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2700+ vs. Athlon64 for Parents

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June 17, 2004 6:18:56 PM

Hi, I am looking to build a computer for my parents. I am trying to convince my father that he does not need an Athlon64, since his usual computer usage consists of:
Browsing the internet
Reading, sending emails
Downloading pictures from camera and printing (no photoshop)

From my research, I've found that Athlon 64's are going to cost him much more, with minimal performance gain. Will he see that big of a difference in the above activities to warrant the $150-300 price jump?

Could someone give a convincing couple of lines on which way he should go, and why? Also, please explain what kind of a difference he is going to see. Also consider whether it would be more valuable for him to put his money into other things, such as a new LCD monitor, a nicer DVD burner, etc.

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June 17, 2004 6:38:08 PM

Athlon64 is primarily for gaming and compiling, he might want to go with AthlonXP, 2700+ is too high for him, you could go for 2200+, or the 2400+, and get a nice 19" LCD monitor. But it's always good to have lots of ram, so at least 512mb would be recommended, and since no gaming, an ALL in one board would be great, i would recommend the Asus A7N8X-VM, it's a microATX board, has decent features with integrated Geforce4 MX graphics, and it's fairly cheap. Asus gives you 3 years of great warranty service.

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June 17, 2004 6:44:21 PM

Athlon64 based system might a good choice if your parents plans to keep their PC for a while.

Don't forget that Athlon XP are not future-proof anymore. I will take for example my parents, I bought them a Duron 850 based PC a long time ago and it's still running well for their needs. At the time I bought, I chose an upgradable platform, knowing that my parent would kept their PC for a long long time. So, If they need a "boost", I will only have to swap the CPU for an Athlon XP and get them another 256Megs of ram.

If your parents buy an Athlon XP 2700+ and they need a performance boost in a while, compatible CPU might be no where to find and you would be stuck to find them an Athlon XP 3200+ nothing faster. If your parents buy an Athlon 64 today, you will be able to fit a an Athlon 3700+ in the future and upgrade their system to Windows 64bit if needed.

Here you have 2 choices : buy a cheaper system with more goodies or buy them a more future-proof systems. Both solutions have their advantages and disadvantages.

And, by the way, the difference in performance between Athlon XP 2700+ and Athlon 64 2800+ is noticeble since the Athlon 64 2800+ often beat XP 3200+.

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June 17, 2004 6:47:40 PM

You have good point there too!!! I didn't tought about this when I posted my own reply.

Basically, he have 3 choices :
1. Buy a basic Athlon XP system with tons of goodies
2. Buy a decent Athlon XP system with less goodies.
3. Buy a basic Athlon 64 system that is more future-proof.

I would choose the 1st or the 3rd option.

--
It's tricky to use words like <b><font color=green>AMD</font color=green></b> or <b><font color=blue>Intel</font color=blue></b> in a signature some users could think your are biased.
June 17, 2004 6:52:13 PM

Yup the best A64 for him is probably 2800+ with Gigabyte VIA chipset mobo(cheap as hell), and a stick of 512mb DDR ram, maybe a Radeon 9600, or a 9200, even a FX5200 will do.

Oh yeah if you buy A64 board with CPU right now at newegg you get farcry for free, i'm sure you can resell it for like 30 bucks:D 

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June 17, 2004 7:57:12 PM

Thanks a bunch guys. This was stuff I knew for myself, but wanted some outside "expert" opinions :) 
June 17, 2004 8:00:36 PM

Another element of this discussion I failed to include was I currently own the 2700+ system.

Since it it used, I would give them like 150-200 off the cover price. I'd be selling them this system for $600-650:

AMD 2700+
A7N8X Deluxe
512 PC-3200 RAM
120 GIG WD1200JB 8 mb cache
Radeon 9600XT AIW (he wants the possibility of video editing, tho he probably won't)

So basically this is a $800-850 system in parts that I am going to sell to him for like $600-650. All of it is perfectly functional and tweaked to perfection.

So knowing this, would you recommend that he buy this system or pay a lot more for an Athlon64 system?
June 17, 2004 9:05:13 PM

they should deffinatly take that one, its even bettr than my gaming pc(i feel so shamed)

good price, what they need and more...pluse it is upgradable because its whitebox, whats more future proof than that?

future proof is real hard to get because those guys at AMD and Intel just wont stop this arms race hehe
June 17, 2004 9:36:29 PM

Let him get what he wants. If he's willing to pay extra I'd let him, he'll like the whole thing where he doesn't have to wait and everything is fast.

<b>!bang-o-rang</b>
June 18, 2004 12:13:17 AM

Sell him that system and stand behind it if you don't have to twist his arm to take it. This whole idea of "future proof" is a bit of a misnomer in my humble opinion.... i.e. buy a processor that costs $400 instead of one that costs $150 so your motherboard will enable you to replace that $400 processor with a $700 processor at a latter date......

What kind of logic is that? The mobo only costs $70-$150. Times have changed now that amd has basically reached price parity with intel. The 4th, 5th, 6th.. best processors are still holding steady in price even in amd. The mobo prices on the other hand are about the same range (roughly) that they were years ago. When building a a64 or high end p4 the mobo is cheaper than cpu, memory, video card and probably hard drive too. Heck some of those high end cases that Tom's reviews are $200 plus. My idea is to just get what is the most bang for the buck now and let the chips fall where they will later (within reason of course). Unless you just "have" to upgrade every year or two, by the time you build another system things will have likely changed dramatically anyway.

In my opinion someone that would pull a perfectly good $280 a64 3200+ just to put in a $710 a64 3700+ has more money than they have sense. Even if the 3700+ has by some miracle (which it won't because they are shifting the a64s to socket 939) dropped in price to equal the current price of the a64 3200+ that would still mean basically blowing $300 for a marginal performance increase.

Mobile athlon xp 2600+ = $95
abit nf7-s vs. 2.0 = $85
--------
$180
$180<$300

..but that's just my opinion... I could be wrong. :>)


<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by zeekfu on 06/17/04 08:26 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
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June 18, 2004 5:07:28 AM

I prepare used systems for resale to people who use their computer like your dad does. A new system is simply a waste of money for such users.

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June 18, 2004 5:18:49 AM

I've found that it's just better to let them get what they want. Explain to them that it's overkill and they'll have to pay a bit more for it. If they don't object to that then just do it.

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