Well i know a bit about computers and ive pretty much tried everything except for the Pentium 4. The P3 and the AMD Athlon are roughly similar in performance, but the Athlon is significantly cheaper. In my experience the P3 has to be about the most stable modern day CPU available, which is definitely an important factor in choosing which to go for. The celeron is noticably slower because of its half cache, and the duron slightly better in speed but overheats and burns out very easily. I recommend not going for a 64 bit processor (such as the P4)yet as the vast majority of software is written for 32 bit machines. The P4 will still run everything but the only speed increase you will see is the increased bus speed and CPU speed.
The PIII 866EB and 933EB Coppermine processors outperformed the AMD Athlon on a similar clock speed. The enhanced EB CPUs are reliable and robust, handling any task with ease. 'E' denotes Advanced Transfer Cache' which allows it to perform calculations quicker. The 'B' denotes support for 133 Mhz bus, which the fastest PIIIs are avilable in. This is however, slower than the Athlon which has 200Mhz bus, but does not lead to a performance loss. The higher the speed limit the more information the CPU can in theory process. All PIIIs Home CPU buyers are given a better deal by AMD Athlon CPUs but they should bear in mind that the Intel sells 8 times as many PIIIs as AM sell Athlons! The new copper core generates less heat than the standard aluminium variants, therefore it is able to run very efficiently. Level 1 cache is 32K in comparison with the AMD Athlon's 128K, Level 2 cache of 256K is equal in both CPUs. This would be expected to lead to a loss of performance, but it is not the case in these two clock speeds. The processor is available in Socket 370 and Slot 1 types. If you can get this CPU at a reasonable price it is well worth going for.
The biggest name in CPU’s, Intel, is definitely going through a bit of a sticky patch at the moment…For such a long time they were by far and away the only player in the processor market, with little or no accountable opposition to their undoubted dominance. However, when AMD released their Athlon, they started to make inroads into the dominance, by offering better performance at a much lower price. This soon became recognised, and the Intel Pentium III started to be outsold by the Athlon, and gamers were making the AMD their #1 choice of CPU. It has since been outselling the P3, with its superior performance and better pricing, and Intel are at an awkward position, trying to regain the momentum they have lost to AMD. However, this is not the say the P3 is a bad CPU by any means. Like for like, the P3 may be technologically inferior to the Athlon, but it does perform very well, and its compatibility and support makes sure it offers a user a great deal. The current fastest P3 is 1Ghz, while the AMD are running at 1.2Ghz, so they are at a loss already. Newer P3 processors come with an impressive set-up, based around a 256K Level 2 cache that boosts its performance enormously (and provides the main difference between a P3 and its cheaper sibling the Celeron). A large L1 cache and a 133Mhz bus all add to the performance making it very capable of handling any of today’s resource hungry applications and games. As the speeds of the processors continue to rise at an amazing pace, the prices will continue to drop. After the poor initial release and recall of the 1.143Ghz P3, the 1Ghz remains the fastest P3 available (although the P4 have since been release) and thus is slightly overpriced. There is a 900Mhz option, and when you consider that at 900Mhz your system will mostly bottleneck around the slower components in your PC (e.g. RAM running at 66,100 or 133Mhz) then how much will you notice the difference? My suggestion would be tha
t the only place you will notice this difference is in your pocket! Never buy the immediately latest version of any processor, as you will pay over the odds, and the already over-prices Pentium 3 is no exception. If you go for a P3, they can now be had quite cheaply, and will give you a few years faultless performance, but you must first decide if you even want an Intel CPU? Some decide on brand loyalty and willingly pay more for a chip from manufacturer they know and trust. This is the first choice you then have to make. Then decide on the speed (and compatible motherboard) and get cracking and enjoy what will undoubtedly be a very able CPU…. Happy computing…
