Intel’s Pentium 4 2GHz processor

Last we checked in a big processor benchmark roundup, the 1.8GHz Pentium 4 was trailing close behind the 1.4GHz Athlon. Since then, AMD has laid low, holding back on releasing a new Athlon speed grade. If the Pentium 4 2GHz can catch the 1.4GHz Athlon, Intel will have pulled off a neat double play, reaching 2GHz and retaking the performance lead at once.

We’ll investigate whether Intel has accomplished this goal below. We’ll also consider in more depth what, if anything, the 2GHz milestone really means to the PC market.

The chip
The primary difference between the Pentium 4 2GHz and the previous P4s we’ve tested is that this one is packaged to fit into Intel’s new microPGA 478-pin socket. Intel says Socket 478’s extra pins for power and ground connections improve stability for higher clock speeds. The older, larger Socket 423 will be phased out over time, and Socket 478 will supplant it. For the time being, the Pentium 4 will be available in both packages at speeds up to 2GHz.

The P4 2GHz is not the upcoming P4 chip code-named Northwood. It’s still built on Intel’s 0.18-micron fab process, like all previous P4s, and it’s the same basic core design, code-named “Willamette” in a past life. If you want to buy a Pentium 4 now and upgrade to the 0.13-micron Northwood chip later, be sure to get a Socket 478 motherboard. The P4 won’t be available in 423-pin form above 2GHz. We’ve kicked around the possibility of a Socket 423-to-Socket 478 adapter, but if anyone’s planning to make one, we haven’t heard about it. It certainly seems possible, but obviously its use would be relatively limited.

The 478-pin P4s are teeny little beasts, and Socket 478 takes up what seems like a ridiculously small portion of the motherboard’s surface area. Have a look at the pictures to see what I mean.

 


 


The 478-pin Pentium 4 2GHz – Click for larger versions

Despite the differences in physical appearance, the P4 system we’re testing today uses Intel’s 850 chipset with RDRAM, just like past Socket 423 systems.

 

The contenders
We’ll be comparing the new Pentium 4 to its top x86 competitors, pictured below, plus the top contenders from the x86 value market, the 900MHz Intel Celeron and 1GHz AMD Duron.

Pentium III 1.2GHz, Pentium 4 (Socket 423), Pentium 4 (Socket 478), Athlon We should point out that while the microPGA Pentium 4’s packaging is quite a bit smaller than the rest of the field, the chip itself, inside all of the packaging, is the largest of the bunch (though the same size as the Socket 423 P4 chip). Still, the miniature packaging is pretty spiffy.

Making sense of the megahertz “myth”
One of the things we have to return to again and again when evaluating the latest processors is the question of clock speed—usually measured in megahertz and gigahertz—and how that important variable affects overall performance. Now that we’ve hit the symbolic 2GHz milestone, it’s appropriate to stop and consider the question in more depth. We’ve had quite a bit of confusion about clock speed of late, in part thanks to the Pentium 4’s penchant for especially high clock frequencies. We’ve also had a Mac-versus-PC flare-up that led to some stern words over Apple’s somewhat deceptive attempts to make an otherwise-important point. (Apple hand-picked six Photoshop filters on which to base a comparison, then called the 866MHz G4 “58% faster” than a 1.7GHz Pentium 4.)

How MHz has mattered
Whatever you think about Apple’s marketing, the truth remains that clock speed isn’t everything. It is possible for a 1.2GHz processor to outrun (or completely crush) a 2GHz processor in real-world performance. Many things help determine a system’s overall performance, and the P4’s tendency to run at stratospheric clock speeds creates a substantial marketing problem the for likes of Apple and, more directly, AMD. The PC market—and especially its sales and marketing arms—has keyed in on clock speeds for years as an indicator of overall performance. Not only performance, in fact: it’s safe to say that MHz has equated to merit. A 900MHz system is widely recognized by consumers as “better” than a 700MHz system.

That perception is a bit naive, but its foundation is solid. Generally, clock speed has served as a marker for a PC’s place in the grand scheme of things. Before you scoff, consider that in an Intel-dominated PC market, MHz is a surprisingly effective marker. It can tell you all sorts of things about a PC in an instant. For instance, say you have two retail desktop PC systems, one 333MHz and the other 350MHz. Judging by the clock speeds, they’re probably Pentium IIs. One system has a 66MHz front-side bus (FSB), while the other has a 100MHz FSB. The 333MHz box talks to memory at 66MHz, while the 350MHz box uses PC100 SDRAM.

Then compare that 350MHz box to a 1.2GHz system. We’re probably looking at AGP 2X versus 4X, ATA/33 versus ATA/100, a system without USB ports versus one with four, the list goes on—a wide disparity in hard drive performance, graphics chip horsepower, RAM, and more. The standard amount of RAM on the 350MHz box probably matches the amount of RAM on the 1.2GHz box’s graphics card.

This sort of feature escalation is standard practice for the Dells and Gateways of the world, and it’s one reason why the “MHz myth,” as it’s been called, has been an effective means of communicating a very complex reality to consumers, whether those consumers be clueless first-time PC buyers, aloof IT managers, or even in-the-know PC enthusiasts. (I hate to do it, but I feel bound to note that in the case of the G4, 866MHz is a pretty good marker. The Mac system probably has a 133MHz FSB, PC133 memory, and an ATA/66 storage interface, much like an older, 866MHz Pentium III system. Not that that’s the whole story.)

Needless to say, if you’re selling an Athlon-based PC that runs at 1.4GHz and your competitor is selling a 2GHz Pentium 4-based system for a similar price, you’re going to be fighting a nasty uphill battle—even if your product actually offers more bang for the buck. If you have to count on the wannabe-geeks in blue knit shirts at Best Buy to explain “the megahertz myth” to consumers, you are in deep, deep trouble.

 

Where MHz come from
That said, let’s look at how these clock speed numbers get determined. The abiding reality of the PC market for the past twenty years has been the tendency—wrapped up in Moore’s Law and executed with precision by Moore’s company, Intel—for processor power and clock speeds to ratchet upward with regularity. Speaking simply, a processor’s clock speed is determined by several things. Among them:

  • Manufacturing technique and efficiency — I’m listing this one first because it is, in some respects, the most important variable here. Most regular clock speed increases come from improvements in manufacturing techniques or efficiencies. When Intel, AMD, or whoever produces a wafer full of chips, the quality of the chips on that wafer determines how fast each chip will run. Although the Athlon 700MHz and the Athlon 1.4GHz were made using the same basic manufacturing process (with a 0.18 micron feature size and copper interconnects), AMD has gotten better at producing these chips over time, so clock speeds have risen. Often, these minor refinements in manufacturing efficiency come from tweaks to the process used to fabricate chips, or from minor changes in the design of the chips themselves.

    Of course, CPU makers try to control things by timing the release of new chips and offering pricing points up and down the supply and demand curves. But they’re simply coping—quite cleverly, it must be said—with the realities of chip fabrication. (We crazy overclocking types try to catch CPU makers selling chips rated to run at much lower speeds than they’re capable. Occasionally, we find a real gem, like the Celeron 300A, that will happily run over 50% faster than its rated speed. We then—also quite cleverly—buy ’em cheap and run ’em at higher speeds.)


    A wafer of P4 goodness. Mmm… crunchy.

    Every so often, CPU makers transition to a newer, more advanced manufacturing process. Recently, Intel has been making just such a move from its 0.18-micron, aluminum-based process to a copper-based, 0.13-micron process that uses low-capacitance dielectrics. Chips made on this newer process are smaller, consume less power, run cooler, and are able to run at higher frequencies. The 1.2GHz Pentium III, which we reviewed not long ago, is fabbed on Intel’s new process. These chips have been reported to run just fine at upwards of 1.4GHz, while previous, 0.18-micron Pentium IIIs haven’t been good for much over 1GHz. This sort of transition to a new manufacturing process, known as a die shrink, usually brings with it headroom for ever-higher clock speeds. The Pentium 4 has yet to undergo a die shrink on Intel’s new process, but it should soon.

