Which CPU to get?

Hi everyone...I've been reading this site for a few days now as I'm looking to purchase a new computer. I have the monitor etc. but my tower and it's components are extremely outdated, so next weekend I'm going to purchase. I've been calling around all day getting different quotes on a custom built computer and so many people are contradicting each other, I don't know who is trying to take me for a ride and who isn't!! I wanted to get a 1.5 Gig P4 CPU and a motherboard that would ensure that I could eventually upgrade to a 2G P4. I've been told that if I want to eventually do that upgrade that I have to get a 1.7G right now because of the pins. Is that true? Also (well this is more of a motherboard question so I will post it over there too) I was told that a 485 slot motherboard won't work with that. Can anyone help me out here? I'm not going for cheap cheap but I want a fair price with good quality. Also some sales guys are telling me to get the new AMD CPU, yet for some reason (I'm not sure which as my husband isn't here so I can't ask him specifically) my hubby told me this morning not to get the AMD, to stick with the Pentium. He uses the computer for gaming so would it really matter? The AMD seems so much cheaper so I don't know why he prefers the Pentium other than they have a pretty reliable history.

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  1. Firstly I'd work out:

    1. What are my needs (what will I use it for.)
    2. How much am I willing to spend.

    I would definitely try searching the previous posts in this forum, and try not to let the Intel/AMD battles affect your judgement.

    I personally prefer Intel Pentium III, but then that doesn't come into your plans. LOL

    Ignore those who tell you stuff without backing it up with good reason.

    <b><font color=blue>~scribble~</font color=blue></b> :wink:
  2. listen, do yourself a favor and try and get socket478 mainboard with a socket478 P4 1.7GHz, or if you can maybe a 1.9GHz.

    your husband is 100% correct! regardless what a punk salesguy will tell you, an AMD athlon is the last thing you'll want!

    first of all they're made cheaply, fragile, run super hot! and are missing the all important thermal diode.

    you will be fighting a no win battle trying to configure a AMD system, this is true.

    the P4 has thermal protection to protect the cpu when it overheats or when inadequate cooling is used.

    also, the P4 is fastest on good written code, like idsoftware's quake3(ID is God!) and dronez, it's not particularly great on badly coded games like serious sam , UT etc.

    hopes this helps.

    "<b>AMD/VIA!</b>...you are <i>still</i> the weakest link, good bye!"
  3. Well I just use it for general every day use but my dh is into gaming big time so the computer is basically centering around that. I am not sure of a price limit, maybe $2000 at the most but I'd realistically like to keep it under $1200. The quotes I've gotten over the phone so far are between $1700 & $1900, but I've only talked to a fwe places as most are closed on Sundays. I'm also waiting for some call backs and I will get alot more quotes tomorrow. I really don't want to spend 2 grand, but it is the highest I will go and I'm definately NOT telling the sales guys that!

    Oh, I should add that is in Canadian dollars.

    Meltdown- thanks for the info, I've copied it to notepad to show my hubby when he returns from la-la land:)

    Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by goby2k on 09/09/01 05:38 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  4. It depends on your needs and how often you want to upgrade.
    Will you want to upgrade the machine yourself (on a regular basis) or buy a new unit in a couple of years or so.
    The dealer was right about getting a higher speed P4 for upgradability reasons as Intel is changing the packaging for P4s.
    Both high speed P4s (1.7ghz and above) and Althon offer good performance. Each has thier own areas of strength.
    P4 is good for highbandwidth applications such as mpeg encoding and software specifically optimized for it. Still low on the ground but increasing daily.
    The althon is very strong on applications that require good floading point performance, e.g. 3D rendering.
    If you are building yourself the Athlon needs a little for knowledge and work to get to work at optimum performance and stability, but its worth it.
    I take it you are not hardcare gamers? Games are the only real day to day application that needs a real high performance CPU. However the graphics card is just as important and in a lot of existing games and is more likley to become the bottleneck before the CPU.
    What it comes down to for a specific budget is.
    Fast CPU (high end P4) with less memory and slower graphics card.
    Almost as fast CPU (High end Athlon) with more memory and faster graphics.
    Midrange P4, with more memory faster graphics, but upgradability problems.
    Mid range Athlon with even more memory even better graphics card.
    But you may find that the Duron or Celeron may suit your needs and you can other usefull bits such as scanners printers, etc with the left over money.

    Hope that helps
  5. Thanks for your response...

    I'm not a hardcore gamer myself, but my hubby is. That's why I refer to his game as EverCrack instead of EverQuest lol. I only use the comp for email or surfing and downloading music.

    We usually upgrade bit by bit on a regular basis, but this past 1.5 years I've been in school so we haven't had the extra cash. I just recently started a new job and once we replace this P.O.S. we will upgrade little bits here and there every few months or so. The only thing neither of us can do is motherboards, but we've built every computer we have owned ourself, and done the upgrades ourself also.

    Anyways, thanks again, I copied your response to my notepad for my dh and I to mull over so we can make a decision on what to purchase.

    Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time.
  6. Hmmm...for the sake of narrowing things down, I'll assume you don't need/want a dual-CPU system. Here are your choices:

    1) The Pentium IV

    First of all, the reason sales guys are telling you all these different things about the Pentium IV:

    There are currently two "socket formats" for the Pentium IV, a 423-pin socket ("Socket423") and a 478-pin socket ("Socket478"). Socket478 is the newest socket format, and you should generally expect that future speed grades of the Pentium IV are going to be Socket478.

    There are currently two basic motherboard options available for the Pentium IV. One is the i850, which uses high-performance (and expensive) PC800 RDRAM memory, and typically only works with Socket423 CPUs. The other is the i845, which uses older, slower PC133 SDRAM memory, and typically only works with newer Socket478 CPUs.

    Just about anyone here will tell you: the i845 solution is not worth buying, simply because the PC133 memory kills its performance. The i850 is the motherboard of choice for the Pentium IV, except that I have yet to see one that supports Socket478.

    So your options for Pentium IV are:

    decent performance, but no definite upgrade path.

    you have an upgrade path, but you get crummy performance.

    I know that sounds like a sorry state of affairs--let me be the first to say that it shouldn't be like that. It's just the mess Intel has gotten themselves in lately. AFAIK you currently can't have the best of both worlds with the Pentium IV.

    I've heard rumors that there will be a "socket converter" to allow Socket478 CPUs to work on Socket423 motherboards, but nothing definite.

    Also, if you get a Pentium IV+i850, don't let a sales monkey fob PC600 RDRAM off on you. PC600 performs badly; demand PC800 RDRAM. :wink:

    2) The Pentium III

    This is a rather old CPU, but it's good for quite a lot. It has the advantage that it doesn't need PC800 RDRAM to perform well. It uses a socket format called Socket370. It generally doesn't perform quite as well as the Pentium IV though.

    Older speed grades of this CPU (1GHz and slower) will work on just about any Socket370 motherboard currently manufactured. Newer speed grades (above 1GHz, known as Tualatins) require a Socket370 motherboard designed for Tualatins.

    Has a stripped-down, "economy priced" little brother called the Celeron. Celeron will generally work in the same motherboards as a Pentium III.

    3) The AMD Athlon "C"

    The latest CPU from AMD. Outperforms the Pentium III and performs roughly on par with the Pentium IV. Costs less than either one. Current best motherboards for the Athlon "C" are based on either the AMD761, ALi MAGiK 1, or SiS 735 chipset. Athlon "C" can generally perform well with PC133 SDRAM, but performs best with PC2100 DDR SDRAM. Generates twice as much heat as a Pentium III, and (AFAIK) about the same amount of heat as an equivalent Pentium IV. Can be a hassle to upgrade or build yourself, but generally no problem if you buy a pre-built system from a good retailer.

    Has a stripped-down, "economy-priced" little brother called the Duron. The Duron will work on pretty much any motherboard where an Athlon "C" will work.

    4. Cyrix/VIA CPUs.

    Forget it. They're really not worth it unless you get one for free. You're better off committing ritual suicide with a cell phone and a liquid lunch. :tongue:

    That's about it for what you can get--next thing to ask is, what do you need?

    Games and basic office apps do just fine on a 1GHz Athlon "C" or a 1GHz Pentium III. Pentium IV is not necessary, and really, you can do well with a CPU that's slower that 1GHz, either Athlon "C" or Pentium III (or even their little brothers, Duron or Celeron).

    For compile jobs and 3D render jobs (which can take hours), an Athlon tends to beat everything else. For MPEG 4 (DivX) encoding (which can also take hours), the Pentium IV excels over everything. If you're into any of those sort of activities, you should base your purchase on that.


    "/join #hackerz. See the Web. DoS interesting people."
  7. LoL...EverCrack...that's what a great many of my co-workers call it too!

    What's really crazy is one of my co-workers managed to get his fiancee into it too--so now they're EverCrackin' together! heheheh


    "/join #hackerz. See the Web. DoS interesting people."
  8. Goby, check out amdmeltdowns other posts to realize he is NOT the person you or anyone should take advice from.

    "The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
  9. For future upgrades, socket 478 is the way to go. Currently, the only board with rambus memory and socket 478 is the Abit TH7-II for about $190. Gigabyte has one in the pipeline, and others will follow. Check pricewatch under pc windows for system prices, bearing in mind that most are the old socket 423 or the new Intel 845 chipsets that use sdram. Avoid these sdram setups, no matter how attractive the price. They are about 20% slower than the rambus systems.
  10. For gaming the Athlon is the way to go! Save your money! You don't need a Pentium4 especially since it sounds like you won't be the one building it! And building an Athlon system is NOT HARD! I'm only 15 and I got my Athlon system working right away after I put it together! NO PROBLEMS WHATSOEVER! In general if you do you a bit of research, putting together a PC is so easy, even a child (namely me, :smile: ) can do it. However, I would not like to be called a child in future posts!

    AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
  11. I am going to have to agree with amd man, despite what your husband thinks, the athlon is a superior chip, unless you get the 2gzhz p4, which will run you 500 bucks, which is unacceptable on a budget. Even then, the 2ghz is only about 6-8% faster than the p4, a speed difference you will never notice. With the right motherboard that lead will vanish(ie kt266a-nforce). Save yourself the money and get an athlon with ddr, use the saved 400 to purchase a geforce3 instead of the crappy tnt2 that usually comes with those bargain p4 systems.

    "The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
  12. I don't know why people are saying that AMD systems are a hassle to configure and Intel systems aren't. I have built both AMD and Intel systems and haven't noticed that the AMD systems are any harder to configure at all.

    I have owned P3 and Athlon computers, and if I was to buy a new system right now, I'd go with an Athlon. They're cheaper and offer better performance for the money. Besides, if you do get a 1.2 GHz Athlon, and decide to upgrade later, the new cpu will probably be cheaper than the P4 equivalent as well.

    I used to own only Intel systems, and they are good performers, but AMD has won me over as of late.

    Lyrics. Wasted time between solos.
  13. Ja, come to think of it...most of the guys I know personally (the computer freaks anyways) have Athlon-based systems, and have no problems with them. And of course, the sample set we get here on the forums is tainted--almost everyone who posts here posts because of a system problem, and my guess is almost everyone is running an Athlon.

    Reminds me of my tech support days--even if the company was doing fantastic, all we ever heard about were problems! :wink:

    P.S. goby, I'd really advise you to take AmdMeltdown's advice with a grain of salt. He's so stuck on Intel he'd probably advise you to get a Cirrus Logic over a GeForce 3, just for the sake of buying a Pentium IV. If I expressed the community's general opinion of him, you'd have a flame war on your hands, and that's really no way to start off your first thread!


    "/join #hackerz. See the Web. DoS interesting people."
  14. The 1.7GHz is avialable in both 478 and 423 pin socket versions. The fastest P4 for the 423-pin socket will be the 2.0GHz, while Socket 478 will likeley go to around 10GHz. So your upgrade options are greater with the Socket 478 version.

    Back to you Tom...
  15. Quote:
    listen, do yourself a favor and try and get socket478 mainboard with a socket478 P4 1.7GHz, or if you can maybe a 1.9GHz.

    your husband is 100% correct! regardless what a punk salesguy will tell you, an AMD athlon is the last thing you'll want!

    The first part is good advice. The second part is biased crap, and he has nothing to back up his claims.

    Crash, where'd you get the 10GHz from?

    <font color=blue>Quarter pounder inside</font color=blue>
    <font color=red>Change the Sig of the Week!!!</font color=red>
  16. >The first part is good advice. The second part is biased crap, and he has nothing to back up his claims.

    well, thanks I always give good advice :) it's all common knowlegde anyways, fattyboy!

    the AMD cpu is a POS crumbling piece of [-peep-], lacking thermal protection, fragile pOS even with the four felt pads, total fact! sorry if this disturbs you.

    because of the P4's 20 stage pipeline it will only take advantage of sse2 optimized software to run faster, the P4 higher clockrate is to compensate for the lower IPC's a tradeoff Intel has owned up to since day one. that's where sse2 comes into play to do more in one clock tick.

    the tigther the coding the faster it will run, this is why Quake runs so well on the P4, Idsoftware are very good at what they do.

    the P4 has way better thermal protection, and even Van Smith with the help of Inquest tried and failed to throw FUD around (P4 throttling) to the masses, but failed, he ended up looking like a sick dumbass!

    so, fatboy stop being in denial, it's not healthy for you! cya.

    "<b>AMD/VIA!</b>...you are <i>still</i> the weakest link, good bye!"
  17. Hey Fatburger, we should copy every bs claim FUGGER and Meltdoofus have made on this board, and put them all one one easy to load and read webpage, and reply to every single FUD spew they post with the link. I would hate to see this lady spend 600 bucks on a cpu which she says she cant afford because of troll posts like meltdoofus's.

    "The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
  18. are you posting from work again? aren't you supposed to be checking for cracked waffers or something? funny, that's why fujitsu drives are at the bottom and the company had to be bailed out by AMD(looks like AMD trying to save someone in quicksand, imho)

    if you disagree with any claims that I've made, why can't you refute them with proof via a link?

    "<b>AMD/VIA!</b>...you are <i>still</i> the weakest link, good bye!"
  19. Matisaro, if you want to then go for it. I can't be bothered doing that, I've got better things to do with my time.

    And why try to troll the trolls?

    <font color=blue>Quarter pounder inside</font color=blue>
    <font color=red>Change the Sig of the Week!!!</font color=red>
  20. A: no Im at home, i have a nice weekend ahead of me.
    B: fujitsu makes more than harddrives, they are thhe world leader in flash memory production. Among other things.
    C: the reason I dont refute what you say with linkage, is because NOTHING you have ever posted could ever be mistaken for truth, when you make a claim which is even SLIGHTLY believable, then I will post linkage smacking you down. Until then, I will merely point and laugh, like everyone else.

    "The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
  21. you are right fatty, a waste of time.

    "The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
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