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Upgrade time: P4 1.8ghz or AMD XP1900? (Stability)

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January 4, 2002 4:03:02 AM

Hi,
I have been debating on if I should go AMD or Intel for my next upgrade. Saturday is the day so I gotta figure it out kinda quick.
I have been bouncing back & forth between the two companies. I have only had Intel processors but am willing to give either a try I guess.

I am leaning more towards the Intel for stability, heat, & comfortability.

I plan to overclock down the line but my main intention is to have a stable system that I tweak once (well ya know) it it runs perfectly.

I really dont care much about benchmarks & I also could care less if one processor or the other gives me an extra 30 FPS in Q3.

If I do Intel it would be with the Asus P4T-E (478 socket).

If I did AMD it would be with the A7A266-E.

I am not going to be using Raid either way currently.

Any ideas on what I should do? Money isnt the issue at all here both are affordable.

My current system is a P933 so either upgrade will be good for me.

Thanks for any advice,

Rich
January 4, 2002 4:25:59 AM

Let me get this straight. Performance means nothing to you?! I'm gonna assume that's not really the case since you are here.

If all you want is a system that you can fiddle with and have sitting on your desk, then just buy the cheapest one amd buy a nice chair so that you're "comfortable".

As far as heat issues, both systems run hot. Just get a good HSF and install it correctly.

If you're curious about specific motherboards, try that section. As far as stability, it has nothing to do with the CPU, only the motherboard.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
January 4, 2002 4:30:45 AM

Hi, I didnt mean to say that performance means nothing to me, I just meant an extra couple of frames isnt to important to me (150 FPS vs 170 FPS).

I am kinda trying to decide between the pros & cons of AMD or Intel for an upgrade. Not really which Mobo to get.

I was at a computer show last month & almost picked up a XP processor & didnt cause of a few tax issues.

A month later I am ready to buy & was convinced to go for an Intel processor & now I am having second thoughts about what to do.
Related resources
January 4, 2002 4:50:50 AM

i wouldn't recommend the athlon xp <b>IF</b> you're planning on overclocking.
if you are...get a P4...if not then get the athlon xp

<i>maybe i should have check to see if my sentences make sense</i>

:mad:  <A HREF="http://gamershq.madonion.com/compare2k1.shtml?2096468" target="_new">P4 + SDRAM</A> = <b>BAD</b> :mad:  <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by pr497 on 01/04/02 01:20 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
January 4, 2002 5:08:52 AM

WTF?

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
January 4, 2002 5:15:12 AM

That has to do with the videocard though for the most part. Buy a good videocard. Then just make sure you don't bottleneck your performance with a processor that is too slow. It doesn't sound like you will though so nevermind that comment.

As for the AMD vs Intel issue I don't feel like starting a flame war, but I would go for AMD hands down. Once the P4 Northwood is released I might change my mind, but I'm not impressed by the current P4. At least the price gap is less now though. For a while it was ridiculous. I believe the Northwood is going to be released on Monday so read those reviews and enjoy the pricecuts no matter which way you go. I would make my decision then. They're pretty much neck and neck, but AMD has an edge. See if the Northwood will change that.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
January 4, 2002 5:23:15 AM

The choice is obvious, go for intel. It's possible to create a stable amd system but it will take alot more effort and if you want to see how often people have problems with amd setups, just browse through this board. As for comfortability I am not sure what you mean, but if you want to be comfortable that your processor won't melt when you make a mistake installing your heatsink, don't get an XP chip.

<i>The devil's advocate</i>
January 4, 2002 5:26:46 AM

I kind of screwed up. You were comparing a P4 1.8 Ghz with the XP 1900. They aren't neck and neck in that case. Check <A HREF="http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/01q4/011105/xp1900-12.h..." target="_new">Tom's review</A>. The 2Ghz P4 is neck and neck, but that will cost you a bit more. Like I said, wait for the northwood, the pricecuts, and then make a decision.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
January 4, 2002 5:38:58 AM

If you have any hand-eye cordination whatsoever and can read then you're in good shape to build either system. Intel_inside makes it out to be rocketscience, but it's not. Nothing will explode, melt, or kill you or the system if you follow some very basic rules.

1. Here is an excellent link for HSF reviews: <A HREF="http://www.dansdata.com/coolercomp.htm" target="_new">http://www.dansdata.com/coolercomp.htm&lt;/A> Buy a good one that is rated for the CPU you buy. Install it using arctic silver II thermal paste.

