AMD K6-2 450, 475, or 500?
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Dear CPU Scorekeeper

All other things equal, would I benefit by upgrading an AMD K6-2 processor from 450 to 475 or 500?

The price increases would be:

450 to 475 - add $25
450 to 500 - add $45

Please tell me how to get the best bang for my buck!

- - K.A., December 1999

See the questionCPU Scorekeeper Responds

We have a tool just for you: our CPU Comparator.

As the Comparator shows, the K6-2/475 is about 5% faster than your current CPU. The 500MHz version is almost 10% faster.

Is the extra speed worth an extra $45? Think of it like a (much simplified) business decision:

  1. If you are a typical computer user, your CPU only works hard about 50% of the time--
    --up to an average of 80-90% of the time during graphics-intensive games;
    --maybe 10% of the time when word processing and writing e-mail.
  2. From this premise, during an average hour of computing you would spend about 3 minutes less time waiting for a K6-2/500 to respond than you would your current processor.
    {60 minutes x 50% CPU activity x 10% faster speed}
  3. If you were paid a salary of, let's say $15 per hour (25 cents per minute), the faster processor would save 75 cents per hour or $6 per day in productivity that would otherwise be lost waiting for the computer.
    {$0.25 x 3 minutes per hour x 8 hours per day}
  4. At this rate, the cost of the faster processor would be paid back in productivity gains in a little more than 1 week!

Of course, this is just an estimate based on some very hypothetical numbers. Your mileage will vary. But if you are a serious gamer, the extra speed would be noticeable, all for the cost of one of those Pokemon trading cards you weren't going to buy, anyway...

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