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View Full Version : Pentium 4 vs. AMD 64


XxGodJrxX
10-15-2005, 01:59 PM
Hey everybody. I was looking at some computers, and I see that both a Pentium 4 3ghz and an AMD 64 3000+ are priced around the same. Which one of these is better? I would like to be able to run newer games on it comfortably. It seems that the AMD 64 is clocked at around 1.8ghz, yet priced around the same, leading to my confusion. Which one of these two would you recommend?

Chief911
10-15-2005, 02:16 PM
Intel over AMD and its not close. Unless you like weird odd things happening to your computer randomly.

Nick

XxGodJrxX
10-15-2005, 03:08 PM
What kind of weird things?

oreogod
10-16-2005, 05:29 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Intel over AMD and its not close. Unless you like weird odd things happening to your computer randomly.

Nick

[/ QUOTE ]

never had that problem before.

Terry
10-16-2005, 01:42 PM
You canít just compare clock speed since they work differently. The number in AMD nomenclature gives a rough performance comparison to a Pentium speed, i.e. AMD 3000 = Pentium 3.0, AMD 2400 = Pentium 2.4.

In general, AMD tends to work somewhat better for games and Intel tends to be a little better for things like video editing and CD burning. The difference is real but it isnít really very great.

Unless a person has some very specific needs and has the technical knowledge to differentiate, I suggest that price is the biggest factor to use in deciding between them.

I play games, I donít do any video editing and rarely burn a CD. Every few years when I am building a new computer I read lots of tech sites and forums to find the best bang for my buck, including comparing recent comparisons between Intel and AMD. I havenít bought an Intel CPU since some time in the 1980s ... partly because the competition is a little better for my specific uses but mainly because of the price difference.

My computer rarely does random odd things. When it has, I have usually been able to trace those things to Windows or to nasty little things Iíve picked up by browsing questionable websites or from nasty email. I have never found my CPU to be the problem.

SheetWise
10-16-2005, 03:51 PM
[ QUOTE ]
... when I am building a new computer I read lots of tech sites and forums to find the best bang for my buck, including comparing recent comparisons between Intel and AMD. I havenít bought an Intel CPU since some time in the 1980s ... partly because the competition is a little better for my specific uses but mainly because of the price difference.

[/ QUOTE ]
Agreed. I haven't used Intel for the past 10 years. At some times it was cheaper to build dual using AMD Athlon MP over single Intel. AMD chips are fine -- Intel is overrated.

If only there was an equally acceptable substitute for Windows ....

grandgnu
10-16-2005, 06:30 PM
I was strictly an Intel guy for years, but AMD has really taken the lead with their recent A64 line of processors. I'm a big fan of gaming though, so that's why my next system will be AMD.

Stay away from VIA or SIS chipsets if you can, these are "value" chipsets. That may be why the guy above complained about AMD systems doing weird things. Computer problems can be caused by SO many different factors (cheap and unstable Power supplies are often a leading cause, since so much emphasis is placed on the other components that you wind up with a "400w" power supply that might cost 12 bucks)

Intels are better at multi-tasking, so if you're going to be playing multiple tables of poker and running Poker Tracker, PokerAce Hud, etc. then you're probably better off with Intel. For gaming, AMD is the way to go.

FWIW, I have a 3.0C P4 overclocked to 3.45Ghz and it's fine for most of the newer games. A lot of the newer games are limited by your graphics card, so it really depends on what games you'll be playing.

Right now my poison is the Rome Total Realism mod for Rome: Total War. This game can have thousands of units on screen at a time, but it's very CPU dependant. Once I get up to about 6,000 troops I run the risk of my system slowing down and lagging during battles. Even people with top of the line systems can run into this issue though. Luckily those large battles don't happen too frequently.

Also, sometimes you can find good deals on Ebay, where you'll save anywhere from $25-$100 off the retail cost of various components. This adds up when you're purchasing multiple components for a system. Just make sure the seller has a good reputation and guarantees against DOA parts. Best of luck to ya!

SheetWise
10-16-2005, 08:51 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Stay away from VIA or SIS chipsets if you can, these are "value" chipsets. That may be why the guy above complained about AMD systems doing weird things. Computer problems can be caused by SO many different factors (cheap and unstable Power supplies are often a leading cause, since so much emphasis is placed on the other components that you wind up with a "400w" power supply that might cost 12 bucks)...

