I can think of one compelling reason. The 3ghz northwood was the end of the line for that platform where as s939 and even s754 had a number of faster chips coming out for them. But yeah, I don't think northwood was terrible overall. I'd just moved away from Intel during that era and it would have taken a much better product to move me back, not just competitive. You're absolutely right that prior to the introduction of nforce AMD chipsets were a huge weak point. I think VIA was the biggest supplier for quite awhile, I remember rocking an sdram thunderbird setup and never really loving that motherboard. I think the worst was probably the cacheless celeron. People dump on prescott and it was terrible but they still made a ton of them. And AMD is still making bulldozers. The celerons without cache were so bad they stained the whole celeron brand right out of the gate. Even after the awesome 300A had been out for a long time and the prior ones were dead and buried I still had people telling me how shitty celerons were based on the initial reviews. Hey, the misconception kept the prices down for those in the know. There were certainly some shitty celerons since but I'm talking about during the 300A's heyday I was hearing this.