  • Microprocessor design — The other big variable in the clock speed equation is processor design. Older designs don’t generally take well to higher clock frequencies, which is one reason why you don’t see any 1.5GHz 486s selling in “value” PCs. Newer designs employ deeper pipelines—where less work gets done at each stage of the game—in order to better tolerate higher clock frequencies. Thus, some processor designs are better suited to higher clock speeds than others.

    The contrast between the Pentium III and Pentium 4 is a case in point. The PIII made it up to 1.13GHz when manufactured on Intel’s 0.18-micron fab process. The Pentium 4, with its radical, 20-stage pipeline, debuted at 1.4 and 1.5GHz, and has now hit 2GHz—all on the same 0.18-micron process. The chips were made in essentially the same fashion, but the P4 design takes to higher frequencies better. (For more on the Pentium 4 and how it’s optimized for high clock speeds, see our original Pentium 4 review.)

    Of course, there are tradeoffs here. The P4 typically gets less work done per clock cycle than the PIII, so a 1.4GHz P4 isn’t necessarily a better performer than a 1GHz PIII. But, as you’ll see, the P4 at 2GHz makes the PIII look like the sad, old man that it is.

  • Power and cooling — It’s possible to wring some extra speed out of a processor after supplying it with additional power and better cooling. Extreme cooling solutions like those from Kryotech can allow for big jumps in clock speed, though they’re not always cost effective. Most overclockers use minor voltage increases and beefier versions of conventional air-cooling equipment to help bring stability when they crank up the clock.

    Power and cooling requirements are limitations, too. Laptops generally run at lower clock rates than desktops to avoid excess heat and power draw. As clock speeds have risen, standard-issue desktop PCs have gone from small, passive heatsinks in the 386 and 486 eras to the massive, ducted, fan-driven active cooling solutions of today.

 
What makes performance
The question of how clock speed translates into performance is a complex one, but we can make a few generalizations. One of the most useful concepts in understanding processor performance is instructions per clock, or IPC. IPC describes the amount of work a processor does in a clock cycle.

Modern processors play all sorts of tricks that make the concept of IPC a little bit slippery. For example, techniques like branch prediction and speculative execution can make some instructions appear to execute in “zero” clock cycles. Likewise, SSE instructions can complete the equivalent of a whole series of conventional instructions in just a few clock cycles. With deep pipelines that keep a raft of instructions “in flight” at once, and with different types of instructions that take different amounts of time to execute, pinning down an exact number of instructions per clock on modern CPUs is pretty much impossible. The concept of IPC has survived because it’s a generalization, a useful conceptual term. It’s safe to say that the Pentium 4’s IPC is usually lower than the PIII’s or Athlon’s, even though that’s not always the case.

Put simply, processor performance is determined by the intersection of IPC and clock speed. We’ve demonstrated in the past that the Pentium 4 1.7GHz performs roughly the same as a 1.2GHz Athlon. Taken together, the respective IPCs and clock speeds of these two processors produce an approximate match.

I should point out here that in the world of processors, neither IPC nor clock speeds require a value judgment. The Pentium 4 doesn’t “suck” because it has a relatively low IPC, and the G4 isn’t a screamer simply because it has a relatively high IPC. By the same token, the P4’s 2GHz clock speed doesn’t automatically make it the greatest CPU ever, and the G4’s relatively pokey top speed of 866MHz isn’t a sure sign of a loser. Only the combination of IPC and clock speed determines performance; how you arrive there is interesting, but it’s a secondary question.

All sorts of things affect the overall performance of a computer system, of course—the amount and type of RAM, hard disk transfer rates and access times, the front-side bus speed, and truly esoteric considerations involving overall system tuning. A relatively slow memory subsystem tied to lower-speed bus can starve a processor’s pipelines, effectively reducing its IPC. Putting the same processor at the same clock speed into a system with a faster bus and memory could bring its IPC back up. And CPU performance itself is only part of the game. You can have the fastest processor on the block, but if your graphics card’s a dog, your system ain’t gonna run 3D games well.

To pile on just one more layer of complexity, there’s also the question of the software you’re running. Really well optimized code can make brand-new processors hum, but moldy, old executables can make a Pentium 4 perform more like a Pentium II. We considered this issue at some length in this article, when we compared programs compiled with different compilers or compiler options. We’ll revisit this question briefly in our POV-Ray tests below.

Now, let’s move on to the benchmarks, where we can put all this theory into action.

Our testing methods
As ever, we did our best to deliver clean benchmark numbers. Tests were run at least twice, and the results were averaged.

Our test systems were configured like so:

  Socket A (DDR) Socket A (PC133) Socket 423 Socket 478 Socket 370
Processor AMD Athlon 1.2GHz
AMD Athlon 1.4GHz
AMD Athlon 1GHz
AMD Duron 1GHz
Intel Pentium 4 1.4GHz
Intel Pentium 4 1.6GHz
Intel Pentium 4 1.8GHz
Intel Pentium 4 2GHz Intel Celeron 900MHz
 Intel Pentium III 1.2GHz
Front-side bus 133MHz (266MHz DDR) 100MHz (200MHz DDR) 100MHz (400MHz quad-pumped) 100MHz (400MHz quad-pumped) 100MHz (Celeron)
133MHz (PIII)
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-7DX Asus A7VI-VM Intel D850GB Intel D850MD Intel D815EEA2
Chipset AMD 760/VIA hybrid VIA KM133 Intel 850 Intel 850 Intel 815EP
North bridge AMD 761 VIA VT8365 82850 MCH 82850 MCH 82815 MCH
South bridge VIA VT82C686B VIA VT8231 82801BA ICH2 82801BA ICH2 82801BA ICH2
Memory size 256MB (1 DIMM) 256MB (1 DIMM) 256MB (2 RIMMs) 256MB (2 RIMMs) 256MB (1 DIMM)
Memory type Micron PC2100 DDR SDRAM CAS 2.5 Infineon PC133 SDRAM CAS 2 Samsung PC800 Rambus DRAM Samsung PC800 Rambus DRAM Infineon PC133 SDRAM CAS 2
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce3 64MB (12.41 video drivers)
Sound Creative SoundBlaster Live!
Storage IBM 75GXP 30.5GB 7200RPM ATA/100 hard drive
OS Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
OS updates Windows 2000 Service Pack 2, Direct X 8.0a

The test systems’ Windows desktops were set at 1024×768 in 32-bit color at a 75Hz screen refresh rate. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled for all tests.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

  • SiSoft Sandra Standard 2001.3.7.50
  • Compiled binary of C Linpack port from Ace’s Hardware
  • ZD Media Business Winstone 2001 1.0.1
  • ZD Media Content Creation Winstone 2001 1.0.1
  • LAME 3.70
  • SPECviewperf 6.1.2
  • POV-Ray for Windows version 3.1g (multiple compiles)
  • 3DMark 2001 Build 200
  • Quake III Arena 1.17
  • Serious Sam v1.02
  • ScienceMark 1.0
  • Sphinx 3.3

All the tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.

 
Memory performance
We’ll kick it off, as usual, with a look at memory performance. The Pentium 4 has traditionally excelled at memory bandwidth performance, and the 2GHz model is no exception.

