So, have we decided Intel or AMD

It’s upgrade time this year I think.

I’m trying to balance the cost effectiveness of a single core AMDxp64 (probably a 3000+ sempron 754 or similar) vs the dual core overclocking goodness of the P4 D 805.

What’s probably going to be better, so we think, for a bit of gaming (haven’t had much time) and audio work?

Or am I just not going to notice the difference?


Dual core is really tempting. I have always been an AMD fan just based on their value and being the under dog. If cost isn’t an issue, I suppose I would go Intel.

Another vote for the underdog. I have a unit with an AMD Athalon64 dualcore 3800+ and am very happy with it.

I have the AMD setup and I notice a better overall performance with the AMD setup. I have the 3700+ 939 socket processor. I did a side by side test with P4 3.0 GHZ and there was diffrence in performance. The AMD really came out ahead of P4 with the audio test I did. I loaded up some tracks heavy with plugins in Sonar 5 and the p4 just crapped out and the AMD handled it very well. Anyway I’m partial to both,but leaning very much toward AMD.
:D :D

While I have run successfully on both Intel and AMD systems I have had better results with AMD. On the other hand, the AMD processor was newer and of course the motherboard and chipset was different. I would suggest that the motherboard/chipset may be more significant than the processor since it handles the Input/Output tasks.

Reading the various general purpose hardware sites suggests that waiting a few months might not be a bad idea. Intel is just about to release a new processor codenamed “Conroe” that is expected (based on “previews”) to be superior to any current AMD offering in a number of respects.

AMD has also just started to release processors in a new socket for their existing processor line (AM2) which is intended to utilize DDR2 memory. While reviews generally suggest that performance is not significantly better, it is felt that DDR2 memory will be the new standard and therefore future cost/availability of memory will be better (although currently it is just about a wash). Since memory is one of the things that can sometimes be moved to a new system, it might not be a bad idea to buy the most current type in hopes that you can save a little on the next upgrade. Since things change so fast this is a gamble but you might want to consider it.

I would also consider installing 2G of memory since it is likely to be necessary when Micro$oft’s new operating system (Vista) is released later this year (assuming that you upgrade). I will be waiting for 6 months to a year to see what people think about Vista before making the switch myself, but it is worth considering depending on how long you expect to keep the computer.


A friend gave me his old system (Gigabyte GA 7n400 with a Athlon XP 3200+ Barton & 1 Gig of Ram) and it is fast.I did not think much of AMD in the past but this changed my mind.It runs n-Track like a champ and plug ins use less processor than ever before.The only thing that you need is plenty of cooling because it dose run warm.


Micro$oft’s new operating system (Vista) is released later this year (assuming that you upgrade).

It’s there for download now. Probably runs out by a certain date.

(Gigabyte GA 7n400 with a Athlon XP 3200+ Barton & 1 Gig of Ram)

I’m running 1 gig on the same board with an XP2000+. It can do the job, but starting to get pushed a little now that I’m working a few more production tricks (and tracks).

By the way, Intel is expected to cut processor prices very significantly on July 23rd (introduction date for Conroe) with AMD likely to follow suit. Ars Technica has a short article on this but I’m sure that other sites are also talking about it.


Well for now I will stick with what I have. Cause I know the tendency to get the latest and fastest setup there is can get a little much these days. Same with getting the best parts for your street racer that the kids are into these days. That can drive me batty after a while trying to keep up with all the new upgrades. I usally go with what works with my software and I usally upgrade when I really need too. I just can’t afford to keep upgrading all the time and seeing if it works or not. That is my two cents from a already overwhelmed with the latest techy stuff. :p

A Core2 processor will outperform a P4. The P4 turned out to be a disappointment from a performance standpoint, which is why they went back to the P3 architecture for Centrino & Core2 lines. I have no idea how they stack up against AMD, but they dissapate considerably less heat so you can get lower fan noise.

Indications are that high-end Conroes will outperform (by an unknown margin) anything AMD currently produces for some or “most” applications but nobody knows about whether it will be better at audio applications in particular since it is not yet publicly available (and there are very few who publish audio application benchmarks). That said, it is not clear if they will represent a better value because the new prices are not known in detail.

With respect to heat dissipation, the new Intel processors will have a big advantage over older Intel designs but a bit less advantage over AMD designs which were better to start with. I do believe they will be cooler than AMD however and I know that processor fan noise is the largest noise source in my PC, even though I am using a Zalman cooler that is supposedly quiet. At some point I will want to fix that and a lower-power processor could help.

All of this points to the fact that we should sit on our wallets for at least a month or so.


… that or buy 2nd tier or used gear that’s still way better than what we have now …

The problem with waiting for new tech to settle is that it’s an unterminating algorithm! :;):

I like this discussion… here is my take.

