Please read all of this - it might enlighten you
But trust me, AMD is indeed greater than Intel. There are many reasons, but they've already been stated dozens of times within this forum. A recent development simply corroborates my point: AMD has produced the AM2 socket, which has 940 pins. The major benefit from this is the complete compatibility of DDR2 RAM, which runs faster, cooler, and more energy efficiently than DDR RAM. Now, AMD also has dual-core already available (such as the X2) and quad-core will be available in 2007.
Oh, by the way, since AMD processors run better than Intel processor at even lower speeds, this means you get much more out of over clocking - which I strongly warn against for hardware and basic technology novices.
Anyway, I say definitely go AMD and find a nice AM2 motherboard to go with a Athlon 64 X2 (AM2) and some nice DDR2 RAM on TigerDirect.com.
With my last two (semi-long) notes, I would like to explain (once again) AMD's number system... Because AMD processors *get more done* with one cycle than Intel, they have a lower clock rate than Intel processors. Does this mean that AMD is slower than Intel? Well, let me use this analogy. Say you and your buddy want to go on a bike ride, but you don't agree to use the same court. You choose to ride around an actual, full-length race track while your buddy wants to ride around his drive-way. Now, for every 1 of your laps, your buddy does 35. Does this mean that he goes faster? Not at all. Since he has to do much less each lap, he could do more in the same time that you do one, BUT your buddy has to make more turns than you and it slows him down a little. Within an hour's time, you travel 8 miles and he only travels 5 miles. You do more than him with less laps. How does this all relate to the processors? You
are an AMD processor. Your buddy
is an Intel processor. The laps
are the cycles of the processors. The distance traveled
is the actual work (calculations, routing, etc.) that has been done.
So, to show customers the equivalency of AMD power to Intel's power, AMD came up with their number system. The number shown (ex: 4400+) is the equivalent Intel speed multiplied by 1000. The plus sign means that it potentially has more power than that because each AMD processor is tested and sold underclocked - to minimize heat and power consumption. This means that an AMD Athlon 64 4200+ has the same power as an Intel 4.2GHz (or even higher) - though it's a shame Intel can't even get up to that clock speed. The FX number system is basically the same, with two exceptions. The FX number (ex: FX-57) is the Intel equivalent speed multiplied by 10. There are no plus signs in this number system to minimize complications. This means that an AMD Athlon FX-62 is actually as powerful as an Intel 6.2GHz processor, however, Intel seems lacking in the 6GHz section