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"This is the aspect that is seemingly most important to your modern day computer phoebe..."





Speed

This is the aspect that is seemingly most important to your modern day computer phoebe; after all, what's the point in upgrading or buying a new system if you don't want better performance? Perhaps the most important thing to remember here is that Mhz/Ghz don't always spell 'speed'. When it comes down to it, this can be a very controversial area for several reasons.

Firstly, AMD may be ahead in Mhz but Intels chip architecture means they are ahead on a point-to-point (AMD K7-800 vs Intel P3 [Coppermine] 800) basis. However the earlier K7's are so dramatically overclockable that they can run ahead, not to mention that AMD's prices are now far lower than Intels.

Lets not forget the motherboards as well; K7 started ahead thanks to its partial 200Mhz Dual FSB, yet lost it later because the bus wasn't global. This meant that Ram and AGP alike were limited to a 100Mhz bandwidth while coppermine steamed ahead with a 133Mhz Global FSB. Thanks to newer motherboards you can now overclock the Athlon, for example, my K7-550 runs @ 684 Mhz (700Core) but uses a 114Mhz FSB, making for 228Mhz DFSB. We prefer to think that in taking this into account, both remain on fairly level and equal ground.

Cost

As previously mention, there is no doubt about the fact that AMD is easily winning in the cost department. Their K7-500 is around 50 ($70) in the UK from some places thanks to the most recent price drop in the last week or so. Compare that to a more expensive Coppermine 500 and it's obvious what the differences are. Prices do tend to pan out with the higher performance chips, but as always you can expect AMD to be ahead when it comes to price (or rather below).

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