Dude, you’re not getting a Dell.

I have Adobe After Effects 7, and it requires a processor with SSE instructions, which my Athlon XP 1700+ doesn’t have. Bummer, but I can edit videos on the Mac, so I’m ok.

Now, Dungeons and Dragons Online is out, and it too requirse SSE.  So now I have to upgrade.

I want a 64 bit processor for various reasons (mainly lots of virtual address space).. and I want dual core. 

From what I can tell, this isn’t a combination I can get from Intel.  Nowhere is it plainly stated whether the current Intel processors (other than the Xeon’s) are 32 or 64 bit, but it looks like they’re 32.  EMT64 doesn’t count, since it’s like EMM386 on steroids.  Meanwhile, AMD makes the Athlon 64 X2 processors that have excellent performance, and they’re not that at expensive.

The best upgraded CPU you can get from Dell is the Pentium 955 Extreme Edition with Dual Core Tech, and it’s a $800 upgrade.  Meanwhile, the Athlon 64 X2 3800+ is about $350 (not an upgrade).

In the benchmarks I’m looking at (over here), the AMD chip is close to the Intel chip (winning some, losing some), for less than half the price. 

I wanted my next computer to be a Dell, because that’s what I use at work, and I’m very happy with it.  But Dell won’t sell AMD chips, so I have to look elsewhere.

Or, wait for Conroe, a chip based on Intel’s new 65nm process and architecture, which does look very impressive.  Who knows what AMD will have available at the time Conroe is released, though.

The only good thing is the longer I wait, the better the computer I end up with will be.

Update: Okay, so the Pentium D series are dual core 64 bit processors. I didn’t know that, because Intel calls their 64 bit architecture EM64T, or “Extended Memory 64 Technology” which makes me think of some EMM386 type hack