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Old 08-28-2005, 10:20 AM   #1
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Question ?? Athlon or Intel for musical applications ??

Hi people, I desperately need your help today. The thing is that I am looking to buy a brand new *reliable* PC. I have been going through a lot of reviews and websites over the past days and thought I had well-chosen but when I read the review AMD Athlon vs. P4 ; I freaked out. I wanted to get a 3.0 GHZ P4 775 using Asus P5RD1-V, Kingston 1024Mb DDR2 400 and Maxtor SATA 120 Gb. I am not a gamer and will mostly use my equipment for music editing, sequencing and basic mixing. Nothing professional here, just someone who plays music and wants to customize his own sounds and beats. Iíve had a look at reviews about sound cards and chose Creative Audigy 4. Iíll play my MP3s using my home stereo. I would like my motherboard to have an S-video out to use XP Media Center and play movies from my PC to TV. I will probably buy a decent video card later but will focus on sound for now.

Just like anyone, I am concerned about the upgradeability and would like to get something that wonít run out of date tomorrow morning. From what I know and have heard over the years, I thought Intel processors were the best choice but am not convinced anymore. If I choose Athlon, what socket would suit me best? Anything particular I gotta be aware of? I donít wanna spend my $ on something that isnít the best pick. I have read about dual core processor and would like to know if they may be useful for my needs (though I guess they are more expensive). Also, I wonder if itís really worth having a CPU fan or should I simply get a better main one.

So, if anyone has a comment or an advice to share, Iíd really appreciate. Please send me a load of replies so that Iíll be able to make the best choice.

ďThe more I know, the more I know I donít knowĒ
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Old 08-28-2005, 10:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: ?? Athlon or Intel for musical applications ??

really for the sound that you're interested in, a good sound card would be key, and the audigy 4 is a great card. As for processors I would say something like an Athlon 64 3200-3500 would suffice for what you are trying to do. yes, Intel used to be the best, but AMD is clearly the leader now, due to their better approach to 64 bit computing, and their dual core cpu's blow intel completely out of the water. once both companies have all their cards on the table, AMD will emerge as the clear leader.
And, yes the dual core cpu's are more expensive, I guess the lowest dual core AMD is going to be like 500 bucks and going all the way to over a grand for the highest one. but the advantage is, you can take any socket 939 motherboard and give it a bios upgrade for the dual core cpu's and you'll be good to go.
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Old 08-28-2005, 11:31 AM   #3
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Well since u don't play games Intel would seem like a good option since it's better in multitasking. But I'd still take an AMD because the difference in multitasking ain't a huge one, and just in case u ever want to play games AMD is better at them. And yes, Intel used to be the best but now Amd kicks ass in gaming, and doesn't lose much in multitasking so Amd is better atm. And from what I hear socket 939 is the one with the best upgrading possibilities.

The only big disadvantage of Amd is that they don't work with ddr2 memory, so it's just plain ddr for amd users.
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Old 08-28-2005, 12:51 PM   #4
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OK for Athlon. A friend of mine was recommending the X2 3800, which is one of the cheapest DC processor. There IS a gap on prices but maybe the idea isn't that awkward.

Regarding RAM, is there a very important difference comparing 1 gig DDR & 1 Gig DDR2. Can you guys quickly explain the features od each of 'em.

Finally, I thought that CPU Idel Extreme with a powerful main fan would be sufficient. Is a CPu fan mandatory??
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Old 08-28-2005, 12:52 PM   #5
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And what about a decent motherboard for socket 939 you've heard about??
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Old 08-28-2005, 05:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: ?? Athlon or Intel for musical applications ??

yes a fan and heatsink on the cpu IS mandatory....unless you want your computer to work for just a couple mins then have the processor burn up.
as for motherboards...Asus, MSI, DFI...those are a few good brands
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Old 08-30-2005, 04:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: ?? Athlon or Intel for musical applications ??

AMD, anyday. You don't have to think about CPU, just make sure it's AMD, preferably with Cool 'n' Quiet technology, and get a good sound card.

Go for an Athlon 64 3000+ Venice, if you don't do high-end work, such as extreme gaming and video-editing, and heavy multi-tasking.

That way, you can upgrade to an X2 or FX in future.
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Old 08-31-2005, 10:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: ?? Athlon or Intel for musical applications ??

Depends how much money you're willing to spend on a CPU. An Athlon X2 murders any Intel CPU and would be the wiser choice, but I'm not sure if you can afford any of it's chips, hence the reason why I asked what your budget was for a CPU. If you can't, then I'd suggest getting a P4.
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Old 08-31-2005, 10:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: ?? Athlon or Intel for musical applications ??

Oh yeah!! The Athlon X2 will own Intel. It's not that much really. It's like $300 some odd dollars. They're almost the same price as the Athlon 64's!!!!!!! Gone down quite a bit since it's initial release. It's a must have especially if you're into doing multiple things (you mentioned Media Center edition). You'll be doing a lot of multitasking with that and the dual core Athlon X2 will handle it nicely. The X2 is new too.
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Old 08-31-2005, 11:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: ?? Athlon or Intel for musical applications ??

Yeah the X2 is the most impressive CPU out (not including the Cell). It does all the regular AMD tasks just as good as always, but now can do all the Intel tasks and do them better. There is pretty much no reason to go Intel anymore if you can afford any of these CPU's, they do it all. But like I said, only IF you can afford it. If not, then you have to wonder which CPU to go with because the other P4's do some things better than the other AMD's. Man, when I afford an X2 (or need one at least since my 3500 is still holding up well), I'm buying one asap.
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