Athlon64 Vs P4 discuss.

  Aspman 11:01 05 Mar 2004

My mate is after a high performance machine for his graphical work (and probably just because he wants one).

I was wondering if anyone could offer up a performance/£ opinion of high end P4 (3GHz+) against the Athlon64 processors. I have heard that the 64s are higher performing then P4s even using 32bit windows but I'm also aware that there are several flavours of the 64 bit processors.

Is it worth getting a 64bit processor in anticipation of 64bit windows?

Overclocking capability isn't an issue just performance, price, reliability, ease of install etc.

I'd also be interested in recommendations/advice for SATA drives and 18"+ TFT monitors with digital input.

Thanks in advance


  Aspman 11:03 05 Mar 2004

Oops seems to have been a delay round here somewhere. Forum Ed could you delete one of these please?

  GANDALF <|:-)> 11:46 05 Mar 2004

The choice of processor will make no discernible difference to any mortal. 64 bit is only really useful if you have a large network and the benefits are dubious and if being used for graphics etc., a Pentium 3 would be more than enough. Talk about processors reminds me of the tale of the Emperor's new clothes. ;-))

As far as the monitor is concerned, if it mainly used for graphic,s a CRT monitor would be much better. If space is at a premium then a TFT may be the only choice and Dell or Illyama would be my choice. Overclocking would be a total waste of time.

Any decent drive will do but an external HD that can be taken away is a necessity or access to remote backup.


  Mysticnas 11:46 05 Mar 2004

about to be a big overhaul in the motherboard soon. If he wants the ability to upgrade in a year or two, maybe the CPU or summat, then it;s best to wait til a new spec motherboard is available. One of the features is PCI express, which basically means faster graphics.

I'm sure someone more clued up on new hardware will advise you.

Also about 64bit CPU's, i'd wait for intels 64bit CPU. Intel have got 64bit CPU's (Itanium) but they are not available for joe public, only for industrial machines.

If he really really wants to upgrade now, then stick with 32bit, as the next propper 64bit windows isn't due til 2006 i believe???

  Mysticnas 12:00 05 Mar 2004

I do a lot of 3D rendering/modeling, digital video editing, sound editing etc...

My current pc is more than capable of carrying out these tasks. Of course rendering some scenes does take a while, for instance i rendered a heavy 3D scene a couple of months ago using 3Ds Max6, it took about 17hrs but was only 30seconds long. The scene itself was quite small, but the detail was quite heavy.

My current spec is:

P4 2.4 running @ 2.8Ghz

2Gb DDR PC2100 running @ 276mhz

GF4 Ti 4600 128mb

360gb spanning across 15 drives.

Audigy 2 Platinum

XP Pro

Running software like:

Premiere 6.5

Photoshop 7

Macromedia MX suite

Director MX

Sound Forge 6

3Ds Max6

My PC is quite fast.

If he wants a decent PC i'd recommed getting an Alien which he can find by click here

I built mine myself, but i can't be bothered anymore. My next PC will be one of theirs.

  Aspman 15:49 05 Mar 2004

All very sensible arguments put out of the window byt the "I want one of those" factor.

He is looking to upgrade soonish and was looking at a top end P4 (3.4 EE probably). I advised him that the premium on the latest processors isn't worth it.

He has quite a large budget for the machine but not large enough for an Alienware pc.

Reliablity is a definite issue so no overclocking will be done on this machine.

I just wondered how the top spec processors from the two chip makers lined up against one another.

  JerryJay 16:04 05 Mar 2004

Intel produce 3.4EE for extreme gamer in competition to AMD 64. AMD vs Intel is an argument noone has definite answer, but generally speaking.

AMD good for number computation
Intel good for Audio and Video encording

To make a high performance machine, CPU is not the only factor. Maybe he could save some money on CPU, put to something else, for performance/cost argument, AMD won.

Other thing could make his machine fly:

(1) Get a fasest hard disk, Raptor 74GB, 10000rpm (all other HDs are 7200rpm or 5400rpm), it really make the machine fast especially start up. He could even get two of those to set in Raid 0 configuration, effective the HD spin in 20000rpm nearly 3 times fast compare with other HD. For this, he need a really good motherboard support Raid and SATA.

(2) High quality fastest 1GB RAM, PC4000

(3) Fastet Graphics Card (this alone cost over £300)

  JerryJay 16:09 05 Mar 2004

If his budget cannot reach an Alienware pc, he may need to forget about 3.4EE. Otherwise, he cannot get other components good enough to make 3.4EE worth while.

  byfordr 16:10 05 Mar 2004

click here

click here

I don't think SATA drives off a massive amount of improvement of the 133s at the moment. Large capacity ones are very cheap 200gb being around £100. If you want speed go for 10,000 or some form of RAID configuration.

Also the Maxtor Onetouch external drives are very fast piping through Firewire or USB2 (which seems a bit more of a resource hog, but a little bit faster than the firewire) A 250gb one of these is about £190, and gives the added advantage you can take it away.



  Mysticnas 11:32 09 Mar 2004

PCformat tested a whole load of intel P4 CPU's, from the early P4 to the latest EE edition. They were testing to see whether the CPU makes a difference on game play.

The results found that the CPU made little difference. Even the latest fattest fastest P4 found it difficult to pull ahead!

They concluded that generally when it comes to graphical intensive processing it's worthwhile upgrading your graphics before the CPU!

  Aspman 15:24 09 Mar 2004

If I were to be honest (looks over shoulder to make sure mate isn't around) he really doesn't need anything near the power he would like. He's a bit prone to wanting the latest gadget without quite figuring out why he would need it.

What I am going to put to him is a higher spec machine he would like and then try to talk him down to something he would actually need.

He works doing web disign and graphical work nothing too intensive.

I think for him a good spec would be:

P4 2.8GHz
Abit mobo Sata ready onboard LAN, firewire
Asus dual DVI out VGA card (this should support two monitors I think, please correct me)
1024Mb DDR400
120Gb Samsung IDE HD
Creative 5.1 sound card
Largish 300W+ case (I'm partial to Chieftec cases)
Hyundai 17" TFT with DVI input.

I haven't put the exact specs I looked up today in because I can't remember all the parts off the top of my head but feel free to comment.

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