Sunday, November 05, 2006

We build our own machines - Part 1: CPU

For years, AMD has been the performance/price leader. It took a few hours research to realize that it is no longer so. At a price that I am comfortable with, Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe seems to be the best. E6300 also offers virtualization, something I intend to use down the line.

However, due to various reasons, I decided to go with an AMD Socket 939 CPU.

Various Reasons:
  • Socket AM2's only advantage is DDR2 and the performance gains aren't that great.
  • DDR2 is not cheaper than DDR
  • Already have two machines, one with Suse Enterprise Linux and Oracle Applications and another Windows with the same Socket 939 motherboard, ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe.
Some more research revealed that AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Manchester is the right one. 4400+ has 1 MB x 2 Cache, but there seems to be no performance gain. Its only $5 more than 3800+, the lowest dual core.

Compare AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+: Pricegrabber Anandtech RTPE

Bought it at Zipzoomfly for $185.


1. An evaluation of my needs dictates that I go for a dual-core. Most people don't need a dual-core. Athlon 64 3700+ would be more than sufficient.

2. Don't buy a CPU based on a number like 4200 or 4400. You would end up buying a CPU for a different socket, Eg. AM2 instead of 939. You need to know exactly what you are buying. Always look at the model# and core, it would be something like:
ADA4200BVBOX, Manchester. Read the specifications. They help.

3. All COOs (Tech) are mandated to have a machine with similar capabilities.

Find out:
  1. Whether Opteron offers better performance/price. They seems to be slightly cheaper with twice the cache and dual-core as well. Initial reports suggest not to go for it unless we are going to overclock, slow at stock speeds.
  2. Best motherboard for E6300.

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