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Processors?

Posted on 2000-03-31
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
Which would you recommend:
AMD Athlon Processor
Intel Celeron
Intel Pentium
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Question by:Annie_la
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by:pjknibbs
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Depends what you're looking for. Both the Athlon and the PIII are obviously available at much higher clock speeds than the Celeron, but I use a 400MHz Celeron at home and it runs everything fine (well, with the exception of Ultima IX, but *nothing* will make that run smoothly <G>). If I were in the market for an upgrade at the moment I'd go for a 700MHz Athlon. You can get one of these *and* a motherboard for less than the cost of a 700MHz PIII, and it will out-perform the Intel chip (especially on FPU performance).
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by:VoidHawk
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Its a simple matter of cost and intended purpose:

If you don't intend on using your system for hardcore gaming, then a Celeron will suffice. Don't go under 500Mhz else your purchase will be outdated the from the moment it gets to you. If you are upgrading from an existing slot 1 CPU, you may not even need a new motherboard.

If you intend to build a hardcore gaming machine, you perform lots of graphial or mathematical calculations, or you use processor-intensive applications, an Athlon/PIII would be the better option, assuming you were willing to pay the price.

Pricewise, Athlons and PIIIs are pretty much identical. Athlons have been reviewed as being slightly superior to the PIIIs on a MHz to MHz basis. It's a matter of brand preference. I would reccomend the Athlon.

In any case, a decent 3D video card in addition to a reccomended 128MB of SDRAM will be necessary to play current day games. Only use 64MB of RAM if you don't intend of heavy gaming, hefty application usage, file serving or if budget is a big consideration.


Hope it helps.
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by:red117
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Myself, dont buy celeron, it is just a watered down version of the PIII and unless you really need to save cash, then dont buy until you can afford it.  As far as the other 2 go, I myself am partial to the AMD Athlon, I have always had good luck with AMD and like their chips.

Are you intending to do any gaming?  I have an old PII-266, but i have 256MB ram and a 16MB vodoo2 video card, and have no probs running games, granted a new chip would be nice, but you can definitely make up for it with lots of RAM and a good video card.  

As far as processors go i would go AMD, PIII are good as well, but AMD i think it the choice, after all who hit the GHz barrier first?  AMD!!!!

hope it helps.
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by:SarahSheehan
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The Mac G4 is nice <grin> but for PCs I go with the AMD - great speed at a good price.  I do a lot of gaming but I also work on databases, word processing and general internet browsing.  AMD has been a good choice for all those activities for me.
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by:laeuchli
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As a loyal intel share holder I must recommend intel. It's the best :-) Quite apart from that, I think that P3s will be best for gaming, as I think most programmers will be adding support for the SSE intruction set. I think less will be add the AMD stuff.
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by:Annie_la
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Adjusted points from 10 to 25
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by:Annie_la
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Sheesh!  How do you pick just one "winner" when they are all helpful?  I'm going to increase the points and ask a few more questions, ok?  First, I am not a "gamer"... so video/sound cards are not a priority.  I was just going to opt for the basics.  Most I can upgrade later myself.  (Oh, by the way, I am getting a whole comp., not just the processor).  It will be used primarily as a learning tool for networking, and as a home computer.  I think my money will be best spent on quality processor, good motherboard, memory,  HD and workmanship.  Still undecided on who will build it (Ideas?), but I will definitely go for AMD processor.  THANKS!!  Never have been a fan of Intel, but not many choices.  Here's what I think will be sufficient:  
256KB Cache - Any particular manufacturer??
128MB DIMM SDRAM (66MHz) -  "     "      "    ??
Motherboard -  I think Zylon or Zylor or something like                       that?  -  or??
20GB hard drive (5400RPM)- EIDE? or?  manufacturer?

Also, would my money spent toward getting most speed for "processor-intensive applications" and internet surfing be better spent on increasing my SDRAM MHz or processor MHz or HD RPM??  Thanks everyone.  (I need to start earning some points here ;)  I have too many questions.
 
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by:red117
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256k cache you will get if you buy a pIII or a AMD, they are onboard the chip.  ram you will probably want to get at least 128MB(100mhz) RAM, motherboard i would look for intel, we do alot of PC's here at the school district i am a systems engineer for, and intel seems to work very well.  20GB hard drive will probably do you pretty good i suggest mostly western digital, if you are in for some really good stuff i would get like an ATI video card like an all in wonder 128, they do PC to TV, so you could hook your pc up to the TV and use it there.  kinda neat.  i would contact dell, and compaq and see if they can hook you up i am sure they can.  Also make sure you get like a DVD player so that you can watch your home DVDs!!!!!

