GHz value vs. Performance

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Can someone please explain what relevance the GHz value of a processor has when the performance is what actually matters?
In other words, why buy a P4 processor with a higher GHz value, when the Athlon (with a lower GHz value) produces a similar performance?

Thanks for any help!
athlon and pentium 4 are two entirely different processors. let's say you have an athlon xp at 1.5 or performs on par with p4's 2 ghz. thats the same performance at 25% frequency deficit. this only shows AMD has a superior core architecture over p4s. the p4 on the otherhand may run at higher frequencies altho they do not offer the most efficient core architecture, but they generally are more compatible with third-party hardware and software.( at least thats what i think). they differ in so many ways that there's no basis for comparison. both are good processors,...maybe its just personal preferrences that count.
couldnt have said it beter devlish. Yea the I think the number of cycles differs too with the AMD having 2 passes and the penitum having only 1, but i oculd be wrong. Anyways i like my AMD Athalon 2400+ :D
Actually, I believe AMD is 9 per clock cycle and Intel is 4.

But they are same performance (AMD almost is better) why buy something more expensive?
Yep, just like apples procs. They run QUITE a bit faster than most P4's, but speed mostly depends on the application type.
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