I’m running a shuttle XPC (SN27p2) with a 4850 and a x2 6000 in it. I think the shuttle power supply is something like 250 watts, and it handles it perfectly. That’s a nice AMD machine you can build on the cheap, and it’s tiny and quiet.
On the other hand, if I was building a new machine now, I’d be pretty tempted to go intel - phenom processors look like they are pretty poor across the board, so I don’t have a decent upgrade path.
AMD will make some good $$$ off the new 4850 - it’s by far the best bang for the buck. It’s a good thing they got ATI - they should make some profit there, and hopefully they’ll come back doing well once their next architecture comes out (2009?).
AMD’s a scrapper. They’ve been here before, and they’ve pulled it out. If they don’t beat intel pound for pound, then they’ll just dominate a different weight class, or compete strongly on pricing.
That being said, I’m not going back to AMD until they make their own chipsets. I stuck with AMD based on price/performance for many many years. Nearly a decade, actually. But all the chipset issues I had to deal with really just killed it for me. I bought a core 2 duo a year and a half ago, and I’m not going back.
If you’re primarily a gamer, you’ll be GPU limited FAR before CPU limited in most modern games. General advice: spend as much as possible on your video card, skimp on CPU and upgrade that sometime in the indeterminate future.
Even if you’re not a gamer – CPU matters a lot less than you’d think unless you’re doing something like raytracing, video encoding, etc. And even that parallelizable crap, once they move it to GPUs, will clobber CPUs of ANY speed.
I mean, how fast does your CPU need to be to open webmail and browse the web, which is what 95% of users appear to be doing exclusively nowadays?