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Question History!
From : wallabang
To : saintly
User Comment : Amazing comprehensive answer
Rating :
Message Status : Public

[08-02-2000] wallabang : I need to know, preferably with links to reviews, exactly which of the two following processors are better, overall and in individual respects:

AMD Athlon K7- 900 3D (oem) (Slot A)
Intel Pentium III-866/133 (S370)

(please give a speed for each processor at which they would be the same, for instance, Athlon 866 is equivalent to PIII 900 or whatever)

Also, which is the best graphics card:

32M Asustek V7700 GEForce II GTS DDR
64M Asustek V6600 GEForce (retail)
32M Creative Blaster GEForce PRO DDR
64M Voodoo 5500 Retail Pack

I also need to know if it is possible to get cordless headphones on a computer.
[08-02-2000] saintly : Cordless headphones:
There are two types available that I know of that would work with your computer (or anything else, like stereo equipment). One is 900mhz and the other IR. The IR has the disadvantage of being line-of-sight to the computer, but is cheaper at $130 than the $170 900mhz. The 900mhz system also lets you buy several sets of headphones cheaper than buying several systems.

Now to your other questions.. What graphics card and CPU is "better" depends a lot on what the intended purpose of the computer is. Graphics applications have one set of requirements, games have another, and different operating systems demand different types of hardware. CPU Benchmarks vary drastically depending on the test and how it is run. In general, Athlon CPUs rated at the same speed tend to run faster than similar P3 CPUs, but will not usually work with the same motherboard as well.

With that caveat, here is CNN's review of both 750mhz CPUs:

Which shows the Athlon and P3 tied with each pulling ahead in various tests with marginal differences ( <5% difference in performance tests). I'd say you should probably take the K7/900 over the P3/866 for a tiny difference in speed.

Graphics card:
If you're intending to use a windows operating system, I've had good results with Asustek video cards. My personal preference would be the 64MB V6600; the extra ram would boost graphics applications more than I think the difference between the 6600/7700 would (unless you're particularly attached to the software that Asus bundles with the 7700). Here's Asus's release on it:
If you're using Linux or a non-windows OS, avoid the Voodoo card like the plague. 3dfx support is spotty at best in other OSs. GEForce support is fairly new, but should be fine in Linux and XWindows.

Please reply with what the intended purpose for your system is if you want a more specific answer on video cards and CPUs. I'd be happy to elaborate more on any particular areas of interest or concern if you like.
[08-02-2000] wallabang : I play quite heavily demanding games, and I also do a fair bit of (often mathematical) programming in both C++ and Visual Basic. I don't know if this matters, but I am also looking at getting a system with fairly good sound quality.
[08-02-2000] saintly : If you don't intend to be doing a lot of work with Photoshop or similar graphics applications, you should be fine with a 32MB graphics card. The V7700 is probably a bit faster than the V6600, and in that case the speed would be more useful than unused ram.

Extremely demanding games may be optimized to take advantage of specific CPU features. I doubt there's a huge difference in speed between the Athlon and the P3, but given the choice between close-to-identical clock speeds and not a big difference in price, get the P3. Athlon seems to be targeted at things like servers and graphics editing applications.
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