2. Check with Intel or AMD for a recommended powersupply. Don't buy generic unless you're positive that the rails can support enough juice.

3. Buy good quality memory. I'll recommend <A HREF="http://www.crucial.com/" target="_new">crucial</A>. No generic memory.

4. Buy a well ventilated case. This is more to elimate noise and since it's what you're looking at and working in you might as well buy one that is roomy and has no sharp edges.

5. Buy the best motherboard out there. Read the reviews. Price doesn't mean a thing in this case. I bought a $60 motherboard that can hold it's own with a $140 one. There are better out now though. Spend the most time researching the motherboard.

6. Finally, don't do drugs or drink before building the machine. This will conflict with the before mentioned hand-eye cordination. This is where Intel_inside runs into problems.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
January 4, 2002 7:27:28 AM

wow only 5 long extra steps required to get an amd system up to intel's stability standards!

as for my alchohol or drug use, no comment there

<i>The devil's advocate</i>
January 4, 2002 7:59:50 AM

Quote:
Intel_inside makes it out to be rocketscience, but it's not. Nothing will explode, melt, or kill you or the system if you follow some very basic rules


Reading is rocket science to intel_inside.

Ignore his post, he is a mindless troll, both systems are completely stable, both are fast(the 1900+ is much faster however.)

Buy the cheapest one.

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
No Overclock+stock hsf=GOOD!
January 4, 2002 8:21:24 AM

I'm sure you will be the first person to claim richklein is a troll when he comes in here asking why he is having problems with his (cheaper) amd system.

<i>The devil's advocate</i>
January 4, 2002 8:28:21 AM

LoL, only people like you, with mindless flames and empty points, do I confer troll status upon.

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
No Overclock+stock hsf=GOOD!
January 4, 2002 8:36:22 AM

What ever troll advocate
January 4, 2002 11:01:04 AM

How old are you?

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
January 4, 2002 1:09:24 PM

Ok, I owned both systems, but for the last 3 years I only purchased AMD systems for my personnal use. I'm aware that generaly speaking, when you buy an Intel system, you just put all things together and it works well at the first try. I think it takes a little more computer knowledge to have a stable AMD system (generaly again). As a network administrator, I think I have a little more computer knowledge than the average user so I'm very pleased with my last systems. But I have to admit that all of my friends and familly members who bought AMD systems need my help when it comes to reinstall that thing. For me, it worth the money I save.

I just want to say that it is really possible to have an AMD system as stable as any other Intel system, you just have to do a little more research for hardware compatibility and for the right drivers. The only thing that make me nervous at each time is to put that HFS thing on my processor :)  But if you read carefully and do it right you should have no problem.

Hope that helps!

It's better to be rich and healthy than poor and sick!
January 4, 2002 2:08:06 PM

As far as performance, omitting the video card for now, the XP 1900 is a far better choice in both money and performance. Nothing from the P4 can surpass it, especially the current P4, since it has many problems, including occasional slowdowns due to long pipeline and prediction mistakes. Yes however overclocking the AXP seems to be a problem, but its performance is already surprising and I don't think you'd wanna play with it!
As for mobo, what you were talking about is the A7V-E not A7A unless there is one. May I suggest the Epox EP-8KHA+? Look at the reviews and benchmarks, it is far the best and saves you money from the Asus one. But you can't go wrong with Asus, you will always be satisfied with their quality products.
As for RAM, do like Dhlucke said, however there is PC3000 out now, but I dunno if AMD plans to make use of it on their CPUs yet!

In any case, good luck, but to me, the AMD system would be much better!

--
The other day I heard an explosion from the other side of town.... It was a 486 booting up...
January 4, 2002 2:08:34 PM

I take it you're doing this as an experiment to learn then?

You have an Intel so stay with Intel. Do you have a reason to switch?

If you go AMD please stay away from any VIA chipsets. They have some serious nasty flaws with them. I would shoot for the IWill XP333. Has all the latest goodies. included is a 6 channel onboard sound which should rival you're current sound card. Also no VIA!

Intel i'm not sure about.

Just stay away from VIA! Oh ya buy nothing from KDS too! Horrible company. if it works great, if you need support good luck!

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?id=9933" target="_new"> My Rig </A>
January 4, 2002 2:24:22 PM

Quote:

I would shoot for the IWill XP333. Has all the latest goodies. included is a 6 channel onboard sound which should rival you're current sound card.

