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Thread: Athlon versus Pentium

  1. #1

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    Fanatic Member InvisibleDuncan's Avatar
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    Athlon versus Pentium

    I get the feeling this has been asked before ( ), but is there any reason why I should spend loads of money on a PC with a 2.0 Pentium 4 when I can get a much cheaper one with an Athlon 2000?

    Cheers, m'dears.
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator si_the_geek's Avatar
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    Not really - in most cases an Athlon XP is faster than the equivalent Pentium IV (i'm not sure which cases it isn't)

    From what I have seen, the main reason Pentiums are so popular is because people know the name (all the advertising!).

    I was going to buy a processor myself I would go for Athlon. But as I sometimes get bits for free from work (all Pentium based), I haven't got one yet

  3. #3

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    Fanatic Member InvisibleDuncan's Avatar
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    That's pretty much how I understood it.

    Cheers, Si.
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  4. #4
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    I don't think there are any cases where the P4 performs better than an equivelent speed Athlon

    Don't forget though that the Athlon 2000 actually runs at 1.67 GHz, all they are saying is that it performs as well as a P4 2GHz

    Athlon 2100 and 2200 are 1.73 and 1.8Ghz

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    Fanatic Member Gandalf_Grey_'s Avatar
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    Although pentium currently does have the speed advantage, you don't see me running out to get one. Pentiums are $$$. I would get a little less speed for a lot less money. Better yet, i would wait for the clawhammer

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    Fanatic Member InvisibleDuncan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by chrisjk
    Don't forget though that the Athlon 2000 actually runs at 1.67 GHz, all they are saying is that it performs as well as a P4 2GHz

    Athlon 2100 and 2200 are 1.73 and 1.8Ghz
    I wasn't aware of that. Sneaky buggers.
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    The new athlon chipsets use quantispeed architecture that has a more efficient use of time splicing. This allow a 1.53 GHz machine to run as fast as a pentium 1.8 Ghz.

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    Frenzied Member Zaei's Avatar
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    I would put speed differences down to code optimization. Pentiums before the 4, if I remember correctly, have a pretty short instruction pipeline, while the 4 has something like a 20 stage pipeline. Thus, anything optimized for the short pipelines is going to run SOOO much slower then something optimized for a longer pipeline. So, until developers start optimizing for the p4, its going to run slower.

    Z.

  9. #9
    Frenzied Member JungleMan's Avatar
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    Simple as this, Athlons can process more instructions per clock cycle. P4s can make more clock cycles per second, but what good is it if it take them so much longer to do a task.

    Yes, the 2.8 Pentium 4 is the fastest chip available, but it's also the most expensive chip available, ringing in at around $500...

    There are some nice Athlons out there, one of the most popular Athlons is the XP1600, since you can overclock it to 1.8GHz (XP2200+) or even higher on air-cooling (default speed is 1.4GHz) . If you aren't into overclocking check out the XP2200s, they are pretty cheap.

    Originally posted by chrisjk
    I don't think there are any cases where the P4 performs better than an equivelent speed Athlon
    Yes, there are two examples. First of all anything SSE2-optimised, but I think there are like 3 applications known to man that are

    And of course, BAPco Sysmark *ta-tssssh*
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    Fanatic Member siyan's Avatar
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    there is no way in hell that an unbiased price/performance conscious buyer would ever consider a P4.

    done and done.

    -C

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    Frenzied Member Zaei's Avatar
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    Like I said, its not chip performance that is the issue here. The software needs to be written with a p4 in mind to take advantage of the chip.

    Z.

  12. #12

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    Fanatic Member InvisibleDuncan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Jungle-Man
    There are some nice Athlons out there, one of the most popular Athlons is the XP1600, since you can overclock it to 1.8GHz (XP2200+) or even higher on air-cooling (default speed is 1.4GHz) . If you aren't into overclocking check out the XP2200s, they are pretty cheap.
    Thanks, Justin. I'll run that through babelfish.com to see if it can be translated into newbie.

    Cheers, all.
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  13. #13
    Addicted Member Zealot's Avatar
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    Pentiums are the kings of overclocking. You can get a 2.4 GHz and overclock it easyly up to ~3.0GHz on air!
    BUT, they'll probably need a little more voltage in the Vcore of the mobo (that's short for motherboard ), and it has been identified that P4s running at 1.85 V have a really short life span (like 1 month, if left operating with a 1.85 V 24h by 24h). So it's a case of luck if your chip can handle the 3.0GHz bellow an 1.85 Voltage or not.

