Pentium 4 ‘Northwood’ 2.2GHz vs. Athlon XP 2000+

TODAY BOTH Intel and AMD are unleashing brand-new processors on the world, and both companies aim to claim the title of “fastest PC processor.” The most significant advances come from Intel. The company is launching its Pentium 4 “Northwood” chip at 2.2GHz. With higher clock speeds and a larger L2 cache, Northwood might just give the Pentium 4 a decisive performance lead for the first time ever. AMD isn’t standing still, however, and its Athlon XP 2000+ is primed to defend its turf. Will it succeed, or with Northwood’s stratospheric clock speeds finally make the competition succumb? Read on to find out.

Pentium 4 Northwood
The chip code-named Northwood is Intel’s second incarnation of the Pentium 4 processor. The Pentium 4 “Northwood” isn’t fundamentally different from the original Pentium 4 “Willamette,” but there are a couple of significant changes to the chip.


The Pentium 4 “Northwood” 2.2GHz

First, Intel has changed the manufacturing process used to fabricate the chip. The first Pentium 4 chips were manufactured using Intel’s 0.18-micron fab process, which used conventional aluminum for the chip’s interconnects. Northwood is made on Intel’s new 0.13-micron process, which features copper interconnects with a low-K dilectric material that reduces crosstalk. Intel claims its 60-nanometer transistors are the world’s smallest and fastest in volume production, as well. The Pentium III made the conversion to this new manufacturing process a number of months ago, and the Pentium 4 is just now making the move.


A wafer of Willamette (left) and a wafer of Northwood (right)
Though the wafers were pulled at different stages of production, you can see
(if you squint) that quite a few more Northwood chips fit on a wafer


Extreme close up: the Northwood die

This so-called die shrink does several things for the Pentium 4. Northwood is smaller, runs cooler, and requires less power than Willamette. The Pentium 4’s die size shrinks from 217 square millimeters to 145 square millimeters. Because Intel can fit more chips on a wafer, Northwood should be cheaper to manufacture. The process shrink should also enable Northwood to run at even higher clock frequencies with ease.

The die shrink also made room for Intel to increase the size of the Pentium 4’s on-chip level 2 cache from 256K to 512K. This extra cache takes the Pentium 4 from 42 million transistors to 55 million. The jumbo-sized L2 cache ought to help Northwood tackle the Pentium 4’s big bugaboo: low clock-for-clock performance. A larger cache should help keep the P4’s deep instruction pipelined fed, increasing the number of instructions per clock (IPC) the chip can execute.

Intel is introducing Northwood at two initial clock speeds: 2.0GHz and 2.2GHz. In order to differentiate the Northwood 2GHz from the older Pentium 4 “Willamette” 2GHz, Intel is calling the Northwood 2GHz the “Pentium 4 processor at 2.0 ‘A’ GHz.” The “A” designation will conjure up warmly remembered visions of the Celeron 300A for old-timers like me, while the rest of you will probably be wondering why Intel couldn’t come up with a better name than “2.0 ‘A’ GHz.”

The Athlon XP 2000+
The Athlon XP 2000+ is simply AMD’s latest speed ramp of the Athlon XP. Like all Athlon XPs, this new one gets a model number that’s independent of its clock speed. The previous top speed for the Athlon XP was the 1900+ model, which runs at 1.6GHz. (We reviewed the 1900+ here.) The Athlon XP 2000+ runs at 1.67GHz.


The Athlon XP 2000+

A close-up of the Athlon XP 2000+ core

The Athlon XP hasn’t yet undergone the die shrink to 0.13 microns. Like Northwood and unlike Willamette, however, that Athlon XP is made with copper interconnects, which AMD has been using on Athlon chips for quite some time now. AMD has plans to take the Athlon line to 0.13 microns this quarter; that chip is code-named Thoroughbred. However, even without the die shrink, the Athlon XP is only 128 square millimeters. Because Athlon XPs are made up of only 37.5 million transistors, they’re much smaller than the Pentium 4—even smaller than die-shrunk Northwood. All other things being equal, Athlon XPs ought to be cheaper to make, as well.