HTH
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by:red117
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Forgot to add something, i wouldnt go anything less than like a 550-700 MHZ
they arent all that expensive and should last a while before needing upgrading.  
Do you have a modem? or do you use cable? i use cable modem so dont forget to add that into your pc as well, sometimes we get caught up in things and forget the little things!!!

HTH
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by:SarahSheehan
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I let software determine my hardware needs.  You'll be learning networking - are you planning to run Linux, Win98, Win2000 or NT?  If NT, NT desktop or server?    Will you be loading more than one OS and selecting one at bootup?

We just migrated from Sun desktops to NT desktops at work.  This means that we have just recently received shipment of over 1000 machines from Dell.   Other than a buggy run of laptops which they are taking care of for us, and an occasional dropped monitor in shipping the Dell prices, options and quality have been high and consistent.  They have good support online at dell.com and have been good about providing information about their OEM hardware and software.  So far, it's marked OEM but not actually customized (although they reserve the right...)   This has meant that it's standard and I can go to the manufacturer of, say, the ethernet card and find out more about it.  That can be important when you're sticking your head inside the box.  I've tried to help people with other types of machines and some of them are so uniquely configured you know you'll only be able to fix the piece by buying the one model of replacement from the original vendor which will work with the other unique components.  Not much comparison shopping allowed in that situation!  I've been happy with Dell here at work and the machine they sent home with me (because I do work 24 hours a day, you know) is not only good at work it's also pretty fabulous at printing photographs.  (Note to me employer if you're reading this:  Nawwww, it couldn't be me - there must be a million Sarah Sheehans)
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by:SarahSheehan
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I let software determine my hardware needs.  You'll be learning networking - are you planning to run Linux, Win98, Win2000 or NT?  If NT, NT desktop or server?    Will you be loading more than one OS and selecting one at bootup?

We just migrated from Sun desktops to NT desktops at work.  This means that we have just recently received shipment of over 1000 machines from Dell.   Other than a buggy run of laptops which they are taking care of for us, and an occasional dropped monitor in shipping the Dell prices, options and quality have been high and consistent.  They have good support online at dell.com and have been good about providing information about their OEM hardware and software.  So far, it's marked OEM but not actually customized (although they reserve the right...)   This has meant that it's standard and I can go to the manufacturer of, say, the ethernet card and find out more about it.  That can be important when you're sticking your head inside the box.  I've tried to help people with other types of machines and some of them are so uniquely configured you know you'll only be able to fix the piece by buying the one model of replacement from the original vendor which will work with the other unique components.  Not much comparison shopping allowed in that situation!  I've been happy with Dell here at work and the machine they sent home with me (because I do work 24 hours a day, you know) is not only good at work it's also pretty fabulous at printing photographs.  (Note to me employer if you're reading this:  Nawwww, it couldn't be me - there must be a million Sarah Sheehans)
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by:j2
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pick up a ABIT BP6 motherboard, get two Celeron 466CPU's Clock them at 520 or 640MHz, then run NT / Linux / Win2000 and you have a heck of a system, also note that the two cpu's + motherboard costs less then a single Intel P-III 700 Cpu. (atleast over here. Also add a Matrox G400 vidcard and run the AGP bus at 80Mhz. A whole lot of power in a cheap box :)
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by:Annie_la
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Sarah,
   Hoping to have Win98, and either Solaris or Unix, so yes I want to run 2 OS and select one at boot up.  I am trying with all my might to avoid M$ NT or 2000!  A boycott if you will.  We need to open up this market... hope DOJ does it.  You can voice your opinion, if interested, at Microsoft.atr@usdoj.gov.  (sorry, but M$ just infuriates me.)
  BUT, it is the quality of the hardware that I am PRIMARILY  interested in.   Assembler is second.  And just my opinion, but I think perhaps the quality may be slightly higher for machines assembled for business and those for just "us".... but I could be wrong.
   And finally, as far as "standard" parts, I may not be understanding what you're saying, but I wouldn't buy from someone that would not provide me with information re who the manufacturer was.  That is my point, that I want to choose which NIC card I get, not leave it up to the assembler.   Forgive me, I'm not quite sure what you're saying there.   But thanks for taking the time to help me.  I appreciate it.   Annie
   