Don't forget it supports the 333MHz and 400MHz bus if you want to overclock!

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by AMD_Man on 01/04/02 11:36 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
January 4, 2002 2:35:43 PM

Lots of replies, not enough help (at least it seemed to me).

The P4 is looking to be a very good platform with the release of Northwood. There are two things that will put Intel way ahead of AMD.

1. Future memory support. If Intel can quickly move to a 133(x4) bus with PC1066, it will help them out a lot.

2. Thoroughbred. It remains one of the biggest mysteries of the year. We practically know more about the GeForce 4 than Thoroughbred, and the GF4 hasn't even been announced yet (Feb 4, supposedly). It might topple Intel, and it might topple AMD. Preferably somewhere in between.


The Asus P4T-E is a good board, nice choice.

I'm not sure what you mean by the A7A266-E. There is an A7V266-E (KT266a chipset). I recommend the MSI K7T266 Pro2-RU, as it has USB2.0 support. It's only $129 at <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com" target="_new">Newegg</A>. If you do mean the A7A266 or the A7V266-E and have decided on it, then go ahead.


But you're wondering about stability. Let's see...I put the heatsink on wrong when I installed my Tbird system...I bought a generic power supply...I had a badly ventilated case...I have generic memory...and my system is rock stable. Once I lost the generic power supply (it was taxed by my 3 hard drives, DVD-ROM and CD-RW), my system became completely stable, and has been ever since.

Is Intel more stable/easier to set up? Of course, don't listen to people that say otherwise. Is the difference enough to dissuade you from buying AMD? Not at all. At least, it shouldn't be.

Heat? P4s run hotter than AMD, but it's not really a big deal. As long as you have a decent heatsink and a decently ventilating PSU, you'll be ok. If you want, throw in a couple of powerful case fans, and take care of the dust in front of the computer.

You don't care about performance, so I won't go into that.

You'll probably be happy either way, so if you trust Intel more, go with Intel.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 4, 2002 2:41:42 PM

FatBurger, excellent unbiased post!! However, I found a contradiction in your post.

Quote:


But you're wondering about stability. Let's see...I put the heatsink on wrong when I installed my Tbird system...I bought a generic power supply...I had a badly ventilated case...I have generic memory...and my system is rock stable. Once I lost the generic power supply (it was taxed by my 3 hard drives, DVD-ROM and CD-RW), my system became completely stable, and has been ever since.

Quote:

Is Intel more stable/easier to set up? Of course, don't listen to people that say otherwise. Is the difference enough to dissuade you from buying AMD? Not at all. At least, it shouldn't be.

First you say your AMD system is perfectly stable then you say Intel is more stable...which is it?

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
January 4, 2002 3:39:18 PM

That Duron system I have has everything generic and the worst case on the planet and it runs on the brink of stability. Since I'm not adding anything to it, I don't use it, and it's not stressed too much by my family I leave it be. I'm a real jerk to that machine though. At first I didn't have any case fans, but now I've at least settled for a $5 80mm intake fan so that Operation Flashpoint doesn't crash. I suppose I should add an exhaust fan too, but it works for now. I've ran that machine with no HSF and it didn't burn up so I'm not worried.

I'm much happier with my Thunderbird though which has good quality components. Ran perfect since the first day. Wouldn't recommend it any other way even though, yes, a system will work with generic components.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
January 4, 2002 3:50:25 PM

Either platform will be equally as stable, it all depends on hwo you set it up, liek your OS and drivers etc....

You say your not worried about the difference of 150 - 170FPS in a game therefore u say perofrmance doesnt matter....well ur choosign between a XP1900+ and a Pr 1.8GHz.....considerign the XP1900+ out performs the Pr 2GHz in just about everything, and by a wide margin in specific things.....I'd say the P4 1.8GHz is out of the question.....

Typically the P4 and the Athlon XP runs at about the Same temperature.....so the only thing you gotta worry about is case ventilation AKA Case Fans....that goes for either platform.....

The ASUS A7V266-E is a good choice (You said Asus A7A266-E, that board is un-heard of to me.....maybe it was just released ?)

And with overclocking......the XP CAN overclock decently.....maybe not as well as the previous Thunderbirds (in terms of % of overclock) but it can be done......

