Best processor for under $230?



Hello all, I am looking to invest in a processor that is fast in almost every type of application from games, etc… to burning dvds. I saw some problems associated with the Athlon 64 and SP2, as well as my friend had problems with that type of processor as well. The motherboards for the 64 look to be in my opinion a bit un-quality type, as for the athlon xp mbs they are great. Well I am looking to invest in an Intel processor since of the many bad reviews and problems associated with the 64 2800, 3000, 3200, etc. and sp2 for windows and the fact that you can’t really untilize 64 technology yet. I was looking at the prescott processors by Intel and read some reviews and well they are not so impressive as the reviews state, so northwood it seems they are leaning towards. What is the best processor today to buy for <= $230 , made by Intel where you can play every game around today as well utilize every application today with no sort of problems??? What other hardware with it would go well with it as well? Well I hope someone out there can answer my questions. Thanks



May I see your sources/reviews?
I’d say that A64 is the way to go,
Foxconn have a very stable mainboard that isn’t expensive and features about everything a common user will need.

As for CPU go with a AMD 64 3200+ or a 3000+ (BOXED).



Well I think it was Tom’s hardware where I saw benchmark tests etc. as well as forum section where people were saying they were having problems with the 64 becasue of sp2 and I know my friend had a problem with his. Can I ask you one more thing, and this is the reason why I am looking at an Intel more, in what ways can you utilize the 64 bit proc when everything out there is 32bit? Like I have an 9800 ati Pro 128mb v.card, now having a 64 how will that affect playing games in a more positive or not?


Take a look, as you can see A64 is faster than Intels counterparts (depending on appliction) and getting an equal processor from Intel will cost more than what you can afford.

Right now pretty much everything uses 32-bit and even in that area A64 is great but it’ll be nice to have 64-bit instructions when developers starts to use them.


I saw that article already and I appreciate your help, thank you but I think I will wait a bit longer until they have more applications in 64 bit and when they get better motherboards for the 64, it is just a bit of a gamble for me, but thanks again. One question wouldn’t it be better to invest in a athlon 64 socket 939 then a 754 or even a 940 since a 940 uses registered ram while the 939 uses unregistered. It would be a faster computer overall or no?


The performance is neglible between 754 vs 939 even though 939 is Dual Channel, as for mainboard I beg to differ. The current ones are mature and do not have any issues that’s caused by badly designed hardware.


Can you perhaps provide me with some links to these articles concerning A64 and SP2 problems? I’m not aware of any problems with these two. I’m very interested… (my A64 works flawless).


I have been on the verge of getting a new pc for a while now, but since i have been think about it the sct 939 has arrived. some no frills questions :
sct 939 or 754 ?
AMD 64 3200, 3400 or 3500 (I know this may depend on the 1st answer) ?
MSI K8T Neo2 type board or not?

Does anyone know a decent website that does reviews on motherboards and different chipsets etc (like this one except more recent) and that are NOT biased / sponsored by certain manufactureers etc. ?



I just saw the A64 3800+ on newegg. Ohhh /me drools. God I want that processor :slight_smile:

Ahh here it is, only $630


Motherboard Review

As for chips I would go for the 3500 as it can be overclocked quite readily to equal the 3800


There is a bug regarding Windows XP SP2’s NoExecute feature and the Athlon 64. It can, in some cases, cause a machine to reboot repeatedly if certain apps are run. One can however, create exceptions to NoExecute, or turn it off. This is not a bug in AMD’s processor though, but rather an inherent flaw in the software applications that cause the problem to occur.

This is no reason to not buy the Athlon 64, which is an excellent processor. Mature, reliable motherboards are available for it by ASUS, MSI, DFI and others, and it has been proven that the Socket 754 architecture is at most 5% (in some cases as low as 2%) slower, because the Athlon 64 is not as dependant on extreme memory bandwidth as the Pentium 4.

The P4 is mature technology, but given the choice, I’d buy an Athlon 64 any day, which has proven so far to be far more scalable architecture. It leads 32-bit performance right now, and when 64-bit becomes commonplace, you won’t have to swap out to a new setup to be compatible.

P.S. Tom’s Hardware Guide is not the best hardware site to rely upon for reviews, but relying on one hardware guide for the sole opinion of what to buy, regardless of who it is, is also a bad idea. If you are going solely by reviews, add a few more places like the Tech Report, Anandtech, HardOCP, and more.


There is no reason to buy a 32-bit Pentium at the moment … AMD64’s are faster and 64-bit (which means longetivity).

I would recommend the box version which includes a very good heatsink and keeps the processor at low temperatures.
Also it provides a 3-year guarantee.


Read this Anandtech guide and I´m sure you will get some ideas how to build a killer system.

Yeah, I´m on Intel P4 (2.8@3.4) but AMD64 seems to be the best choice right now. :wink:

BTW, the new AMD Sempron is agreat value and a top overclocker (+/-260 busspeed ) according to Anandtech tests! :cool: