Intel Core 2 Duo vs AMD Athlon X2
Before I go with the question, no I haven't been spending whole days this week roaming comparison reviews.. I did that good deal of yesterday, but I did some other work too. Not all shows immediately on sites, but it's there (like searching for mobiliberty news sources, new applications to review for nuxified (picked a few, stay tuned) and just keeping myself around (routine, news updates, replies to comments etc.) I sometimes manage to do more, sometimes less, but I'm always around with something.
So.. from what I've discovered yesterday people are praising new Core Duos from Intel and saying that Intel is placing itself in the winner position for this year, which is nothing to fear for AMD fans.. AMD will be back soon enough. AMD *was* the one to force Intel to redesign itself a bit after all. AMD has been more innovative and advanced for quite a while before, which is what pushed Intel to come with something awesome like Core Duos.
But at the end of the day the performance differences for the same price range seem to be rather marginal, to a point where still a lot of the decision depends on which remaining components are used (chipset, memory) which is what will probably make up most of my decision.
If I go the Intel way it will likely be a motherboard with an Intel chipset (i945 with GMA945) which has good Free Software support (thanks to intel itself mostly). If I go the AMD way it would have to be one of the nForce, Xpress or VIA K8 chipsets, neither of which are really *known* as that well supported under GNU/Linux (I mean, especially onboard graphics, but who knows what else, it's just not as assured as with Intel), but I have also heard that they are all of lower quality than Intel chips with some bugs.
So from what I hear Intel does hold the superior position in terms of chipset quality. Is this true?
After choosing a chipset and hence a motherboard I will have to go with a new graphics card again. The thing is my current card (yes the Radeon I bought few months ago) is AGP and almost no new boards come with an AGP port these days. It's all PCI-E, so either I have to give up advanced 3D capabilities again (falling back to onboard chips "stealing" my main memory which I don't like at all) or get a comparable PCI-E card to the one I have and use that. The old card wont be for nothing though. My sisters will get it so they too can have full 3D support.
The card I mean to get is Radeon X700, which is among the newest models currently supported by the experimental R300 free drivers I use now. There is X850 which is much more powerful, but still too expensive.
This card would go in regardless of what chipset or processor I use, but I'm mentioning it in case anyone thinks ti would work better with one or the other.
The highest I currently aim in terms of processors is either Athlon64 X2 4800+ or Intel Core 2 Duo E6400. I might fall back to X2 4600 or Core E6300 to reduce price though and then a year later or so upgrade to the later models (because the slot and mbo will likely support it) like 6000+ or who knows maybe Quad Core (well, IF the mobo will support that one).
What do you think?