___Here is a few prices for you to consider on the P3 vs. P4 solution:
I815E ASUS CUSL2
I850 ASUS P4T
for ~ $190.00 or a MSI 850 Pro
for ~ $180.00 + ~ $20.00 for CRIMMâ€™s
KT133A ASUS A7V
PIII 1 GHz ~ $220.00
P4 1.5 GHz ~ $210.00
T-Bird 1.33 GHz ~ $210.00
256 MB Micron PC133 CL2 SDRAM ~ $91.00 for both the PIII and the T-Bird
256 MB Samsung PC800 RDRAM ~ $220.00
___The difference is ~ $180.00 USD in favor of the PIII solution. You should receive a performance increase of ~ 20% with the P4 over the PIII at the frequencies posted above. You will lose ~ 5% using a P4 vs. a T-Bird at the frequencies in the above comparison although I do not truly recommend the AMD/VIA solution for HTPC use as you probably already know â€¦ The CPU F/HSâ€™s required for the P4 and the T-Birds needs to be a bit more robust (higher dB output) and I did not go into the specialized ATX12V PS and possible case configuration (I/O shields and form factors are a bit different) so make sure you are aware of this in your pricing and usability model as well.
___As for the stability, I would suspect the PIII on the CUSL2 is the most stable board but I have no definitive proof of this in my experiences. Both the A7V133 and the ASUS CUSL2 in my household run 24/7 and both perform (with both performance and stability in mind) magnificently. The Sharky Extreme Review of the ASUS P4T and the MSI 850 Pro linked above made mention of the fact that these 2 P4 boards may not have crashed once during their testing at std. FSBâ€™s. There is a PCI bandwidth bug plaguing the I850 P4 chipset but there is an HTPC forum member that uses a HiPix or an accessDTV without trouble on the I850 himself.
___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
New E-Mail address for the time being ... email@example.com
[This message has been edited by xcel (edited 05-07-2001).]