[/ QUOTE ]
Of course, this is true with Intel processors as well. Using AMD CPU's, I stay with Tyan (http://www.tyan.com) boards. I have several servers that have been running uninterrupted for 2-3 years now.

grandgnu
10-16-2005, 09:01 PM
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Stay away from VIA or SIS chipsets if you can, these are "value" chipsets. That may be why the guy above complained about AMD systems doing weird things. Computer problems can be caused by SO many different factors (cheap and unstable Power supplies are often a leading cause, since so much emphasis is placed on the other components that you wind up with a "400w" power supply that might cost 12 bucks)...

[/ QUOTE ]
Of course, this is true with Intel processors as well. Using AMD CPU's, I stay with Tyan (http://www.tyan.com) boards. I have several servers that have been running uninterrupted for 2-3 years now.

[/ QUOTE ]

I don't have any experience with Tyan, and I don't think the OP was interested in a server.

I have good experiences with:

Intel
Gigabyte
MSI

Some people really love Asus and A-bit, although they're usually more for "enthusiasts" who are overclocking. MSI has decent overclocking and stability in my history with them.

I believe with Intel boards you want an Intel chipset (as opposed to Via or SIS) and with AMD chipsets you'd be looking for the Nforce chipset.

XxGodJrxX
10-16-2005, 10:48 PM
After a whole lotta research over this weekend, it seems to me that an AMD will be better suited for gaming, and I am pretty sure that a new system will be able to handle all the poker software I throw at it (my crappy Celeron laptop does after all).

Here is my last question on systems. Rather than start a new thread, I'll just add it here. Is there any reason that I should not just buy a computer from HP rather than a "custom built" computer. I was thinking of buying THIS (http://http://www.circuitcity.com/ccd/productDetail.do?oid=134690&cm_keycode=85) computer (or maybe just a single core AMD since this one is going to the higher-price spectrum). With the special that came in the paper today, this computer will probably cost me around $1100 with a 17-inch monitor, after rebates.

I went to Circuit City today and had trouble actually finding the specs ON the computer when looking through the device manager and system info. For example, I could not figure out whether the system had a PCI-E bay or an old school PCI bay. The website says it does, but the computer at the store did not say anything. If I do get a system like this, I would probably end up buying a better graphics card sometime in the future to replace the crappy "ATI Express" that comes with it, but I want to make sure I can use it.

My other option is to buy from a place like CyberPowerPC which configures everything how I want it. I probably won't get as much for the same price as I would from a store (the above rig will probably end up well over $2000, so I would have to get a less powerful system). I would also have to wait weeks before it got to me, and I have heard some bad things about their customer service and reliability.

I haven't really been INTO computers since the original Half-Life came out, and it seems that the PC landscape has changed so that I don't really know what I am doing anymore. What would YOU guys recommend?

BTW, I love you guys /images/graemlins/wink.gif
(but I am not IN love with you guys)

SheetWise
10-16-2005, 11:08 PM
[ QUOTE ]
MSI has ... stability in my history with them.

[/ QUOTE ]
I agree. Loved their K7 board. Still running after 5 yrs. 24/7 ...

Server or workstation, it doesn't matter. I always look at bang for the buck. Always look for reviews on the main board -- you should find plenty. If the manual doesn't have phone/address/web contact -- don't buy it. If the web doesn't offer drivers, don't buy it. There's only $20-$40 difference between near top-of-the-line and absolute junk.

grandgnu
10-16-2005, 11:12 PM
I couldn't get your link to work, but here's my 2-cents:

I'm self-taught on how to build systems. I learned by doing upgrades over time. First some RAM, then a CD-burner, then a hard drive, then a cpu, etc. Eventually I had done all the pieces and could build the whole system. Now I toy with mild overclocking and modding, nothing too crazy though.

I hate all those big system builders with a passion. HP and Compaq are HORRIBLE. They use terrible quality components. Same with Dell, I can't stand them either, although they can undercut the competition so much because they purchase in bulk.

A lot of the major system builders also have systems that use proprietery parts, making it difficult for you to upgrade or replace components without going through them.

