Computer Speed Tests for the Average PersonThis section is my attempt at showing the differences between processors and how their performance ranks.
Computer Speed Analysis:
|CPU Descrip.||CPU Speed||CPU Cores||CPU FSB||CPU Cache||64 Bit||Mobo FSB||Sys RAM||Video||CPU Rank||Benchmark|
|AMD Athlon X3||3.2 GHz||3||2 GHz||1 mb||Yes||1 GHz||4 GB||ATI 5450||2715||4.09 sec.|
|AMD Athlon X2||2.4 GHz||2||1 GHz||1 mb||Yes||1 GHz||2 GB||ATI X600||1050||9.15 sec.|
|Intel Dual E2140||1.6 GHz||2||800 MHz||1 mb||Yes||1 GHz||1 GB||TBD||907||10.75 sec.|
|AMD Athlon64 3800||2.4 GHz||1||1 GHz||512 mb||Yes||1 GHz||2 GB||On Board||610||14.99 sec.|
|AMD Athlon64 3500||2.2 GHz||1||1 GHz||512 mb||Yes||1 GHz||2 GB||Nvidia 6600 GT||567||16.15 sec.|
|AMD Sempron 3100||1.8 GHz||1||256 MHz||256 KB||No||533 MHz||768 MB||ATI X300||450||19.20 sec.|
|Pentium 4||2.8 GHz||1||533 MHz||512 kb||Yes||533 MHz||768 MB||ATI X300||415||20.98 sec.|
|Celeron||2.6 GHz||1||400 MHz||256 kb||No||400 MHz||768 MB||On Board||295||20.98 sec.|
Take a look at the above chart and see how your computer stacks up. All of the machines shown above will get on the internet and surf the web. If you need a budget gaming machine I would stick with machine with CPU ranks above 550. What does this mean for you? Do not overpay for older Pentium 4 machines and before you shell out your hard earned dough on a computer make sure you check your CPU's performance rating.
So What Does this List Mean?
In layman's terms I would never buy a used or refurbished computer slower than a Pentium 4 2.8GHz and even then I would not pay more than $40 -$50 for it and only if it came with a decent amount of memory and good hard drive. My most surprising budget build was the AMD Athlon 64 3500. It was fast enough of a machine to play Nexuiz, a 3D fast paced FPS for Linux. I am sure the 2GB of RAM and Nvidia 6600GT video card helped.
Data Sources: CPU rankings were obtained from www.passmark.com, an excellent source of CPU data. The benchmark numbers are actual measurements that I received from performing the CNC Blowfish test on the Linux Mint 11 operating system.