And as far as everyone talking about getting a good HSF etc. i dunno why.....everyone says that there Retial fans make there chips run hot.......I put together an Athlon XP 1700+ system (Retial CPU & Fan) with the Epox 8KHA+ and the system IDLES at 39 Celcious at doesnt go over 43 Celcious at MAX Load, playing games, running toast, etc......so i totaly recomend the Retail version for the XP, and as far as the P4 i heard they come with Decent coolers aswell....

Well i summed up about everthing i needed to say......take it as you wish.... =)

OH also, i wanted to say one more thing...about the whole easier to setup (Intel)...Thats not true.......the XP 1700+ system i was just talkign about that i built, all i did was Install XP, and Software (Windows Updates, Office XP, Adobe Photoshop, Video Card Drivers, etc.) I didnt put any Via 4-in-1's (which i previosuly did, and they made absolutley no difference) and it runs 100% rock solid stable........everthign functions properly.....infact, my Intel Celeron system I curently have is more of a pain in the @$$ to setup.....

-MeTaL RoCkEr

My <font color=red>Z28</font color=red> can take your <font color=blue>P4</font color=blue> off the line!
January 4, 2002 4:01:10 PM

Hey Metal that is the CPU I am getting, can you tell me how silent is that Retail HSF?

--
The other day I heard an explosion from the other side of town.... It was a 486 booting up...
January 4, 2002 4:08:47 PM

The retail HSF is pretty quiet. I have a 6Cu in my system and I would compare the noise to a retail HSF. It just performs better than it though. If you buy a nice case then you won't need as many case fans either which will reduce noise as well. Just get an intake and outtake.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
January 4, 2002 4:59:54 PM

Hi richklein,

As you have noticed every one on the post is trying to prove their point. Here's my advice not trying to promote one or the other.

Intel P4 Wil (core):
Advantage: Heat, Thermal Protection, CPU Stability, Platform Stability. Overclock (NW Core)
Disadvantage: Preformance

AMD Athlon XP:
Advantage: CPU Stability, Preformance.
Disadvantage: Heat, Thermal Protection, Platform Stability.

I hope the above advantages and disadvantages makes sence. If I were you I would wait for P4 Northwood to come out since you will be able to overclock that more. It will be released this monday. Also, It whould preform on par with Athlon XP.

If you decide to go with AMD make sure you have everything you need to get your system stable. You know there are many people asking for help on this forum about how their platform re-boots randomly and runs slowly and doesn't boot etc.

In Conclusion, Both CPU's will be fine. But to get a Good platform ready you should select P4 since it will be really easy to setup and get it up and running. Unless you know what you need to do to get AMD based platform running then go with AMD.

Also you should know that if you get Athlon XP it will be overclockable but you would have to bend over and do all kind of stuff to get more juice out of it. Just watch Tom's Video.

Just My 2 Cents

KG
January 4, 2002 5:26:48 PM

AMD_Man: Both. My system is perfectly stable, but the overal Intel platform is more stable (and easier to get stable) than the overal AMD platform. Make sense?


dhlucke: I agree, I'll never buy generic components again. I'm merely making the point that AMD isn't as dependant on quality hardware as some would make it seem. Don't get me wrong, everything you said was great advice. It's just possible to bend one or two of them. That was only my point, I wasn't disagreeing with you at all.


Kemche: Trying to prove their point? Naturally, I thought that's what discussions were about. Stating an opinion and backing it up. But I digress.

P4s run hotter than AMDs, that is proven. Heat damage might be a different story, but simply "heat" should be an advantage for AMD (unless we're talking about P3s, of course, but that is not the case at the moment).

I might recommend taking "CPU Stability" off your list. Unless you're talking about heat damage/protection and/or physical fragility, the CPU itself isn't really more or less stable. It is the other components that usually decide stability (which you listed).

Sorry to nitpick, but I replied to two other people, and figured I'd comment on your post as well.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 4, 2002 6:02:22 PM

I woudl say it's equivelant to a good CFM Case Fan.....

Hope that helps.......its TOTALY Bearable.........does not have any high pitch whine or anything.....very good cooler in my opinion..... =)

-MeTaL RoCkEr

My <font color=red>Z28</font color=red> can take your <font color=blue>P4</font color=blue> off the line!
January 4, 2002 6:10:07 PM

"OH also, i wanted to say one more thing...about the whole easier to setup (Intel)...Thats not true.......the XP 1700+ system i was just talkign about that i built, all i did was Install XP, and Software (Windows Updates, Office XP, Adobe Photoshop, Video Card Drivers, etc.) I didnt put any Via 4-in-1's (which i previosuly did, and they made absolutley no difference) and it runs 100% rock solid stable........everthign functions properly.....infact, my Intel Celeron system I curently have is more of a pain in the @$$ to setup....."