Don’t be fooled by the Athlon XP’s relatively pokey 1.67GHz clock speed. There’s a reason AMD puts that model number label on its CPUs; they perform quite a bit better, clock for clock, than the Pentium 4.

 

What to watch for in the test results
I’ll tell you now that this is going to be a very tight contest, so it’s important to keep the relative benchmark scores in perspective. All of the processors we’re testing today are exceptionally fast, so they’re often held back by other components in our test system, like memory, video cards, or hard drives. Not only that, but the processors themselves perform quite similarly, which should be no great shock given the healthy competition right now between Intel and AMD. All told, you’ll see a lot of tests where the results are within a few percentage points of one another—or less.

Although we run our tests multiple times and average the results in order to limit variability, many of these results are close enough that the differences may not matter. Either the variance between the results is within the margin of error, or, more commonly, the real-world difference between one score and another is negligible. Keep that in mind.

That’s not to say that none of the differences matter. They often do. Some of the performance differences are rather pronounced. And every bit of performance counts, especially in a grudge match like this one.

That said, there are a few interesting matchups here. For starters, you’ll want to keep an eye on how the Pentium 4 Willamette 2GHz stacks up against the 2GHz Northwood. The Northwood ought to be faster in many tests thanks to its larger L2 cache, but in other places, that extra cache may not help much. Some software routines won’t fit into a 256K L2 cache, but they’ll fit fine into Northwood’s 512K L2 cache. Those routines should run faster on Northwood.

Next, we’ve tested the Pentium 4 chips with both DDR SDRAM and RDRAM. These two types of RAM are vying for supremacy on the Pentium 4 platform, and the odds are very good that DDR SDRAM will win that battle in terms of sales. You may want to keep an eye on how those two types of memory perform.

Finally, there’s the main event: the Athlon XP 2000+ versus the 2.2GHz Northwood. Can the Northwood’s extra speed and cache help the Pentium 4 finally overcome the Athlon? We’ll see.

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:

  Athlon XP Pentium 4 DDR Pentium 4 RDRAM
Processor AMD Athlon XP 1800+
AMD Athlon XP 2000+
Intel Pentium 4 2.0GHz
Intel Pentium 4 2.0″A”GHz
Intel Pentium 4 2.2GHz
Intel Pentium 4 2.0GHz
Intel Pentium 4 2.0″A”GHz
Intel Pentium 4 2.2GHz
Front-side bus 266MHz (133MHz double-pumped) 400MHz (100MHz quad-pumped) 400MHz (100MHz quad-pumped)
Motherboard Epox EP-8KHA+ Abit BD7-RAID Intel D850MD
Chipset VIA KT266A Intel 845 Intel 850
North bridge VT8366A 82845 MCH 82850 MCH
South bridge VT8233 82801BA ICH2 82801BA ICH2
Memory size 256MB (1 DIMM) 256MB (1 DIMM) 256MB (2 RIMMs)
Memory type Micron PC2100 DDR SDRAM Micron PC2100 DDR SDRAM Samsung PC800 Rambus DRAM
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce3 Ti 500 64MB (Detonator XP 21.83 video drivers)
Sound Creative SoundBlaster Live!
Storage IBM 75GXP 30.5GB 7200RPM ATA/100 hard drive
OS Microsoft Windows XP Professional
OS updates None

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:

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’re going to start off with memory tests because, well, that’s how we generally start things off. Also, these tests are a little more theoretical than the rest, so we’ll get them out of the way before we move on to the real contest.

First up is the modified version of the Stream memory benchmark that’s included in SiSoft’s Sandra. This test measures memory bandwidth, which is one component of memory performance.

