Sorry for any misunderstanding John, but since I have the word "tech" underneath my name here, I'm sure you can see where I'm coming from. I'm not quite sure who you were referring to then, but let me tell you that the techs here are all people I highly respect and they don't deserve your criticism either. Sure, some of them are opinionated, but isn't every recommendation an opinion? And it just so happens that the techs here do a lot of research and have plenty of experience, thus making them have very valid opinions.
Of course, this is not to say that you or anyone else can't have valid opinions either. I'm glad you realize that you aren't always right, and we certainly know that we're not always right as well. However, this is an important reason why we tend to debate. It leads to the clarification, justification, and correction of statements, all of which benefit anyone who reads the topic.
Also, I wasn't suggesting that your lack of time on this site makes you less qualified to offer help. I was saying that it made you unqualified to criticize those who work here. It's unfair to make such a generalized statement about every tech here after only being around for a day. In the same vein, its also unfair to suggest that my age would affect my qualifications in offering help. While I may not have as much experience with a wide variety of older computers, this may actually be a benefit as most mistakes I see you making are due to you basing things on older information/experiences.
Speaking of that:
In the PAST, maybe not NOW with Intel's Core Due line of CPU's, there WERE cheaper AMD CPU's that outperformed their Intel counterparts.
Indeed, but we are talking about now aren't we, so this isn't really applicable.
My understanding is that AMD internally overclocks their CPU's to make up for the performance differences with their Intel counterparts.
By definition, this isn't possible. "Overclocking is the process of forcing a computer component to run at a higher clock rate than it was designed for or was designated by the manufacturer." So a manufacturer can't overclock their own components, only an end user can.
And YES - while the AMD CPU's are opcode compatible with Intel CPUs - Intel has exclusive rights to their Floating Point microcode - something that gives Intel CPU's an edge over AMD and other CPU Mfgs. You stated "AMD CPUs don't suffer from opcode problems. Both AMD and Intel use basically the same opcode in their CPUs these days, and anything which will run on an Intel will run on a comparable AMD" Perhaps this has changed, but I've run into drivers and patches for sound cards and other device drivers and apps that specifically addressed issues with AMD based PC's. I stand by the fact that there IS software/hardware out there that has issues with AMD processors. This probably has to do more with bus and memory timing issues more than opcode compatibility - but STILL - there are programs and devices which run FINE on Intel-based PCs - but require special drivers/patches to run on AMD-based PCs. If you'd like - I can provide links to examples of this.
Intel only just recently gained the performance crown with CPUs. The new instructions implemented with the Core 2 line (SSE4) were also implemented by AMD. I don't disagree that there are some software or hardware that will not work with AMD CPUs... But are there any made in the last 10 years? I think you would be hard pressed to find some. Also, memory timings and bus speeds (assuming you mean FSB) have nothing to do with compatibility and in the case of memory timings, have nothing to do with the CPU.
If you read my post - I was telling this user to AVOID AMD - so I'm really with you on this. I do, however, believe that their IS a market for AMD-based systems as they cost less. If given the choice between an inexpensive AMD-based PC and a compareable Intel Celeron-Based PC - I'd likely go with the AMD as the Celeron is nothing but a Pentium with a defective/disabled FPU. Gamers tend to like AMD systems because they can overclock them - something that Intel has made more difficult in the past by hardwiring clock speed multiples in their CPUs. I've also worked with the now obsolete Cyrix line of CPUs - which in their day, had some distinct performance advantages over Intel's CPUs. I'm not ANTI-AMD by any means. I think AMD's offerings have their place in the market. While Intel remains KING in the CPU world - I believe that cheaper Intel-compatible alternative CPUs are healthy in that they force Intel to be more innovative and price-competitive in the market place.