First : the 4in1 came with Windows XP so it's why you don't have to install it!

Second : is it the first AMD system that you built? If not, I'm really impressed that you never needed to do some research/tweaking with an AMD system. I admit that with my last system (MSI K7T266 Pro2/Athlon XP1600+) I didn't had as many problems as I had with previous chipsets (Only a BIOS update to solve minor issues with Windows 2000 and the AMD AGP patch to prevent my system from crashing in 3d apps). Even if the chipsets are getting better, I'm far from assuring anybody that it will not encounter any problems or compatibility issue. Maybe it's just me and I don't have much luck.

It's better to be rich and healthy than poor and sick!
January 4, 2002 6:31:36 PM

Quote:
First : the 4in1 came with Windows XP so it's why you don't have to install it!


And that's no different than Intel's motherboard drivers coming with Windows.

Quote:
...If not, I'm really impressed that you never needed to do some research/tweaking with an AMD system....


I don't see a huge difference between Intel and AMD in that respect. Some, yes. The difference is that there are more crappy motherboards for AMD systems. Intel chipsets are generally found only on better motherboards. Also, lots of people buy an Intel CPU and an Intel motherboard. In a sense, yes, you automatically get a quality motherboard with an Intel system.

However, there are lots of people who get a P4+SDRAM system and then complain about the performance. I'd put that in the same place as lack of research on AMD's side you mentioned.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 5, 2002 12:08:28 AM

Wow, thanks for all the comments. I think what I have taken away from this is:

1. The 478 Northwood will be a good upgrade (when it comes out Monday).

2. The AMD's are not hard to get going if you get the proper drivers & dont use generic components.

3. The board I meant for AMD was the "A7V-266E". I think I screwed up the name of the mobo, it isnt a "just released" mobo from Asus.

My question is this, if I got a 1.8 (socket 478) Intel (which has less performance than the XP1900 with DDR) today. Say in 6 months if I wanted to upgrade the processor, I would be able to get whatever the latest socket 478 chip would be (2.4, 2.6 etc).

I read somewhere that Intel was keeping the 478 until 3ghz. From an upgrade standpoint, that sounds good.

I admit it is kinda wierd to buy the lower performer / more expensive chip for the sake of upgrading later.

One thing I have always hated about Intel is that every time I buy a chip (once a year about) I can never reuse my current setup & just buy a processor.

That is one thing I like about the AMD's, but I also heard that AMD was changing their boards so that the next batch of processors would be for a new board.

I dont mind spending the money on a good processor but I would like for once (slot 1, then socket 370, etc) to be able to just upgrade my darn chip with a better one.

Then again it is stupid to buy something expensive & slow for the sake of a future upgrade down the line.

I am starting to lean heavily towards the AMD setup.

Getting the chip (retail), board, & ram (512megs):

Intel 1.8ghz = 525 + tax (local show, local businesses)
AMD XP1900 = 469 + tax etc

The 50+ dollar difference puts both systems pretty close to each other. The performance isnt even close but cost is pretty close.

Now I am lost on what to do again :) 
January 5, 2002 1:49:01 AM

Here is <A HREF="http://www.amd.com/us-en/Corporate/VirtualPressRoom/0,,..." target="_new">AMD's Roadmap</A>. As far as I know they won't be changing the socket for at least that long.

Keep in mind though that even if you can upgrade the processor directly it's almost never worth it unless you upgrade a lot and often (in 6 months you're fine). Upgrading just your processor 2-3 years down the road means giving up all of the other advancements that have taken place. The way I figure it I'll only be reusing the case, powersupply, and probably the DVD-ROM, but the rest will need replacing when it comes time to upgrade. Otherwise you're just asking for a bottlenecked system.

Buy the system that will do the job the best for you. If it happens to be cheaper than the other, great. That's a double win for you. If not, I feel like you're loosing twice.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by dhlucke on 01/04/02 07:50 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
January 5, 2002 4:49:00 AM

Probably a lot more AMD users than Intel users on this forum. Problems with systems using AMD processors don't neccessarly mean that it is AMD's fault (They make good processors!).

This new system of mine runs fast, and stable and was easy to set up (it's an nForce). I have no regrets switching from Intel to AMD.

10,886 3DMarks 2000
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