For a set of low-cost, medium-demand,
internet-capable computers, you are basically looking at the Celeron and
Pentium-II lines from Intel, and the K6-2 series from AMD. For really
low-priced systems, you might even consider the Cyrix M2.
CPU's having speeds ranging from 300-400MHz should be suitable for your
needs. And as you can see from our CPU Scorecard,
the price range will usually start with Cyrix systems at the low end, AMD
& Celeron systems near the middle, with Pentium-II's costing the most.
If you want to stick with industry leader Intel, go for a Celeron--
near the speed of a Pentium-II at a
much lower price (although, as the Pentium-II line is more or less being
discontinued these days, you may find a good deal on a PII system). For
upgradeability, get the Socket370 (PPGA or Plastic Pin Grid Array), not
the Slot1 version.
For value and upgradeability, go for an AMD K6-2
system on a Super7 motherboard. AMD systems are good for general business
applications and provide decent gaming enhancements with their 3DNow!
Of course, if cost is your main consideration, you'll find Cyrix
systems will provide adequate processing power for the lowest price
around. What you won't get is a lot of upgradeability or blazing game