Welcome back for another edition of the Price Guides. This week has been a rather quiet one as prices for processors and motherboards gradually leveled out and waves from new sockets from AMD and Intel subside a bit. With new standards, such as PCIe and SATA, having been available for a while, it seems that the kid-in-a-candy-store effect is wearing off and we are able to look more closely at what hardware options really provide the best bang for your hard-earned buck. While it is often tempting to jump on the latest and greatest, we will compare some of the new kids on the block to the tried and true to see if the price of early adoption is really worth it at the present time.

One thing that you will notice in this guide is the lack of any recommendations for boards sporting PCI Express slots. This isn't because the technology is bad, by any means. This is due to the fact that there are so few add-in cards available yet for the interface, and because it's difficult to justify the technology right now, since even graphics cards have yet to stress the AGP 8X interface that is currently the standard. In short, PCIe is still one of those things that are nice to have, but far from necessary at the current time.

The same holds true for DDR2 memory right now. Until DDR2 ramps up the speed a bit more to counteract the higher latencies, it really doesn't serve much purpose in the desktop world. Beyond that, the prices are not worth it yet, since even DDR1 memory is a bit pricey these days. Unfortunately, DDR1 is not so pricey so as to make DDR2 much more appealing.

AMD Processors


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  • AdamRader - Sunday, September 05, 2004 - link

    #1: #2 hit it right on the nose. Given the options, NewCastle is the one I would recommend. Coincidentally, this is the same chip that I use on my primary workstation.

    #3: I'm not sure if that can be done with the way the CMS is built, but I will certainly pass this on to Jason to see if it's feasible.
  • alm4rr - Saturday, September 04, 2004 - link

    Can you move the price guide to under the link to go to the next section? It's just a lot to scroll through when reading the article for info (instead of looking for price info).

  • JarredWalton - Saturday, September 04, 2004 - link

    I purchased the Newcastle 3200+ 2.2 GHz a few weeks back, for two reasons. First, the improved clock speed is generally better than the improved cache size. Two, it was about $35 cheaper than the Clawhammer. For that price, I picked up a Zalman CNPS7000a heatsink/fan and overclocked my 3200+ to 2.42 GHz without any difficulty. I don't know about Adam, but I would go with the Newcastle cores for most setups, given the price difference. Not to mention the Clawhammer cores seem to be on the way out (hence the price difference). Reply
  • l3ored - Saturday, September 04, 2004 - link

    which a64 3200 are you recomending? newcastle or clawhammer? Reply

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