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Sempron or Athlon?

ToxTox I kill threadsRegistered User regular
So, I am somewhat in the market for a new PC. My last PC, a Gateway I purchased about five years ago, finally died a few months back (power supply). I am, unfortunately, low budget, otherwise I would be purchasing another Gateway, since I really had no problems with the system until the power supply died.

I've been looking at low-end, stripped down PCs, and I've already made a few decisions.

1) In the interest of saving money, and general mistrust of rookie Windows OS's, I'm sticking with XP. I do intend to upgrade, but I already have XP, so why spend the money now when I can spend it in six months, after 7 has had time to settle in.

2) Also in the interest of saving a few bucks, I'm going to be temporarily using the DVD/CD-RW from the old box. This is again a short term solution. I want to purchase a high end one, so that I will eventually be able to watch movies on my machine, but that will be quite a ways off.

So, I've basically narrowed it down to two different systems. Both are available online, with fairly similar specs. I'm going to list the differences, because I can't decide which to lean toward.

Option #1 - Sempron $123.99

CPU: AMD Sempron (64-bit) 3000+
RAM: 1024Mb PC3200 400Mhz DDR
HDD: 250Gb SATA 7200rpm

Option #2 - Athlon 64 $117.99

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3200+
RAM: 512Mb PC3200 400Mhz DDR
HDD: 160Gb SATA 7200rpm

Both PCs have the same motherboard, so the graphics and sound, which will be onboard for a while, are identical, along with all the basics (networking, etc).

The big question is, in my opinion, RAM or CPU power? The HDD isn't really important, the ones listed are the "package" options, and I have other HDDs I can use for extra storage space. Both CPUs are 64-bit, but the Athlon has four times the L2 cache, and is (slightly?) faster. The RAM is also slightly important, as I intend to eventually upgrade to Windows 7 (64-bit), which I know I'll need a lot of memory for.


So, essentially, my question is this: Which option represents a better starting point, to you tech experts out there? I've been out of the game since before dual core entered the picture, and CPUs are kind of blowing my mind right now, until I get a bead on how they work nowadays. That's the main reason I'm defaulting to the board for help. So if this seems like an easy question to any of you, that's why.

Feel free to make any helpful comments or ask any questions you feel are relevant to the decision. I don't intend to do much in the way of gaming, aside from occasional WoW'ing. My overall goal is to eventually use the PC for watching movies, listening to music, and the like.

Thanks.

Tox on
Grey Ghost wrote: »
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James Deen is both an actor AND in the sausage business.
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Posts

  • clsCorwinclsCorwin Registered User
    edited December 2009
  • DeicistDeicist Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    first check out how much Ram costs these days.

    I know I can get 512MB of DDR400 for around £10 over here, so I'd imagine you can pick it up reasonably cheap ocver that side of the pond and have the faster processor & a gig for not much more than slower processor & a gig.

  • BeazleBeazle Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    At your budget you would be better off getting a power supply for your old system and then saving up for a new one. What are your old specs? But if you have to get one go with the Sempron and then get a faster proecessor off of Ebay down the road. Aslo, remember that 64bit Win7 wants 2Gb RAM so make sure the board has some open RAM slots or you will have to replace the current sticks.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Tallus) A 1Gb stick of RAM is less than $20, with shipping, and I can probably get it at a store locally for less than that, so I'm leaning that direction as well.

    Beazle) The old system is a Gateway with a 2.4GHz processor, circa late 2004. It was a low-end, $300 computer back then, and while I probably could just repair the power supply, I don't know that the power supply is all that's damaged, I only know at least the power supply is shot. I haven't verified whether the mobo still works or not because I figured the system was old enough to warrant replacing.

    Also, this isn't so much a "save up some cash" scenario as it is a "spending holiday gift cash" scenario, so repairing this PC and saving up for a better one later isn't really viable. I don't make enough to be able to save money right now.

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    James Dean was the actor, Jimmy Dean was in the sausage business.

    James Deen is both an actor AND in the sausage business.
    Secret Satans! Post | Gaming Wishlist | General Wishlist
    Dilige, et quod vis fac
  • stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Windows 7 isn't a rookie os. It has 3 years and two service packs behind it as well as all the changes to it that made Vista a pain to use. It also has a UI miles ahead of its predecessors. As far as the machines go, the sempron is a weaker processor but the better ram and larger hdd more than make up for it if this is just going to be an internet / word processor.

  • RohanRohan Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    The Sempron is to the Athlon as the Celeron is to the Pentium... as the Duron used to be. If you're dead set on getting a new cpu, go with the Athlon.

