• 08/15/2005
    2:30 PM
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CPU Buyer's Guide

We've put together a comprehensive buyer's guide to Intel's and AMD's lineups, from performance processors to the high-end, mid-range, and value categories. We have specs, prices, and pertinent performance information.
  • The nice thing about the X2 4800+ and 4600+, however, is that they present an easy upgrade path. If you're already running Athlon CPUs on Socket 939, you don't have to buy a new motherboard to utilize these CPUs. Again, given the massive movement toward dual-core CPUs, it's highly likely that more and more applications as well as Windows Vista will be coded to take advantage of dual-core processors. That gives these CPUs extended longevity.

    Intel Pentium 4 670: Formerly known as the Prescott Pentium 4, the 670 runs at a blistering hot (literally) 3.8GHz. Besides the fast clock speed, these CPUs feature a gargantuan two-megabyte L2 cache, which greatly aids performance in all applications, particularly gaming and video. The price tag for all this is close to $1,000.

    It's worth noting that for a few hundred dollars less, you can get comparable single-thread performance with the high-end Pentium 4 660, 571, and 570J, which are detailed on the next page.

    Athlon 64 FX-55: This is the same exact processor as the Athlon FX-57, except that the clock speed is only 2.6GHZ instead of 2.8GHz. The difference in performance isn't tremendous, and the price is only around $860, so if you're considering a performance CPU, the FX-55 is an excellent lower-cost alternative to the FX-57.

  • High-End Processors

    AMD Processors: Athlon 64 X2 4400+, Athlon 64 X2 4200+, Athlon 64 4000+, Athlon 64 3800+, Athlon 64 3700+

    Intel Processors: Pentium D 840, Pentium D 830, Pentium 4 660, Pentium 4 571, Pentium 4 570J

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