AMD Processor


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There's little doubt that Intel's Pentium chips are currently ahead in the pure performance battle against AMD, but for value for money CPUs that operate as fast as you'll probably ever need them (and overclockable if necessary) AMD is still hard to fault.

The AMD Bartons operate at a slightly lower clock frequency than the earlier Thoroughbreds, but more than counter this by having much chunkier L2 cache memory which means more data closer to the processor itself, meaning faster processing.

The XP3200 is in this spec for its performance, but price becomes the real issue when actually choosing your next chip. While this chip is the fastest of the AMDs at the moment (until the next gen 64 bit 'Opteron' emerges) a more realistic buy for around £150 less (at time of writing) would be the XP3000+.

Same L1 (128K) and L2 (512K) cache as the XP3200+ but 333Mhz FSB compared to the XP3200's 400MHz. Is that extra bus speed worth all that cash?

Halving your outgoings another 50% (to around £100 or less if you shop around) and you can pick up a tasty T'Bred XP2700+. This has the slightly higher core clock speed, but smaller cache, but it's easily and eminently overclockable.

XP3200+ if you really have the cash or must have the best, but XP2700+ for the 'common sense' buyer who wants to overclock and laugh loudly when spending the money saved on an extra gig of ram or a top end vid card
 

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