Hardware advice needed: Athlon vs P4

Robert Ian Smit robian at wanadoo.nl
Mon Sep 2 11:18:13 PDT 2002

On Mon, Sep 02, 2002 at 12:42:55PM -0400, Tony Karakashian wrote:
> >> Athlon XP 1800 vs. Pentium 4 2000A
> Between the two, I will always choose the Intel chip.  I
> have, over the years, had nothing but trouble with the VIA
> chipsets that the majority of AMD-based mobos use.  Stability
> is the primary issue, with compatibility and performance a
> close second and third.  I made the mistake of building my
> wife's machine using and AMD, and her machine locked up
> regularly.  I upgraded the drivers for the chipset, and saw
> a significant drop in performance.   
> I've also never had a VIA mobo that didn't have compatibility
> issues with SCSI cards.  It's never failed that it was my
> particular card that the chipset wasn't compatible. :)
> The final issue, as someone else mentioned, was heat.  If the
> fan on your AMD processor dies or falls off, you're out a 
> processor.  It only takes a couple minutes for the AMD to
> burn itself up.  The newer Intel chips with Speedstep will 
> actually just slow themselves down to until they reach a 
> reasonable temp.

Your concerns have held me back from buying VIA/AMD for the last
couple of years. However my new system in an Athlon XP 2000 on a
KT333 motherboard.

I am not much of a hardware tweaker. I do a big upgrade every couple
of years. My previous system had an Intel BX motherboard.

For one thing it is very stable. In fact more stable than my last
Intel based system. 

Getting drivers for the VIA chipset under Linux is more work than I
am used to. However getting a 2.4.19 kernel solves most (any?)

I guess the system generates more heat, but since I don't overclock
and had cpu + cooler installed on the motherboard by vendor, I
don't worry too much about it. Doesn't the motherboard offer
prevention from burning your cpu?

I have seen flames in the inside of one of my old pc's. After removing
the offending cable and attached hardware, the system has been
running beautifully. Bad luck or improper care can ruin a system,
but I have never actually lost a component and I am far from

In short, I did not regret going the AMD route. Perhaps it took AMD
and friends a while, but at the moment I can recommend AMD if
you are on a budget.


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