DVS: My question is focused on the near future not 2003.
SavagePaladin: Well AMD's been selling their CPU's in this price range (perhaps even lower) for years, all the while eating at Intel's marketshare so I'm not too worried about that aspect of the market right now.
Pakman: Well, that's my question, I keep seeing people move on to the Intel platform (not me, I won't buy an Intel if there's an alternative, if for no other reason but to balance the market) but when I research the benchmarks it seems that the 2.53mhz P4 is only marginally ahead of the Athlon XP 2200+ (in fact still behind in a few benchmarks) and most of these have been HEAVILY optimized for the P4, something you're not gonna find in a lot of run of the mill software.
I would say that in "balanced" software (for lack of a better term, meaning software where the P4 was just behind the Athlon XP before the Northwood/533mhz FSB chips shipped), the Athlon XP 2400+ and 2600+ in an nForce2 could take back the lead. In the software where the 2.0ghz P4 at 400mhz fsb beats an Athlon XP 2200+, well we'll have to wait for the Hammer's SSE2 to take advantage of the optimizations being used for that software.
Another question: Has anyone found any decent comparison's between a P4/533mhz DDR system and a Athlon XP 2200+ KT333 system? I haven't been able to find one.