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First time build needs help with Processors. AMD vs Intel

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June 13, 2008 3:13:54 PM

So I am building a computer for the first time and here is my choice. AMDs have a better rep, and according to cnet's own article smoke Intel. I can get a pretty decent one with 2.6 ghz for $46. I can also get a Intel for $69 with 3.4 ghz. Which is faster? Is AMD's advantage in efficiency enough that it can beat out nearly a ghz more clock speed? Which is faster, and which gets the most bang for buck in your opinions?
June 13, 2008 3:19:27 PM

Actly intel has been mostly better then AMD. also the 3.4 ghz would be faster then the 2.6 as its 3.4 ghz. you need to post links to what CPU your looking at so people can help you out more.
June 13, 2008 3:30:48 PM

not another intel vs amd thread.
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June 13, 2008 3:34:44 PM

It all depends on your budget and what are your needs actually.

If you are going to OC and game, it's best to get Intel, otherwise, AMD performs very well at stock speed for the price you are paying.
June 13, 2008 3:36:26 PM

Okay sure thing. I am thinking about an AMD Athlon 64 4000+ vs. an Intel Pentium 4 550. I know they aren't top of the line, but I am kind on a strict budget, and since I am not looking to play crysis, that suits me.. I am looking to play stuff like team fortress 2, and I do alot of digital art, so something that can handle application multi tasking and gaming. Not crysis level mind you.
If I am looking at dual core how about a 2.3 ghz Intel Dual Core Pentium 915?
June 13, 2008 3:36:54 PM

If you mean one of them old pentium 4s then your better off with an X2 i guess.Also peoplesay Pentium D ALLENDALE cores are the good ones
June 13, 2008 3:54:08 PM

We also have Core2 on the market =)
June 13, 2008 4:00:04 PM

This is your 2nd thread on the topic.

Don't ask about AMD vs Intel.
Simply state your budget.
The parts you need to buy beyond the base computer itself such as OS? Monitor? Mouse? Keyboard? etc...
June 13, 2008 4:10:07 PM

Xternal is right, the Allendale "Pentium Dual-Core" chips are the ones to buy. Unlike the "Pentium-D", the Pentium Dual-Core is based on the Intel Core microarchitecture which is far more advanced than the Netburst-based arch of the Pentium 4 or D in terms of sheer performance might and energy consumption. If you are able to spend the $$ though, the "Core 2" labeled chips offer far better performance than that of the Pentium Dual-Core series. The Pentium Dual-Cores are essentially the same chips as the Core 2s, yet they lack full L2 cache reserves which translates into a decrease in efficiency and performance. Most feature only 1MB of L2 Cache, whereas Core 2 Duo variants can have upto 6MBs.

It should be noted however, that the Pentium Dual-Cores, like most Core-based Intel chips, are highly overclockable as cited in this http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pentium-dual-core,1683.html article from Tom's Hardware.
June 13, 2008 4:10:23 PM

For a low end non-gaming system, I would choose AMD because the MATX motherboard selection is better. The onboard Nvidia or ATI graphics are great and many of them have more memory slots (for future upgrades). However, I would spend the extra money and get an AMD X2 processor. You should be able to get a budget one for under $70 at Newegg. I have an Athlon 64 LE-1600 in my machine, and I wish I had spend the extra $20 or so and got an X2.

Another good option for a budget system (much better than a Pentium 4) would be a Celeron E1200. It is a dual core Intel processor based on the Core-2-Duo technology for only $50. Don't worry about it being a Celeron. It is NOT the same as the older Celerons. An even better chip (if you want better speed than the Celeron) would be the Intel Pentium E2180 or E2200 for $70 or $80 respectively. They are also based on the Core-2-Duo chips (They are Allendale Cores like Xternal said but NOT Pentium Ds). If I went with that, I would get an MATX motherboard with the Nvidia chipset. The onboard graphics processor will be better than the intel chipsets.
June 13, 2008 4:15:59 PM

I am assuming you are on a tight budget. If you are not, then like macomrade says, get an Intel Core 2.
June 13, 2008 4:28:07 PM

I would be careful with the Celeron variants though...keep in mind, that most feature only a measly 512kb of L2 cache which in today's world of ever more demanding applications, will seriously hinder system performance. While in most instances, the Core-based Celeron will perform better than AMD's budget Sempron chips, I would still caution their usage in anything but the most low-end, basic computers. (which they are built for anyways) Pentium Dual-Core for a few more dollars is a better investment by far.
June 13, 2008 5:04:23 PM

Hey, just for kicks, I threw this list together a couple of days ago. Gives you an idea of the cost of things if you were to build a cheap dual-core system on both the Intel and AMD sides of things.

