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Which CPU to buy?

Posted on 1999-12-11
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I don't have enough money for a P III, but I am confused about the less powerful alternatives:

AMD
P II
Celeron

Which is the best CPU for the money, everything else being equal?
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Question by:Tom Knowlton
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cyderpunk earned 200 total points
ID: 2274271
This is the sort of question that will likely cause a bit of a war!
Basically you get Intel Celeron/PII or AMD K6-2/K6-3
The PII Intel chips have more cache than the Intel Celeron chips, the cache runs faster on Celeron chips, but for some applications (namely most games) this does not make a noticable performance difference.
Some applications, such as photoshop perform considerable less well on Celeron chips as apposed to PII chips - due to the lack of cache.
AMD chips are very good, but in order to compete with Intel chips (for 3d gaming and maths intensive applications) the programs need to be written to support 3Dnow! (This is AMDs answer to their weaker FPU (does the maths)).
The AMD Athlon (though out of your budget) will outperform Intel chips even without specific processor support.
So, to answer your question, I would personally go for the Intel  Celeron as it does not need specific optimisation and gives a very good bang for the buck.
If you have a tad more money get the PII (You can't really go wrong with an Intel, although lots of people buy AMD on principle, ie they don't like Intels near monopoly!)
Check out some web sites, ie Anandtech (www.anandtech.com) for processor comparisons.
I'm sure this won't be the only post for this question!
PS Lets not start another AMD/Intel war!!!

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by:Tom Knowlton
ID: 2274789
Cyderpunk:

I think your comments are very good.  I will probably give you the points, but let's have a few more posts so I can get viewpoints from all sides.  

Tom
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Expert Comment

by:bekaye
ID: 2281640
Each of the chips have strengths and weaknesses.  If money is not a factor, go Athlon, as fast as you can get it.

However, the best bank for the buck, celeron, hands down.  Look at the U.S. prices:

Athlon 500 @ $183
PIII 500 @ $217
PII 450 @ $147
Celeron 466 @ $80

with an Abit bm6 ($80) and its softmenu functions, you can easily overclock the C466 to 525, 569, or (maybe) faster (I had one post at 608!).

as to p2 vs. celeron, there is so little difference in the throughput, the money factor says Celeron, no contest.
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Expert Comment

by:cyderpunk
ID: 2281872
It's also worth considering the chipsets, I won't be popular for saying this but some people have had trouble with AMD boards and generally the intels are more stable.

You know what to do - get the Celeron!
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Expert Comment

by:galileo22
ID: 2282095
Well...

It is hard to compete with the clear win ($$) Celeron, but you might lose out in the long-run... If you would like to leave the door open for up-grades the Celeron chipset does not allow the new Slot1 that the PII and P3 come with...

So a few dollars more now for the PII (Slot1) might let you up the CPU down the road.

Gal
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by:Tom Knowlton
ID: 2282124
Thanks!
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