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P4 @ 800mhz vs. Athlon @ 400mhz

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August 19, 2003 12:22:15 AM

I’m designing a new system for high-end gaming, and my first decision needs to be in regards to a processor. Currently, Pentium’s top processor is running on an 800mhz FSB, whereas AMD’s are at 400mhz (with the very popular Barton 2500+ at 333mhz). As for pricing, one case would be that it’s $166 for P4 2.4GHz at 800mhz compared to $160 for an Athlon 2.8GHz at 400mhz.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but assuming that one has a high-end motherboard that can handle such a powerful FSB, GPU, etc., wouldn’t the aforementioned P4 outperform the Athlon? Thus, wouldn’t it be a better buy in the long-run to go with the P4? AMD is certainly the value buy in most cases, but an 800mhz FSB seems to dwarf a 400mhz one.

Gaming PC in progress, suggestions welcome :) 

More about : 800mhz athlon 400mhz

August 19, 2003 12:44:30 AM

I think the first problem is that if you are designing a system for high end gaming then the CPU is the last of your worries.

First off, what graphics card, monitor and sound system are you after. The difference between an Athlon & P4 at the highend is not going to be hugely different it is the nVidia vs ATI decision that is far more worthy of you thought processes.

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August 19, 2003 12:51:20 AM

I would have to agree as well. Spend as much money as you can on the video card and then worry about the processor later. There are some threads in the that forum that you should probably take a look at before making a decision, but for the most part they boil down to 9800pro128 excellent, 9800pro256 excellent but not worth the extra cost, fx5900 excellent, but too expensive and slightly lower quality, though higher frame rate. Then get a cpu, at which point the 2500 will probably server your purpus, but the P4C line is great if you can still afford it.
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August 19, 2003 1:36:43 AM

Quote:
The difference between an Athlon & P4 at the highend is not going to be hugely different

I completely disagree with you on this. The 3.2GHz P4 is way faster than Athlon 3200 in nearly everything, including gaming. The difference between top end vid cards is not nearly as big a difference as top end CPUs.

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August 19, 2003 2:36:16 AM

Noone here in thier right mind would say an xp3200 is faster than a P4 3.2 gig. The question is is a P4 2.4 with a 5600 non-ultra as good for gaming as an xp2500 with a 9800 pro. Since these two systems can be built for about the same price, which would be the preferred system? If you say the intel, put idiot outside below intel inside. You are a hopeless intel fanboy.
August 19, 2003 2:36:55 AM

Since you want a highend gaming rig How much to you want to spend?
August 19, 2003 2:37:28 AM

Will you be OCing ?
August 19, 2003 4:22:56 AM

Hey Knewt, what you say is true that Intel has a tremendous lead over AMD's flagship CPU while there is not so much of a gap in the fastest models of video cards from NVidia and ATi. You can build a decent gaming system with just about any Pentium 4 Northwood or Athlon XP CPU. For gamers, the brute force of the CPU is important, but not anywhere near as much of bottleneck as choosing the right video card for your money. There are like gillions of video cards out on the market compared to available differing CPU models. Graphics Processers advance in technology at a much faster pace than CPUs advance. All Athlon CPUs are based on the oringial K7 architecture released in 1999. And the P4 has been around since 2000. We have been in the same basic generation of CPU tech for over three years now, while Graphics cards change generations every 6 months to a year.

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August 19, 2003 7:51:56 AM

Dude you get tremendous memory bandwidth with a P4 which is great for gaming. Ohh and BTW the 2.4C is a much better performer than the 2500+.


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August 19, 2003 7:15:35 PM

Quote:

Ohh and BTW the 2.4C is a much better performer than the 2500+.

Humm... MUCH better NO, but better YES!

There is not a HUGE difference in performance between those CPU in normal gaming. But, if you can see the diffrence between Quake 3 at 350 and 400 FPS, you probably bought the latest Sony monitor that have a 500 Hz refresh rate that cost you 50 000$

:) 

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August 19, 2003 10:44:48 PM

Thanks for the replies. I am well aware that my selected GPU will be far more influential than my processor. However, I would like to build a setup that will allow a graphics card upgrade when needed. The 800mhz vs. 400mhz FSB seems to be a gigantic difference. Even if current video cards will not feel this difference, I'd rather be able to just upgrade my card alone in a few years than have to build an entire new system.

Gaming PC in progress, suggestions welcome :) 
August 19, 2003 10:52:19 PM

And then pick up some bionic eyes that will see that many fps. Of course, seeing 400fps would make everything else lag pretty bad.

And for something helpful. If I were you I would still go with the good video card and slower processor. A year from now the P4C3.2 will be cheaper (as will the 3200 for that matter. Probably dirt cheap.) so you will have a processor upgrade path. Just drop the new one in and you're ready to go. Graphic I hear are moving to PCI express ...next year...?(though I admit I havent done much reading on it yet) so the best cards by then may not be backwards compatable with the current MoBos. Someone else might have better advice than me on the future. :) <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by bandikoot on 08/19/03 06:59 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
August 20, 2003 3:00:04 AM

I tend to agree that the money is better spent on the gpu once the cpu is at an acceptable level (prob about a 2500+AXP or a 2.4c P4). I would say however that hte 2.4c can be overclocked like a motha which is nice. My friend has a 2.4c in a shuttle XPC (hot boxes to begin with) OCed to 3gig (not too shabby). That's my 2 cents.

As a side note I did not mean that the 2500+ is equivilent to the 2.4c (just to keep people off my back).

"Don't question it!!!" - Err
August 20, 2003 10:12:58 AM

I have to point out that the 2500+ can also be overclocked 'like a motha' :wink: ..

a 2500+ @ 2.4Ghz is probably not gonna be too far from your friend's 3Ghz Oced P4.

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August 20, 2003 11:48:01 AM

"a 2500+ @ 2.4Ghz is probably not gonna be too far from your friend's 3Ghz Oced P4."

This is also true but if one can OC a 2.4c to 3Ghz in a shuttle XPC then one could assume that more would be possible with more than a 200watt psu and a case that is larger (with more airflow). This is not to say that the 2500+ isn't a really solid performer at a pretty good price. If the only way to afford the better gpu is to get the 2500+ I would say go for it because I don't think there will be a significant difference for gaming between the 2 processors.

"Don't question it!!!" - Err
August 20, 2003 1:47:59 PM

Yup - you wouldn't notice the difference while gaming. to get higher than ~3.1Ghz with a P4 he'd probably need a 2.6 as the multiplier's locked, so would cost more anyway.

I would still advise going with a 2.4C anyway, provided he gets a mobo which will be Scotty compatible. That way he'll be able to stick a 3.4 or 3.6Ghz in there if the CPU does start to suffer - There isn't any similar route for AMD ATM.. :frown:

Quote:
with more than a 200watt psu

There ain't no way a 200Watt PSU would power this sort of rig anyway, unless it's actually a good quality re-badged 300-350W unit or something.

I have a 230W PSU in one of my 'puters at home, and it hasn't got the juice to run my AXP2000+ at full speed :frown: (I don't care though, cos it's only my secondary PC, for LAN gaming... and it works well enough for that)

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The end is nigh.. (For this post at least) :smile:
August 20, 2003 5:40:57 PM

Both the chips run at an FSB of 200Mhz, its just that the Athlon XP uses DDR Technology whilst the P4 uses a Quad Data Rate Design. You shouldn't worry about the FSB as the fact they both use a baseline 200FSB means that not a huge performance can be seen by either (nowhere near to double the performance).

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