Price Guides - July 2005: More 64-bit CPUsby Derek Wilson & Manveer Wasson on July 23, 2005 10:03 AM EST
- Posted in
As always, we like to start off our price guides with a little plug for our Real Time Price Engine; quite possibly the fastest growing price engine on the internet. We quietly released a small little tool on RTPE that allows you to sort products by price or price-per-GB. Now you won't have to go through all that troubling math to calculate which memory is best for you anymore. Feel free to check out the forum thread here.
The last couple weeks have been madness for anyone attempting to buy a new AMD or Intel CPU. We have a new dual core chip that should debut in the review space on August first, 64-bit Sempron and Pentium 4s, and Socket 939 Opterons around the corner. Please check out our extensive AMD roadmap when you get a chance, there are a lot of new tidbits in the roadmaps that will eventually find their way into the retail channels like the new Socket M2 and S1.
Dual Core Desktop
It's been a long wait, but dual core desktop processors are finally here. The first Intel chips started showing up just after our last processor guide in June, and in the last six weeks prices have plummeted to meet demand. Intel's Pentium D lineup shipped first with AMD's very close behind. While AMD has another dual core processor ready for launch in the next couple weeks, Intel's dual 2.8GHz Pentium D [RTPE: BX80551PG2800FN] quite easily takes our recommendation for this week's dual core choice. At $245 this is an amazing processor; and with the relatively large cuts in DDR2 value memory lately, buying a dual core processor doesn't have to be a large investment. Granted, you will still need to buy a dual core motherboard, (either an Intel 945 or 955); so anticipate spending a little extra cash on the board instead. Let's take a look at the pricing trend on the Pentium D 820:
Other dual core Intel processors are on their way down as well; we are seeing pretty substantial drops since the dual core launch - a very pleasant and welcomed surprise.
No one would argue that AMD has the weaker dual core chip. The K8 architecture in general has no problem outperforming Prescott head to head, and AMD's integrated memory controller does an incredible job of moving the memory bottleneck off the motherboard. However while AMD has the better processor, it doesn't seem to be able to offer a really competitive price. Intel is currently pumping out dual core processors in all of their fabs; AMD's Fab 30 in Dresden is the only facility AMD has prepared for dual core production. Even at vastly inferior performance, Intel's Pentium D 820 costs half that of AMD's dual core solution.
Hopefully the embargoed X2 will alleviate some of AMD's criticism for not providing a low cost dual core processor. Remember, each speed grade in X2 processors today offers about a 3 to 4% difference in performance. We personally don't feel the 3% bump between the Manchester 4200+ and Toledo 4400+ warrant the extra $100, but then again the same people who buy those kind of processors usually don't hesitate to spend $600 on video cards either. Chances are, if you know what applications are going to perform better on Toledo versus Manchester, you've already got your dual core chip picked out.