For laptop... the Intel stuff is looking pretty good. For desktop, I still like the AMD64x2 stuff. It's cheaper and is really fast. Of course Skype doesn't run as well on AMD :-)
Hmm, playing to my guilt huh? Well I'm a long standing AMD fan. All the machines I've built since, well at least 97' have been AMD machines. My only Intel boxes are used computers I got dirt cheap and my laptop which I bought before AMD had a decent mobile solution. AMD has not always been the performance leader, but they have always led it price / performance. But for me it's been about giving support to the little guy. Intel needs competition to keep it in check. Without it their prices get really unreasonable real quick.
Now for the guilty part. I just ordered up a new laptop with an Intel Dual Core chip instead of AMD. Sigh, itís not like I wasnít looking hard for an AMD chip. I really had my eye on the top of the line Ferrari AMD 64 Turion notebook. But in the end I went with the new Intel Core Duo processor. I chose it not so much because it is kicking out some serious performance with decent power management (which it is) but because I got such good deal from Dell. Some times it just comes down to cash. Iím getting a system that is pretty comparable spec-wise to the high end MacBook pro for about half the price of one (or the Ferrari for that matter). Crazy Dell, they always have some deal going or coupons that can be stacked together. I donít think Iíve ever purchased anything from them for list price. Speaking of which, articles like this one donít take into account that Dellís list prices donít apply to bargain savy internet consumers like you and I.
I used to be an Intel guy primarily because I was worried about how well the x86 asm layer would work on AMD (this was circa 1998 or so), primarily MMX extensions for games. Totally doesn't matter today though, so my 2004 desktop machine, which was built to play HL2 and Doom 3, has an AMD processor (3500+) and likely so will my next (non-Mac) PC.
For a laptop, I'd be more concerned with performance than battery life since I'm likely to bring an AC adapter with me if I do extensive mobile stuff (although at work, all of our conference rooms have loads of power adapters for Mac and PC, so I don't need to bring mine).
As a side note, do you think that Tom's Hardware could squeeze a few more ads onto their pages? I think I saw some whitespace there...
Also, Steve sez MacBook Pros are bitchin'...
I buy whatever J tells me to.
About that Dell...
Yeah, probably best to pave it right away.