Budget Dual-Core Intel PC

$54 - Foxconn M7VMX-K w/Geforce 7050
$90 - Intel Pentium E2220 2.4GHz
$20 - 1GB DDR2-800
$58 - Seagate 7200.10 250GB HD
$30 - Pioneer DVD-RW
$30 - Atop Rhino RX500 500W PSU
$26 - Case RAIDMAX Elite ATX-208B
$22 - Microsoft B2L-00047 KB/Mouse
$19 - Logitech R-20 Speakers

Total Hardware Cost $349
Shipping/Handling $~50

Budget Dual-Core AMD PC

$45 - Foxconn M61PMX w/Geforce 6100
$60 - Athlon 64 X2 4800+ 2.5GHz
$20 - 1GB DDR2-800
$58 - Seagate 7200.10 250GB HD
$30 - Pioneer DVD-RW
$30 - Atop Rhino RX500 500W PSU
$26 - Case RAIDMAX Elite ATX-208B
$22 - Microsoft B2L-00047 KB/Mouse
$19 - Logitech R-20 Speakers

Total Hardware Cost $310
Shipping/Handling $~50

Of course, all prices are from Newegg.com and could change. But when you look at the difference between the two systems, the $40 for the Intel build might actually be worth it as the Core-based architecture is superior to the Athlon's and can be way overclocked over it's base frequency. Also keep in mind, the GeForce built-in video on the Intel side is a 7xxx series as opposed to the 6xxx series on the AMD board.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2008 5:08:46 PM

To tell the truth, I've got an Athlon 5200 x2 running in my rig and it runs fine. If you want a good price, decent performance at stock, AMD. I do all my gaming and any decoding and what not on the Athlon and it does just fine. If you game, biggest thing to to worry about is graphics card. Even go get a worse CPU so you can get a better video card if gaming is the concern. But for pure performance, and if you want to OC, Intel is probably better. Though a little mild overclocking can probably done on AMD rigs.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2008 5:10:12 PM

Btw, who is Atop?
June 13, 2008 5:18:57 PM

Those look like good low end builds macomrade suggested. I might consider spending a little more on the motherboard; maybe get a Gigabyte or Asus board. But others here may have had good luck with Foxcon. I have never used one, but I know Dell has used them a lot in the past. I like MSI too, but their recent MATX boards have no settings for overclocking, if that is important to you. Some people on newegg seem to like Biostar boards too.

I would also recommend more memory if you are going to run Vista. It is not that much more.

A better power supply may be good as well. For a low end build the following would probably be adequate:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It is only 300W, so if you ever add a gaming video card, you would have to upgrade the power supply. But 300W is as high as most store bought systems and the FSP/SPI brand is well known for quality. The above power supply is green as well, meaning more efficient for a lower electric bill. And it is said to be very quiet. For power supplies, there should be a list somewhere on this forum of better ones for gaming, should you need a better one for future upgrades.
June 13, 2008 5:23:23 PM

yeah apence, Dell, Apple, IBM, all of 'em use Foxconn as their motherboard OEM...they make a nice board at decent prices. ASUS is of course the best, but you are going to pay more.
June 13, 2008 5:47:06 PM

We need to know the OP's budget is...
June 13, 2008 5:49:56 PM

The Atop does not list the wattage on each individual rail (see newegg pics). I would prefer to have that on the label if I was going to get a PS, but it may be worth the risk for the 500W.

Thanks for the tip on the Foxconn motherboards macomrade. I will consider them in the future. They always look like nice boards, but seem to have low ratings on Newegg (which could be due to the user).
a b B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2008 5:54:11 PM

I think it said 22 amps.

If I were going cheap on a PSU myself, which a lot of guys here don't recommend. But if that's what I were doing, maybe something along these lines....


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

585 watts, 2 12v+ rails, one rated for 19 amps, the other for 20 amps. For that price, you can't ask much more. Though I've never used one, but the user reviews look promising.


Also, on motherboards, I've had good luck with Biostar, but I'm running a Gigabyte board now, and must say I'm pretty pleased so far. Nothing major to complain about after 6 months.
June 13, 2008 6:00:59 PM

thanks for the PSU tip ohiou, I'll add that one to my budget list :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2008 10:07:44 PM

Again, I've never used it. So I cannot attest to it's reliability, but the specs look good for that price, and it seems like a lot of guys had luck with it, so if you are really strapped for cash, might be worth a look.
June 13, 2008 11:16:04 PM

AMD 4200+ X2 Brisbane 65W $48 shipped
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H $97 shipped
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Wintec DDR2 800 MHz 2GB $45 Shipped
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Antec NSK4480 Black/ Silver 0.8mm 380W PSU included $90 Shipped
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

All up $280 (Excluding HDD, Keyboard/mouse, Speakers and Monitor) Shipped

If you need a HDD as well
7200.11 320 GB $70 shipped
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
bringing it up to $350 shipped!
Not cutting edge, but will run a few games at low/medium and decode HD content.
!