AMD or Intel based PC? + misc buyer questions.

  jezza74 11:47 22 Feb 2005

I am thinking of buying a new PC to replace our 4 year old machine.
Below are the stripped down details of what will power the PC’s that I am interested in.
This will mainly be used for home video editing and digital photo manipulation. It might be used for games but only rarely if at all.

Motherboard Features: ASUS A8N-E Mainboard - DDR400, GB LAN, IEEE 1394, SATA, PCIEX16
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 4000+ (939PIN)
Memory: 1024MB PC3200 DDR (400MHz)
Video Card: 128MB ATI Radeon X700 Pro - TV Out + DVI

Motherboard Features: ASUS P5GD1-VM PCI Express Mainboard
Processor: Intel ® Pentium ® 4 - 560+ with Hyper Threading (3.6GHz Prescott, 1MB L2 Cache, 800FSB)
Memory: 1024MB PC3200 DDR (400MHz)
Video Card: 128MB nVIDIA 6600 GT - TV Out + DVI - PCI Express

Cost should not come into this as they are only less than £50 apart.
Which do you think is a better system for me?
All being equal which better out of the 2, Radeon X700 Pro or nVIDIA 6600GT?
I am also a bit concerned as I believe that Intel processors do not support 64-bit technology like AMD. Would I miss out on the new 64-bit technology coming out if I chose Intel over AMD? As I am not exactly an advance user then would this really matter?
Bearing in mind I have no experience of updating hardware, does anyone think there is too much in the specs above for what I want?

Thanks for your help in advance.

  Diodorus Siculus 13:56 22 Feb 2005

How long do you intend to use the machine for? There will be little 64 bit software out for a year or two more so I would not use that as a purchasing criterion.

I don't know much about graphics cards but would think that what you have will be more than enough.

PCI express is more up to date so there is a lot of sense in going for it.

So, no real answer but I would go for the intel option as it supports PCI express; others will likely go the amd route for the 64 bit option.

Either way, you have a good basis here for what you want. Add a decent monitor though if you are doing a lot of graphics work.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 17:55 22 Feb 2005

Go for the cheaper option on card and processor as they will make no difference to the work that you are doing. Witht he money saved buy an external HD which WILL save your life at least once.


  Bleep 18:57 22 Feb 2005

Here is a very good report on the AMD64 VS P4 570+ and is very here

I'd go AMD64 for the CPU all day long, the 6600 GT is a better GFX card than the X700 apart from that they are very well spec'd machines.

  Bleep 19:05 22 Feb 2005

I'd imagine that if you spent well over £1000 on a machine you would want to be able to use Windows Longhorn ( The next Operating system platform ) which is 64bit, if anything to add furture proofing and added value to your product.

Over the next 2-3 years the benefit of 64bit software will come about and if I were spending a large amount on a PC I would want to know that the option was availible to me if I wanted it, and if its not costing me anything then why not?

The AMD64 and Intel 5 series chips are so well matched, Gamers swear by AMD64 and Video/Media users will prefer Intel but unless you are either of the extreme, except gaming where the AMD64 has a large performance difference, the gap would be un-noticiable by you as AMD has really caught up in the Media/Video areas.

Read the review I posted and as many as you can find and it will come to you, however i'd recommend going AMD64 as you have no specalist use for your machine so value of purchase and future proofing would be the major purchasing factor..

  DongQuyCao 19:46 22 Feb 2005

jezza74, the first specification you mention sounds like the Mesh A3800+ sale system (upgraded to 4000+)I'm thinking of getting. I was also thinking about which is better, the X700 pro or 6600gt, both PCI express versions. I'll be going for the GT card because it performed slightly better on the benchmarks.

Mesh state that this system is SLI ready but the ASUS A8N-E Mainboard included is not the SLI motherboard you get with their SLI systems, and the X700 pro card is not SLI compatible, I dont think(?). Wondering if anyone can expalin this to me.

  gudgulf 22:26 22 Feb 2005

I've had a good read through the link provided by Bleep and I'm going to dissagree with his interpretation (just a little bit) .The P4 with its hyperthreading is better at multitasking and in particularly video encoding.If the main use of the new pc is for video editing/encoding then the Pentium based system will have the advantage.For just about everything else the Athlon will win.However the P4 based system also has the better graphics card which would cancel out any advantage that the Athlon processor would have in games and the added bonus of pci express will be better for upgrading.

How noticable any differences will be in the real world is debatable.....but for what it's worth I would buy the Pentium based one of those two.

  polo 11:49 23 Feb 2005

But if you are thinking of Mesh read this first click here or put Mesh in the consumer search

  jezza74 12:22 23 Feb 2005

I have not clicked on polo’s link about MESH, but looking at entries in the forum Mesh seems to be getting a real bashing from their customers. The question that I posted was for MESH products. I try to be objective with negative reviews, as in general people expect good service and therefore might not post as many praise as complaint. That said I cannot ignore all the negative review in the forum.

Thanks everyone for replying to my original question.
I think I will go for an AMD based system with the 6600GT graphics card, so it will be more future proof. I have no experience of upgrading. Intel probably has better benchmarks scores for what I need the PC for, but as someone pointed out “Will I really notice the difference”.

I am still undecided about MESH.
I do not really want to use PC world (soft spot for underdogs and independents).
Any suggestions on good independent PC manufacturers/retailers for a relative novice like me?

  Bleep 12:14 25 Feb 2005

Remember the link I posted reviews the 570+ 3.8ghz P4 not the 3.6hz 560+ he would be getting, so I think your find that the AMD64 4000 benchmarks in multi app's/video encoding are alot closer than you think.

'For just about everything else the Athlon will win.However the P4 based system also has the better graphics card which would cancel out any advantage that the Athlon processor would have in games and the added bonus of pci express will be better for upgrading.'

Also I indeed recommended for him to choose the 6600GT over the X700 orginally and the AMD system has a PCI-E set up any way so not quite show of what the logic of what you post is saying.

Have to disagree as the P4 560+ or even if he was getting the 570+ would be the worst choice unless he all he wanted to do was video encode, Why would someone purchase for no difference in money a less powerful and less future prooof machine?

Is really beyond me...

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