If you're building a PC right now, the AMD/Intel choice essentially comes down to two things - your budget and how often you would want to upgrade. I'm assuming here that you want the fastest processing power your budget can buy.
Until now, if speed was a real priority, you were going the Intel i7 route. If you wanted to be reasonably future proof, you'd go the AMD socket AM3 route and sacrifice a little speed for long term compatibility.
Phoronix have posted a series of benchmarks that say that an overclocked AMD Phenom II X3 710 is very similar in performance to an Intel Core i7 920. Further, the overlocking is easy - no hardcore stuff. You can get i7 performance out of an X3 710. The price difference between the two processors alone is about USD100. This is not counting the difference between motherboard costs. Suffice it to say that your budget will not be affected that much - you get the speed of an i7 with the longevity of the AM3 socket with some simple overclocking.
Now you tell me - isn't that cool?
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