[internetworkers] Athlon 3200 v Intel P4?
edwes at idisplay.com
Tue Jun 15 10:59:40 EDT 2004
...as per Sil's request, below is the "Athlon 3200 v Intel P4?" EW/Tom
From: Sil Greene
Sent: 6/14/2004 9:17 PM
To: Internetworkers: http://www.ibiblio.org/internetworkers/
Subject: Re: [internetworkers] Athlon 3200 v Intel P4?
Ed, if you find out anything interesting from this, pls post findings to
the list? Inquiring minds, yada yada yada... :)
Reported 04.06.12 12:10 from Edward Wesolowski:
.:Have any INW'ers had experience with the Athlon 3200 as compared to an
.:Intel P4, 3G?
.:Please get back with me offline. Thanks Ed Wesolowski .:
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From: Tom Caswell
Sent: 6/14/2004 11:39 AM
To: Edward Wesolowski
Subject: Re: Athlons
The Front Side Bus (FSB) is how fast the CPU can communicate with the
"conventional" (system, RAM, etc.) memory. This speed is governed by the
CPU so it's not something you can really control. Pick a CPU speed, find
out how fast it can talk to the RAM, then find a motherboard that supports
the CPU/speed and buy it with matching RAM. If you buy a pre-built system
this is done for you.
The L1 and L2 cache are smaller chunks of memory that store CPU
instructions. They're way faster than conventional RAM and stored closer
to the CPU so a trip to conventional memory wouldn't need to be made for a
cache hit. More is better here but they're also governed by the CPU
choice. I haven't seen a CPU in a long time where the L1/L2 cache is
upgradeable. I believe the two caches differ by caching on the CPU itself
and just off the CPU on the motherboard but before the FSB. I can't
remember which is which though. The CPU benchmark will test the
effectiveness of the L1/L2 cache so even if one CPU has more cache than
another CPU, you can safely pick the faster of the two.
Yeah, retail stores can be adventurous. To be honest, I'd avoid using
those stores unless you're going for something very specific that's on sale
or you take someone with you that knows the ropes. Neither Best Buy or
Circuit City work on commission but that doesn't mean they'll help you.
The two decision points you have are video editing and monitor
quality/quantity. The video editing part will require a CPU with good
horsepower, lots of RAM, and lots of HD. I would try to get as much as you
can for each but keep the portions equal. Video editing needs all
three. I just checked the prices on a Pentium 4 and the delta between a
Pentium and an Athlon is much smaller these days. Get the Pentium. Also
try to get a 19" monitor, either LCD or CRT. Video editing will benefit
from the extra space and I'm sure Photoshop will also. Important! Never
get a Compaq, HP, eMachine, etc. LCD monitor! Something like a Sony or an
NEC are good from retail stores. Tom's Hardware has good detailed reviews
on LCD screens.
I said I'd avoid naming brands but a Dell would really satisfy your needs
cheaply. They have good internal hardware and an excellent 19" LCD monitor
that you can catch on sale for $750. Is there a reason you've avoided
Dell? www.gotapex.com is a great page for catching some insane Dell sales
that aren't published. I got a laptop from them for $550 that's
loaded. If you'd rather go through the retail channel, an HP or a Compaq
would work well for the internal hardware but match it to a different
monitor. I've never been impressed with their monitor specs.
Edward Wesolowski <edwes at idisplay.com> wrote:
>Just out of curiosity, where did you talk to a sales guy?
Best Buy (New Hope Commons). I considered Circuit City on Westgate Dr,
Durham, but haven't got there yet.
Can you point me to information on this and on the L1/L2 cache?
>If you want to send me what you're looking for in a computer I can make
some generic recommendations.
I don't do games, altho my daughter does play some off the Internet. Mostly
I'm using Word, excel, email, IE, and a contact manager (ACT) which seems
to need a good deal of memory. Backups are way important, and I'd like to
be able to burn CD's (pretty quickly?). I do some Dreamweaver, PhotoShop
and video editing (...Pinnacle Studio; I could use Premier again, altho the
Pinnacle price is good.) I like LCD screens (17"). Alas the 15" Compaq I
Thanks again for getting back.
At 07:21 AM 6/14/2004 -0700, you wrote:
>Just out of curiosity, where did you talk to a sales guy? I used to work
>at Circuit City, it's a curiosity with me.
>There was a time when a similarly "numbered" Athlon would outperform a
>Pentium and it was due to the architecture. The Athlon chip could crunch
>floating point numbers better than a Pentium so even though the FSB and
>internal chip speed was slower, it would outperform the Pentium (except in
>stuff like MS Office benchmarks). AMD took this route to attract gamers
>since most of the math is floating point operations. Since the advent of
>the Pentium 4 that rule of thumb has pretty much been retired. However,
>you can still see some of the lingering effects in some of the higher end
>games. If you look at the benchmarks, the Athlon never outperforms the
>Pentium although it does come close a few times.
>There are some big selling points for an Athlon but some seem to have
>changed with this chip. The AMD socket could be used for all of the Athlon
>chips so you could buy a motherboard with a future upgrades in mind. The
>price is another good selling point. When I bought my Athlon, comparibly
>fast Pentiums were about five times as expensive or about what I paid for
>my entire rig using an Athlon.
>For me, there were two decision points when buying a desktop computer -
>price and games. I spent half of my budget on the video card becase that's
>where a large percentage of the work is done playing games. My Athlon runs
>Windows just fine. The sales person should have qualified your purchase
>first so they could better recommend a computer for you. An Athlon at that
>speed may not be necessary especially if you're interested in games. Or if
>you use a specific app(s) frequently you'd want a processor that shows
>good benchmarks for it. If you want to send me what you're looking for in
>a computer I can make some generic recommendations. Nothing brand specific
>except for maybe the CPU. Hope this helps.
>Edward Wesolowski wrote:
> >Let me know if I can help.
>The sales guy I talked with was pitching an Athlon 3200+, said it
>definitely outperforms a P4 3GHz CPU. He said altho it was clocked slower
>(I can't remember the # he said), that because of the "architecture" it
>would perform better.
>On the other hand, though, I read one review
>that made me wonder.
>....just curious, is it "plausible" that the 3200+ could outperform the P4
>Thanks for getting back
>At 06:40 PM 6/13/2004 -0700, you wrote:
> >If no one has answered your question, I'm using an Athlon 2600XP. I
> >believe they're the same core so anything relevant to the 3200 would also
> >apply to the 2600. I've used Athlons for years so I should at least be
> >able to give some history if nothing else. Let me know if I can help.
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