Dual Core DUEL: AMD vs INTEL

  skaria 12:44 25 Jul 2005

Dear friends,

I would like your opinion on the AMD vs INTEL dual core battle. I have heard that the AMD 64 bit processors are generally better than the Intel. Is this true?

I am a first time Pc builder and I am having a dilemma on the following matter:

Should I purchase the:

Intel Pentium 4 830 Dual Core LGA775 Smithfield 3.0 GHZ for £230


AMD Athlon 64 3800+ Venice 90nm (Socket 939) - 2.4GHz - £245


AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+ - £390

I understand that the AMD dual core is the best but is it worth paying the extra price for it?

OR should I purchase the AMD 64bit, and forget about dual core.

I hope you can help me.

Thanks in advance!!!

  Fingees 14:34 25 Jul 2005

It may well pay to check prices at

click here

  Jdoki 17:16 25 Jul 2005

AMD all the way for me...

Single core 3800 if you are gaming. Also gives you the upgrade path to dual core in the future when dual core prices drop and multi-threaded apps start to appear. (check that your 939 socket mobo can support dual core)

If you have the money and think you'll get the most out of two cores (bearing in mind multi-threaded apps are thin on the ground, and games are still some way off taking advantage of dual cores) then the AMD would stil be my fave.

  skaria 22:55 25 Jul 2005

Essentially, I have learnt thatit would be smart for me to purchase a AMD processor, as they are significantly better for my purpose. However, it would be a good idea to purchase a cheaper AMD 64 bit single core processor now, so that I can upgrade to dual core 64bit when it becomes available at a cheaper price. I think that is a very smart idea, however, if this is so, could you please suggest:

A suitable motherboard - preferably an ABIT, as I have heard the fans are fitted and so are some heatsinks...please correct me if i am wrong

I was thinking of purchasing:

Memory - GeIL 1GB (2x512MB) PC4400 Ultra-X CAS2.5

HD - Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 10 NCQ 200GB 6L200MO SATA 8MB Cache

Would this all be compatible. Thanks you in advance.

I have just one mroe question, on page 24 of the SEPT pc advisor, it is advised that you wait for 64bit and for longhorn. Do you agree???

  Jdoki 12:10 26 Jul 2005

The current 'cream of the crop' 939 socket motherboard is the:

Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe

Quite expensive, but very good.

Abit boards always get good reviews, but my personal preference would be either the Asus or a DFI.

If I had to pick an Abit board I would go for the Abit AN8 Sli nForce4 - this gives you the option of adding a second Nvidia 6600 or 6800 (and maybe 7800) graphics card at a later date if you buy an SLi compliant card. I would not go for one of their 'Fatal1ty' branded boards - seems like a waste of money to me, no extra overclocking facilities, and just more noisy fans.

The GeiL RAM will be great. However unless you are planning on overclocking your system (in which case I would definitely recommend either a DFI or Asus mobo) then some cheaper stuff would do the job just as well.

Hard drive is great.

Longhorn (now called Vista) is still many months away and I don't think it's worth putting off getting a new PC for. Sure it looks pretty swanky, but I have my doubts how much extra functionality I'm gonna experience - as someone who browses the web, creates and updates a few spreadsheets/documents (using OpenOffice), and runs games I'm in no rush for Vista - the extra security sounds nice but I'm not one of the paranoid masses using XP Home.

For me there's not enough applications that support 64bit yet, especially games. I'm not planning on going to a 64bit OS for at least a year, or until I see some significant benefits (and the FarCry 64bit update does not cut it for me)!

  skaria 16:01 26 Jul 2005

Thank you very much Jdoki. I really appre3ciate it very much.

Could you please help me on just a few more things:

1. Do you think that ABIT mobos are easier ot fit due to the fact that many heatsinks are already fitted. If this is wrong than I will purchase an ASUS mobo.

2. DO you think I should not buy a 64bit Processor, if I am planning on buying a new PC.

"Essentially, I have learnt thatit would be smart for me to purchase a AMD processor, as they are significantly better for my purpose. However, it would be a good idea to purchase a cheaper AMD 64 bit single core processor now, so that I can upgrade to dual core 64bit when it becomes available at a cheaper price."

Do you think, and is it better for me to purchase a 32bit AMD processor temporarily, and upgrade to 64bit later. IS this possible using the same mobo for both 32 bit and 64bit. If so would you advise it?

Thanks you so very much

I really hope you can help me further...

I do plan to overclock, so i think I will stick with the RAM.

  Jdoki 22:05 26 Jul 2005

The Abit will be almost identical to fit as any other 939 socket mobo. (I've fitted many mobos over the years, and they are pretty much all the same)

If you go for the Asus you will get better overclocking options - so as you mention, best bet is to stick with the RAM you have chosen.