    ...and I thought of how all those people died, and what a good death that is. That nobody can blame you for it, because everyone else died along with you, and it is the fault of none, save those who did the killing.

    Nothing's forgotten, nothing is ever forgotten
  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    do not take the sempron, its performance sucks ass
    also, never take a celeron
    athlon II x2

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  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Semprons and Athlon 64s? And DDR?

    Are these computers from 2005 or something?

    Seriously you have to get something with a dual core. Do you have a link to these systems?

    steam_sig.png
  • ToxTox I kill threads Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Why do I have to get something dual core? The price increase for even a second core is about 44%, and I'm scraping pennies to be able to afford this computer.

    The fact that the Athlon 64 is cheaper is swaying me in that direction. I can easily upgrade the RAM later, anyway, so that's not really an issue.

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    James Dean was the actor, Jimmy Dean was in the sausage business.

    James Deen is both an actor AND in the sausage business.
    Secret Satans! Post | Gaming Wishlist | General Wishlist
    Dilige, et quod vis fac
  • s3rial ones3rial one Registered User
    edited December 2009
    I think the issue we're all dancing around here is: does the choice even matter?

    You're buying a system that was obsolete several years ago. Chances are, you aren't going to be using it for gaming, and for basic web browsing and email checking under XP, you're not going to notice a difference between the two systems, save the amount of RAM.

  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Uee Citizen Record #2051 Über Star CitizenRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Yeah, they're both so obsolete that you ca just get the sempron.

    Steam: Stormwatcher | XBL: Stormwatcher 21 | PSN: Stormwatcher33 | Gamecenter: Stormwatcher33 | 3DS: 0130-2805-2850
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  • RohanRohan Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Yeah, they're both so obsolete that you ca just get the sempron.

    Why would he get the Sempron when he could get the Athlon 64? It doesn't matter that both are obsolete, the Athlon is still the stronger, more capable chip.

    ...and I thought of how all those people died, and what a good death that is. That nobody can blame you for it, because everyone else died along with you, and it is the fault of none, save those who did the killing.

    Nothing's forgotten, nothing is ever forgotten
  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Uee Citizen Record #2051 Über Star CitizenRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Rohan wrote: »
    Yeah, they're both so obsolete that you ca just get the sempron.

    Why would he get the Sempron when he could get the Athlon 64? It doesn't matter that both are obsolete, the Athlon is still the stronger, more capable chip.

    I have a Sempron 64 3000+ (on another PC) that's just a relabeled Athlon 64 754. Same difference. Don't let marketing fool you.

    Those two CPUs are probably REALLY close in performance, and none are even remotely upgradeable. the 1GB Ram system will probably be faster just because 512 MB ram is shit.

    Edit: The Athlon has more cache, but they're pretty similar. Also, the Athlon runs at 2GHz and the Sempron at 1.8GHz. Just overclock the Sempron and they'll be almost equal.

    Steam: Stormwatcher | XBL: Stormwatcher 21 | PSN: Stormwatcher33 | Gamecenter: Stormwatcher33 | 3DS: 0130-2805-2850
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  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    cache has a pretty huge impact on many applications, you know..

    sc.jpgsc.jpg
  • stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    It's been 11 days, he's likely already purchased the computer. To settle the argument, please read this. AS stated above, the extra ram and hdd space is worth the trade off iff the machine is just an internet / word processing box and not for gaming.

  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Uee Citizen Record #2051 Über Star CitizenRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    stigweard wrote: »
    It's been 11 days, he's likely already purchased the computer. To settle the argument, please read this. AS stated above, the extra ram and hdd space is worth the trade off iff the machine is just an internet / word processing box and not for gaming.

    He answered yesterday. And i don't think a bit more cache on a slow single core single channel CPU will make a bigger difference when using word and firefox than the incredibly huge jump from 512MB to 1GB.

    Steam: Stormwatcher | XBL: Stormwatcher 21 | PSN: Stormwatcher33 | Gamecenter: Stormwatcher33 | 3DS: 0130-2805-2850
    steam_sig.png
  • stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I agree, they are virtually equal in all but the most fpu intensive applications, and for 5$ more he gets twice the ram and an extra 90GB hdd space.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Alright, well, I managed to secure a new power supply for my ancient gateway, so for the time being I'll be sticking with that, as I can't even afford internet. When and if my finances pick up, I'll go ahead and look at a less obsolete system. Thank you all for your recommendations.

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    James Dean was the actor, Jimmy Dean was in the sausage business.

    James Deen is both an actor AND in the sausage business.
    Secret Satans! Post | Gaming Wishlist | General Wishlist
    Dilige, et quod vis fac
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