Processor choice - which to go for?
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  1. #1
    The Prancing Pirate
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    Processor choice - which to go for?

    I am trying to decide on which processor to get for a close relative's PC, but I'm not sure which one to go for. I know this is a much-debated topic, but I just want a couple of opinions. I'm looking for something powerful enough to run the latest games, office applications (minimum load time), and possibly an image editing app like Photoshop (although if it's good enough for the latest games then I'm sure it won't have a problem with that). I'm not looking for something too expensive, but a good all-rounder for a desktop.

    I'm slightly wary or 64-bit processors, because as much as I'd love my relative to run Linux on the PC, that's not going to happen any time soon - and I'm sure there are still quite a few Windows apps which do not work on 64-bit systems. So, I could go for a 64-bit processor and run 32-bit Windows XP so that all apps can be run, but then I'll be losing the 64-bit functionality. However, if I go for a 64-bit processor (like AMD's Athlon 64) with 64-bit XP, I run the risk of my relative not being able to run her favourite apps.

    Any help greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    -jk
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  2. #2
    Right turn Clyde Nokia's Avatar
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    Hi J-K9,

    You can still run any app using a 64bit AMD - its the OS that will stop you using them. Stick with XP or anyother non 64 bit OS and you wont have a problem what-so-ever. The CPU is fully backward compatable and wont stop you using any Application.

    Whats your price range for it and what motherboard have you got, socket/chipset?
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  3. #3
    Jaded Network Admin nebulus200's Avatar
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    I've been running an AMD 64 4000+ for over a year now in Windows XP Pro (32bit) (and another one running Fedora Core 3 32 bit) and have noticed not a single issue. I have had issues with 64 bit versions of both operating systems and applications working correctly; however, that is an OS/application issue that is separate from the microprocessor.

    My personal choice ATM would be a dual core AMD 64 chip. Go with the biggest L2 cache you can afford if you are going to be using it for gaming (the 4000 is the first with 1M, everything below that isn't FX uses 512K).
    There is only one constant, one universal, it is the only real truth: causality. Action. Reaction. Cause and effect...There is no escape from it, we are forever slaves to it. Our only hope, our only peace is to understand it, to understand the 'why'. 'Why' is what separates us from them, you from me. 'Why' is the only real social power, without it you are powerless.

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  4. #4
    The Prancing Pirate
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    Aye - that's why I don't think that if I do get a 64-bit proc in the end then using it with Windows XP 64-bit Edition wouldn't be a great idea..

    On the price range note, I've spoken to her and we've (or rather, I have) come to the conclusion that buying a new box is the best solution. That old one is already choking on all the dust its accumulated over the years, and I can't say that the 15" CRT is a beauty either I think I'm going for a box 1500 or under, so that looks like more than enough to get some good specs. Any suggestions?

    Cheers,

    -jk

    [edit]
    My personal choice ATM would be a dual core AMD 64 chip.
    That's what I was thinking of - although admittedly they are quite expensive. Any good deals within the UK would be great.

    //me goes off to Dell to have a look
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  5. #5
    Right turn Clyde Nokia's Avatar
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    Normaly if a user had 1500 to spend on a PC I would reccommend purchasing it retail - if your willing to spend that much the bundled extras and upgrades you can ask for are endless I.E. TFT monitors, printer, routers, hardware upgrades etc, plus you have a come back if it all goes wrong!

    But - I get the feeling your just itching to build your own box!

    Hang on - will go look at a few things for ya!

    Your in the good ol' UK right?

    //STAY AWAY FROM DELL!!!!
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  6. #6
    The Prancing Pirate
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    But - I get the feeling your just itching to build your own box!
    LOL - trust me, if I was trusted to do what I can, then I would. But seeing as (for some unknown reason) she thinks I will fux0r everything up if I build it myself, I have been restricted from doing so.

    So, I've been forced to go retail. I looked at Dell, but they seem to be focused on Pentium Ds and Extreme (dual-core + HyperThreading).

    Any tips?

    Cheers,

    -jk

    [edit] Stay away from Dell? Interesting...
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  7. #7
    Right turn Clyde Nokia's Avatar
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    Couple of peaches here:

    http://www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/sto...uct&sku=085705

    http://www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/sto...874&tabIndex=1

    Graphics arnt the best in the world - but you will still have 600 left over to sort that minor problem out!

    Since your in the UK, take a trip to PC world and talk to one of the guys/gals there, ive found that if you haggle with them you can get all sorts of **** thrown in when spending a fair ammount (apparentyl they get a commission from every sale, so threaten to walk away and watch them start arse lickin!)

    I took my little sister down there a few months ago to help her buy a PC - ended up geting a wireless router and NIC, Printer, a bigger TFT monitor and an extra years warranty thrown it!

    //Yeah, IMHO dell make the cheapest budget systems they can with the cheapest parts they can get away with, and if you ever have a problem with it and need to talk to their customer support....... well, you might as well just not bother!
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  8. #8
    if I go for a 64-bit processor (like AMD's Athlon 64) with 64-bit XP, I run the risk of my relative not being able to run her favourite apps.
    It won't matter at all either way running 32 bit apps if you get a 64 bit CPU.

    All of the newest CPUs are 64 bit so getting one would be a given.

    I'm not looking for something too expensive, but a good all-rounder for a desktop.
    Price range?

  9. #9
    Right turn Clyde Nokia's Avatar
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    Why dont you read all the posts in the thread @tt!tud3, it will save you repeating info that has already been posted and answer your price range question.
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  10. #10
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    I'm partial to AMD. But that's just me.

    In my experience, AMD is generally a little bit more stable and cooler than Pentiums.

    It has been shown that AMD is better for gaming and it's architecture lets it handle some things better, but Pentiums still top the charts in music/video apps and pure speed.

    I would say go for an AMD Athlon 64 between the 3000 - 3700 range. Depending on your budget. 3500+ is a safe bet if it's not too expensive.
    .:coming soon:.

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