    Since I'm not an overclocker (yet) I'd definetly go for an Athlon.
    If you could wait another month you'd get a fabulous 2500+, with a 333MHz Front Side Bus and running at just 2.0GHz! Quite amazing, a processor running at 2 Gigahertz and having the same performance as the opponent's 2.5 GHz processor, huh?

    The 2400+ will also run at 2.0GHz, but its FSB will run with the same speed as the rest os today's Athlons at 266 MHz.

    So in short: go for AMD!

  14. #14
    Hyperactive Member VBD's Avatar
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    Its like this..

    The Pentium four is like a bug. the atholon is like that really slow person in your class. Now, that little ant is moving its legs real fast(2.5ghz) but itch time it moves its legs, it gets almost nowhere. Meanwhile the person walks and gets much further
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    Fanatic Member siyan's Avatar
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    The P4 is an old school 1980s muscle car: mad horsepower and torque, but raw.

    The Athlon is your modern Porsche 911: only V6, but incredibly refined.

    and the Athlon costs less too

    -C

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by siyan
    The P4 is an old school 1980s muscle car: mad horsepower and torque, but raw.

    The Athlon is your modern Porsche 911: only V6, but incredibly refined.

    and the Athlon costs less too

    -C

    very good example but in our case the 911 will cost less (being an athlon)

    -Emo

  17. #17
    Addicted Member Zealot's Avatar
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    Don't be so mean on Intel. They have the performance lead for now. Is it worth it? IMO, no. But their Northwood P4 is a LOT better than its predecessor Willamette P4.

    Come on AMD get me those yummy Barton's for me to play games with!

  18. #18
    Fanatic Member siyan's Avatar
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    i suppose i do have to give kudos to intel for playing the PR game 100% right...although that will change with time..

    AMD still wears dogma from the K6-2 days sadly

    -C

  19. #19
    Addicted Member Zealot's Avatar
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    What dogma from the k6-2 days?
    I have a k6-2 at 300MHz since January 1998/99 (don't remember already) at it always worked just fine!

  20. #20
    Super Moderator si_the_geek's Avatar
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    The K6-2's were noticeably slower than the Pentium equivalents for some programs (I think is was for any that were floating-point intensive). Most well known was the Quake series, which were about 20%-30% slower on the AMD processors than their Intel equivalents

  21. #21

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    Thanks for the analogies, folks; it all now makes sense.

    Athlon, here I come.
    Indecisiveness is the key to flexibility.

    www.mangojacks.com

  22. #22
    Monday Morning Lunatic parksie's Avatar
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    There were some comparisons of the difference the compiler made as well.

    If you use the Intel C/C++ compiler, you can get *huge* speed increases on a P4
    I refuse to tie my hands behind my back and hear somebody say "Bend Over, Boy, Because You Have It Coming To You".
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  23. #23
    Fanatic Member siyan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by parksie
    There were some comparisons of the difference the compiler made as well.

    If you use the Intel C/C++ compiler, you can get *huge* speed increases on a P4
    heh it probably has Anti-AMD deoptimizations too

    -C

  24. #24
    Frenzied Member JungleMan's Avatar
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    Is there an AMD optimized compiler too?
    I'm bringing geeky back...

  25. #25
    Monday Morning Lunatic parksie's Avatar
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    I don't think so.

    GCC has the ability to optimise for an Athlon, though, whether it's had input from AMD I have no idea.
    I refuse to tie my hands behind my back and hear somebody say "Bend Over, Boy, Because You Have It Coming To You".
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  26. #26
    Frenzied Member Zaei's Avatar
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    Nobody listened when I posted the same info, parksie... what am I doing wrong? =).

    Z.

  27. #27
    PowerPoster Pc_Madness's Avatar
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    Still, without Intel, we wouldn't be getting the sort of speeds that were getting today.

    Can anyone else think of a company who made cpus when Intel started to become popular?
    Don't Rate my posts.

  28. #28
    Monday Morning Lunatic parksie's Avatar
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    DEC, Motorola, ARM.

    In fact, Intel bought the StrongARM, which was manufactured originally by DEC, I think.

    You find them in PDAs and mobile phones now, because they're fast, efficient, and use very little power.
    I refuse to tie my hands behind my back and hear somebody say "Bend Over, Boy, Because You Have It Coming To You".
    -- Linus Torvalds

  29. #29
    So Unbanned DiGiTaIErRoR's Avatar
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    I've noticed ackward cases where an Intel is faster than an Athlon.

    In VB for example.

  30. #30
    Addicted Member Zealot's Avatar
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    Are you sure that's processor related?

  31. #31
    So Unbanned DiGiTaIErRoR's Avatar
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    Well when I use transparent gifs in a picture box, then blt. There's slow-down.

    Could be my video card though....

    Maybe.

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