I'm buying a new CPU. My trusty PII-233
has served me well, but it's time to say good-bye! I want to hit the
600MHz group BUT
PIII 600B or Athlon 600??
All the signs point to Athlon: more bus, higher benchmark scores and
better prices!! The MoBo might run me a couple bucks more but that's no
problem. For some strange reason, I feel that if I buy an AMD I will be
giving something up...WHAT is it? I can't find it, but I can't kick the
Is there ANY advantage the PIII has over the Athlon? Is there ANY
reason I should pay more money and give up performance to stay in the
In addition, what about RAM? With whatever CPU I pick, will PC133
RAM help or even work? Is PC100 just fine?
The main advantage that the Pentium-III
line has over its Athlon competitor
is the wider third-party support for motherboards and their SSE
(multimedia) instruction set for gaming applications. Most developers,
including Microsoft with Windows' Direct-X
drivers, support both SSE and AMD's roughly equivalent 3DNow!
technology. This increased support for Intel is due only to their
respected name, long history, and continued dominance in the industry,
rather than to any overwhelming technical advantages at this point.
Leaving the Intel processor family for AMD's new hotshot on the block
can thus feel somewhat like betraying an old, trusted friend. Rest
assured, however, that there are millions of computer users around the
world that are very satisfied having AMD inside. Ideally, any buying
decision should be devoid of emotion to ensure the best performing
system for your needs and budget. In reality, you also need to
consider the relationships you may have with your local retailers for
support and advice in the future.
PC133 RAM is still somewhat of an emerging technology, offering
varying degrees of performance gain and stability depending on how
much you want to spend. Beware of retailers re-marking (and
re-pricing) PC100 RAM that has merely 'tested' OK at 133MHz.
That being said, many motherboards still do not fully support PC133
RAM or, as is the case for current Athlon boards, run it at only
On the cheap, PC100 RAM will do just fine for now. Springing for PC133
RAM will, however, better future-proof your system as motherboard
capabilities improve. Just make sure you check out the
system configuration recommendations for both Athlon
processors before you buy.
For some additional advice on the subject, see the following links from CNet's Help
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