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Processor

Posted on 2000-02-21
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Hi,
Someone has suggested to me to save on the hardware cost by going in for Intel PIII-500Mhz processor with only 128KB cache instead of IntelPIII-500Mhz with 512KB cache. I have been told that the former processor coupled with a 512 KB motherboard cache memory is good for most of the applications. Please advise me on the comparative advantages of the two configurations.

Aseem
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Question by:aseem072898
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 2543868
The "PIII-500" with 128K cache is a celeron chip - this is ok, the celeron chip has it's cache memory run twice as fast as standard PIII chips.  Problem is the chip utilitizes a 66 MHz bus instead of the 100 MHz (or 133 MHz) bus.  My advice is, if money is something your careful with, get the Celeron (and a motherboard that can be upgraded - most motherboards should be able to handle true P3 chips so you can add them later (they just need to be Slot 1 boards, as opposed to socket 370).
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shauny_g earned 50 total points
ID: 2544743
The 128kb cache is a Celeron chip as stated by that "leew" person. It's just cheap crap. With less L1 cache you lose alot of performance. If you can't afford the PIII then get an AMD CPU. They're about half the cost of the Pentium comparison and you'll get more performance for less cost. The AMD CPUs are also meant to be very good and have a good reputation.

The only problem is that AMD CPUs require a different motherboard from the PIII. It shouldn't really be a problem because you should upgrade the motherboard when you buy a new CPU anyway. If your current motherboard can support the CPU which you want to upgrade to then you don't need to upgrade. The time to upgrade is when your motherboard can't support the CPU you want. Then you go and get an upgrade.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 2544799
I've read reviews which indicate some games actually run faster on Celeron's then on P2/P3 chips of the equivalent speed - because even though it's got a smaller cache, it's a FASTER cache.  Programs that "repeat" calculations will benefit from the cache, while programs that don't won't see a real performance boost.
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by:aseem072898
ID: 2544824
Thanks Shauni. Please tell me if there is any capability sacrificed if I go for AMD processor as suggested by you. Is there any possibility of its conflict with the other hardware on the computer and is it fully capable of handling graphics applications like Photoshop or Autocad? I am surprised why people still go for Intel if AMD is as good as it and costs half the bucks.

Aseem
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 2544864
Because historically, AMD chips are faster at integer calculations but where it counts, the floating point ops are slower (I don't know the details on the current line of chips, but that's what I've seen when running tests).  
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by:shauny_g
ID: 2545029
Intel's advertises alot. That's what makes Intel chips expensive and popular. Alot of PC's are sold with Pentium chips pre-installed which makes Pentium more common.
 
The AMD chip should be fully compatible with your current hardware and applications. leew makes a point with the Celeron being good for games. It's also quite good for overclocking. The Celeron is really only for gamers, whereas AMD can do games at an acceptable rate and has superior performance in other areas.

The latest AMD CPUs are supposed to be better than the Pentium comparisons and cost half as much. Visit this URL and see why:
http://www.amd.com/products/cpg/athlon/benchmarks/3dmark.html

The floating point operations are slower which can make your games slower but AMD's 3DNow! technology can compromise. There's also alot of patches available to optimise the AMD CPUs. AMD is faster for integer calculations which would benefit applications like wordprocessors, spreadsheets, database, mainly anything that isn't games.

Unless you're really into games and that's your main priority the AMD CPU should be worth taking a look at. Visit the AMD webiste (http://www.amd.com) for more information.
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