AMD vs Pentium 4. Which one is ACTUALLY better?!

  fourjays 12:33 31 Mar 2004

After reading the May issue of PCA, I was rather astonished to see barely any Pentium 4 machines in the Top10s! Everywhere I have read, I see people putting down Pentium 4's, and saying AMD is better! I would beg to differ. Since August 2003, I have built a total of 4 computers, the first one I built was built on a tiny budget. It was a 1.8Ghz AMD Duron, to replace my Pentium I. It was a fair machine, but wasn't good enough, so we kept this one for work purposes, and built another one. This one was an AMD AthlonXP 2500+. This one was awful! Slow start-ups, terrible gaming, and best of all, slower than the 1.8Ghz Duron. After getting terribly fed-up, with performance worst than my Pentium I, 100Mhz (And I am not over-reacting there, seriously, they were worst!) My parents decided it was time for us to spend the extra money, and build to Pentium 4's!. Both are 2.80Ghz with HT, with an MSI mainboard, and are way better than the AMD's. They load up into Windows in approxamately 10 to 20 seconds, and have been faultless! On some games I play, loading screens dont have time to show. THAT IS MY MAIN ANNOYANCE AGAINST AMD! My second is there so-called "cheapness" You by an AMD AthlonXP 3000+. To any novice, you would think 'WOW. 3.oGhz!'. But it is actually only a 2.2Ghz! That 3000+, would have cost you more than a Pentium 4, of the same speed! This I think is a nasty marketing ploy, to make you think you are getting a better deal. (Whew, glad I got all that anger out of me!)

  GANDALF <|:-)> 12:55 31 Mar 2004

I have yet to see one reasoned argument that confirms which is better. There are differences but they are usually not noticeable to mortals. I feel that your problems may be due to build and compatibility rather than chips.


As Gandalf states, you cannot simply "Compare like for like" when you have so many variables such as motherboard, spped of (relative) CPU's, Ram, Graphics etc, chipsets etc.

For a serious comparison you would need to use all the same components and that is impossible as the motherboards differ!

There is a general concensus, not authoritively backed up, that suggests Intel chips are better performing at some applications than AMD but also that the reverse is true. Also, AMD provides better "Bang for buck" than Intel

  Totally-braindead 13:52 31 Mar 2004

I agree wholeheartedly with Gandalf and Smiffy99, I personally have an AMD Athlon 2500+ in my computer which is home built and runs quickly enough for anyone(well almost anyone). The problems you've had were probably due to either the setup or the programs you had running on it and the way it was configured. Athlons pound for pound are better value for the performance they give. I am happy to see that you have a computer now that you are happy with though, but you'll never convince me that Athlons are the fault of the problems you experienced. I'm on my fourth Athlon computer now the others being passed on to my mates and all run perfectly.

  rickimalone 14:20 31 Mar 2004

AMD processors are named as 3200+ 3400+ as this is what the clock speed of intel processors would need to be to have the same performance output.
AMD cpu's do more work per clock cycle so dont need the extra mhz.

I think that you will find that it is Intel who have created this "marketing situation" in relation to clock speed as it is the key factor in their camapaigns. It helps them to shift more cpu's when the cache of the cpu will give you a better performance boost.

AMD cpu's are generally cheaper than P4 cpu with the same performance so I dont now how you could be ripped off by buying a AMD 3000+ instead of a P4 3GHZ as the P4 is more expensive.

In relation to which is better it is preety much down to personal choice and what you will do with it? I am an AMD fan and have been for 4years now after converting from Intel.

Generally AMD outperforms Intel is Desk and Office tasks and Intel perform better in 3D and rendering but the is never much in it. For me the better value for money of AMD tips it.

  rickimalone 14:31 31 Mar 2004

The only way this could happen is if you have a massive problem with the configuration of your hardware/software as it is near impossible.

AMD2500XP :256KB of L2 cache running at 1.87ghz
Based on the Barton core with :333 MHz FSB

VS Intel P1 100MHZ The is no way possible for the P1 to get anywhere near the AMD performance level it would melt.

  fourjays 14:37 31 Mar 2004

Thanks for your comments, on the subject. Now I think about it, I agree, that it is hard to compare, without exactly the same components, but I wish reveiwers, would not state, that on echip is better than the other, when comparing "largely manufactured" PC's, (eg: Time, Dell, etc), as I dont think it shows their potential. I think if reviwers are going to compare chips, they should comapre them with near identical components (cause AMD boards are different from P4 boards, obviously). What got me on this subject, and got me annoyed, was the review on the two P4 PC's (pg60, and namely the last paragraph before 'Verdict'). I think that it is not fair to basically say that AMD chips are currently better, because of this WorldBench thing. To truely say which CPU is better, you must do a proper comparison. It probably was due to poor components, as they were brought from a small local shop, and fairly cheaply. (Shop owner claimed, just as good..... blah, blah, blah.) These two we brought the bits from PCWorld. (Although I would NOT buy a whole system, due to their reputation.) Thanks for your submissions again, but after the bad experience with the AMD's, and the excellent performance from my P4, I dont think I would go back to AMD. As for the generaly spec, of the 2500+ AMD, it had 512Mb DDRRAM, 7200rpm HDD,etc. Not that bad a spec, considering my P4, is basically the same, except the actual 'make, and model' of the components.

  rickimalone 14:47 31 Mar 2004

As you say it is very hard to compare without knowing what motherboard,graphics card,ram hard drive and belive it or not the maufacturer matter's as hardware with the same spec's differ massively some times. Also the drivers that are being used and whether you have service pack 1 from windows update, it all makes a difference.

Out of Interest do you know what speed RAM you had on the AMD system as the Jump from PC2100 to PC2700 can give a massive difference on startup and shut down times and application switching.

What you say about word bench is right as AMD's generally do out perform P4's in Office type tasks, when reading a review factors such as 3DMark have to be pointed to as if you work with graphics it is relevnet to you.

  fourjays 16:16 31 Mar 2004

I was using PC2700 in the Athlon 2500+, but PC2100 in the Duron. I found that the Duron was fine, for basic office tasks. My Mum's business, involves alot of graphic, copying, pasting, etc.... and the P4 probably handles it better. The other P4, I have is for games, and handles games much better than the AMD. If you are using a computer, for basic office use, AMD is probably ok, to do the job. As for my P1 melting, I didn't say the P1 went as fast as the AMD, I meant that the AMD, was so slow at times, that it performed like a P1. I have also found that with my P4, that if a program crashes, or (as Windows put its) 'stops responding', I am able to end it easily, without having to take major action, like re-booting the PC. I must say that there is such a thing as being TOO fast. On games, where there is information, say, about a mission, on the loading screen, it is unreadable because it doesn't display long enough, because it loads too fast! I generally feel that the P4, is better capable, of handling graphics, and copying/pasting large documents and images. I can say that the P4 is a favourite amongst gamers, as I play on Gamespy, and most people on there have P4's. I can see from the number of responses I have had, that I have caused quite a stir in the forum! I dont wish to argue, but just wish to try and see what peoples views are on it. Thanks for your submissions to the forum.

  rickimalone 16:38 31 Mar 2004

No I think you have great points its always good to get going something that people have alot to say about.

However I have to say that my AMD64 3200+ beats P4 on anything HA HA HA

  Stuartli 16:41 31 Mar 2004

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