Yes, I agree that there is a place for AMD since they cost less. However, a Celeron is not just a Pentium with a disabled FPU these days (especially considering how Pentiums are no longer made... though the name "Pentium" has been rebranded on some recent dual-cores). The most recent Celeron has only half the L2 cache of the chip is was based upon, and that is the only difference. And while in the past gamers went with AMD CPUs because they were better performing, this is no longer the case, and Intel CPUs are now the choice of gamers. However, AMD CPUs are not chosen because they are better overclockers. A Pentium 4 holds the record for the highest speed with over 8ghz. The highest clocked AMD chip is just over 4ghz. Pentium 4s were great overclockers, much better than the Athlons. Even now, it is easy to get a Core 2 to overclock over 1ghz its default speed, while you are lucky to get 300mhz out of an AMD. And all multipliers are locked these days by both companies, except in "extreme editions" (Intel) and "black box editions" (AMD), which tend to be a good deal more expensive than those with locked multipliers. However, with a good motherboard and RAM, it is easy to get everything out of an overclock via FSB that you could've via multiplier.In response to the very long video/sound paragraph...
I completely agree with going with a dedicated video solution in just about every situation. No motherboard has high quality onboard video comparable to a decent dedicated video card. I was just saying that just because a motherboard has onboard video, doesn't mean it is impossible to be upgraded (which you seemed to suggest in your first post).
As for sound, not every motherboard uses AC97. My EVGA 680i uses HD Azalia audio which supports 7.1 channels. Keeping in mind that sound cards are rendered useless in some situations under Vista
, you can see why when you say a dedicated sound card will speed up gaming, this is just not true if the user will be using Vista. In fact, they won't even make the game sound better! As multi-core systems become the norm, I wouldn't be surprised if we stop seeing dedicated sound cards (this is what the Vista developers were thinking). Therefore, unless the user has a specific need for a dedicated sound card, I'm reluctant to recommend them.In response to the long optical drive paragraph...
I see where you're coming from in that you like Memorex as they offered similar performance for much less. However, these days, all DVD-burning drives are similarly priced, and Pioneers certainly aren't so astronomically priced. For example, this oft-recommended drive
is only $31. I don't even see a Memorex drive listed on Newegg.
I agree with you 100% about overclocking! I've experimented with overclocking extensively on a variety of motherboards/cpu's and I've come to the conclusion that if you need a stable, reliable system - overclocking is a BAD idea.
Overclocking done right should not have an effect on the stability of the system. If it does, then it was either not done right, or it was too ambitious an overclock. I'm not saying that everyone should overclock, but I also don't think users should be shunned away from it either.
The fact that you're running AutoCad and other CPU intensive applications only confirms my original suggestion to go with an Intel CPU rather than an AMD CPU. Intel CPU's have superior FPU's (Floating Point Units) or built-in math co-processor. This is what has given Intel an edge or AMD and Cyrix over the years. Intel's CPU architechture tends to be more conservative when it comes to voltage and heat dissapation - making Intel Processors less prone to thermal failure. AMD and Cyrix have gained performace by pushing the limits of their CPU's by overclocking them - which makes them run hotter and more prone to thermal failure. If you're looking for a fast, cheaper PC - AMD is a good option. Intel's superior FPU makes it a better choice when it comes to Floating-Point intensive applications - such as AutoCad or any application that uses intensive Floating-Point processing for rendering graphics.
Again, while the floating point calculation advantage may have gone to Intel in the past, there is currently no real difference as both Intel and AMD use nearly identical instruction sets. A quick google shows that Cyrix was pretty much out of the business by 1997. Again, you cannot back up your statements with info this old, considering how quickly hardware changes. As for the lower voltage and heat dissipation, in (recent) history Intel has actually been on the high end on this, especially during the Netburst era (P4 and Pentium D). With the introduction of the Core 2 lineup, Intel got much better going from a TDP of 130W with a Pentium D to 65W with a Core 2 Duo. However, AMD's most recent AMD Athlon X2's have a TDP of only 45W, still giving AMD the edge in this sector. And as I pointed out, a manufacterer cannot overclock their own parts by definition. From what I've read it seems that Cyrix came closer to underclocking their parts... They advertised a CPU which would run at 433mhz, yet it only ran at 300mhz.
Anyways, to the original poster:
Do you have an exact budget? Because while a workstation GPU is very useful for things like AutoCAD, they can also be very expensive (>$2000!).
Edited by stettybet0, 31 March 2008 - 04:24 PM.