The results break down nicely into three separate groups. As expected, the RDRAM systems are fastest here. The Pentium 4 DDR systems are next, and you can see there’s no difference between Willamette and Northwood here; they’re all talking to the same memory over the same bus, so the memory bandwidth is nearly identical. Finally, the Athlon XP systems can’t transfer quite as much data to memory as the Pentium 4 systems. On some memory-intensive tasks, the Pentium 4 will have the advantage.

However, that’s only half the story. As you can see on this page of our recent chipset review, RDRAM memory’s extra bandwidth comes at a price of higher memory latencies. DDR-based systems are much quicker accessing memory in smaller chunks, which helps them compare well against RDRAM-based systems despite the bandwidth disparity.

The more interesting test here is Linpack, which can give us a nice visual look at Northwood’s L2 cache in action. Here’s how the results look:

If you’re not familiar with a Linpack graph, watch closely. The X axis is the size of the data matrix Linpack is processing, and the Y axis is the calculation speed measured in megaflops. If data fits into a processor’s cache, the CPU can process that data much faster. As the size of the data matrix grows, the calculations will get progressively slower.

This graph shows us several things. First, you can see that Northwood’s L2 cache is quite a bit larger than Willamette’s. Willamette’s performance begins to drop off once we get into matrices of about 192K in size, while Northwood peaks at about 384K. Not only that, but the extra cache helps Northwood’s peak performance climb much higher than Willamette’s can.

Next, notice that the Athlon XP’s effective cache size is greater than 256K. Although the Athlon XP has a 256K L2 cache, its L2 cache doesn’t replicate the contents of the L1 data cache like the Pentium 4’s does. You can even see that the Athlon XP’s 64K L1 data cache is much faster than its L2 cache. The Athlon XP’s exclusive L2 cache gives it an effective cache size of 320K. However, the Athlon XP’s L2 cache is measurably slower than Northwood’s.

Now the intriguing bit: the Athlon XP shows us all of its 256K L2 and 64K L1 data cache in Linpack. Performance doesn’t drop off sharply until the matrix size hits 320K. The Northwood, however, peaks at about 384K—well below its 512K L2 cache size. I expect the difference here has something to do with the way these two chips manage their respective caches.

 

Business Winstone 2001
Business Winstone has been around forever, and this latest version still does a decent job showing us how a system performs in common office applications.

Did I mention that we had some very close results? The Northwood at 2.2GHz is fastest all around, but only when paired with RDRAM. Of the DDR-equipped systems, the Athlon XP 2000+ is fastest—but just barely.

Content Creation Winstone 2001
Business Winstone’s companion test is a little more intensive. It measures performance in applications like audio editing, page design, and image processing.

Here the Athlon XP takes a decisive lead. Northwood is just a tick faster than Willamette, though.

 

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.

This time out, we’re using an updated version of Steve Schmitt’s recompiled POV-Ray. Although there two flavors of recompiled POV-Ray, including one specifically optimized for the Pentium 4, we’re only using the generic “PIII” version, which runs fine on both the Athlon and the Pentium 4. Unfortunately, some folks have reported getting buggy output from the P4-specific binary, so we’ll have to skip it.

The Athlon XP dominates in POV-Ray, finishing the render a full 80 (and a half) seconds before the 2.2GHz Northwood—and the gap’s over two minutes with the unoptimized binary. Athlons have always excelled in floating-point math, so this result is not a big surprise.

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.

It’s mighty close yet again, but the Athlon XP 2000+ comes out on top.

 

Quake III Arena
The crown for Quake III performance changed hands when we tested the Athlon XP 1900+ a while back. Before then, Quake III was definitely Pentium 4 territory. Can Northwood recapture the crown?

Most definitely. Three different Northwood configurations outpace the Athlon XP 2000+. However, the older Willamette 2GHz can’t beat the Athlon XP 1800+.

Serious Sam
If Quake III seems old and musty to you, Serious Sam ought to be more up your alley.

