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Old October 31st, 2003, 02:46 PM   #31
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Even at anandtech.com, the P4 3.2 non-EE comes ahead of the Athlon 64 and 64FX for most content creation benchmarks, which is what I'm primarily interested in and what I imagine most people here will be interested in.

Plus, is there any guarantee Intel's future 64-bit chips will be compatible with the Athlon 64? Must Intel adopt AMD's 64-bit architecture? If not, how do we know that in two years the Athlon 64 won't be all but useless?
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Old October 31st, 2003, 11:22 PM   #32
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There are benchmarks, and then there are benchmarks.

Xbit Labs http:/www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/athlon64-fx51_12.html and PC World http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,112749,pg,5,00.asp

both have benchmark tests which put the AMD64 on top in common video editing tasks like Premiere, Photoshop, and Procoder. For games, the AMD64 is the clear winner. For video editing, right now it looks pretty even.

But the fact is, every review I've seen gives the nod to AMD over the current 3.2 P4, and the EE P4 is still a paper launch for maybe another month or so. And by the time it does launch, AMD will be shipping faster models.

> Plus, is there any guarantee Intel's future 64-bit chips will be compatible with the Athlon 64? Must Intel adopt AMD's 64-bit architecture?

Intel has 2 problems with 64 bits, AMD and Intel! If Intel makes a 32/64 bit chip like the AMD64, prospective Itanium buyers are going to wonder why they are paying thousands extra for 64 bit capability and almost no software.

Microsoft has already spent a couple of years and many millions developing an AMD64 compatible version Windows. There are hundreds of sofware packages that have been reprogrammed for the AMD64 by major software companies. AMD64 boards and chips are available now. Intel doesn't have 64 bit motherboards or chips right now. Most industry insiders think Microsoft can't possibly want to support 2 similar consumer 64 bit versions and AMD is in the drivers seat.

>If not, how do we know that in two years the Athlon 64 won't be all but useless?
The AMD64 will be able to run all of today's 32 bit software and all the 64 bit software that comes out in the next 2 years. The P4 will only be able to run today's 32 bit software. What do you think is going to be more useless in 2 years???
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Old November 1st, 2003, 07:39 AM   #33
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Well, these benchmarks are only testing the 64FX, which is $300 more than the P4 3.2, so that's out of the question. Also even then the benchmarks show the P4 ahead most of the time. Your XBitLabs article, for example, shows the P4 ahead almost all the time! Only in a couple of instances, like Premier, was the Athlon slightly ahead.

Here's what I'm worried about, ok? We spent many many years with 32-bit Intel chips and no 32-bit software to run them. Of course Intel was making them anyway and we had no choice. But now there is a choice, and since the Athlon doesn't hyperthread, meaning I'd have to get two PCs to really do stuff I want to do simultaneously, I'm probably going to buy Intel. Then I'll give it a couple of years for the 64-bit standard to settle down. But I"ve gotten screwed too often as an "early adopter" to go into this now head first.
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Old November 1st, 2003, 03:25 PM   #34
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> Only in a couple of instances, like Premier, was the Athlon slightly ahead.

Like I said, there are benchmarks, and there are benchmarks. You can have 10 benchmarks that measure essentially the same thing or give 90% emphasis to only 1 aspect where a CPU excels, and 10% to another aspect where it does poorly. A comment was made that the P4 was the superior performer for video editing. Premiere is probably the most popular "power" video editing program.

>But now there is a choice, and since the Athlon doesn't hyperthread, meaning I'd have to get two PCs to really do stuff I want to do simultaneously, I'm probably going to buy Intel.

If hyperthreading is your deciding reason for choosing a computer, you should probably do some more reseach on hyperthreading. Hyperthreading does NOT let you process 2 instructions simultaneously because there is still only 1 CPU. Rather simplistically, hyperthreading speeds up the switching between different processing threads, but they are still processed sequentially and only 1 thread is executed at the same time. If you want to run 2 programs with essentially no slowdown in either program, you want to get a dual processor computer, dual Xeons, dual Opterons, dual G5's, etc.
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Old November 2nd, 2003, 06:55 AM   #35
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I understand exactly what hyperthreading does, and it is my primary reason for wanting the P4. I was going to go with dual CPU, but it's way too expensive, and when I'm running multiple apps, like video encoding while checking e-mail, the HT chip is clearly going to do a much better job of task switching than the A64.
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Old November 2nd, 2003, 08:38 AM   #36
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In my current desktop, my computer slows down quite a bit when I'm printing. If I get a P4 with hyperthreading, will that improve the speed of opening web pages, working on excel files, etc., while I'm also printing?
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Old November 2nd, 2003, 05:36 PM   #37
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Quote:
Hyperthreading does NOT let you process 2 instructions simultaneously because there is still only 1 CPU.
Well actually that's kind of what hyperthreading does. Sometimes you can't process 2 instructions at once, leading to a speed reduction. See this article: http://arstechnica.com/paedia/h/hype...reading-1.html

What you really need to know is this: On average, hyperthreading improves performance when there are 2 threads running.
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Old November 2nd, 2003, 06:14 PM   #38
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And on average, in Windows, chances are multiple threads will be running. In fact it's virtually guaranteed, even if your individual software application is not multi-threaded.
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