I am very glad that I decided to go with the P3 550. This processor wasn’t excessively expensive since it has been out for a while now (6 Months?), so I did not feel like I was throwing away my money. Let me tell you... right away I noticed a considerable speed increase over the P2-350 that I replaced. Programs and windows popped up extraordinarily faster than before. Full-screen DVD playback was now smooth-as-can-be! Everything that I thought was extremely fast before was now blazing! So, even though I now have a processor that was released about 6 months ago, I still feel that I have a top-of-the-line machine. The only thing the P2-350 was lacking was flawless full-screen DVD playback, which the P3-550 took care of nicely. My Suggestions INTEL? Even though many people are turning to the AMD Athlon processor, I decided to stick with the Intel. The main reason is because my motherboards both support any and all Slot-1 (Pentium 2 & 3) chips, so interchanging them for whatever reason is a breeze. CACHE? There are now a couple of different versions of the older P3 chips. There is the basic model with 512K Level-1 cache (which I purchased), and the “e”, or “coppermine” version that has 256K of super-fast cache (They call it active transfer cache.). The prices for each of these seem to be equivalent, but personally I believe that more is better. OEM? Make sure you purchase the “retail” version of the chips. This version comes with the fan/heatsink already attached to the chip, and also with a 3-year warranty from Intel. The “OEM” versions that are cheaper do not come with the fan/heatsink (you have to purchase one), and usually only a few week warranty. No matter how you look at it, the retail version (in a sealed Intel box) is the safest way to go. Also, with the retail version you get a nifty little “Intel Inside” sticker that you can put on you
r computer. BUS SPEED? The speed of the P3 processors depend on the “front side bus” (fsb), which is simply 100MHz or 133MHz. (The P3-533 is 133MHz while the P3-550 is 100MHz). The faster the fsb the faster your computer works. However, odds are that your computer is not ready for 133. My computer, for instance, WILL support the 133 speed, but all of my memory (RAM) is only PC-100 and NOT the PC-133 which the 133MHz fsb requires. So, if you’re not sure what speed your RAM is, it is safer to go with the 100MHz models of processors. Summary To sum everything up, I recommend that you upgrade your P2 to a P3 if it is financially possible. Faster is better!!! How’s that for a summary? – I like it! At the time of this review, Intel has released the P3-800 processor. The price for chat chip is far out of my price range, so I did not even consider buying a newly-release chip like that, nor have I ever. When shopping to upgrade your CPU, keep in mind the topics that I have covered in this review. An informed consumer is a smart consumer!
The Pentium III 550E has to be the best choice for a value for money processor at the moment - if you can get one ! I bought a 550E in April of this year to use on my new supermicro PIIISCD motherboard and could not believe how easy it was to overclock it !! The PIIISCA has a jumper to override the front side bus setting contained on the processor. Setting the jumper to 133 rather than the default fsb I rebooted & then, to my suprise, even with the standard fan on the processor, my PC ran happily at 733! After a small tweak (adding another fan to keep the loaded temperature below 40 degrees) my PC really was firing on all cylinders.
The Intel PIII is one of the two most powerfull processors on the market along with the AMD Athlon. The real problem I have with the Intel offereing is there price. I dont believe that the PIII is better than the Athlon, I believe its close but no where near as the price difference suggests. The Pentium III was the first Intel chip to have SSE(Streaming SIMD* Extensions) * Single Edge Contact Cartridge Basically this was MMX 2, it does all the jobs that MMX was supposed to do and never really made a great job of. SSE contains 70 new instructions for the processor. The PIII has been marketed to be able to speed up your internet experience. Well I have to question this claim. Allthough it can process fast, "Your computer is only as fast as its weakest component". And as far As I am concerned there is not a modem out there that can pass data quicker than a PIII. The only thing that could be said about it is that playing online games with DirectX could be slightly faster due to Microsoft having support for SSE built in from 6.1 onwards. The spped of the PIII is no more than you would expect, but they do make it tricky in trying to find out exactly hat you are getting, for example We've got the standard, the B (133MHz bus), the E (256K L2 on die), and the EB (both 133MHz bus and 256K L2 on die). What's that all about then? They do like making life difficult. The specs of the coppermine are respectable at the top level with most having 256k cache and 100/133Mhz FSB and the standard 0.18 Micron technology. Fast Chip, the motherboards are cheaper than the ones for the Athlon and you dont need a special case with a 300W power supply. But the prices of the PIII are well overpriced and I dont think its worth that extra money, I have to say go with the Thunderbird in this situation.
