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Athlon or Pentium 4

Posted on 2002-06-25
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I am thinking of buying a new desktop. At first I was going to get a Pentium 4 (1.6-1.8 Ghz) from some mainstream vendors like Dell or Gateway. But after reading about Athlon's cheaper price and equally impressive (if not better) performance, I can't seem to decide between an Athlon 1800 - 2000+ or a P4.

Does Athlon have compatibility and stability issues with the motherboard? Is P4 really a "worthless" deal as many hardware "experts" claim?

Answers needed.
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Question by:zxzwin
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15 Comments
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:sorgie
ID: 7109377
go to pcworld.comm they have a good evaluation of P4 and Athlon. Your money will be well spend on an athlon. Compatiblity and stability are very good, even though recent test on the new P4 in PcWorld show a slight gain in performance for the newer P4. it is not worth the money.

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by:sorgie
ID: 7109381
OH the P4 is far from worthless but for most users its gains over athlon are not impressive or worth the price difference. I am an intel buyer and have owned nothing but intel. My next purchase will be athlon.
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by:sorgie
ID: 7109387
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 7110201
I have a thunderbird 1.3GHz.  I haven't seen any incompatibilities except for one with video.  I have an IRS program that plays videos in the presentation.  There is nothing fancy about them, they are just plain 30 second or so videos.  My processor will not run them.  It locks up.  I can run it fine on my kids' P3-600 system, though.
This incompatibility is supposed to be gone in the 1800-2000+ series.  Maybe so, maybe not.  If you can afford the price difference I would go with the P4.  If it is a matter of getting the higher speed (and you REALLY need it) or going with a lower speed P4 maybe you should go with Athlon.
You do know that they don't actually run at that speed, right?  They provide a comparable throughput (compared to a 2.2GHZ P4 for example) but do not run at 2.2 GHz.
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Author Comment

by:zxzwin
ID: 7110649
Speed isn't that important for me. Though I do play games occassionally, I'm not a "hardcore" gamer and don't look for top-performance.
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by:slink9
ID: 7110748
My suggestion, then, is to go with the P4-1.x (take your pick) and get the knowledge that you will not run into compatibility problems.
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by:EricWestbo
ID: 7169833
ZX... I run a Thunderbird 1.4 & have yet to run into any compatibility problems... it's just a matter of planning out the system & doing your research when buying add-ons.

Now, if your buying the system from Dell/Gateway, regardless of the CPU, keep in mind that both manufacturers are extremely proprietary.  What you buy is usually what you're going to wind up staying with for a while.  For example, if you get the Dell/Gateway & later want to upgrade your video board, you may have compatibility issues *regardless* of the CPU you have.

Conversely, if you are considering building your own system, keep in mind that the money saved on the Athlon vs. the P4 is going to go right back into the motherboard anyway.  At the risk of having the whole E-E community disagree with me, it has been my experience that Athlon compatible motherboards run higher than P4 compatible boards.  (Ok... now ya'll can bombard me with disagreement!  ::grin::)

Lastly, if you're not a hardcore gamer, you're not using the system for anything more than general home use, and you're looking for a good deal on price, why even consider the top end of the market?  You can pick up any of the 1.0GHz systems for quite a bit less than the Athlon-2.0 or the P4-1.8  Check out www.pricewatch.com for some comparison shopping.

Hope this helps... let us know which way you decide.

Regards,
ew
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:info_expert
ID: 7171987
hi,
Athlon 1.4 is certainly better than the p4 1.7. If u want to use applications which are involved by a lot of graphics rendering u must choose athlon 1.4 with a motherboard like ABIT(is best) or AOPEN (i can tell u the models of motherboard excellent for AMD processors).and need not to buy athlon 1800 or 2000.
TECHNICALLY
In one clock burst pentium 4 performs 5 instructions and an athlon performs 9 instructions per clock burst of processor.The only advantage of p4 is tha bus speed which is 400MHz as compared to athlon's 266MHz.
HERE IS THE BEST LINK
http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/ProductInformation/0,,30_118_756_759^1040,00.html
if u need more help.....you are welcome
regards !
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by:info_expert
ID: 7172006
one thing to mention. if u can afford then p4 2.x is certainly better than the athlon 1.x.
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by:info_expert
ID: 7172009
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LVL 17

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by:xema
ID: 7172208
I have faced some problems whith games with a 950 Duron(Midtown madness 2) and a 1.4 Athlon (Fifa 2002), so I will check if the games you like will run on AMD processors.
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by:EricWestbo
ID: 7187173
** PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER **

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by:manojanand
ID: 7203984
Hi,
   I too was thinking Pentium was the good one but people in Suystem Assembling say that the NEw AMD XP processor is giving a real boost too the system and the benchmarks between AMD and Pentium have proven that AMD's performance is much better than pentium. The FPS for Quake3 was high in AMD than in Pentium.My sug is that u go for AMD XP processor.


Bye,
Anand.
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Expert Comment

by:manojanand
ID: 7204024
Hi,
   Once agin. I forgot Check this out.

http://www.gen-x-pc.com/athlon_xp_2000_versus_Pentium_4.htm

Bye,
Anand.
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