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A local vendor who builds custom machines is offering AMD Athlon 64 3000 processors at a very reasonable price, and it seems that I can build an AMD64-based machine which fits my pretty low budget.
Is buying AMD64 a good choice, and are there any particular problems I should look out for (for example, heat/ventilation). Is the performance noticeably better than, say, a Pentium P4? The machine will act as a desktop (running Linux) for web development.
Given a certain cost price neither is noticeably better in performance. No doubt there'll be strong reactions from one camp or the other but the only way you'll tell the difference is by running some benchmarks.
A properly configured and tweaked machine from either camp will be noticeably faster than it's default BIOS/default Windows/default drivers competitor.
If you are using a 64 bit *nix it's a different story. Go AMD
100% Linux only for this machine, so the lack of a decent Windows is not a handicap (and anyway, there's also a lack of a decent Windows for 32bit processors too!). Looks like I'll go for the AMD then, unless the overall price exceeds my budget. Thanks!