I can't vouch for the various system builders out there, because I haven't tried them, I just go to Newegg.com or Ebay and get all the parts myself. Wish you the best, whichever route you go.

XxGodJrxX
10-16-2005, 11:34 PM
I'm not sure why I can't edit the post I made 20 minutes ago, but whatever. This is the link HERE (http://www.circuitcity.com/ccd/productDetail.do?oid=134690&cm_keycode=85)

If I had the time or the technical inclination, I would build my own computer. I have one done minor upgrades with the help of instruction manuals. I'm thinking that a graphics card will be upgraded simple enough since this one claims to have a PCI-E bay. I don't know whether these types of systems can handle upgrades to CPU's, and I haven't been able to find out what motherboard this has and what it can support. I would like to be able to upgrade the CPU in the future. I have gone through so many computers in the past that it isn't even funny.

grandgnu
10-16-2005, 11:43 PM
The components look good for the price, but again, not a big fan of HP. Don't have enough experience with the PCI technology yet either. I'm still on AGP, since there's little difference right now between the two techs.

As far as I can tell, the PCI slot should be able to support a graphics card in the future.

Terry
10-17-2005, 01:27 AM
Those name brand computers are notoriously difficult to upgrade ... and youíre talking about buying something with a ďcrappyĒ video card ...

Newegg.com is ok. Personally, Iíve been buying from Monarch Computer (http://www.monarchcomputer.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv) for years and am very happy with their prices and service. Their techs do great work on custom builds but it does take a while, typically a week or two.

XxGodJrxX
10-17-2005, 01:47 AM
I checked out Monarch's website, but it looks like what they sell is out of my price range.

I'm not too concerned with upgrading the video card, it seems to me like it could be done pretty easily. I am more concerned with upgrading the rest of the things, since I can't find any info on the motherboards for those big name computers. I have also read that you can't overclock those cpu's, is this true? I have never done that before, since I have never owned a computer that was actually capable of running the newest games, but if I get a new computer, it may be an option in the future.

grandgnu
10-17-2005, 01:59 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I checked out Monarch's website, but it looks like what they sell is out of my price range.

I'm not too concerned with upgrading the video card, it seems to me like it could be done pretty easily. I am more concerned with upgrading the rest of the things, since I can't find any info on the motherboards for those big name computers. I have also read that you can't overclock those cpu's, is this true? I have never done that before, since I have never owned a computer that was actually capable of running the newest games, but if I get a new computer, it may be an option in the future.

[/ QUOTE ]

Usually the mobo's from vendors like HP, Dell, etc. do not feature the ability to overclock. They have enough trouble dealing with the general computer-illiterate public, without having to contend with additional issues that their customers encounter.

You should be able to get a mid-range system for under a grand, depending on your needs and wants. But, that's building it yourself. I live in Mass, otherwise I could help ya out if we lived closer together.

Neuge
10-17-2005, 04:16 AM
FWIW, I usually buy from ibuypower (http://www.ibuypower.com). They're roughly the same as CyberPowerPC, but I've had zero problems with their customer service.

10-17-2005, 10:33 AM
I second everything GrandGnu said.

Also the system you linked to appears to be a pretty good deal, though at the same time I tend to prefer self-built systems, or even systems built by local stores, as opposed to systems that are mass produced, though you will pay more for locally built/self built systems. If I'm not mistaken HP uses (sometimes/always?) ASUS boards, which rank high in quality and according to the specs its very upgradable in terms of adding a pci-x vid card and more ram at a later date.

The processor itself is of the Socket 939 variety, which is top of the line for what AMD is putting out right now, so in the future you will be able to upgrade your cpu to, say, an FX-57, or even a Athlonx2 4800+, though what tends to happen is that in the future you buy a totally new cpu/mobo combo, if not an entirely new system.

In terms of your cpu in relation to your OS you will also be ready to upgrade to Windows Vista, a 64bit OS, that is scheduled to be release late next year.

