southbeach1500 saidMeh.... I prefer Intel over AMD.
Yeah, That's one of my concerns. I'm not sure exactly why, but I'm biased toward Intel
AMD has to "translate" from x86 compiled code to AMD code. Why bother with a middle man? Stick with Intel!
That's rarely true. The x86 instruction set in standardized, and in low and mid price range processors, AMD runs circles around Intel. Only just recently has Intel surpassed AMD in speed on the x86 instruction set. AMDs microcode and architecture are different than Intel with what were brilliant ideas at the time. The processing chip isn't just a CPU these days, but a data center on a chip. Things like bus speeds, widths, and clocks, all make for faster crunching, but, by far, the slow downs happen with mechanical parts such as hard drives.
AMD adds to the 86 instruction set with its 3D NOW technology.
AMD architecture and microcode is typically up to 40% faster throughput, in all but the very latest, top of the line, processing chips.
AMD offers considerably more value and speed at low and medium price points.
The past year, or two, Intel high end processors have gained speed for what was held for over a decade by AMD. AMD is slated to take the lead again this fall.
RAM is important, and drive RPM is important if you are unloading and loading stuff. Raw CPU speed is important if you are doing lots of computation, and you'll want a CPU that uses the full width of the bus with plenty of caching. Gaming means CPU, a high end video card, and a fast drive (7200 RPM or faster) to really keep things going.
Unless you are running lots of calculation intensive, multi-threaded apps, more cores doesn't get you much in terms of speed. The slow downs happen with the IO subsystem (input / output). CPU clocks are so fast these days that unless you are doing intense multimedia, or heavy duty database scans, or high end math, they can more than keep up.
MACS are very cool, and run the exceptionally stable and thrifty BSD / MACH / Darwin / NEXT kernel / subsystems but Windows still brings many, many, many more apps.