The price war between AMD and Intel is raging more so now than it ever has and while that is bad news for them it happens to be great news for the consumer. Desktop processors prices have been slashed and the latest processors from AMD and Intel are now running on matured platforms with chipsets that have finally been debugged. With lower prices and solid platforms consumers will find that building a new gaming rig on a tight budget has never been easier than now.
With AMD’s most recent price cuts they reduced prices on all of their series, but the sharpest cuts came on processors for AMD’s desktop lineup. The most powerful processor in the X2 lineup, the X2 6000+, now costs $241, down 48 percent from $464 last month. The next most powerful chip, the X2 5600+, is now 42 percent cheaper at just $188. The prices of other desktop chips were cut between 20 and 40 percent. With these drastic price cuts the consumer is the winner as AMD revenues will continue to decrease as the price war continues.
Since many can’t afford the highest price processors on the market we have focused on the sub $200 processors from AMD and Intel for an article that shows gaming performance between the two processors. To keep under the $200 budget we went with the $185 Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E6300 and the $184 AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor 5600+. Both of these processors are under $200 and are within just a dollar of each other, so when it comes to pricing alone it’s an apple to apple comparison. Price is the only reason that these processors are being compared to each other, so please remember that this article is about the bang for your buck.
To keep the comparison as fair as possible each processor needs to be tested on a similiar platform. We loaded up each test system with the same 4GB of Corsair DOMINATOR PC2-10000C5 memory modules, XFX GeForce 8800GTX video card, 250GB Western Digital hard drives, Corsair 620HX power supply and Windows XP Professional. Since we are comparing gaming performance six popular game titles were loaded onto each system and 3DMark06 was included for good measure.