others but I can tell you that Nvidia integrated graphics is more than adequate. It can handle much more than just spreadsheets... There are lots of good 6150/430 boards around. Spend the money you save on more RAM.
  34. It still won't compare to a low end GPU.

    It's OK if you play your games at 800x600 I guess...
  35. Games? I thought it was a DAW he's building.
  36. First, i only build overclocked systems - i have been for 4 years- not one has failed. Good cooling is the key, low voltage and tuning to the sweet spot.

    A 478 p4 as you have will run 3.5-4.1ghz - mine is over 3 years old (3.0c @3.6ghz)- i am still using it since it can still keep up for surfing and such. I have a core 2 gaming rig next to me but i just like old faith - this oc p4 is in shuttle on top of it!

    "As a poor student I want to keep my expenses down

    I'm not into overclocking and SLI is no of interest for me."

    if you are a poor student that's the biggest reason to overclock. There is no, or next to no difference between a e6600 e6700 or e6800 except the multiplier or whether its locked or unlocked.

    the e6300 has half the cache of those above, yet it still rocks at 2.6-2.8ghz - see toms article on running the e6300 or e6400 (i forget which) at those speeds. You do not have turn up the voltage any more then stock. Dial in 1.4 volts in the bios and 375-420 fsb x 4. While your at it save some cash on the ram (lifetime waranty) - buy some ddr2 533 1.8 ocz run it at 2.1v, ddr2 800, 5-4-5-15 and get 6700mhz on the sandra tester. I have been pushing ram as long as cpu's not one failure.


    You should buy the sweet spot - see toms cpu buying guide its the best and you see the sswet spot is around $300. Take the e6600 and run it at 3.0-3.2ghz and save $200-$500.

    So you can get $183 core 2 chip and it will smoke most amd chips why waste your money?
  37. A DAW has to be a quiet PC if you plan to do any live recording. That means it has to run cool, ie no overclocking. Instead you should be thinking about passive cooling, quiet fans & other components.

    You don't actually need a blisteringly fast CPU anyway. Plenty RAM, big hard drives and a good soundcard are more important.
  38. electric noise is caused by fan rpm's not lots of fans - lots of fans is quieter then a few faster fans
  39. Read first post.
  40. Quote:
    Read first post.

    ???? not sure what do u mean?

    "As a poor student.......

    as a poor student, u should take advantage of oc - overclocking means 2 things:
    1) maximum speed etc
    2) talking advantage of low end chips to run them like high end chips

    As a "poor student" u should be using #2 above - u can buy a used p4 lets say a 2.4a with a 533 bus for $30 or less, u can take this chip and run it a 3.2ghz with a $50 mobo and make a great system.

    or u can run 805 dual core (new ~$80) and run it 3.4-3.6ghz with a low end 775 board for $75.

    or u can take an e6300 1.8ghz (as the article this week in THG) and run it at 2.67ghz with no problems with intel chipset (nvida 500 series do not oc) - low end board for $75

    all the above will result in stable system with long life and much improved performance as compared to the stock settings. POINT 2 Take the savings on oc the cpu and put into a good gpu and psu!

    my point is if you are poor (u do not have alot to spend on a system) then the best thing is to take advantage of low end chips and run them like the more expensive one.

    Many people do not realize that all chips in a family are basically the same and intelligent overlclocking will result in;1) money saved 2)better performance 3) very little if any loss of life in the chip.

    any p4 board runs 900 fsb easy so get a 533 bus chip and run it!
    any intel core 2 ready board will run 333 fsb so take the 266 fsb chip and run it at 333
  41. Quote:
    Yes, but it's not that price balancing, that's the same for an AMD system; it's a bit more sensitive to RAM but it's still peanuts.


    Peanuts? http://www.anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.aspx?i=2800&p=7

    AM2 is a lot more sensitive to RAM speed compared to C2D. I don't know how you can brush that off as a non issue.

    A C2D with DDR2-533 performs 2 - 5% worse than DDR2-800.

    In comparison, AM2 with DDR2-533 performs 10 - 20% worse than DDR2-800.

    10 - 20% is not 'peanuts'. It's equivalent to 2 - 3 CPU speed grades. It means an X2 4600+ with DDR2-533 will only perform at the level of an X2 3800+ with DDR2-800.

    When people say an X2 3800+ is '10 - 15% slower' than an E6300, they are judging by DDR2-800 results. This puts it close enough to the E6300 to be a viable alternative (at stock speeds of course), because it is $40 cheaper than the E6300, and AM2 mobos are generally a bit cheaper than 965P mobos as well.

    However, if we use DDR2-533 on both platforms, the X2 3800+ will then be 20 - 30% slower, and that puts it at a distinct disadvantage when compared to the E6300.

    Such a significant performance hit from slower memory is one of the key weaknesses of AM2. A 10 - 20% hit is an awful lot of 'peanuts'. Better watch that waist line. :wink: :lol:

    An exceptionally lucid and informative post. I hope you don't get banned ;)
  42. Quote:

    An exceptionally lucid and informative post. I hope you don't get banned ;)


    Hah, I don't think I'll get banned using basic logic and busting common myths, this is not AMDZone. :lol:
  43. Quote:
    as a poor student, u should take advantage of oc
    He's not interested in overclocking - unless we hear otherwise. He is interested in a *quiet* PC. It's a DAW. Buying a very capable but inexpensive chip like the x2 (or an intel system if it doesn't push the overall price up) is exactly the right thing to do. Overclocking is exactly the wrong thing to do. Instead, you want to be thinking about quiet 120mm fans (and a case that can mount them), a quiet PSU like Seasonic S12, passive coolers like the Ninja. Most people buy computers to get some work done not to spend all day fiddling around tweaking and overclocking for minimal gains.
  44. I have to stop and stare every time you post, stop flauting them!

    wes
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