The Athlon XP takes this one in a walk. Serious Sam has always run especially well on an Athlon, and the newest, fastest Athlon XP is no exception.

3DMark 2001
This test’s top spot has changed hands more often than most Euro notes. It seems like every time a new NVIDIA driver, chipset, or processor hits the streets, we’ve got a new 3DMark leader. The Pentium 4 2GHz held the lead last time out. Can the Athlon XP pull into the lead?

Not exactly. Northwood at 2.2GHz is faster, but it’s extremely close overall. The big story is how much faster Northwood is than Willamette—about 500 points at the same clock speed.

 

SPECviewperf workstation graphics
Viewperf measures performance in workstation-class 3D applications like CAD/CAM and 3D modeling tools. Some of these tests are limited almost entirely by our GeForce3 graphics card, but a few of them are still interesting.

This should come as no surprise: in those tests where the graphics card isn’t the performance bottleneck, it’s a toss up. The Athlon XP is faster in some, and the Pentium 4 systems are faster in others.

Speech recognition
The Sphinx speech recognition tests came to us via Ricky Houghton, who works in a 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. However, our past tests have shown that Sphinx 3.3 still can’t quite run fast enough on a standard PC to handle tasks in real time; it seems to be limited primarily by memory bandwidth, but faster CPUs do help performance, as well.

What we’re after here is for our speech recognition test to execute faster than real time, which would help make Sphinx 3.3 workable in real-world applications. For a while now, I’ve hoped that Northwood might take us past that threshold.

Unfortunately, not even Northwood at 2.2GHz can take us into the Promised Land. Regardless, all of these processors are very close. Maybe we can make it happen yet with a little tweaking, eh?

 

ScienceMark
On to Tim Wilkens’ computational benchmark, ScienceMark. This suite of tests measures number-crunching ability by running some computationally intensive scientific equations. Like 3DMark, ScienceMark then spits out a composite number denoting a system’s overall score in the suite.

The Athlon XP 2000+ is an absolute monster in scientific computing—Godzilla in a lab coat. However, the individual tests show the Pentium 4’s strength, as well.

The Athlon XP is fastest in the QMC and Liquid Argon tests, but Primordia is dominated by the Pentium 4.

 

Overclocking
As you’ve already seen, the Pentium 4 2.2GHz and the Athlon XP 2000+ are the fastest x86 processors on the planet. They have achieved benchmark scores that have never been seen before. They have forever upped the ante in the performance market. Virtually any power user would be completely satisfied with the power of these just-announced chips.

Naturally, we had to try to overclock the rot out of them.

Of course, overclocking isn’t as easy as it used to be. Granted, Intel has had their multiplier lock in place for ages, but AMD always gave you a pretty easy out. With the Slot A Athlons it was the Golden Fingers cards (R.I.P.) and with the Socket A Thunderbird Athlons, a mechanical pencil was all you needed to achieve overclocking bliss.

The Athlon XP, however, changed all that. While it’s still technically possible to unlock the Athlon XP, it’s much more difficult, and as a result it’s likely that even many enthusiasts will now give up on multiplier control and pursue an easier overclocking method.

That method, of course, is bus overclocking. Many enthusiast’s boards allow for bus speed control via the BIOS. Although it is less versatile with out multiplier control, bus overclocking can still reap substantial rewards. This is because when you raise the bus speed, you’re overclocking not only the processor, but also the RAM, PCI bus, AGP bus . . . you get the idea. The downside is that when you overclock a large number of components, there’s a higher chance that one of them will hit a wall and stop your fun.

We overclocked both the 2.2GHz Pentium 4 and the Athlon XP 2000+ to the highest stable speed we could find. The Pentium 4 tests were conducted with the Abit BD7-RAID, while the Athlon XP tests used the Epox EP-8KHA+. First we’ll go over the speed increases we realized, then we’ll take a look at a subset of our earlier benchmarks, comparing “stock” speed to top stable overclocked speed.

