Most people who own PC's don't realize that the CPU speed and the number of processors is almost inconsequential. What controls how quickly the application runs depends on:
The speed of the mother-board. That's where the RAM memory is, that's where the L2 cache is. For most of it's life, the CPU chip will be waiting for data, it only executes instructions when it has all of the data values it needs to operate on to complete the instruction.
Now, I'm buying new hardware for my company and will be spending a lot of money this week. I want performance (without it, well, our business mission will likely fail...)
I want new equipment, I don't want to have to run multiple machines (that's what we're doing now -- it's a bad idea if you have real computing to do.)
On one 3GHz box, our application requires about 36 hours to do 1200 units of work. We can do less work but we need ou job to complete in 8 hours.
I am certainly willing to run non-Intel hardware. Every program we run has been written in C using GNU C/C++. So we're probably compatible with anything.
My email address is: email@example.com
I'm happy to receive email from vendors, my main requirement is to get up and running ASAP.
Right now we're running FreeBSD but if necessary we can migrate to another UN*X. Just, please no windoz, as it makes all of the real programmers ill.