The P4’s impressive memory bandwidth has often been attributed to its dual channels of Rambus DRAM, but recent previews of the Pentium 4 using DDR SDRAM, like the 1.2 and 1.4GHz Athlons do in the test above, have shown impressive memory performance, as well. Our preliminary internal testing with a VIA P4X266 reference motherboard and PC2100 DDR SDRAM has shown Sandra memory scores in excess of 1000MB/s—well above Athlons using the same RAM. The long and short of it is that the Pentium 4 makes great use of a fast memory subsystem.

To get a little more detailed picture of how these processors access memory, we’ll look at Linpack results. To keep things simple, I’ve only included one result per CPU type. Otherwise, the graph’s darn near impossible to read.

Of course, this graph isn’t terribly easy to read even now without some explanation. What you’re seeing is the performance, in MFLOPS, of a floating-point calculation being performed on data matrices of varying sizes. A smaller data matrix will fit into the CPU’s L1 an/or L2 caches, allowing for some very fast calculations. As the matrix size grows, the data must be accessed in main memory, slowing things down. Let’s break it down:

  • The orange line is the Pentium 4. It reaches its peak at about 192K, when everything fits into its L1 and L2 caches, and the numbers are crunching. Its peak performance is just under the 1.4GHz Athlon’s. When it has to go to main memory, once the matrices get bigger than about 256K (in the right half of the graph), the P4 doesn’t drop off nearly as much as the others. That’s because the P4’s very fast accessing its main memory, and its dual RDRAM channels deliver gobs of bandwidth. All in all, it’s an impressive performance.
  • The green line represents the Athlon. Unlike the Pentium 4, the Athlon’s L2 cache doesn’t duplicate data stored in its L1 data cache. As a result, the Athlon’s effective total cache size is larger. The Athlon doesn’t really drop off going to main memory until we hit about 320K. However, the Athlon’s L2 cache is a tad slower than the P4’s; you can see, at about 64K, where the Athlon has to start moving beyond its L1 data cache into it slower L2 cache, and the MFLOPs drop off. Once the Athlon gets to main memory, it’s quite a bit slower than the P4, but faster than all the PC133 SDRAM-based systems.
  • The two value processors here, the Duron and Celeron, each have an effective cache size of 128K. The Duron whups the Celeron, though, delivering a much higher peak and outrunning all the other PC133-based systems when accessing main memory thanks to its hardware prefetch logic. The new Athlon Palomino, due to replace the current desktop Athlon chips before long, will include this same prefetch mechanism, and it should take better advantage of its available memory bandwidth as a result.

Keep in mind that memory performance alone doesn’t determine overall performance, as we’ll see below. However, it does give us some important clues about why these different chips perform like they do.

 

Business Winstone 2001
Now for our first indication of how these processors really stack up. Business Winstone tests performance in everyday office apps like spreadsheets, word processors, and web browsers.

For the first time ever, the fastest Pentium 4 beats out the fastest Athlon in the Business Winstone test. That’s new territory for Intel, since AMD’s Athlon has dominated the top ranks of performance for nearly a year now.

Content Creation Winstone 2001
Content Creation Winstone is arguably more important than Business Winstone, since it tests more performance-sensitive apps, like image and audio processing suites, desktop publishing, web layout programs, and the like.

Once again, the 2GHz Pentium 4 just edges out the 1.4GHz Athlon, bolstering Intel’s possible challenge to the throne.

 

POV-Ray 3D rendering
POV-Ray is a freeware software ray-tracing program that creates high-quality 3D scenes. It’s also a very useful measure of a processor’s performance, particularly on floating-point math. Our POV-Ray tests use the original release of POV-Ray 3.1, plus Steve Schmitt’s recompiled versions, just to see what difference the various compilers and compiler settings can make.

The recompiled POV-Ray comes in two flavors: “PIII” and “P4”. Both were produced with Intel C v. 5.0. The “PIII” version doesn’t use any instructions proprietary to Intel processors or to the PIII; it runs just fine on the Athlon and the P4. The “P4” version uses a small bit of SSE2 code, but it doesn’t take advantage of the P4’s SIMD capabilities. I’ve indicated which version of POV-Ray was used in the graphs below next to the processor/speed labels, so it should be easy to track.

Also, because the graphs were getting big enough already, I’ve again omitted results for some of the processors in our test.

The Athlon wins this one by a half-second margin, but it’s extremely close. The different compiled versions of this program show what a dramatic difference a compiler can make. The Pentium 4 at 2GHz ties the Pentium III at 1.2GHz using the original code, but the P4-optimized version vaults the same CPU to the second spot on the charts. That’s a 37-second difference between the highest and lowest scores for the 2GHz Pentium 4. By contrast, the gap between scores for the Athlon 1.4GHz is only 20 seconds. Clearly, both CPUs benefit from compiler optimizations, but the Athlon does a better job slogging through legacy code.

The Athlon’s lead grows when rendering the more complex, ray-traced chess2 scene. For pure computational power, it’s hard to beat the Athlon’s killer FPU.

LAME MP3 encoding
LAME is the encoder of choice around Damage Labs for high-quality output, so this test holds some interest for me. More speed for MP3 encoding is always good. However, to keep it fair, we’ve avoided the newer builds of LAME that incorporate support for the Athlon’s 3DNow! instructions.

The seesaw battle we’ve seen in the benchmarks above comes to rest here in a dead heat. The fastest Athlon and the fastest P4 will encode your music in exactly the same time using this version of LAME. It may seem kind of sad that the P4 “needs” 2GHz to match the 1.4GHz Athlon’s performance, but in truth, it’s a sign that the Pentium 4 has arrived. To match the 1.4GHz Athlon in raw computational performance, no matter how you do it, is no mean feat.

 

Quake III Arena
Now for some 3D gaming benchmarks, where those memory bandwidth numbers we looked at above are more likely to come into play. The P4 has always loved Quake III Arena, and the 2GHz version should be no exception.

Yep. The P4 just clobbers the Athlon in Quake III. Notice that this game is an exception to the rule: the P4 isn’t only faster in absolute terms here; it’s faster clock-for-clock than the Athlon. For whatever reason, the Pentium 4’s IPC is higher than the Athlon’s in Quake III. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.

Serious Sam
Let’s try another OpenGL-based first person shooter for good measure. Serious Sam allows us to plot performance over time, so we can see how the different processors handle different portions of the game demo we’re timing. In this case, we’ve used five-second intervals. The graph does get a bit crowded, but I think it’s still comprehensible. The end result looks like so:

This one is close. If we were reporting only an average frame rate here, the top Athlon and the top P4 would be essentially tied. However, our graph shows us that the P4’s peaks are higher, and lows lower. The edge in playability would have to go to the Athlon, since it handles the worst-case scenarios better, ensuring smoother overall gameplay.

And oh yeah: don’t buy a Celeron.

3DMark 2001
The battle for 3DMark supremacy has been a back-and-forth affair, with the release of NVIDIA’s 12.41 graphics drivers pushing things back in Intel’s favor. Here’s how our contestants stack up:

Here’s another 3D graphics test where the P4 darn near matches the Athlon in clock-for-clock performance. Once the P4 reaches 2GHz, the margin of victory is substantial. When it comes to 3D graphics performance, especially with NVIDIA’s highly optimized drivers, the Pentium 4 is hard to beat.

 

SPECviewperf workstation graphics
Viewperf measures a different brand of graphics performance: professional OpenGL applications like CAD and 3D modeling.

In the Awadvs, DX, and Light tests, the 2GHz P4 system shows some performance anomalies, turning in much lower scores than one would expect. I checked and double-checked this one. Vsync was disabled, the screen resolution and bit depth were set right, the proper drivers and patches were installed, the AGP aperture size was the same (256MB) as the other systems—everything seemed right. We checked with Intel, who in turn checked with NVIDIA. NVIDIA confirmed there is an issue with the 2GHz Pentium 4 and the current drivers. It apparently relates specifically to high graphics bandwidth benchmarks, and like us, they’ve only seen the problem in viewperf.

