The internals of my main PC are getting on a bit. My Duron 1200 is way behind today's dual core chips. It can run most things I throw at it, but is very slow when it comes to things like converting video files. I've been thinking of building a new PC, but there are savings to be made by upgrading this box as the drives are more up to date. I've just seen a couple of bundles that seem possible candidates. Both use mATX boards that would fit my Antec Aria and have on-board graphics that may be adequate for my non-gaming needs:
- Intel E4300 with 1GB. I've not had an Intel chip since my original PIII/350, but they seem to have stolen the lead now. I don't know how Linux would get on with the VIA chipset.
- AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ with 2GB. Uses nVidia, so should be well supported.
Both are around UKP200, which seems reasonable for an upgrade. Both chips use about the same power (65W), but these benchmarks show the Intel chip being considerably quicker in all fields. The Intel set has half the memory. It looks like another UKP45 to bring it level. There are question marks over the supplied heatsinks. Would they fit in my case and are they quiet? I'd pay a little extra for near silence. Intel have some new chips coming this month, which implies either that I could get that set for less or get something quicker for the same.
I've never been on the cutting edge of PC hardware. I've always bought chips near the low end of the range for a better price/performance ratio. I've also not bothered overclocking as reliability is more important than getting a little more speed. If I can find the spare money then I think I will be making the change soon. I'll probably take the opportunity to do a fresh install of Kubuntu after the next version is released.
If anyone wants to make any recommendations I am open to suggestions.