Very well compiled info, but too long. I made a doc out of it, and its a 11 pages of A4 size! Agreed, can't cut down on it. Maybe tabulating the specs would reduce much of the length.
I suggest you make a detailed indexed and mapped HTML out of this material and simply put a link to it. BTW, you need an update, roadmaps have been revised and new processors have arrived. And there has been a price-cut just yesterday (23rd Jan) although it did not affect the economy equations at all.
And one more point. One cant just label a part to be "avoided", there are situations where such a part fits in perfectly! For ex. I recently recommended a friend for Celeron 2.2 GHz on a 865GB board with 512 MB DDR-333 memory. He was on a budget and needed a reliable system. My point was:
1. With a celeron on a workstation class board, he gets a system with quite good headroom to expand.
2. As for the difference, he would pay almost the same (or perhaps, even less than) amount he would be paying today if he opted for a better CPU say a P4 3.0 GHz HT!
3. I believe for starters, go with lower end CPU and invest the money in a better motherboard and more high quality memory. Fastest CPU on a cheap motherboard will cost much more in the long run.
4. A fast processor isnt the only thing that makes the system perform. A faster hard drive with double the memory (which roughly covers the amount we save on the CPU) can yeild better performance than a faster but relatively less endowed CPU.
5. Almost all of today's software is perfectly usable even on a lowly 500~1000 MHz processor, and we are quite used to it. For such applications, even a 2 GHz Celeron is works well, 2 GHz or 3, what difference does it make... really?
Its tricky to recommend anybody a system off hand, you simply dont know the budget and what the person is going to do with it. So please rename the "to avoid" section to "special case" or "last resort" or sorta
Boy are you wrong. You did your friend a great disservice.
Had you done any unbiased investigation, you would have built an Amd solution, on an Nforce board. Not only could it have been done more economically, but with a much better price performance ratio. That is the way it is.
Not too many nForce boards in India. Besides, AthlonXP platform is nearing its end (if this statement looks contentious, I'd rephrase it to - not too many AthlonXPs will come in future, and one would like to go socket-939/940 way that is as of today quite expensive), AMD is in transition. I personally would prefer a AMD platform. Price/performance ratio for AMD is the best (I dont have a Intel machine at my work and home and even my laptop has a AthloxXP, I am a die-hard fan of AMD) but headroom for upgradtion and options had also to be taken into account.
Of course, its a matter of opinion. This solution can serve him all the way through to P4 3.6 GHz or even faster (when it gets cheap, say a year down the line) motherboard is advanced enough to sport new interfaces for I/O, SATA and AGP so that he can then do away with the onboard graphics put in advanced graphics card... I did not find any AMD solution here that would fulfil this criteria. And I am a bit prejudiced against VIA, I'd better try it out myself before I recommend it to anybody. I had a ALi board (A7A266) sometime back that I found to be quite well, and cheched out an AMD 760MPX board for office server. Too bad both of them stopped making chipsets for Athlon/XP. And vendors here havent heard of SiS boards here. 735 had good reviews some time back, but never got hold of one in my town. Its funny, but non-technical parameters like availability (and the related phenomenon of support) affect your range of options not in a better way.
I'm always around here, but not posting much lately. I've always thought about making a HTML version, since BB code in this forum is extremely limited. BTW, Which new CPU has arrived recently that's not listed?
Headroom for upgrade isn't a big factor for people who wants a cheap system. Usually they keep their system at least for 2-3 years. And 2-3 years, all upgrade solutions that look practical at this moment becomes obsolete.
When there's Celeron D, Athlon XP, Sempron available, I really see no reason for getting older Celerons. Like India, there's not many nForce2 boards available in Bangladesh. But all of the nForce2 boards are good and affordable (Chaintech 7NJL3 $60, ASUS A7N8X-X $80, ABIT NF7 v2.0 $83). AXP and Sempron price is not higher than older Celerons.
Currently all HDDs are 7200 rpm, so not much to worry about HDD speed. I know that for word processing there is no difference between 2.0 GHz Celeron and AXP 2400+, but why get the inferior product when you're not payling less? And I'm also a follwer of "low end CPU + good mobo" principle
However, availability of decently priced good i915G based boards will definately make me highly recommend Celeron D for budget sector along with Athlon XP and Sempron, since i915G has decent onboard graphics.