XxGodJrxX
10-17-2005, 07:51 PM
Thank you all for all the valuable input. Another ( /images/graemlins/shocked.gif) question: how much of a performance drop can I expect with a shared memory card like the ATI Xpress 200? I will probably upgrade it sometime, but I would prefer it be later than sooner. Just as an example, do you think I would be able to run Quake 4 on a 3700+ with an Xpress 200 comfortably?

grandgnu
10-17-2005, 07:59 PM
I doubt it. Integrated graphics are designed for convenience, not for gaming.

ATI is going to be releasing some new cards with up to 512MB of memory on them soon though, so I expect existing cards to drop in price. I've got my eye on the Nvidia 6800GT 256MB AGP model when it drops to around 150-200 bucks.

Neuge
10-18-2005, 01:36 AM
No way Quake 4 is getting run on an integrated chipset. If I'm not misteken the ATI Xpress 200G has an integrated X300 chipset, which is not good enough for any new game, let alone hardware and memory intensive Quake 4.

I reccommend at least a 6600GT for any gaming purposes. It has about as good of a performance to price ratio as you're gonna get.

oreogod
10-18-2005, 04:36 AM
Dunno Im getting ready to build a kick ass gaming rig computer, but its going to be pricy. I play a lot of games and think I might wait for the Fx-59 (Ive heard its two cores, and a different socket) but if I dont wait Im going for the Dual core 4800 X2 from AmD. Good for multitasking and if u are running games high resolution the Fx-57 and the 4800x2 are almost side by side in FPS.

Either way, I think the AmD X2 chips are definitly good multitaskers however u look at it. Id probably go that route (did a far bit of research into this to)

grandgnu
10-18-2005, 07:37 AM
The 6600GT was a great value when it arrived, but it only has 128MB of RAM. Newer games are going to be able to make use of the 256MB.

Perhaps get yourself a motherboard that supports SLI. Then a single 6800GT 256mb card. In the future, you can always add a 2nd graphics card (it will have dropped in price even more) and have the advantage of 512MB of graphics memory (the cards that ATI will be releasing with 512MB will likely be just for marketing purposes right now, very few games aside from maybe Doom III could make use of that much video memory.

I also agree that the X2 AMD processors should do you fine. I don't think you need something in the 4000-4800 range though, the 3800 is a good value and should provide plenty of performance. And you'll have room to upgrade in the future.

Neuge
10-18-2005, 10:18 AM
There aren't many manufacturers that make 256MB 6600GTs but they're definitely out there. This (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814150113) one for example. But you are right they are few and far between and the companies who do manufacture them make very little, which is why I said 6600GT at a minimum.

And as for Doom III (and I assume Quake 4 as it uses the same engine), it has single textures that are >512MB fully uncompressed. If you really want to find out what you can live with in terms of hardware performance for Quake 4 I suggest you read this (http://www2.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NjQ0). It should give a general idea of Quake 4's performance on various hardware.

grandgnu
10-18-2005, 10:24 AM
The problem is he runs the risk of purchasing the non-GT 6600, which is readily available in a 256MB version.

And since the 6800GT prices should be dropping over the next month or two (be careful not to get the 128MB versions!) it's a better investment to get that card instead of a 6600GT.

Even if both cards have 256MB, the 6800GT is significantly faster and will provide excellent performance for his needs. It's worth the extra few bucks. I'm still stuck with my middling 9700 Pro All-In-Wonder, but it certainly stood the test of time and provides me with decent performance, for the moment.

Neuge
10-18-2005, 10:46 AM
Yeah I'm still running a 9800pro. I'm waiting 'til I build a whole new rig and getting a 6800GT with an SLI board. The way video cards are priced, it'll be cheaper to upgrade by slapping in another 6800 instead of upgrading to a 7800 or beyond.

I almost broke down and built one about a month ago when eVGA was running their buy a 7800GT/GTX and get a free SLI board promotion, but I managed to resist.

grandgnu
10-18-2005, 10:54 AM
Yeah, they run those deals because they know that they can only get $400-$500 for those cards for a short time-frame, then something else comes along and they halve in price.

MyMindIsGoing
10-18-2005, 10:58 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Yeah I'm still running a 9800pro.

[/ QUOTE ]

*sarcasm* What? That old, slow piece of crap?? No games are playable on that one! *sarcasm*

You and grandgnu sound just like the people hanging out on hardware forums like five years ago. Read this. (http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=3548462&page=4&view=colla psed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1)

Neuge
10-18-2005, 11:29 AM
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Yeah I'm still running a 9800pro.

