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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [03.15.06]
Manufactured by: AMD, Intel


If anything, the move to dual core processors has evened the playing field for AMD. It used to be that the Athlon64 would outperform the Pentium 4 in things like gaming and rendering, but Intel would pull ahead in audio and video encoding, and day-to-day use multitasking thanks to Hyperthreading. Honestly, it was a tougher decision back then, with gamers generally siding with the Athlon64, and A/V and multitasking freaks going for the Pentium.

However now that both CPU's support multiple threads, the superior architecture of the Athlon64 is finally allowed to show its true potential, and it smokes the Pentium D in just about every way imaginable.

The Athlon64 X2 is in most cases cheaper, faster, cooler, and consumes less power than the Pentium D. It is compatible with the current generation of motherboards, making it easier to upgrade to. Video encoding is slightly better, and gaming performance is a LOT better, as is audio encoding.

The one thing the Pentium D has going for it is a superior chipset. Make no mistake; Intel makes great chipsets. The 945 series along with the ICH7 southbridge is probably faster and more stable than anything NVIDIA, ATI, or ULi have to offer right now.

But if you find a good motherboard, AMD is the way to go for dual core computing.

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