Newer (currently unreleased) drivers from NVIDIA, labeled version 14.61, resolved the problem for us. As you can see, the red bar on the graph (which represents results at 2GHz with the 14.61 drivers) shows the P4 2GHz performing more line with expectations.

 

Speech recognition
The Sphinx speech recognition tests, a relatively new addition to our test suite, came to us via Ricky Houghton, who works in the speech recognition effort at Carnegie Mellon University. They’re based on Sphinx 3.3, which is an advanced system that promises greater accuracy in speech recognition. You can find source for Sphinx at SourceForge.org.

Sphinx seems to rely heavily on two things: high memory bandwidth, and Intel’s SSE instructions, so it’s well suited to the Pentium 4. What we’re after is a computer that can run the Sphinx 3.3 faster than real time, so that this new version of Sphinx is practical for everyday applications. (Running at about 20% faster than real time would be ideal.) We’ve come close in the past, but we haven’t quite made it. Can the 2GHz P4 finally put us over the hump?

Not yet, but we’re getting very close, especially with the Microsoft compiler. It won’t be much longer now. It may take a new memory architecture to get us to 0.8 times real time, which is the ultimate goal.

ScienceMark
On to Tim Wilkens’ (now Dr. Timothy Wilkens, thank you very much) computational benchmark, ScienceMark. This suite of tests measures computational ability by running some well-known (in the right circles) scientific equations. Like 3DMark, ScienceMark then spits out a composite number denoting a system’s overall score in the suite.

Here’s how our contenders fared:

In this very pure test of raw computational power, the 2GHz Pentium 4 shows it’s again a match for the Athlon. This kind of number crunching may not be its strong suit (certainly not compared to graphics), but the P4 can definitely hold its own. These processors are fast in very different ways, however, as some of the individual test results show.

The P4 dominates in Primordia, while the Athlon does especially well in the QMC and Liquid Argon tests.

 

Conclusions
All in all, our benchmarks have made it clear: by just a smidgen, the Pentium 2GHz edges out the 1.4GHz Athlon to retake the x86 performance crown for Intel. The P4 isn’t faster in every way. It’s very close to the Athlon in intensive computational tests, and the P4 can be quite a bit faster than the Athlon in gaming, graphics, and other bandwidth-intensive tasks. The Pentium 4 still shows some weakness when running legacy code, but it’s amazing how extra MHz can help soothe those concerns. The P4 has ramped up quite nicely, and it’s finally hitting its stride. If you must have the absolute fastest desktop PC processor at any price, the Pentium 4 2GHz is your ticket.

We expect the Pentium 4 to keep its performance lead just as long as AMD wants it to. When the time comes, AMD will release a 1.5GHz Athlon based on the new Palomino core, which is even faster clock for clock, and recapture the performance lead. I wouldn’t be surprised to see these chips accompanied by a “MHz isn’t everything” consumer education marketing blitz from AMD. (Did I just use the terms “AMD” and “marketing blitz” in the same sentence? Check my temperature.)

For the P4, 2GHz is a nice, round number, but the big product transition is still ahead, when the die shrink comes in the form of the chip code-named Northwood. Rumor has it Northwood may include 512K of L2 cache and possibly other enhancements to improve its clock-for-clock performance. How well (and how quickly) the Pentium 4 will make the transition to Intel’s new, 0.13-micron fabrication process is still an open question. Judging by what we’ve seen so far from both the P4 and Intel’s 0.13-micron fab process, the two things ought to go together very well.

For now, Intel has decided to get aggressive with pricing and marketing going into the Windows XP launch and the holiday buying season. To that end, Pentium 4 prices will be cut substantially across the line, though the premium for the 2GHz model remains hefty. As of today, P4 prices will look like so:

2.0GHz $562
1.9GHz $375
1.8GHz $256
1.7GHz $193
1.6GHz $163
1.5GHz $133
1.4GHz $133
1.3GHz $133

The matching prices for the bottom three speed grades mean the 1.3 and 1.4GHz P4s will be effectively killed off soon, which is good, because they’re not very compelling options.

For enthusiasts building their own computers, these price cuts are a step in the right direction, but the Athlon remains a much better value. Retail boxed 1.4GHz Athlons are selling online now for about $130. The competing P4 is still over four times the price. And with the P4, you’re stuck with expensive Rambus DRAM. Better P4 memory options are just on the horizon, but they’re not quite here yet.

For consumers looking to buy PCs from system vendors like HP or Compaq, the P4 value proposition should be be quite a bit better. Intel offers big OEMs deep discounts on processors, and we expect to see Pentium 4-based PCs selling at very competitive prices over the next few months. Unfortunately, many of those systems may be saddled with relatively slow PC133 memory if Intel’s plans unfold as they’re apparently planning. Consumers will want to watch the system specs carefully. We’d recommend seeking out and pricing at least one Athlon-based option before making a purchase decision. Unfortunately, Athlons seem to be getting harder to find on retail and from bigger OEMs. 

Comments closed
    • Anonymous
    • 16 years ago

    Thanks to everyone who contributed to the repot it surely is an excellent source of info. thanks again.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I don’t understand very well one thing!In all the benchmarks it is compare the Athlon Tbird 1.1-1.2 Ghz with Intel P4 1.5-1.7Ghz or Athlon XP2000+ with P4 2-2.2 Ghz.So is a 500-600 Mhz nominal diference of clock-speed.Though, the TBird is relative equal with P4,more like this,in 3D modeling,designing,rendering,Athlon far beat the Intel.Even in this condition, with this strange comparations, the Intel fans continue to assert that Intel is better (even compare the price).Very strange!!??What’s hapened if is compare one TBird with 1.4Ghz and one Intel P4 with 1.4 Ghz?I think that the first is the Athlon, den some ten free spaces and den the Intel.

    PS: excuse please my english failure.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    I would like to know if the Athlon mboard tested has a dual CPU onboard. If not, how would having two CPU’s onboard affect the results of testing done.

    I am considering whether to go the P4 route with the more costly RAMBUS, or go with an Athlon configured mboard with dual CPUs

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    aye emm dee r0000lz!

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[mokyounfai_2000@yahoo.com

    I would like to know also how the heat generate from the processer affect the performance from both AMD 1.4 Ghz and Pentium 4 2.0 Ghz after 15 – 20 hours running the processer non-stop… especially in hot and humid country like Malaysia..

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Alanzilla
    • 18 years ago

    #94 & #95, good clarification. On servers, we’re already running into the 64GB limit of 36-bit addressing.

    As for the frames-per-second argument, well, television [i]is[/i] 30 frames-per-second, but it is broadcast at 60 fields-per-second (the frame is interlaced, so one field is the odd lines and one field is the even lines).

    Also, lost further down in the muck was a good point: the gameplay will make the framerate drop, so the higher the possible framerate, the less it will drop.

    Who amongst us runs their computer monitor at 30 frames-per-second?

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[http://www.fraps.com<]§

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    (AG#94 again). I suppose I should qualify the “hype” statement by saying “hype for desktops.” Servers already have plenty of uses for 64 bit addresses, and so do big time number crunchers, rendering machines, and so on. But normal people really don’t. AMD’s x86-64 may be just what the doctor ordered… 64 bits of marketing madness, backed up by 32 bits of actual performance, 99.9% of the time.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    AG#91: Bzzzt. Wrong answer. 16 bits = 65536 addresses, 32 bits = 4294967296 addresses, and 64 bits = about 18446744074000000000 addresses. Hmm, do you see demand increasing that fast? Now at 16 bits we didn’t have enough, but at 32 bits we’ve still got plenty for all or very nearly all of the things we do with our computers. 64 bits is useful because it allows more memory primarily, but unless you need all that, it only makes a computer slower!