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by:deltree
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If it were me, I'd save some $ up front on hte hardware you can easily upgrade later. As you said before, you can upgrade the sound & video yourself. I assume adding a second hard drive would be within your abilities as well.
The money saved can then go towards a fast internet connection (you said you wanted to learn networking). This lets you play with a firewall/proxy server and gets the family on the internet faster, and other nice stuff (got a cable modem myself, and won't go back).
Your old system should be able to run Win98 SE, which has a proxy that's easy to set up.
I know I'm getting off track here, but it's my 2 cents to do with what I want. ;) Besides, you already have good advice here.
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by:laeuchli
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not a gamer? How could say that? Wash your mouth out with soap.:-)
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VoidHawk earned 25 total points
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If you intend to learn networking in a commercial environment, NT will become unavoidable. Thats not to say there aren't plenty of situations where alternatives aren't employed (Unix/Linux being one of my favorites), however NT is one of the most dominant commercial server systems. You may not need it to learn on, however some NT knowledge comes in useful out there.

If you're looking for quality components, purchase a 3Com network card - they're the best. I've never used one myself, so I'm not 100% sure if they're NT speciffic or not due to their specialised IP proceessing functions. A Netgear would be a good bet - quality components for a decent price. Try to avoid a network card based on the Realtek RTL80xx chipset like Acer, D-Link, etc... They're the cheap ones and often more trouble than the little they're worth.

Given the number of arguments for processor type you must be ready to beat your head in over the matter (or somebody elses :) ). For a serious network server you'll want a PIII or Athlon, as to which of those you choose, its simply a matter of personal preference (see my prev. post) both are good. If you don't intend it to be used heavily and if price is a consideration, the Celeron (or even the suggested duel celeron if you want experince with multiple processors) is just as viable.

Don't try overclocking as suggested unless you specifically wish to learn to do so. It should not even be considered in a professional environment.

Abit motherboards have a good reputation - go for one of those as suggested by j2. The amount of cache you get is determined by what processor you buy - don't use that in your considerations. 128MB of RAM should be the go if you intend on running network server applications (especially in NT), (Get PC133 for upgradabillity), at least a 13GB HDD since they've become quite ecconomical nowadays. A faster hard disk (7200RPM, UltraDMA, 2MB cache) would be better for network serving, however a standard 5400RPM will do just fine for learning/everyday use. A larger monitor always comes in useful (17" would be good) - network administration can use a fair bit of screen realestate. 15" will still do for budget constraints though.

As for the company to purchase off, unless you are determined to find the best price, a respectable, well-established local company would be just as viable as a large-scale commercial alternative. As long as they're known to honor their warranties and don't seem headed towards bankruptcy. Just make sure they use brand-name components and you should be fine.


Now THAT's how you answer a question the longwinded way.
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by:Annie_la
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Thanks VoidHawk,
  Well, you ask a long-winded question you get a long-winded answer ;)  Chit.  Looks like I may just have to bite the bullet on my Micro$oft boycott.  Oh well.  BUT there is always hope... DOJ has not yet ruled, and CISCO has now beat M$ as #1 in networking (according to Nasdaq Stocks).  Plus, with this marketing ploy of retiring the MCSE's for NT 4.0....who knows.  My crystal ball says business and IT Pro's are not going to stand for it.  As always, I could be wrong. (a girl can always dream... )
  But I digress. Made my decision thanks to all of the great input.  It will be Athlon. Going for 7200RPM HD, 128MB RAM (minimum required for NT), 17" monitor, etc. And thanks for all the extra advice, esp. re NIC's. Was leaning toward 3COM, but wasn't sure.  And finally, I think you are right about the company choice VoidHawk.  I just haven't been satisfied with what I've seen on the big commercial web sites.  Think I will take a chance on the local guys... have to support competition if we can.
   I feel a little bad about just picking one person for this, because all of you have been a great help. You have cut my research in half and I am grateful.  Perhaps some day I will be able to do the same for another...after school that is.  Until next time...  Annie
 
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by:Annie_la
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P.S. to laeuchli..  consider my mouth washed.. hehe  annie
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