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Elrond, Paul or other knowledgeable sorts...

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I think this question may well be of interest to others...I'm about to build a new system, and would like some advice on CPU choice please. I've been an AMD fan for a couple of years now, but am wondering if Intel is now the way to go.I can buy an AMD XP Thoroughbred 2200 or an Intel Pentium 4 Northwood 2.0Ghz for the same money (

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Hey Damian,Your best bet is to purchase an AMD XP 2200+ Thoroughbred. AMD Processors are designed for more graphics heavy applications for quicker, improved gameplay over the Intel equivalent.For the motherboards, I recommend a top-end board produced by either Abit or Asus, they should set you back around

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Hi Damian,Paul or Elrond can give better advice, but I haven't seen either on the forum for a while now, so I'll add my input. As far as AMD is concerned, they have lost the lead, for the forseeable future, to Intel. The new Northwood cores are clearly superior, and although the P4 took some time to reach their prime, their time has come. A 3 GHz clock speed is just around the corner, and as you might expect, the the current 2.26-2.53 chips will come down in price. Also, I have seen reports of 2.2 GHz chips OC'd to 2.7 GHz (pretty impressive). For AMD, the Barton should be near, which will finally bring a larger L2 cache (512), and the total surface area will increase, which I'm hoping will help these CPUs run somewhat cooler. With the current 2200+, AMD is recommending a copper HS. Now I have copper HS on my 1800+ because they already run too hot with the boxed aluminum HS, so I dread the thought of how hot the 2200+ might actually run with a heavy MSFS load (despite the reduced die of 0.13 microns). AMD will be introducing the clawhammer (I believe that is the latest incarnation) which they are banking on for their future, but that's still a ways down the road, as far as I know.To sum up, I would go with the P4. But I would wait, if possible, until PC400 memory is out on the market. By then, you should be able to buy a very impressive machine for the same price you are currently looking at. If you cannot wait, then make sure you invest in a P4 with a 533 MHz FSB (Don't buy the same priced 400 MHz FSB, unless you want less for your money ;)). Couple this with DDR memory (PC2100/2700 or Rambus), and you will have a very satisfying experience.

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Damian - I think David's summed it up pretty well. My pick also would be the Northwood. There isn't going to be a great deal of performance difference between the two, but the Intel has the advantage of running much cooler and will have a greater degree of stability across a broad range of applications. The new P4's are a different breed from those early ones which seemed to suffer a significant performance disadvantage as compared to the Athlons. And you will have a significant opportunity to OC the CPU with the Northwood. Most all the newer P4's will run quite well at 115-120% of the rated speed with no extra cooling needed. (But, if you're going to OC the CPU to that extent, be sure the motherboard you select can lock the AGP/PCI buss' at 66/33.) TripNorthwood 2.2a at 2.72Ghz Abit TH7II-R512MB Samsung 40ns PC800Gainward GF4 Ti4200 300/57030.30's DX8.1 WinXP ProInwin case / Enermax 431W PSU3DMark2001SE = 12055http://service.madonion.com/compare?2k1=4088814

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>because they already run too hot with the boxed aluminum HS, so I >dread the thought of how hot the 2200+ might actually run with a >heavy MSFS load (despite the reduced die of 0.13 microns).I have an Athlon XP2100+ with a huge copper fan and 3 case fans. If the outside temp is above 25C I still can only run my computer with the case open. That is quite annoying as I invested some money in proper noise damping material. In vain.Alex

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There's virtually no price difference between the XP2200 and the PIV 2.26 533mhz. The retail PIV comes with heatsink and fan. Don't know about the althon as I've only seen oem versions listed?? Anyway, throw in another $100 bucks and you got the PIV 2.4 533 retail at about $369. That's the one I'm eyeballing. The PIV 2.53 533 is still $605. Too much. The Asus P4T-533C mobo is $174. And the PC1066 ram is $135 for a 256mg stick. You need two sticks. So 512mgs is $270. That's not all that bad. Throw is a Ti4400 (best buy for the buck) and you got one heck of a system that's ripe for overclocking if that's your cup-of-tea. Just did some more pricing at newegg.com. I'm drooling over them Antec cases too.

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