P4 vs. Athlon XP-M 2500+

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by maggandre, Dec 27, 2003.

  1. OK, I don't know much about processors. Is there a huge difference between the P4 and the Athlon? My gut tells me to stick with the Pentium, but I REALLY don't know the advantages of one over the other (or the disadvantages...).

    Any input would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  2. nitro


    if you are comparing a regular P4 against an "M" version processor, the M will always lose.

    M stand for Mobile, and these CPU's are made to take up less electricity (in laptops) than their non-M "normal" CPU's.

    Now, if you meant you wanted to compare against the Intel M versions, then the answer is more interesting, and then IMHO, the Athlons probably have a small edge, but this is all very application dependent...

  3. Thanks nitro - both are the Mobile version (laptops). To make it more interesting, here are more detailed specs:

    533MHz system bus
    Video Mem - 32MB
    Graphics - Intel 852GM
    Display - 1024X768 TFT active matrix

    266MHz system bus
    Video Mem - 64MB DDR SDRAM (shared)
    Graphics - ATI Mobility RADEON 4X AGP and 3D architecture
    Display - XGA TFT

    I do alot with my digital camera and uploading viewing pics - the Athlon seems to have better video/graphics - but is it that big a difference?

    Any help is appreciated - both are the same price, same memory, same hard drive.
  4. newtoet


    I would go with the P4, but then again I am no expert.

  5. ***bump***
  6. Roscoe


    I did some asking around before I got my current (Athalon) setup and the feedback I got was that the Athalon is better for more numerically intense operations. I asked my ISP, who does SETI runs. He has two machines that he uses for this: a twin cpu setup running 2x 2.0 P4's; and a single Athalon +1800. He finds that the Athalon runs noticably faster than the twin P4 setup. Bear in mind that this is pure number crunching.

    I do some monster data processing runs and the Athalon does this to my satisfaction, but I do not have a P4 setup to compare to.

    For my money (and intended use) go for the Athalon.
  7. nitro



    The detail information helps.

    What you do with the pictures is important. Just loading them would favor the faster system bus on the P4, however, the Athlons compensate in other ways. if you manipulate the pictures once they are in RAM, that complicates things considerably.

    Really, if one type of CPU was grossly better than the other, it would literally crater the market for that CPU once it became known. People worry too much about CPU speed when the software they run makes at least as much if not more of a difference than the CPU for some things, and in your case, the video card is probably more important than CPU speed.

    If it were a toss up, I would always choose Intel because it is (almost always) more important to have software that won't crash than one that runs faster.

    If you have a piece of software that you run that is critical to you, what I recommend is that you call the company of the sofware and ask if they have done tests on the different CPU's and video cards. You may be surprised to learn that they have and that they have a recommendation.

    Another thing you could do is to go to the online forum for that company's software and ask the question. Most of these people's experience is worth more than theoretical benchmarks - they have realworld experience and may even have numbers on a system similar to the one's you are considering.

    If you want my opinion, go Athlon.

  8. nitro


    The Athlons used to outperform all P4's. For example, for the last three years the Athlons have beat the P4 in the CPU intensive application Premiere:


    However, the new P4 Extreme Edition P4EE:


    blows away all the Athlon chips out of the water now on Premiere.

    Benchmarks are one thing - real world applications are another. To top it all, not all CPU's are automatically faster on one application than the other. For example, I have seen situations where a large L2 cache is actually slower than using a CPU with a smaller L2 cache! BTW, the P4EE has a L1, L2 and a L3 cache :eek:

    It is not so simple.

  9. Used to? :p The application and synthetic benchmarks currently give the edge to the garden-variety P4, the P4EE blows them all away as you stated. I'm not running Adobe Premiere for trading. :D and most trading apps aren't very CPU intensive.

    I run an FX51 system and it's extremely fast, but that's why benchmarks are a useful standard -- where we have no direct basis for comps. I think the edge will again flow to AMD when they get their clocks up to Intel speeds.

    For trading it matters little, any chip over 2GHz will perform more than adequately -- I think we're in agreement on that issue.


    #10     Dec 29, 2003