How anyone can buy an Intel Pentium III I really do not know. They have been humiliated in every benchmark by the AMD Athlon and eventhough im not an AMD user I can still see that the PIII gets thrashed in every area. I dont use AMD because I feel that I get better value with my Cyrix chips but Intel are just ridiculous. They charge so much more for there Pentium 3 chips than the equivalent Athlon chips and they get outperformed so much. The only reason people buy Intel chips is the same reason that people buy 3dfx graphic cards. Its because they are brand concious. People are scared to stray from the norm of buying Intel and 3dfx and yet there are so many products out there that offer much better performance, just as good reliability and at a much cheaper price. I urge people to steer clear of Intel cpu's and buy other brands I can assure you you wont be dissappointed.
I chose an Intel chip purely because I couldn't buy an Athlon compatible motherboard to the spec I wanted (AGP 4x, UDMA66, 4 DIMM Slots & 6 PCI Slots). I bought what was at the time the cheapest available PIII chip, the 667Mhz. The EB makes use of coppermine technology to reduce chip size and therefore heat (making overclocking easier and more reliable), and also makes use of a 133Mhz bus speed (My PC lives in my loft, making it far too hot to risk overclocking - if this hadn't been the case, I'd have bought the 100Mhz bus version and overclocked it to a 133Mhz bus giving roughly 887Mhz). In combination with the Asus P3V4X board (which supports up to 150Mhz bus speeds) a theoretical maximum of 1Ghz should be possible... The Intel chip is both fast and reliable - I have no problem in recommending it. I can't comment on how it compares with the Athlon, other than to say that motherboard support for this processor is still far better than for the Athlon - which I think is a real shame.
OK, so this is supposed to be Intel's answer to AMD's range of Athlon processors. However, although it does incoporate the lateast technology, this is NOT an Athlon-beater. I repeat, this is NOT an Athlon-beater. Yes, it is easy to install and pretty fast, but when tested on the hottest games, an equivalent Athlon prcessor still beats it hands down. Oh, and who can forget about the price difference? An Athlon costs about £100 less than the Pentium. You decide.
My personal opinion on Intel Pentium III chip is nonetheless the best. I had built my computer powered by a Pentium III 500 MHz processor with Abit motherboard. The RAM is 128 MB. I used the Riva TNT2 32MB graphics card with a 16 bit standard soundcard. I installed a 10GB harddisk. This computer is mostly used in my research for performing complex calculations. Until now, the computer have no problem performing it and I could get the results after one minutes. Previously when I am running the calculations on another almost similar computer but with an AMD K6 500 MHz, it performed much slower compared to the system I am having now. Hence, a thumbs up for Intel but it would be great if the price of the processor can be lowered to match that of AMD. I heard that the Athlon is good but I havent got any chance to try it. I would like to see whether Athlon will be able to outperform my Pentium III or not.
Having recently purchased a pentium III 450mhz processor I have found it to be an incredible and excellent purchase. I used to own a dx2 50 mhz pc and as you can imagine this was very slow. The pentium III processor in comparison is a work of art. All the programs I have including Microsoft Office work at an incredible rate of speed and have no glitches whatsoever. As for the gamer out there, there is no need to worry. The Intel Pentium III has more than enough power to cope with most of today's game including the quake series. However, despite this it is still likely that you will need to purchase a 3d video card to cope with the detailed graphics of most new releases. However, purely on a work level I have found no faults with the Pentium III processor. It is a wonderful piece of kit and I recommend it to anyone............Buy one.
The best Intel processor to buy is Pentium III 550E. Notice the “E” postfix. It is one of the cheapest Pentium III CPU around, and yet one of the best one. I successfully overclock mine to 825Mhz!!! A real Pentium III 800Mhz cost much much more!! You need a 150Mhz FSB capable motherboard. The Abit VIA Apollo 133A motherboard is a good candidate. I am using Chaintech 6ATA2. Then you need good RAM. PC133 RAM is almost mandatory. Usually CAS2 PC133 RAM is able to run at 150Mhz CAS3. And as for all overclocking, you need some luck. I would say 70% of Pentium III 550E is able to reach 800Mhz and above. If 800Mhz is no go, then aim for 733Mhz, which is still a good 33% improvement! Keep you finger crossed here. Ok, with all the gear at hand, set the FSB to 133Mhz, without increasing the core voltage. If 733Mhz is stable, set to the next higher FSB. Otherwise, increase the core voltage 0.1V at a time until the system is stable (do not exceed 1.8V). Usually, 733Mhz is no problem at 1.7V. 825Mhz should be attainable at 1.8V. Good luck.