Intel is pushing the Conroe as the saviour of Intel. So far it has been a paper release and there is no proof that it really will be an AMD killer. The facts are that the AMD AM2 dual core CPUs are really good workers. And if you want to save a few bucks, you can get a pretty great deal on a AMD 939 dual core CPU setup. The advantage of the AM2 CPUs is that they will support DDR2 memory.

Now here is the truth on the whole mess. We are talking seconds saved between the old AMD 939 and the new AMD AM2 systems. I personally do not see any advantage in spending top dollar for the upcoming Conroe systems. From the white papers I have read, they look to be essentially similar to the Pentium 3 CPUs with faster clocks and better memory handling. And you can be sure that Intel will not be giving them away. So my 2 cents says go with AMD dual core either 939 for savings or AM2 for slight extra speed.

I’m waiting for next year to upgrade to quad core CPUs… MMMmmmm… quad core goodness… :)

After much reading and researching, I went with the AMD 3800+ X2. I just finished building my system last weekend, and it’s a screamer - specially with the 10,000-rpm raptor drive. N-Track has performed great with it with no hang-ups. I’m a happy man.

Would you be willing to list the actual components, I am also interested in building soon. Thanks!

Agreed- do post!

Great thread. I have been witness to the heat from the AMD system (AMD Athlon XP, 3200+)… my PC shut off two weeks ago in the middle of an editing/mixing session. Now it shuts off every 3 or 4 minutes, and we think it’s due to the power supply getting too hot. So new power supply, two new fans, and some other cooling mess… I’m not the PC guy. But yep, you gotta keep 'er cool.

The only thing I consider about all this new stuff is the impending obsolescence of my system. How long will XP and my component standards be relevant? I think I have a while, but at some point I’ll need to get “in step” with all these product pushers.

Hey Sloom,

An Athlon 3200+ should not run that hot unless you bought it when they were first released. Is your motherboard a 939 socket? If it is, you are in luck. In just a few months, the X2 (dual core, 939 socket) Athlon 64 CPUs will be really affordable and you can upgrade your 939 to a dual core system. And that should last you a while.

As requested, here’s a description of my new DAW. Except for parts from my old system, I bought 1 or 2 components a payday or every other payday looking for deals. I was able to get good discounts on everything but the CPU. It took me about 6-months to get it all together.

AMD Athlon 3800+ XP64x2
Gigabyte K8 Socket 939 MOBO
2GB PC3200 400MHz DDR (Dual-Channel Mode) - Plan to extend to 4 GB
1 Maxtor 160GB 7400RPM SATA 8MB Cache O/S and Apps)
1 Western Digital 36GB 10,000 RPM Raptor 8MB Cache (Data)
1 of 2 Maxtor 20GB 7400RPM HDDs* PATA-100 in a hot-swap bay
Radeon ATI R70004MB Dual-Head Video Card* driving 2 sceptre 19" 8ms LCD Monitors
Hoontech 24/96 Stereo Audio Card*
BenQ 16X DVD+RW/-RW Burner (External USB)*
Ultra 500W X-Connect P/S
4U Rack-Mount PC Case - Still need to get a rack
*Indicates components used from previous DAW

Windows XP Professional SP2
N-Track 24-bit Version 4.2.1
Several plugins including Dash-Signature Eve2 Vintage synth emulator

My next purchase will be a USB Mixer - Probably a Phonic Helix 18

And, I still use my PIII system for drum sequencing and MIDI work.


Quote (DrGuitar @ June 16 2006,20:34)
Hey Sloom,

An Athlon 3200+ should not run that hot unless you bought it when they were first released. Is your motherboard a 939 socket? If it is, you are in luck. In just a few months, the X2 (dual core, 939 socket) Athlon 64 CPUs will be really affordable and you can upgrade your 939 to a dual core system. And that should last you a while.

It is not- it's a 462... maybe I should look into this? The guy who built my PC says that it does run quite hot. Can you hit me with some more in-depth info on how this item ought to behave?

My tech is not really audio-app savvy, and he is always coming up with an affordable angle on building up my machine. He's very knowledgeable in general, and has a good local rep with PC people... but this is a pretty specific application.

I'm taking the liberty of putting up my specs here, gotten from running a free program called CPU-Z:

CPU: AthlonXP, 3200+ (Code name "Barton")
Socket A
Core Speed 2201.4 MHz
200.1 MHz FSB
400.3 MHz

Cache: L1, 64 KBytes
L2, (On Chip) 512 KBytes
Prefetch Logic

Mainboard: KT600-8235
(Chipset) VIA KT400
(Southbridge) 8235
(Bios) Phoenix v6.00PG
(Graphic) AGP 3.5, 4x

Memory: DDR-SDRAM, 512MB
Bank Interleave, 4-way
(Freq) 200.1 MHz

512 MBytes
PC3200 (200 MHz), Mfg by Centon

Windows XP, SP-1, Direct-X 8.1

Don't know if this is just a tedious list- and maybe this should be my own new thread, but here it is. I'll re-post if that's a good idea.

Thanks for your time, and for getting me started, Doc!