[/ QUOTE ]

*sarcasm* What? That old, slow piece of crap?? No games are playable on that one! *sarcasm*

You and grandgnu sound just like the people hanging out on hardware forums like five years ago. Read this. (http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=3548462&page=4&view=colla psed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1)

[/ QUOTE ]I build my systems specifically for gaming. After running a 9800pro for about 2 years you can't help but want something more, at least I can't. I'm definitely not going out and getting dual 7800GTXs just because it's the best.

By no means is a 9800pro crap, but the FEAR demo chugged on this thing. I want good performance and sometimes you have to pay for it. I know most people don't need it (hell even I don't need it), but I think it's worth a little extra.

grandgnu
10-18-2005, 11:40 AM
Mine chugged a bit on the BF2 demo which I modded to have 32 bots running around.

Definetely the "sweet spot" right now is the 6800GT 256MB version, once the price drops a tad more (I try to get my stuff on Ebay for savings of $25-$100 off retail)

Buying the 6600GT right now isn't worth it, given it only has 128MB of RAM. And the difference in performance between a 6800 Ultra or 7800 card isn't all that big compared with the 6800GT. Especially when you consider the ability to toss in a 2nd 6800GT in the future if you go with an SLI board.

The status quo gamer isn't going to have the top of the line stuff anyway, so most games are going to be playable on this "lesser" hardware for awhile.

Got plenty of gaming out of my 9700 Pro, still does Rome Total War with graphics cranked just fine, although that game is more CPU limited for larger battles (starts to chug around 6,000+ troops on screen)

MyMindIsGoing
10-18-2005, 03:57 PM
[ QUOTE ]
And as for Doom III (and I assume Quake 4 as it uses the same engine), it has single textures that are >512MB fully uncompressed. If you really want to find out what you can live with in terms of hardware performance for Quake 4 I suggest you read this (http://www2.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NjQ0). It should give a general idea of Quake 4's performance on various hardware.

[/ QUOTE ]

Or you could just get the game and try.

Neuge
10-18-2005, 06:58 PM
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
And as for Doom III (and I assume Quake 4 as it uses the same engine), it has single textures that are >512MB fully uncompressed. If you really want to find out what you can live with in terms of hardware performance for Quake 4 I suggest you read this (http://www2.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NjQ0). It should give a general idea of Quake 4's performance on various hardware.

[/ QUOTE ]

Or you could just get the game and try.

[/ QUOTE ]What exactly is wrong with reading a hardware guide to determine what kind of video card you want?

I really don't get the "buy the game and try." So you can figure out you got too much card for the performance you desired (making the card a poor purchase), too little (making the game a poor purchase), or get lucky and happen to buy just the card you would've got had you read the article?

You seem to have some sort of animosity towards my advice here. I lurked these forums for quite a while and it's helped my poker game immensely, though I'm nowhere near as good as the people giving advice so I tend to keep my mouth shut on those topics. I started posting on this specific board because I thought I could at least contribute something on a topic I was fairly knowledgeable about. If my advice is unwelcome I'll just go back to lurking.

stabn
10-18-2005, 07:13 PM
[ QUOTE ]
If my advice is unwelcome I'll just go back to lurking.

[/ QUOTE ]

It is definitely not unwelcome.

MyMindIsGoing
10-19-2005, 03:18 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I really don't get the "buy the game and try."

[/ QUOTE ]

I never said that.

Neuge
10-19-2005, 05:14 AM
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
I really don't get the "buy the game and try."

[/ QUOTE ]

I never said that.

[/ QUOTE ]Oh okay. After years of posting on gaming forums I'm used to people saying "obtain" where you meant "get."

/images/graemlins/smile.gif

XxGodJrxX
10-19-2005, 10:51 PM
UPDATE: My bro got an Emachines AMD 3700+ with the same ATI chipset. It seems to be running Battlefield 2 fine, although at higher levels of graphics it is slowing down. I suppose I can get the same computer and just wait until the prices of graphics cards go down a little to get a good one. Thank you guys for all the helpful comments, they made a big difference.

Peace.