I found this story at the Inquirer intriguing, because it shows Intel taking a new tack in its apologetic for Pentium 4 performance. The pitch sounds a bit like an SMP or SMT thing: the P4 is faster when running more apps at once. From the story:
Intel engineers have tipped up at magazines' premises brandishing disks that show why P4 is actually quite a nippy little performer after all, especially if you're into streaming video, playing MP3s, 3D modelling and video editing - preferably all at once.So there you go. The P4 wins in virus checker performance. :)
"Traditional benchmarks only do one thing at once, so you're not using the full width of the pipe", claimed an Intel engineer. "The breadth of the pipe in the P4 means it should be tested in situations more like those in the real world where the user would likely have three or four applications running at once - as well as applications running in the background, like, say, a virus checker."
This appeal does make some sense to me, but I have to wonder how much merit it actually has. Maybe the instruction mix in a multitasking environment would favor the Pentium 4's deep pipeline, but maybe those nasty branch misprediction penalties would slow up the works. Hmm.
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