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  1. #1
    Member mailresult's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Default BUYING ADVICE AMD or Pentium, RAM, HD ETC.

    I'm in process of buying new PC. Had AMD K6 (2000) in the past found it reliable.
    Another one P4(2002). Pretty good but more problems. Being out of touch with all advancements and need help to catch up. I've read an article here comparing both but I don't find it informative enough and quantity of transistors is not the only factor. Have seen some info on the web when rendering test shown better performance on AMD's so.... question remains... Have few questions:


    1. AMD or Pentium?
    2. If AMD which one 3800 or 3500 or 64 etc.?
    3. If Pentium what's the difference between 830, 840, 630, 640 etc.?
    4. Which video card ATI or GeForce? How much 128 or 256MB
    5. Does it make sence to go beyond 1GB of RAM? Is it big difference (besides price) in performance in between 667MHz and 533MHz RAM?
    6. Optimum HD size?
    7. Where should I invest more: processor or RAM?

    I'm somewhat computer literate and just trying to cut some corners here and shorten my research time. So basically you can count on some intellegence on my side while recommending.

    I'm not heavy into gaming. Mainly computer will be used in graphics (PhotoShop, Quark, Corel, Illustrator) and I'd like to start playing with video editing (Premier or other video editing softwares). Maybe some light music editing. Word and internet...
    I didn't hit the jackpot yet this week and I still have some money left from last week jackpot. So basically I don't want to go crazy spending money on PC.... Something that makes financial sense as well as technological...

    Thank you in advance....

  2. #2
    Member Spyware Fighter Grim322's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Glendale, Arizona


    This is a loaded question that will have many different views. I mainly use my computer for web surfing, email, digital photography, and listening to mp3s- no gaming. I have both AMD Athlon and Pentium 4 computers and in my usage, I notice no difference between processors of similar speed. You will notice a big drop in price around 75% of the fastest thing available. The fastest processor availabe is around 4Ghz, anything over 3Ghz will be at a premium price (the die hard gamers will pay it). A processor from 2.5ghz to 2.9ghz can be found at a reasonable price. To avoid confusion- Intel rates their processors by speed (Pentium 2.6ghz). AMD names theirs for how it performs relative to an Intel. So an AMD chip that performs like 2.6ghz will be named AMD 2600 (although it will actually run around 1.9ghz).

    As far as build or buy. First, you need to understand that a computer you build will be as good as the quality of your work- it can be great or junk. If you build, build for the right reasons- YOU WILL NOT SAVE ANY MONEY, but you will learn alot about the inner workings of a computer. 64 bit is the wave of the future, but most programs don't fully take advantage of it yet. If I was building today, I would probably build on an AMD 64 bit motherboard with a PCI Express graphics slot because that would let me take advantage of some new things coming soon. But to be quite honest, a 1.8ghz Duron running a 4x AGP graphics card will do everything I need.

    Unless you are into heavy graphics editing, 1GB of RAM should be fine- you can always add more later. Get as big a hard drive as you can afford, you will figure out what to use it for, or you may wish to go with dual hard drives- one mainly for the OS and programs and one for the files you save/download.

    If you buy, you can get a good computer with a processor around 2.5ghz, 512mb of ram and an 80gb hard drive for around $350 from Dell / Gateway / HP / or Compaq. Add another 512mb of ram, a 128 or 256mb graphics card and possibly a second hard drive and you have a very good system for under $600.