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    Tech FAQ's


    Which is better, the Pentium !!! or the Athlon?
    What's the difference between a regular Pentium !!!, the E, the B, and the EB?
    What's the difference between the original Pentium !!! (Katmai) and the new one (Coppermine)?
    What about the new Celeron II?
    What's the difference between SDRAM and Rambus?



    Which is better, the Pentium !!! or the Athlon?
    It's really a matter of personal opinion. Athlons are definitely faster than the original Pentium !!!, but the new Coppermines can equal or beat the Athlon. However, the Athlon is cheaper, so you get more for your money. If you're into overclocking, the Coppermine 600E looks pretty sweet. Not that the Athlon is a bad overclocker though. You can see where this is going, just do some research, and pick the one that's best for you. BTW, I'm currently running an Athlon 650 that can do 750 easy, but I wouldn't mind a Coppermine 600@800 either!

    What's the difference between a regular Pentium !!!, the E, the B, and the EB?
    The "E" stands for Coppermine core (the original P3's used the Katmai core), the "B" stands for 133MHz bus speed vs the regular 100MHz bus speed. So a Pentium !!! 600 is the original P3, the 600E is the Coppermine core that runs on the 100MHz bus, the 600B is the original core on the 133MHz bus, and 600EB is the coppermine core on a 133MHz bus. To make things confusing, Intel doesn't use the "E" on anything faster than 600 (since that was the fastest Katmai ever made, anything faster is automatically a Coppermine).

    What's the difference between the original Pentium !!! (Katmai) and the new one (Coppermine)?
    The main difference is that the Katmai's L2 cache was 512K and ran at half the speed of the processor. The Coppermine's L2 cache is 256K but runs at full speed. Remember the celerons vs the Pentium II's, and how even though it had only 1/4 the cache (128K vs 512K), it was pretty much equal to the Pentium II cause it ran at twice the speed (the Pentium II's cache ran at half the cpu speed, the Celeron's at full speed). So the Coppermine, since it has 1/2 the cache at full speed, instead of 1/4 like the Celeron did, means it'll generally beat the Katmai MHz for MHz. There are a few programs that benefit from the bigger cache, even though it was slower (such as seti@home). But for general use, the Coppermine's faster.

    What about the new Celeron II?
    Read the
    Celermine review, it answers a lot of the questions frequently asked. Basically, it's a crippled Coppermine. It runs on the 66MHz bus, and only has half the cache. The bus speed can be a blessing in disguise though if you overclock. Bumping the bus from 66MHz to 100MHz is a bigger jump than 100MHz to 133MHz (50% vs 33%).

    What's the difference between SDRAM and Rambus?
    Checkout my
    SDRAM vs Rambus Analogy. Basically, Rambus is much faster than SDRAM; but because its latency (time to actually start sending data) is much higher than SDRAM's, there's often little, if any, performance gain. Factor in the 2-3 times more you'll pay for RAMBUS, and it doesn't make sense to all but a few people.




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