Pentium 4/2200 vs. Athlon XP 2000+

Average Sales Price: High Prices, Also At AMD

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ProcessorPrice per 1000*
Intel Pentium 4/2200AUS$ 562
Intel Pentium 4/2000AUS$ 364
Intel Pentium 4/2000US$ 342
AMD Athlon XP 2000+US$ 340
AMD Athlon XP 1900+US$ 234
AMD Athlon XP 1800+US$ 174

* Official prices from Intel and AMD (January 7, 2002)

There has been a surprising development in the past weeks, and apparently nobody really noticed. Ever since the introduction of the Athlon XP, AMD has barely dropped the prices. So, the days when users could get one of the fastest CPUs for relatively little money are a thing of the past. By contrast, within the same period of time, Intel sank the prices of its CPUs all the more. In any case, AMD's current top-of-the line model (Athlon XP 2000+) costs $340. Intel's top product (Pentium 4/2200 with a Northwood core) costs quite a bit more, with the street price running up to $562.

Investment Safety: Intel Vs. AMD

An important criterion in evaluating processor platforms is how safe the investment is. This is especially important with regard to complete systems whose components can be updated after purchase in order keep it up to the newest technological standards. In addition to the processor, this has primarily to do with the chipset that corresponds to the motherboard. So, when we look at the Pentium 4 platform, we could say that it wouldn't be to the best interests of end users, because the majority of the motherboards for Pentium 4 (with Intel 845, Intel 845D, and Intel 850 chipsets) equipped with Socket 478 are only designed to accept a Front Side Bus clocked at 100 MHz (400 MHz QDR). In the next few months, however, Intel is planning to introduce the Pentium 4 with 133 MHz (533 MHz QDR) FSB and faster memory clocked at 533 MHz. And here, the user has to start the annoying game once again: in order to enjoy the benefits of such high performance, you need a motherboard with 133/533 MHz FSB and possibly 533 MHz RDRAM. According to memory manufacturers, this PC1066 RDRAM RIMM will cost twice the price of a normal PC-800 module for 400 MHz clock. From this point of view, DDR-chipsets for Pentium 4 are the best solution, because they work (asynchronously) with DDR SDRAM.

AMD's development cycle for CPU platforms takes a bit longer, which is an advantage for the user. The current Socket 462 is supposed to remain up-to-date throughout the entirety of 2002. The FSB clock speed has already been changed to 133 MHz (266 MHz DDR), and only an increase to 166 MHz (333 MHz DDR) can be expected in this wide market.