    Slower, not faster! 64 bits is not a good thing, necessarily. 64 bits is hype, all hype. These days, we can’t hardly even get enough fast RAM together to hit the 32-bit 4gb RAM limit, can you possibly imagine any PC you buy any time at all in the near future acutally have that much fast RAM? What would you do with it all? Are your word docs growing, are web pages getting that complex? Games, maybe, but only after we’ve switched to DVD’s to distribute them. And how in the hell could anyone coordinate gigabte-of-data games over anything less than fiber obtics?

    Would you buy a 8-wheeled pickup? (Doooood, look how much manly shiznit I can carry!!! Woo hoo!!) Cars with 4 wheels are better than motorbikes, right? So why doesn’t it carry on forever, 16 wheels, 32? Cause we reach the point where it doesn’t matter.

    So I say again, 64 bits is hype.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Thanks for the link #92 (me again – gaffo), yep just look at USAF (not familiar with this game), look how low the FPS’s are compared to the ave. fist-person-shooter. 30-FPS on that 800 Duron (would be no faster on the Athlon – all x87 stuff, no cache here). You have to have a monster fpu, and the p-4 will not cut it. Even that 1.4 ghz Athlon will get you only 60 FPS.

    For me those low FPS need all the help they can get, so a good x87 is the thing. As for FPS, looks like just about any chip is fast enough as long as the vid-card is decent.

    just my 2-cents.

    • Ryu Connor
    • 18 years ago

    [q]So, um, aside from the increased memory address range, does 64-bit really matter?

    Nobody’s ever been able to convince me it does, especially when there’s plenty of slow 64-bit crap out there.[/q]

    That’s what they said about 32bit apps when people were leaving 16 bit behind.

    64 will be faster, but it is going to take time for the technology and software to properly mature.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    dissonance – me again – is thee a utility that records FPS out on the net somewhere that you can load – like a TSR – and then run the sim?

    I use stuff like “moslo” which I use to play the old 80’s DOS XT games at TX speeds (makes my Athlon run 100-times slower). There are alot of little utilities on the net.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Forge – 80,83,86 – not that I know of unfortunately. The issue my have to be a subjective one. But, that doesn’t mean it a non-issue, personally I feel it is a very important one.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Me again 80,83 — yes I know demos are only good if they are totally loaded with graphics to tax the system. EAW does not have a demo. But you can start the game – loadup full number of planes, set max scenery etc… than start the game. It plays itself! for hours, it will cut-scenes between the bomber formations, fighters etc… There must be some utility out there that will read the FPS if the game doesn’t offer a FPS number. Regardless, you can tell 30 FPS from 60 with your eyes.

    I’m just saying that here the chip will matter a hell of alot.

    • Forge
    • 18 years ago

    Hmmm… For a benchmark to work, we’d need a solid fps counter with an average and a prescripted run that could be standardized, at the very least. Does any flight sim offer that?

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    AG:80, no one plays flight sims (I still do!), but they’re not a very meaningful benchmark. Q3 benchmarks are still meaningful, as John Romero points out that they can estimate Q4 performance based on current Q3 performance.

    I wish they would do a flightsim benchmark, but it’s just not meaningful enough to everyone else. As much as I play flight sims, I play Counter-Strike (which runs fine on my roommate’s Celeron 366@550!!! Nevermind my P3-650@1001) far more often.

    Your >60FPS comment is meaningless. You may get 60FPS in a demo, but what happens when AG:83’s situation is true? Your FPS may plunge by half three-quarters or more. Then the fact that your system can do 120FPS in the testing loop matters, becuase you’re still at 30FPS while everyone else is an an unplayable 10 or 20FPS.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Hey its me again (gaffo): I’ll relate what my expereince is with EAW (European Air War) on my 750-Tbird, with the G-force-MX card.

    Ok, first-off, my loder system (Winchip-2-240) wold run this game (with the VooDoo-1) at around (these are FPS estimates here – using my eyes, I never figured out how to get FPS readouts under EAW), 20 FPS with just my plane. With 20 B-17’s in formation, and 30 or so Me’s, and 10 or so Mustangs my FPS on that Winchip system fell through the floor (around 1 FPS).

    Now on my new system (the k-7, 750) using either card the FPS were the same (so I dicided that fill-rate is NOT a factor for these games). Under full-detail, but only my plane i’d estimate my FPS was around 60, with the above 60 or so planes, and while flying at low altitude (the lower you fly the more houses, ground troops, roads, tree the cpu has to keep track of) where the FPS is the lowest, I get around 20 FPS. Ideally I’d like 60 or so, but the game is playable on my system and the graphics are nice ;-). So basically double those frames for a 1.4 ghz chip.

    The p-4’s x87 is just a little bit better than the Winchip-2 (k-6 also), so i’d quess the p-4’s FPS on this game would be 0.6 as fast. This is just my personal expereince – thats about it ;-).

    • Forge
    • 18 years ago

    I’m more interested in his second and main point: Let’s get a flightsim benchmark.

    • BeowulfSchaffer
    • 18 years ago

    dissonance, does AG#80 have a valid point here? Do you think we should stop counting Quake scores beyond where it is meaningful to the player?

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    I’ll say it again – please bench something other than Q3 and other FPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 please, please, please,please!! bench ANY flightsim!. You will find, Falcon4, EAW, JWW2, MigAlley, etc… all will give nearly twice the frame rate under the Athlon vs. the p-4.

    Flightfims are NOT vid-card limited, they ARE FPU limited, and even the Athlon 1.4 will give only around 50 FPS under Falcon4 with full detail. Now to the end user who buys that “p-4 gaming system” he will get around 30-FPS in that same Falcon4 under the p-4 2 ghz.

    Now wich is more noticeable to you: 30 FPS vs 50 FPS, or 200 FPS vs 180 FSP (which is the Q3 B.S.)

    Common guys, anything over 60 FPS is meaningless to the huiman eye!!.

    Bench the damn flightsims and you’ll see the p-4 is doggy bigtime due to weak x87.

    Thats all I have to say, been saying this for months in various places, but appearently nobody plays, nor cares about flighsims anymore with all the Q3 mania going around ;-(.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • BeowulfSchaffer
    • 18 years ago

    [quote]Sadly, Hammer probably won’t be big iron enough to compete in the high margin, high end server market. That is, unless they get it out quick, which doesn’t appear to be happening.[/quote]

    I thought that AMD was aiming for the low to mid end server market with Hammer? I will have to check.

    I do think that the HUGE number of webservers out there are primary targets for AMD, not to mention small/mid size business servers. Anandtech’s switch to an AMD MP solution over Intel during their last upgrade is telling. Positive recommendations by his and other websites will have an impact on the server market.

    • Alanzilla
    • 18 years ago

    Hammer will most likely be orphaned by the time it gets out. Years from now, we’ll see Hammerites pop up on Slashdot to regale us with how vastly superior it was, just like their other computer, an Amiga.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    In one months time AMD will be well and truly back in the race if all the earlier press releases were true.

    & now to the future:

    The Ghz wars are not the true war, the true war between these huge companies is:

    Who’s going to break 15 years of 32bit x86 processors first?
    Who

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    look at this from itnews.com:

    On the eve of its developers’ forum in San Jose, Intel slashed prices on some of its chips by up to 54 percent. Intel applied the cuts to chips in its Pentium 4 family, its server and workstation processors, the Xeon family and the 0.13-micron Pentium III Processor-S family.

