UK PC supplier Evesham Technology offers both Intel- and AMD-based integrated systems. We asked the company if it could help us out by producing two systems with specifications and prices that were very similar to allow us to focus on the performance of the integrated graphics. It delivered a Prestige R at £499 with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ processor running at 2.41GHz on a Foxconn 6100M2MA-RS2H motherboard that uses an Nvidia's GeForce 6100 integrated chipset. The second system was a Prestige R Plus at £549. This was the Intel box, with a Core 2 Duo E6400 clocket at 2.13GHz on a Foxconn G9657MA-8EKRS2H mobo with G965 chipset.
Both PCs had 1GB of 533MHz DDR2 memory in dual-channel configuration with a 250GB WD 7,200rpm SATA hard drive, a Sony dual-layer DVD writer and Windows XP Home Edition. In short, a standard system of the kind rather a lot of folk will be looking to buy this festive season.
|Test System Details|
|Prestige R Plus
|Prestige R Plus
|Price||£499 inc. VAT||£549 inc. VAT||£549 inc. VAT|
|CPU||AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+||Intel Core 2 Duo E6400||Intel Core 2 Duo E6400|
|GPU||Nvidia GeForce 6100||Intel GMA X3000||Intel GMA X3000|
|Graphics Driver||Forceware 93.71||184.108.40.20642||220.127.116.1104|
Common courtesy demands that we give Evesham thanks for helping us out with this feature but there’s more to it that that. Evesham is one of only a handful of manufacturers in the UK that can build PCs with any make of processor, chipset and graphics that you choose and Evesham was running the very real risk that its name would be dragged down by the performance of one of the graphics cores.
Our thinking was that anyone who buys a cheap PC for Christmas from the likes of Dell, Evesham, HP or PC World is unlikely to know or care what graphics are inside as the emphasis of the marketing is on processor, memory, hard drive and price. Yet it’s highly likely that they will want to play the odd game, if only to keep the kids quiet, and then there’s the whole question of upgrading to Windows Vista at some point in the future.
Both of these PCs have a VGA output instead of DVI so we hooked them up to our 22in Taxan Ergovision 2285. Nvidia offers GeForce 6150 graphics that support DVI and to date we haven’t seen an Intel motherboard with a DVI output.
Intel have advantages
It's nice that windows vista gets lots of nice press, but I'm more concerned with the fact that AMd have yet to offer anything in the way of secure drivers to me as a linux user. intel on the other hand are co-operative and have developers in there doing their thing.
The support difference means I could never buy the amd/nvidia anyway. it'd be too risky.
When I was using my 6150 I got a score of 3.0 then I installed a 7600GS and now have a 4.5. I didnt think Vista was usable with the 6150 it was too slow to drag windows around. The 7600GS is a pretty good option for Vista since you can get the XFX one which has no fan, just a heat sink, and gets you a high enough score.
Could not find performance comparison for 6100
But from Tom's Hardware charts comparing a 6200 to a 7300 GS, the later has more than 17 times the 3dmark06 performance. This should tell you a little about why it matters what the chip is. One price point I found was a 7100 GS for about $52. Open platform means really the person buying the computer could ask for a gaming computer, even a low end one, and get a card in this vicinity, with hugely more graphic performance than a 6100.
Notice the price difference of 50 which I guess is about $97. Now......for $97 you can buy a rather nice graphics card........................for example for about $76 you could get a nice 7300GT (better than the previously mentioned GS), with more than 30 times the 3dMark06 performance of a 6200. So the AMD system would still be less than the Intel System, but have 30 times the performance of the tested system.....Hmmmmmm.......guess that's a little closer to Apples to Apples, price wise......make sense yet??
Missed the point
You have all missed the point of the article, anyone with any average to high level of knowledge with computers wouldn’t buy either system in the first place unless its for office use only.
The point of the article is that the everyday user doesn’t know what they are buying, the two systems are "typical" systems at the low end of the market, which is exactly the kind of systems people would consider buying.
It is irrelevant that the hardware is old, and can not be directly compared because of tech differences, simply because that is what is on offer today off the shelf’s for a similar price.
From a suppliers point of view these systems can be purchased very cheap and sold for considerable profit, this is where the money is made as margins on high end systems are comparatively low, thus this is exactly what kind of reviews the "new" user needs to read.