dealshp elite hpe-400z amd phenom ii x4 945 quad 3…

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My last PC purchase was from Dell, over 3 years ago. They all died just over 3 years out (coincidence? Hmm...) I've been shopping for new ones. I saw a deal here a while ago, and did some research. I had a Core 2 Extreme, and 2 Core 2 Quads. Now they're all "i3" "i5" and "Quad Core" etc. I found THIS site:

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

It lists performance of every processor from top to bottom. I found my old ones in the list for reference to the new ones. I was surprised to find some i7s below some i5s, and also surprised that the fastest AMD was WAY down the list. I settled on a bargain system from Tigerdirect, doubled the RAM, and added a 1 GB video card. I got a deal on Cyber Monday, and got 2 computers, the Ram and the videos cards, All for under $1000 (for my kids, for Christmas!)

The point of all this? The AMD Phenom II X4 945 is WAY, WAY down the performance list. Right near the Core 2 Quad I was replacing. Keep shopping for a deal on an Intel i5 or i7.

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@tcayer: There are tradeoffs to going with either Intel or AMD. Intel chipsets tend to be much faster on the whole, but far less stable. AMD, on the other hand, runs very stable but you won't get the performance boost that you might see with an i5 or i7 through Intel. This build strikes me as an excellent choice for a home theater PC, in which case stability would trump speed. AMD is the right choice under that scenario.

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This is overkill for anything but a gaming computer. I have a good enough home entertainment center computer. It has an original Quad Phenom (not II) at 1.8GHz with no GPU and 4GB RAM. It works fine for anything short of DVD file size (2GB per hr) meaning most any divx/avi/mkv/mp4 file around. Fine if you want to include BRay playing but you don't need all that RAM. The video card will do fine without it and you don't need this clock speed.
I am adding a 3.1GHz Phenom II Quad with a 512MB NVidia GPU to my cluster of four to replace the above. It has tested fine on its own in another configuration at 2.2GHZ to solve the 2GB/hr stuttering playback issue.
As to performance ranking ALWAYS look to the test suite. It is impossible to find one that is not with Windows and the entire range of computer functions. Then look at the cost/performance trade-off. AMD does a pure number crunching benchmark with image rendering software against windows. It wins! Video playback is number crunching.

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to continue ...
I mainly do number crunching and use linux and do BOINC in the background 24/7. Every time I have added or replaced a computer an Intel based machine the same performance from an Intel has been at least 20% more. The CPU costs more as do the support chips. And better means just by the benchmarks most of which measure things I do not do 24/7. Most of what I do can be done in 2GB of RAM. With 4GB RAM I have never caught that machine with more than about 2MB of swap. And that is my A/V center computer.
I never do anything that requires GB sized files in RAM but benchmarks will test performance with them. Should I some day become CFO of IBM and need that size spreadsheet in RAM I am certain I will start to care. The biggest files I work with and then only rarely are image files in the few tens of MB range.
It is 1 GB for the OS and the rest for data. I could load a 1 GB image, transform it into another 1GB in RAM and still not need 4GB RAM.