    AMD have done the same. Could a real price challenge be coming soon from Intel?

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    BTW, SiS is pumping out a LOT of 735 chipsets per month, and selling all of them. As they continue to ramp up, and more board manufacturers utilize it, I think we will see some AMD gains by the holiday season. You can get an ECS K7S5A board for $61 now!!!
    ——————-
    Aren’t ECS cheapo bastages? Apparently they’re number 2 mobo supplier after Asus, in terms of units shipped, but mainly ’cause they cut corners like mad with their PC Chips (pc shits, lots like to call ’em) boards and whatnot, and box-builders worldwide are interested in making a few extra dollars off every system. I think the quality thing has yet to come out on these bastages.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    But ya know, a few MHZ here and there isn’t going to dramatically improve your life. Now, a BIOS that can boot up in .8 seconds… that’s a big deal:

    §[< http://www.gensw.com/pages/news/quikboot.htm<]§ ------------------------ At last; someone with their head screwed on straight and their priorities firmly in order! Now we're talking.

    • BeowulfSchaffer
    • 18 years ago

    Ok, the P4 won the majority of benchmarks, hip hip harrah…

    …So what chip are you going to actually spend your hard earned green on?

    Before I get slammed as a AMD cheerleader, I have to say that I will build systems that have the best price/performance ratio. If intel gets their shit together pricewise, I will consider building with intel products, but…I have not had to think about that for almost 2 years. AMD is the clear winner here.

    BTW, SiS is pumping out a LOT of 735 chipsets per month, and selling all of them. As they continue to ramp up, and more board manufacturers utilize it, I think we will see some AMD gains by the holiday season. You can get an ECS K7S5A board for $61 now!!! This is dirt cheap if you don’t want to overclock.

    • h0rus
    • 18 years ago

    69,

    Yeah, but the LAME test was given to the ATHLON, precisely because of that reason – Damage felt the athlon would’ve won anyway, despite the closeness.

    To quote forge:

    “Dlolos – SSE2 has nothing to do with Q3A. Q3A doesn’t even have any SSE1 code. P4’s Q3A domination has everything to do with excessive memory bandwidth and the CPU design to manage it well.”

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Its a bit of a double standard to not use a 3Dnow! enhanced LAME binary but then to turn around and use Quake 3 (which has much more SSE code than 3Dnow! in it.. IIRC Q3 only uses 3Dnow! mildly for sound – while SSE is used for both graphics and sound).

    :).

    • EasyRhino
    • 18 years ago

    OH NO NOT ANOTHER SLASHDOT LINK?!!? I guess the MHZ Myth section was a good safety disclaimer to have in there.

    Damage accused of being an Intel Fanboy? What’s next, paparazzi photos of him and Steve Jobs barbequeuing?

    Q3A won’t be replaced as a benchmark until ID releases their next game.

    But ya know, a few MHZ here and there isn’t going to dramatically improve your life. Now, a BIOS that can boot up in .8 seconds… that’s a big deal:

    §[< http://www.gensw.com/pages/news/quikboot.htm<]§ :) ER

    • Aphasia
    • 18 years ago

    Is it only me that is just to tired of reading a 10page review filled with q3a benches just about every week saying the same thing, whaow, this new ultra super duper CPU is the fastest and really beats everything else………..with 5-10%…..until next week that is.

    Thank god for Sites like TR and Ars that actually has some real substance when they do reviews.

    Anand has the standard 12page block that just changes a couple of numbers, and tom seems to have a really bloated head these days with his editorials and narrow benches. I didnt see a 3d Max bench which probably would have showed AMD in a good light in the latest toms revew either.

    I think quite a few consumers just get dizzy when speed grades change so fast without any really clear innovations. Why upgrade when your new stuff is slow only a month later. Not everyone is able to spec a machine that will still work fine after 2 or even 3 years after….and that will still cost a very pretty penny today.

    cheers

    • Forge
    • 18 years ago

    BabelHuber – Absolutely. For the moment, Intel has managed the fastest x86 single CPU on Earth. Amen and pass the ammo.

    Just give it a week. Maybe less.

    • BabelHuber
    • 18 years ago

    seems to be hard for some guys here that the performance winner is not necesserily the price/ performance winner.

    it is better to have a winner in performance and one can decide by him-/her-/itself what to buy.

    i hate tests like “this one is fater, but that one is cheaper, so it is the winner”. i am not stupid and can make decisions on my own (still, if i would buy a system now i would buy athlon)

    • Forge
    • 18 years ago

    Dlolos – SSE2 has nothing to do with Q3A. Q3A doesn’t even have any SSE1 code. P4’s Q3A domination has everything to do with excessive memory bandwidth and the CPU design to manage it well.

    AMD might like a big performance lead right now, but they can’t afford one. The margins on Athlons are fairly slim as is, and AMD needs to keep their cash flow in the black to remain competitive with Intel. Their big time price lead is their big stick, ATM, and dumping their fastest Athlons onto the market right now would depreciate the main flow too much. AMD plans to keep their profit advantage and their speed lead, in that order.

    Dissonance – Please direct your attention to the line in that article detailing an October launch of the 1Ghz Duron. Now please note the TR review of said Duron. It’s not October yet. That roadmap is *old*. The 1.533, at the least, should be hitting OEMs any minute. The 1.6 should be in the next pallet behind it, but the 1.6 may be a short run item, much like the 1.4 200 bus unit. The 1.533 is the new mainstay of the AMD high end line, it’s an organic package Palomino, and it’s due for a retail hit any minute now. Ask Damage… He may have one benchmarking right now, waiting for the NDA to run out.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Not to encourage a rigged vote or anything, but you can rate the various P4 reviews on this page:

    §[< http://www.jc-news.com/review/ratings.cgi?product=Intel/P4-2.00<]§

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • JediDan
    • 18 years ago

    If you want to talk about wins, AMD still holds the lead.
    AMD is selling chips that are close to as fast, if somewhat faster/slower in certain situations. The tie breaker is the price.
    When you can buy a Pentium processor thats AS FAST as an AMD processor for the same price, then I will agree there is a tie, maybe even a destinct leader other than AMD.
    Currently, AMD is still leading with lower cost processors that are as fast/faster/what-have-you thus I think they are still the leader.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[http://www.theinquirer.net/27080116.htm<]§ [q]AMD is now expected to release 1.33GHz, 1.4GHz and 1.53GHz Athlon MPs in the first week of October and that week is also likely to be the time for other product launches. [snip] The first week of October will also bring the launch of the 1GHz and 1.1GHz Duron desktop chips, our sources tell us, while the 1.4GHz Palomino and the 1.53GHz Palomino desktops are also expected to be released that week.[/q]

    • h0rus
    • 18 years ago

    54,

    No one’s enjoying anything, but merely stating facts; Interesting of you to bring up those supposed clock fabrications, though. Heres hoping the price war gets even more competitive, cheaper upgrades for me and everyone else. 🙂

    • Forge
    • 18 years ago

    I haven’t contested that point even once.

    The 2.0Ghz Pentium 4 is the fastest x86 single CPU available.

    Enjoy the lead, it’ll last for a week at most.

    As of the last I checked, AMD has 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, and 1.9Ghz speed grades fabbing and stockpiling. They didn’t release because they were winning, and they didn’t want to make the already narrow CPU margins any narrower. Intel is struggling to get enough 2Ghz chips out to meet initial demand. You do the deduction.

    • h0rus
    • 18 years ago

    51,

    Reminds me of this ex-friend of mine, who was so infatuated and fixated on AMD, that she would resort to non-sensical behaviour, whenever facts were brought up; Damn women, and their hardware. So conceited. 🙂

    • Xylker
    • 18 years ago

    Diss vs. The AMD Club. Heh, I love message boards!

