How is a 64-bit AMD PC different from an Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz PC and which is better for multimedia jobs?

AMD's new 64-bit processor architecture is made for now and the future. Most operating systems now are 32-bit, but the new Windows OS will use 64-bit technology, putting the AMD computer in it's element and would make that a better choice for the future. Also, I find AMD's are cheaper and generally faster than their Intel rivals. As far as multimedia, a fast processor is a start, but your video and sound cards will determine how much performance your computer can achieve.

Actually, Let me clarify. I am a Microsoft, Comptia and Cisco certified technician. The guy above has a few things wrong...

AMD call their processors 64 but intels processors are equally capable when it comes to running 64 bit applications. AMD just like to flaunt it.

Every windows OS from XP upwards has been available in both 32 and 64 bit versions.

The big advantage to 64 bit operating systems is that the processor is allowed to address a virtually unlimited amount of RAM, your motherboards limit is the only cap (most top out at 8GB these days though there will be some that go higher).

With 32-bit OS you wont get any performance benefit from having more than 2.25GB of RAM in your machine As that is the most memory anything 32-Bit can address. Included in that limit is your graphics memory so if you have a 512MB graphics card, a maximum of only 1.75GB of your system memory will actually be addressable to your processor.

Intel processors are generally more expensive but they usually have a larger cache than their equivelent AMD counterparts which improves their performance overall. They are generally the best choice for multimedia applications as, believe it or not, the graphics chip does a lot less work than the processor even when encoding video.

Pentium 4s however are very old now and so are the AMD 64s. You will be lucky to find any of them new in the wild. out of the 2 theyre probably about on par performance wise dependant on the model.

Intels new i7 chips are the ones to go for for the future but are a little expensive at the moment. A good Core2Duo or Core2Quad will last you a good while though.

For encoding or file compression of any sort i'd recommend an Intel though AMD chips will still get the job done. Choose a 64bit OS version and slap as much RAM as you can fit into the machine and you will have a beast of a multimedia editing system.

I would also recommend decent graphics and sound cards for playback. most good motherboards will give you a half decent soundcard built in, but onboard graphics cards don't cut it. something like a 9800gt or ati 4850 would be beneficial. As i believe they have HDCP and can breeze full high definition playback.

Good Luck with the new machine!