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I want to purchase a new PC for Bio-informatics and related research. I would primarily use Linux OS (Suse or Redhat latest distro). After price comparison in the local market (KolKata, India) and other considerations, I settled down to two configurations: A) Processor- AMD AthlonXP 3000+ and Motherboard- ASUS A7N8X Delux , B) Processor- Intel Pentium-4 (2.8Ghz HT with 800 Mhz system bus) and Motherboard- D865GBF. But I can't take the final decision to choose one. So my questions are : 1) Which of these two systems has better Linux support? 2) Which of these two processors has better calculation speed? 3) Any other relevant comments are also welcome.
hmm, that's a tricky one, i have never used a P4, so i don't know, but i'm sure it'll run fine on anything.
Intel are more dedicated to open-source, while AMD are more dedicated to micro$oft (Intel made ICC, AMD released Athlon schematics to M$, which is why it runs so fast)
I think the 2 CPUs would run differently in different situations, i have no idea what you mean by bio-informatics and related research, but if it involves primarily web-browsing and things like that an athlon should be fine.
For more media-oriented tasks like gaming or video/audio playback/production, the SSE2 instructions of the P4 helps out a lot.
I think there was a really good point in one of the comments. It suggested that the reviewers should compare the systems to a 2-processor Athlon 2400 system that would cost the same. The implication is that the dual processor setup would blow the doors off either of the other systems and cost the same.
There is still the question of what you really need it for. By bio-informatics do you mean DNA sequencing work, or do you mean more chemical simulation/numerical models that will lead to the possibility of computing and information storage in biological material? Are you using a pre-compiled commercial package, or are you making your own? Does your software support the specialized Intel SSE instructions (which is where the P4 gets it's speed)? If not, the Athlon is much better at general purpose computational problems due to it's sronger x87 floating point.
My guess is that your needs will be more general purpose, and the Athlon will be much better from a price/performance standpoint. In probably 75% of cases AMD is a better deal. Whatever you do, don't get an Intel Celeron as they have a crippled bus and are, comparably, incredibly slow and expensive. You would probably do better with a used PIII than a celeron.
I have used Linux on my Athlon 800 system for over 3 years (and 3 different distro's) and have not had any compatibility problems. I also have an athlon system at home I built for my wife, and we have had no problems with that, either. I really think the "compatilibity" issue is bunk, as people have been making x86 processors for 25 years now. Good luck with your purchase.
Last edited by HawkeyeCoug; 03-17-2004 at 12:34 PM.
Distribution: K/Ubuntu 10.04/12.04, Scientific Linux 6.3, Android-x86, Maemo
I have run SuSE on both an AMD Athlon 2100+ and on a 2.4GHz P4. The AMD blew up due to a power supply related issue. The P4 still is doing well. My laptop is also a P4 (2GHz).
I used to be partial to AMD (Better optimized code on the 64 bit architecture chips, the opteron or whatever, but that doesn't matter here). Now I am processor agnostic. I say get the better deal, the one with the better motherboard or the one that fits better in your budget.
Originally posted by HawkeyeCoug My guess is that your needs will be more general purpose, and the Athlon will be much better from a price/performance standpoint. In probably 75% of cases AMD is a better deal. Whatever you do, don't get an Intel Celeron as they have a crippled bus and are, comparably, incredibly slow and expensive. You would probably do better with a used PIII than a celeron.
Well, Celerons may not be much cop, but I have a 2GHz Celeron in my laptop, and I don't think I'd like to swap it for a used PIII, thanks!
I have an AMD Athlon XP 2800+ in this machine and haven't had problems with it. Actually, AMD outperforms Intel in almost every way, but Intel likes the idea of open source whereas AMD hugs M$ so they both have their ups and downs. Not to mention, Pentium 4's are about $100 more than their AMD equivilents. For example, my processor is equivilent to the Pentium 4 2.8ghz, although it clocks in at 2.08ghz. That's what the whole 2800+ thing is all about. However, the 2.8ghx Pentium 4 is $100 more.
As Ryan Gordon (www.icculus.org) has stated, the 64 bit compilers and drivers are not even close to being as stream-lined as the 32bit counter part. BUT!.....even with that in mind - it blows the competition away.
Originally posted by itsjustme What FPS do you get with glxgears on that rig?
I get about 3500 in GLXGEARS on a good day. Like i mean typing the command "glxgears" and keeping the window "open". I've seen people posting 10,000+ on a amd 2800 or something like that. They must minimize the window or something to get numbers like that. I also noticed it's a lot more fluid on the 64 than the 32 bit regardless of videocard ( i mean UT2004 uses a lot of processing power and i only get about 40-80 frames but it's sooooooooooooooooo smooth - settings at max of course 1280x1024). I can't wait for the new Nvidia drivers and better tweaked 64 bit distro's. Once 64 becomes mainstream, games are going to take on a whole new level. SETI, as you can imagine, is extremely fast. I have an AMD 2000XP and it kills it! Like dead in the water. Wow, that was a long rant :-)