    Dissonance’s point is well put, and the article makes the same point, as far as I can tell. The P4 is faster. At 2.0 GHz, it
    i[

    • Alanzilla
    • 18 years ago

    I find it amusing that AMD fanboys aren’t capable of conceding that, for this round, Intel has a win with the 2GHz P4.

    When the Athlon 1.6GHz shows up, AMD will most likely have a win.

    In the end, everybody wins, because prices go down. I can’t figure out where the controversy is.

    • JediDan
    • 18 years ago

    I love the line “It may seem kind of sad that the P4 “needs” 2GHz to match the 1.4GHz Athlon’s performance…”

    Yeah Intel, just go faster and faster and eventually you will be neck and neck with AMD even if you do run as hot and ghz faster!

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    fck the 2ghz P4 I think that amdzone, vanshardware & tomsharware are in love! it always starts with a small fight then big love ahhhhh

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Ok I’m gonna post again here: OK notice that Anand’s benchmark used a SiS based board, where Tom did not. SiS based chipset will add 5-percent to the speed right off!!! – so this p-4 win might not be a win, if the AMD chips uses the SiS chipset. AND, the athlon4 will add another 5-percent over the Athlon right off (at same clock). AND soon 166 FBS will be viable (SiS looks to be FSB fiendly (if not the ECS, then another mobo maker then), and Muskin’s high end DDR will be at 166 in prob. 6-months — thus add another 5-percent. So by December one my be abole to buy a SiS board with 150 mhz DDR running 2-2-2, and an Athlon4 at 1.4 Ghz. So basically, this setup will give the current bench results a boost of around 12-percnet!! – the p-4 would not win the benches if the SiS, Athlon4, 150 FSB was used.

    • Forge
    • 18 years ago

    Dissonance – Unless Intel has attached the P4 2.2Ghz release to the back of the 2Ghz one, Intel *will not* have a faster CPU when the 1.6 rolls out. We’re talking about 1 week expected retail ETA.

    • nexxcat
    • 18 years ago

    The guy with the NASCAR analogy: Horsepower is not a good analogous comparator for MHz. Try RPM. HTH, HAND, IHBT.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • R2P2
    • 18 years ago

    #18 — TR made the front page of /. again

    If you want to see what a Pally can do, the review at [H] is a good place to look. Kyle used an Athlon MP o/c’d to 1.4 with PC2400. The P4’s slim lead in the Winstones disappeared, and the gap in Q3 was *much* smaller. If the Athlon4 1.6 really does show up, that gap might just disappear, too.

    • h0rus
    • 18 years ago

    38,

    Nice try of using my analogy against me; As stated, a victory is a victory regardless. Incase you were wondering, I personally don’t have bias towards any of the processors, I don’t have the money to upgrade to a p4 system, nor would want to, nor am I jumping to upgrade to an athlon, either; Seeing as how my celeron 366(non-oc’d) still hangs well, I can even play the newer games at acceptable frames.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • BeowulfSchaffer
    • 18 years ago

    AG#39 that would have been cool. A much better board (ECS, who would have thunk it.) I am not sure what is up with the CAS 2.5 RAM that was used. Looks like Crucial isn’t making CAS 2 PC2100, or hasn’t yet.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    I would like to see the test redone with the 266 DDR chipset of SiS which is known to have a bigger memory bandwidth.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • h0rus
    • 18 years ago

    32,

    A Win is a win, regardless of margin; It’s a good thing we don’t have to resort to camera snapshots at the finish line to prove who did win; If things get close, the benchmarks already do that for us. 🙂

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • BeowulfSchaffer
    • 18 years ago

    dis-“That’s 8 wins for the P4 to only 4 wins for the Athlon. So where’s the confusion? The P4 was faster in an obvious majority of the tests. Simple math yields the victor here.”

    I suspect that when the Athlon 1.6 is out in style, things will change considerably, benchmark wise.

    Thing is, you can pick up an ECS K7VZA with a 1.4GHz Athlon and HSF for $170 (Pricewatch) Add 256Mb of Crucial DDR for $36 and you have the beginnings of a killer system for…$206

    Motherboard, CPU and memory for just over $200…amazing. For price/performance, AMD has not lost a battle with Intel since the Athlon was launched. This is counting the beginning when MB’s were scarce, although it was a closer fight. As someone mentioned, it is not AMD who is sweating.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Yeah, the P4 wins but only by a hair on some of those tests… Personally, I wouldn’t call that a victory

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • elmopuddy
    • 18 years ago

    Anyone else notice how long it took to get to 1Ghz, then to 2GHz… has it even been a year since the launch of the 1 GHz TBird?

    Wow.

    I know the P4 is not the greatest deal out there, but dang! 2 GHz… sweeeeeeet!

    I think the next year will be the most interesting yet…

    EP

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    dissonance – 21-here. those PC sales were this year right, and most were probably p-3’s?. Those PC’s are less than a year old?, why would these corps go out and buy new PC’s now? And the ecomony looks worse now than just 6-months ago. Dell has always been bisness savy and are smart folks generally. Everybody else is loosing money. Layouts in Lucent, Toshiba (10-percent, news today), Intel, MGA?, etc….). I just don’t see XP nor P-4’s flying off the self for at least another year.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    .13 from AMD is (see roadmap) coming H1 2002, for the exra SOI it is indeed H2 2002 according to the roadmap

    • Forge
    • 18 years ago

    It’s 1.6Ghz, it’s not from Intel, and it’ll be here momentarily. Intel doesn’t have an exclusive on frequency ramping, Palomino on .18 is ready for 2Ghz+.

    SOI and .13 are NOT coming from AMD any time soon. They’re still being planned for H2 2002, last I checked. Of course, if you had any idea how hard almost all of Intel is working, just to get .13 fabbing at decent yields…. Well, you’d be laughing, too. Intel is breaking a sweat, working really hard to get .13 rolling smoothly. AMD is getting their stuff in order to do the same, but they’re concentrating more on improving designs to get .18 to hit 2Ghz and more.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    either brookdale, or SiS645 that seems very promising (with DDR333 and all, probably cheap 2)

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[http://www.dell.com/us/en/gen/corporate/press/pressoffice_us_2001-08-16-aus-000.htm<]§ [q]Dell extended its momentum in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) during the quarter, as shipments increased 24 percent in a flat market and sales rose 2 percent. Company server volume in the region was up 47 percent, and shipments of Dell Precision workstations expanded by more than 70 percent. Shipment growth by Dell Germany exceeded 50 percent despite a decline in industry volumes, and local revenue was up 24 percent. The company improved its national market-share ranking from No. 6 one year ago to No. 3. Company unit and revenue growth was strongest in Asia-Pacific and Japan, where shipments increased more than 40 percent in an overall flat industry and sales rose 15 percent. Dell\'s regional server volume grew 51 percent. Sales were up strongly in two strategically important markets: 31 percent in China, and 19 percent in Japan. In the Americas, Dell shipments increased 14 percent, and regional revenue was down just 3 percent from the second quarter a year ago. In the U.S., where overall industry volume fell 11 percent, Dell shipments were up 13 percent and the company added nearly five points to its leading market-share position. Combined revenue from Americas education, institutional and government customers was up 25 percent during the period. Shipments of computers to consumers increased 39 percent and associated revenue rose 17 percent. Dell also grew rapidly in other parts of the region, with unit volume increases of 76 percent in Brazil and 55 percent in Mexico.[/q] #21, thinking outside the home user/enthusiast box yields a corporate market that, despite the current economic slump, seems quite willing to buy. Intel owns this market, and that\'s partly why they can charge so much for individual processors in the retail channels... they do their discounting to OEMs, and that maintains their huge market share. The P4 is already selling in this economy, though it will be the Brookdale platform that pushes it to market with cheap SDRAM much more than the 2GHz clock frequency will.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    I think most folks here are incorrect to assume the p-4 will sell. People don’t have money to burn like they did last year!! Folks are trying to keep thier jobs, pay morgages, and buy food!!. windowsXP will not “jump start” the ecomony, nor will this p-4. The p-4 costs more money, and in a weak economy people will first: NOT buy any new computer, and use the one they have now (athlon/p-3), or buy the cheap one (athlon4). The p-4 will NOT sell in this economy, nor will WindowsXP.

