Is there much point going AMD?

I am going to build a new computer, and I get the choice of lots of different processors, I am looking at either a:
AMD ATHLONâ„¢ 64 X2 6400+ (3.2GHz) 2 x 1MB L2 Cache (Socket AM2)
or a
Intel® Core™2 Extreme QX6850 (4 X 3 GHz) 1333MHz FSB/8MB L2 Cache)

The first one being much cheaper, the second starting to really push my price barrier.

Would I be at a great disadvantage going for the AMD option? How do these 2 compare? Will the AMD be outdated too quickly? I am aiming to be running Crysis on highish settings and I am hoping for the nVidia 9000 series to come out before I buy this, will any better AMD’s come out at around that time? I dont know what to do!

The sad reality is that no matter what you do, you will be obsolete by year end. The main difference I see is with future offerings where Intel seems to have the advantage over AMD. I would see no reason not to go with AMD even with their current position and offerings. The CPU speed is irrelevant for anything other than benchmarks and gaming. For gaming, the graphics is more important than additional CPU speed or multi cores. The main thing to remember is to stick with Win. XP until Vista SP1 comes out. Everything I have read about DirectX 10 is that it is currently a flop

It’s not hard to imagine the advantage of 4 cores over 2, so these 2 CPUs don’t really compare at all. That said, the Athlon is a screaming fast X2 CPU, and an excellent value. If your game is multi-threaded, then obviously you will see major benefits from the X4.

Keep in mind that very few games are “quad”-optimized and Quad’s are usually slower than dual core CPUs (lower frequency). Dont forget the rather huge difference in price and heat dispatch. If you are a “gamer” I’d go for a fast dual core CPU.
//Danne

Also keep in mind that you are comparing two different price range processors, a $200 (X2 6400+) and $1,000 (QX6850).

You might want to check Q6600 ($250ish).

Thanks for everyones help! I am steering towards the AMD at the moment because it seems very good value. If AMD bought a new processor out in the future is there anything stopping me from upgrading? Would I need to buy more than a new processor such as a new motherboard or is it as easy as getting the processor on its own? This is something I’m not sure of at the moment but something I need to learn.

I am using http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk and it seems a very good site. I think I have decided one a dual core processor, as opposed to a quad one. I think quad is unneeded for me at this moment in time.

First off having enough system RAM improves your system performances alot and also a GPU that has it’s own RAM makes for a faster system. But comes at a price and heat. But if you plan on upgrading your AMD process make sure you pick the right motherboard with the chipset that you would like to expand to or CPU that in the future you want to be able to just drop into the socket and have a new CPU in your system. As to the “The sad reality is that no matter what you do, you will be obsolete by year end.” Everything including Intel will be obsolete by year end as they will supersede it with new CPU or chipsets…so just saying its’ AMD is a slippery slop…ie software you buy now will be updated make that older version obsolete as they came with new software…ie… XP pro now bloated Vista…XP is obsolete in MS eyes but we still use it…and it’s still here…

I would probably limit my choices to Intel solutions for now, at least until AMD’s Phenom line has shipped and we start to get some real-world reviews on performance and supporting chipsets. A P35 board + Q6600 + heavy-duty cooling combo will cost you under $500 in the States right now, and overclocking results look excellent. Even as an AMD fanboy I cannot recommend a new AMD build unless you’re putting together a machine for your parents.

Intel all the way imo,

Get a cheap asus p5b ( should be under 100 dollars), a cheap E2160 ( 100 dollar again) and an Arctic cooling freezer 7 pro ( 20 dollar) and u get 3.2 ghz, for that price you never get so much performance, even @ 3.2 ghz it blows AMD’s flagship away in terms of performance.

I’ve had a 2160 en dropped it as I got an E6400 for free, but @ 3.2 ghz there is just a 3 % difference between the 2, and currently my E6400 @ 3.2 is sitting here perfectly under 60 C full load on an asus p5b deluxe and cooler by a mere cheap freezer 7 ( wich the E2160 also did).

After considering everyones views it seems to me that I should probably go fo Intel at the moment, dual core, not quad. The computer I am thinking of is this: http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=230278 please tell me what you think of it, it would be a great help.

As I mentioned before, Vista is not the choice for gaming. It is considerable slower and DirectX 10 is worthless for the time being. If you are sold on Vista for some reason, at least get XP and set up a dual boot system.

Why can’t E2140 and 945GC do? Even with 1GB * 2 PC6400 modules, the cost is just around US$180. If you really, really need the best CPU available, wait a little longer for 45nm CPU. Maybe 9000 series Nvidia card will be ready by that time, too. Between QX6850 and E2140, there are E6x50 as well. E6550 should be cheaper than Q6600 but faster for most gaming, but better have at least P35 or G33 for 6x50 CPU.