Looking over our first Performance PC published back in November of 2003 and having a look at the components we used, AMD is the only brand that mange to make its way back into our latest article. They are still in it for a very good reason - without a doubt AMD create the best gaming processor around. Both Intel and AMD have their advantages and if you wanted to do work that was heavily based on multi tasking we would say go Intel for its Hyper Threading capabilities but we don't want to render graphics at 1600 X 1200 in 3D Studio Max the quickest today, instead we want to play games faster and smoother then we need to and with detail maxed right out and for that reason we have chosen the AMD Athlon 64 Socket 939 processor you see below.
Last time we had the 3200+ Socket 754 processor in our clutches and 14 months later we are just begging to see it be phased out as the new Socket 939 becomes more and more popular.
While a lot of the same technology is moved over to the 939 Socket like Hyper Transport Bus and integrated Memory Controller we do have one major jump in the memory controller with the Athlon 64 being able to make use of Dual Channel DDR which is something that has helped Intel have the fastest memory bandwidth for a while now.
The Athlon 64 3800+ is only clocked at 2.4GHz which is only a jump of 400MHz since our last Performance PC however due to mature chipsets, dual channel DDR and low latency memory we see quite a good jump in performance.
The other reason we have chosen the Athlon 64 is because we want to make use of nVidia's latest chipset and for good reason. If you haven't guessed what it is yet we recommend you shut down your PC, get out of the chair and never touch your PC again - Shame shame shame!
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