    Just my opinion here. AMD has advantage in current weak economy. 😉 good – I’d like to see intel hurt some more 😉

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    By the way, I cannot look at any more of these reviews without a stinking index.
    —————-
    You’re not the only one. Feels like being forced in one door and out of another while blindfolded*. Gotsta have some control.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    So does Intel think about making there P4 better? No instead they clock it up and hope the dumb consumer that goes and buys a computer will say “hey AMD is only 1.4 but Intel is 2 Ghz”.
    —————-
    You know they will tho. That’s the saddest thing about it. Intel gets away with it. They advertise like nuts, and uninformed yuppies will buy them.

    Of course, if everyone was “in the know” and salesmen were honest, this wouldn’t be happening, and Inte’s P4 advertising campaign would fall on deaf ears – an unconvinced public.

    Of course, I’m so tight I always stick to my plan of buying the low-end chips a few months before they get the chop from Intel/AMD. Best bang for buck, and you’re never really disappointed with price cuts a few weeks/months down the line ’cause the chip ain’t selling anymore 🙂 For instance, now I’m stocking up on SDRAM (700-odd meg ain’t bad at these prices). DDR I’ll consider in two or three years 🙂

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    I agree with AG#14 on that one. By the way, I cannot look at any more of these reviews without a stinking index. I want to be able to go to the graphs I want to without supplying this site with more statistics so TR can smooze their advertisers with hit numbers.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Leave out the version of LAME that has 3Dnow! optimizations to keep it fair? How about leaving out all of the programs that favor the P4 as well. Please use the most current version of every piece of software available since that’s what we’d be using to do that task (or at least note how the current version compares).

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    in 2-3 years, there might not be an athlon anymore, considering Barton is latest known at H2 2002, from then on, I presume we”ll see hammer-stuff from AMD 🙂

    • JohnnyQ
    • 18 years ago

    forgot to say: the only reason i would buy a P4 would be because it seems the P4 will age better than the rest of what’s available… what i mean is: the p4 is built on newer tech and the athlon will start lagging behind in 2-3 years when P4 optimized software is popular,

    or am i talking out of my ass? 🙂

    JQ

    • JohnnyQ
    • 18 years ago

    No 10: AG Mark:

    yeah, that’s why i love TR’s benchies so much- wide range of tests.

    No 7: as far as i know, one 256 Dimm is faster than two 128s… i’m pretty sure it’s quicker to access one Dimm as opposed to two… although, knowing PCs, i’m sure there are exceptions..

    So the next best thing we’re waiting for is P4 with a 0.13 micron die shrink. anyone know what we can expect from this? a performance increase of ?% over existing P4s…

    and what is AMD working on these days? surely they are working on their next generation of CPUs? something that will be to the T-bird what the P4 is to the PIII.

    JQ

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    On a sidenote, I think that the linpack graph shows very nicely how you can choose your benchmark to get the result you want. By just changing the matrix size one can “show” that the celeron 900 is as fast as the duron 1 ghz, which is faster than the pentium 3, which is as fast as the pentium 4, which is faster than the athlon. Just look at the graph and you’ll see what I mean.

    /Mark

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Does anybody know about a site like AMDMB.com but for IntelMBs? I really like AMDMB’s forums but I’m interested in Intel-users experiences with their P4-boards.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • h0rus
    • 18 years ago

    Hmm, Isn’t this the p4 supposed to scale up to 5.0ghz?

    • Ryu Connor
    • 18 years ago

    §[< http://www.mushkin.com< ]§ §[<http://www.crucial.com< ]§ 128MB Crucial SDRAM PC133 $18.89 (2-2-2) 128MB Crucial DDR PC2100 $19.79 (2.5-2-2) 128MB Mushkin PC2400 DDR SDRAM $40 (2-3-3) 128MB Mushkin 800MHz Rambus $48* 128MB Mushkin High Performance DDR SDRAM $66 (2-2-2) 128MB Mushkin 800MHz Rambus $69 256MB Mushkin Basic PC2100 $34 (2.5-3-3) 256MB Crucial DDR PC2100 $37.79 (2.5-2-2) 256MB Crucial SDRAM PC133 $37.79 (2-2-2) 256mb Mushkin PC133 $39* (2-2-2) 256MB Mushkin High Performance REV1.5 PC133 $60 (2-2-2) 256MB Mushkin PC2400 DDR SDRAM $72 (2-3-3) 256MB Muhskin High Performance DDR SDRAM $112* (2-2-2) 256MB Mushkin 800MHz Rambus $129 A * represents a limited time special. CAS2 DDR and PC800 Rambus have the same price point. So, if you believe in cheap memory like Damage, (and he does like them cheap: §[<http://www.tech-report.com/etc/2001q2/dimms/< ]§ §[<http://www.tech-report.com/etc/2001q2/dimms/index2.x)< ]§ you would have a point in saying RDRAM is expensive. Especially when compared to Crucial CAS2 SDRAM or CAS 2.5 DDR. If you are buying high speed DDR memory though, then you would be deluding yourself to think that DDR is cheaper. Of course, this review did not include CAS 2 DDR within its test. Nor was this article a comparision of CAS 2.5 DDR versus CAS 2. Unfortunately the benefits of CAS 2 are visible: §[<http://www.tech-report.com/onearticle.x/2768<]§ Pricewatch will yeild up lower prices (in nearly all cases) for the memory (all types) above. Unfortunately that doesn't factor shipping, service, or warranty guarantee into the equation. This also leaves out Corsair whose PC2400 2-2-2 DDR modules are aggresively priced (and the bomb, IMHO). Unfortunately Corsair does not sell direct as they perhaps should. The end point is pretty much the same though. SDRAM and CAS 2.5 DDR is dirt cheap. RDRAM and CAS 2 DDR is "expensive." Memory price aside, when it comes to the P4 platform only one thing prevents it from being affordable: Intel. ~$500 for the P4 2.0GHz is sheer stupidity if I ever saw it. They are pricing it upon MHz, not performance. I suppose for the target audience they are catering to, that is all they need to do. Price the P4 2GHz at the point the Athlon 1.4 is at now, and watch this community get suddenly very confused.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Quote from Extreme Tech review of the P4

    :
    “Interestingly, the Macintosh version of MPPro2 is also optimized for the G4 processor’s Altivec instruction set, so it might be interesting to compare encoding performance on the Macintosh to the Pentium 4, but that’s something for another day.”

    I instantly thought of Damage and a G4 in his hands… well, how about including this as benchmark
    in the phuture article ?

    Oh yeah, and the P4 2ghz still is way too unbalanced in benchmarks.. (as in i won’t buy one anytime soon)

    Adi

    • EasyRhino
    • 18 years ago

    Gee, wasn’t it just last year Intel broke ONE gigahertz? This is getting old.

    Ya know, I would’ve saved the “MHZ myth” for a seperate article. But otherwise, it was nice to see the numbers.

    I guess eventually I’ll upgrade my Celeron 300A 🙂

    ER

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    i[

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