If you're planning a PC upgrade, the decision to go with an AMD processor is a fairly easy one. AMD's Socket A chips pretty much dominate the consumer market these days, while Intel's aging PIII and brand-new Pentium 4 both have their drawbacksand let's not mention the sad state of the Celeron. No, the hard part is deciding which
of AMD's processors to buy. The Athlon is a screamer at 1GHz and above, but Durons are selling for under sixty dollars
. Top-end Athlons can cost four or five times that amount. True, even the GHz Athlon is relatively cheap in the grand scheme, but CPU performance ain't everything. The money you save by choosing a Duron can go toward more memory, a better video card, or a faster hard drive. Any of these things might make a PC faster overall, depending on what you want to do.
So how's a PC performance maven to pick?
Easy, if you know where to look. Our own Dissonance has thrown the Venus and Serena Williams of the processor market into the ring for a no-holds-barred catfight. Not only that, but in a move sure to incite an online riot, he's chosen a clear winner between the two. I'm not sure I agree with his choice entirely, but he's definitely got the numbers to back it up. Go have a look for yourself, and see if you agree.