I choose this because it seems the best bang for buck and the higher priced MPs.. the bartonMP in particular dont really give a clear indication of the performace gains id get with them for my purposes... I need them for 3d rendering and from what ive seen the barton processors make little difference in what id be using..
since i could get upgrade to say a 2.6ghz p4 with 1gb of ram that woul dbe half the price but around 60-70% the performance... am i nuts?
is buying into new parts a good idea at the moment because theres a chance they may all come down soon?
I have a Dual Athlon MP 2400+. Depending on how you feel about it, you could try and get old OEM Athlon XPs and mod them to work as MPs, however I decided to not go down this route and payed the extra for MPs. 2Gb of registered RAM should work fine on an MPX board. I think ASUS stopped producing theirs, I have the MSI board and that is pretty popular over at <A HREF="http://www.2cpu.com" target="_new">2cpu</A>. Alternatives would be the Gigabyte or Iwill offerings. I wouldn't go higher than 2400+ simply becuase the increased performance doesn't match the cost and you can easily overclock to 2600+ anyway. Barton doesn't make much difference because the old MPX chipset is stuck with a 266MHz FSB.
The question for you is, how much do you need the 3D-rendering workstation? Is it part of your buisness or just a hobby, i.e., is decreased performance going to cost you time and money? If not, then the only reason for getting dualie is just for the hell of it, which ain't a bad reason - you just have to put up with people telling you you're nuts. Personally I've decided to hold all upgrades until the PCI-Express / Lindenhurst boards are available by which time processors should be down to the 90nm manufacturing process that should also make them cheaper. But that's likely to be H2 2004., i.e., not soon. Intel's next round of price cuts are expected on 10/26 when the P4 2.6 GHz should drop by about $30. I doubt the lower end Xeons will budge.