I was talking with one of my friends about upgrading and told'em I was looking at the AMD64 socket 939 for gaming purposes and for the upgrading potential. He insisted that socket 939 AMD64 was a bad route to go firstly because since WinXP is a 32-bit OS, the extra instruction in the 64-bit AMD64 would go to waste, and he also said that he's heard bad things about AMD64. I stand by my informed opinion that AMD64's would still outperform an AMD socket A of same working frequency because of the 64-bit versus 32-bit in an OS 32-bit environment. Is this true? Has anyone else had bad experience with the AMD64 and wish they went AMD socket A (XP+) instead?
It sounds like your friend is probably an Intel fanboy. The A64 gives you a better upgrade path for the future. They will be bringing out the 64 bit OS, so you will be able to fully utilize the processor. As it stands right now the A64 runs better than the P4's for gaming and I think compiling. The socket 939 still out performs the socket A because it can handle more instructions per clock cycle. Your friend didn't know what he was talking about, so I would suggest you upgrade to the socket 939 like you were going to do before your friend said something.
Remember, there are no stupid questions, just stupid people.
For Gaming A64>P4>AXP. Forget 64-bit arguements even, The cheapest Socket 939 A64 3000+ will perform as well or better than a overclocked 2.4GHz Athlon XP. And if Overclocking is your thing, these S939 Winchesters OC very well too. The fastest A-XP's, such as the mobile ones, can OC to about 2.6-2.7GHz max on air. The slowest A64 S939, the 3000+, can also OC to 2.6-2.7GHz. Clock for clock, there is no comparison, the A64 is faster.
MSI K8N Neo2 platinum, A64 3000+, 1GB Corsair XMS 4000 Pro Series, Radeon 9800 Pro
Since the A64 outperforms the P4 in most 32-bit applications, it wouldn't matter if you NEVER used the 64-bit extensions, you'd still have the better CPU.
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As crashman said the Athlon64 still outperforms the simerlary priced P4's in the majority of applications. The Athlon64 is also at least 10% faster than a AthlonXp of the same rating (AMD itself says this).
Not to mention that the Athlon64 runs cooler than the P4 and gives you a better upgrade path than the XP.