Definitely go for a 64bit AMD chip. If going for a single core then an AMD64 3800 will give you excellent performance at a good price, and will be more than powerful enough to see you through to the time that multi-threaded applications are common place (especially in games), then you can simply upgrade to a newer Athlon64 X2 CPU, using the same 939 socket mobo - and you are good to go.

My set up is an AMD64 3500, a Nvidia 6800Ultra graphics card, 160GB Seagate hard drive plus a 250GB Samsung Hard drive, and 2GB of cheapo PC3200 DDR400 RAM on an MSI nForce3 939 socket mobo.
This is a great set up for gaming, and I expect it to last me for another 12 month at least - I can run pretty much any game at 1600x1200 resolution in high detail, but usually play most stuff at 1280x1024 (or 960) at max detail.

I intend to upgrade to a dual core evetually (12 months+)... but only if games have started to take advantage of this.

If you are serious about gaming, then could I also suggest the Logitech MX518 gaming mouse - it's my latest purchase and is fantastic, especially in First Person Shooters!!! :)

  skaria 00:17 27 Jul 2005

Thank you so much Kdoki for taking your time to answer my queries. ir eally appreciate it.

So, form what you have said I ahve understood that I shoudl purcase the ASUS mobo, as it is godd for overclocking and stick with the RAM. BUY the AMD64 3800, and in 12+ mont5hs, upgrade to sual-core/possible multi core if available and works with my mobo. I AGREE FULLY WITH THIS. THANKS.

However, one last question/dilemma:

Are you running Windows 64bit edition at the moment on your PC. if so, is there anything which makes it vastly different from 32bit WIN XP PRO that i need to know? Wil it wotrk with all my exsisting scanners and priunter drivers. And finally, will other parts work with it, i.e. the same ones that work with 32 bit, e.g. fans, ram(sorry if these questions sound a bit stupid...i am building a pc for the first time, and just want to get everything right)

Thank you so much Jdoki. I hope you can understanmd how much I appreciate it that you take your time to help others, I am very grateful.

Hope to hear from you soon....


  skaria 02:09 27 Jul 2005

Sorry, one last question Jdoki, what is the difference between the

Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe


Asus A8N-SLI Premium - ths has some special cooling system and has no fans, about £30 more.

Could you please suggest which is better, as I am vey confused!!!

Thanks in advance!

  Jdoki 09:32 27 Jul 2005

The Deluxe is my preference... The Premium looks good, but there's two reasons I would not go for it...

1. This is the first 939 socket mobo using heatpipes to cool the southbridge chip - I've not seen how effective this is. I guess it'll be good, but the fan/heatsink normally attached to the southbridge is usually pretty inaudible compared to the fans on your graphics card and CPU heatsink - so you are paying 30quid extra for something you won't notice.

2. The heatsink attached to the heatpipe is located quite close to the CPU socket - this could potentially cause problems if you are fitting an oversize heatsink to your CPU (such as the Thermalright XP-90), as it might get in the way. But I'm only guessing here.

Oh, and a third reason... I don't like the idea of all the heat from the the southbridge being transferred so close to the CPU - surely it'll just make things hotter in an area you would want as cool as possible!

I am running XP Home on one PC, and Professional on another - Home does me fine for my purposes.

At the moment there is NO way I would run Windows 64bit. Trying to find 64bit drivers for all the bits in and attached to my system makes me cringe!! :)

Plus there's very little 64bit software around - the only game I can think of is Far Cry (if you download the patch), and the improvements it adds are minimal.

I will skip Windows 64bit and probably go for Vista (Longhorn) maybe 3 to 6 months after that launches depending on the reviews it gets.

  skaria 10:22 27 Jul 2005

Jdoki - you are the biggest help. I would not be aqble to build my pc without you. Thank you so much.

So, I should go for the Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe mobo. I would like to ask you just a few more thing...im sorry if it sounds like a stupid question:

1. Do you notice any difference when using you 64bit processor with 32bit windows?

2. Do you think the prices for Dual Core will drop after Longhorn is released?

3. Do you agree with my planned purchase...will it be compatible?

Mobo: Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe

Processor: AMD64 3800

Graphics Card - XFX GeForce PCX6600 GT 256MB DDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express)

Memory - GeIL 1GB (2x512MB) PC4400 Ultra-X CAS2.5

Hard Drive - Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 10 NCQ 200GB 6L200MO SATA 8MB Cache

Heatsink - Thermalright XP-90

CPU Fan - NOT SURE - could you please suggest one

Case Fans - 2*Coolermaster Neon LED 80mm Fan

PSU - Antec TruePower 2.0 550W PSU

Case - Chenbro Gaming Bomb



Thanks you so much in advance Jdoki.

You have been a real help

Hope to hear from you soon...


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