Wait on buying a high-end AMD CPU

Good morning, or what’s left of it.
If you’re in the market for a high-end AMD CPU, right now is a good time to wait. AMD delayed the Barton core today, mostly to avoid creating an inventory glut at the end of the year. The new chips will offer a couple of significant improvements over current models, namely a 333 MHz FSB and twice the L2 cache, at 512KB.

Sounds like a fantastic time to make due with a $35 Duron if you’re building a new system and absolutely have to have buy now rather than waiting until January. Make sure the board you buy supports the faster FSB and is likely to still be in production then though, as AMD’s new cores traditionally need a BIOS update. And what to do with the Duron come January? Pick up a $35 closeout Socket A motherboard and use it and the Duron to upgrade some older system. If you don’t need a second system, some local church or school will love you for the donation.

Personally, I’d love to see how a Barton-core Athlon with DDR333 or DDR400 memory would do for video editing.

5 thoughts on “Wait on buying a high-end AMD CPU

  • September 17, 2002 at 8:01 am
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    Does it make that much of a difference what chipset the motherboard has?

    What’s the real difference in speed between a KT133 and a KT 333? Apart from DDR?

  • September 19, 2002 at 6:13 pm
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    DDR makes the biggest speed difference between the two chipsets. I’d buy DDR on any new high-end system just because in a couple of years, DDR will be much cheaper than PC133 (just look at the price of EDO memory to see the future).

    But in general, newer chipsets do spot some improvements that give speed increases beyond just new memory technology. And yes, chipsets can make a difference. Some chipsets are real dogs. The SiS 745 chipset shocked the world because it was so good, and SiS had made some really, really horrible chipsets in the past. But the 745 was the best chipset of its generation.

    And even the board manufacturer can make a difference in performance. Historically speaking, Abit, Asus, and MSI boards have outperformed most other brands. It’s not like six years ago when the difference could be as high as 10 percent, but if the board maker can make a difference then a chipset can make an even bigger difference.

    Best bet when buying a board is to see what they’re saying about it on Usenet and check the hardware sites (I’ve just about lost my faith in Tom’s Hardware Guide though).

  • September 19, 2002 at 6:15 pm
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    Oh, and of course it depends on what you’re doing. For word processing and e-mail, no, you don’t need DDR’s extra speed. For editing your home movies, it’d come in very handy indeed.

  • September 22, 2002 at 5:26 pm
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    Ah. Gracias. Given that the increments between AMD chipsets are getting smaller, I’ll keep doing what I do, which is buy a chipset or two down.

    I treasure my stability more.

    ๐Ÿ™‚

  • September 22, 2002 at 5:34 pm
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    Ah. Gracias. Given that the increments between AMD chipsets are getting smaller, I’ll keep doing what I do, which is buy a chipset or two down.

    I treasure my stability more.

    ๐Ÿ™‚

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