The Pentium 4, unsurprisingly, was an overclocking beast, topping out with a top stable bus speed of 118MHz (stock is 100MHz). That gives us a processor speed of 2596MHz, nearly a 400MHz gain. The Athlon XP didn’t get quite that large a jump, but it still nailed down a pretty impressive increase of its own, going from 133MHz bus to 142MHz bus. Processor speed went from 1667MHz to 1775MHz.

 
Now let’s see what that extra speed will get you. We’ll start with the Sphinx speech recognition test.

Pushing the 2.2GHz Pentium 4 to the limit finally breaks the real-time barrier for the Sphinx speech recognition test. And not by a little bit, either; we can see that the increase in bus speed really allows the Northwood to stretch its legs and blast through the magic 1.0 mark. The Athlon XP, meanwhile, posts miniscule gains here. It’s likely that some other component is creating a bottleneck here, as the extra hundred or so megahertz provide hardly any benefit.

Once again, we see the Pentium 4 utilizing its increased bus speed to great effect, gaining nearly 35 frames per second. The Athlon XP does better with its increased bus, but not to the same extent. Of course, it’s important to remember that the Pentium 4 system—both in bus speed and processor speed—gained relatively more than the Athlon XP.

The trend continues in the final test, as the Pentium 4 gains a lot of performance from its overclocked bus. The Athlon XP scores are basically a draw; though the overclocked system technically scored lower, the differences are statistically insignificant.

 

Conclusions
Performance-wise, it’s a toss-up. I would like to declare one or the other of these processors the clear winner, but that’s just not possible. The Athlon XP 2000+ and Pentium 4 2.2GHz are locked in a dead heat for the title of “fastest x86 processor.”


Pentium 4 2.2GHz (left) and Athlon XP 2000+ (right)

That’s significant progress for Intel, because AMD has held an almost-constant performance lead for well over a year now. With the introduction of the 845 chipset with support for DDR memory and now Northwood, the Pentium 4 platform has finally come into its own. The die-shrunk Pentium 4 is primed for Intel to crank up the clock, and our overclocking exploits show Intel has the headroom to do so at will. The P4 platform’s high-speed bus and ample memory bandwidth will allow significant performance gains as clock speeds ramp, too.

As for AMD, they have managed to hang on to a share of the performance title even as Intel has introduced a much-improved Pentium 4. AMD’s ability to compete with Intel over the past few years has been unprecedented and impressive. However, AMD is facing significant challenges ahead. The Athlon XP will have to transition to 0.13-micron production before too long, and more importantly, the Athlon XP needs a faster system bus in order to take advantage of faster forms of memory, like DDR333. As consistently as AMD has executed on its plans, however, I find it hard to doubt they will meet these challenges. Heck, there’s probably enough headroom in the current, 0.18-micron Athlon XP for clock speeds as high as 1.8GHz.

Finally, there is the little matter of price. Intel’s pricing for the new P4 chips is like so:

Pentium 4 2.2GHz – $562
Pentium 4 2.0 “A” GHz – $364

AMD’s prices, meanwhile, are a little more modest:

Athlon XP 2000+ (1.67GHz) – $339
Athlon XP 1900+ (1.60GHz) – $269
Athlon XP 1800+ (1.53GHz) – $223
Athlon XP 1700+ (1.47GHz) – $190
Athlon XP 1600+ (1.4GHz) – $160

Obviously, the Athlon XP offers the better price-performance ratio. For enthusiasts looking to build their own PCs, the Athlon XP is probably still the way to go. For those of you looking to buy a PC from a large OEM like Gateway or Dell, it’s hard to say. AMD’s lower prices might let you get more PC for the money. However, Intel traditionally offers steep discounts to OEMs, so shop carefully. 

Comments closed
    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Great review. I knew my 2000+ would kick the crap out of anything in the same price range, but I am glad to see that it is holding its own against newer technologies from Intel. I look forward to seeing what AMD has up their sleeve when their 0.13 chips come out!

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    I try to buy a computer to be faster in intensive mathematics (astronomy) even on the full 512MB RAM.

    But, both AthlonXP/2Ghz and P4/2GHz with 256K L2 fail to work with programs bigger than 128MB RAM.

    So, what must be the choice?
    From your article, a P4/512 L2 have a little improuvment!

    So??????????????????????????????

    Sincerely,
    Marian

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Why did they use DDR RAM instead of the faster RDRAM for the overclocking tests? Also did anyone read an article about overclocking the new p4 to 3.1Ghz?

    Naetster

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    You are completely correct, the Athlon XP rocks anybody’s socks much better than any Pentium 4 “Northwood”, I mean, what manufacturer calls a processor a Willamette or a Northwood, what are we; Lord of the Rings. Intel should go home! Palomino and Thunderbird are much cooler names, and faster processors.

    mr bill

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Emulators (like MAME) performance should also be tested. No real gamer forgets good old games.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    The article covers a lot of stuff but didn’t showed us the
    crucial test from sisoft sandra!!! The cpu and multimedia tests!!! Why is that? The linpack benchmark is great but it shows only the l1 and l2 cache traffic not the actual cpu perfomance on simple tasks. The lame encoding tests gives us a taste of the multimedia perfomance i think that a divx ,mpeg1,mpeg2 should be included….

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    I find the Athlon XP 2000+ a much better processor than the Pentium 4 Northwood, although the P4 has a greater quad-pumped 400Mhz system bus, and a L2 cache of 512Kb. I reckon AMD should increase the FSB of the Athlon XP, and increase the L1 and L2 caches, and it would run even better.

    -David “Annihilator”

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Lao Tze :

    [q]the L2 cache on the XP is full speed, I don’t know how it could be slower than the L1[/q].

    Well, that’s …… . Okay. It takes 1 clock cycle to access L1 and more than 2 for L2 cache. Besides, cache structure is different.

    • Lao Tze
    • 18 years ago

    Thanx for informing me Legoulu and tairc, great article Legoulu. 🙂

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[http://www.systemlogic.net/articles/00/10/cache/<]§

    • Tairc
    • 18 years ago

    Lao –
    Its not hard, actually. Its a matter of latency, and that’s that. Latency in L1 cache can be around 1-2 cycles, Latency in L2 can be upwards of 11. Heck, those aren’t even necessarily real numbers. Can sometimes be as high as 2-50 ratios. Sure, both can handle 1.66million requests per second (full speed), but quite frankly, one responds a heck of a lot quicker.

    Or something like that. I’ve never really built the cache for a production line x86 processor. Just hoped.

    • Lao Tze
    • 18 years ago

    the L2 cache on the XP is full speed, I don’t know how it could be slower than the L1. As for stability, I hear ya. My KG7 is the most rock solid board I have ever used though, I build plenty of machines, buy a good board and the AMD line will be stable.

    • Forge
    • 18 years ago

    AG #31 – Abit lied to you. Ask them and they’ll tell you. Supposedly a few of the newest chipsets support Async. FSB and PCI (Mostly just the 845, from what I can see), but nothing before KT266A/SiS735/850 could do so.

    As for the 256/512 Tbred thing, I am no longer sure of anything. Quite possibly AMD did the unthinkable and bumped Athlon MP+ to 512K while leaving the Athlon XP+ with 256K?? We’ll have to wait and see, but not for long.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    In a way I agree. I have bought many machines on behalf of my place of work (I have complete control over what I choose to buy) and all my Athlon experiences have had niggles – almost all because of dodgy VIA chipsets. That is why I’m buying an Nforce instead for own use.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Lao Tze: And the fuckin’ instability (well you get what you pay for)

    AG# 42

    • Lao Tze
    • 18 years ago

    Where you will tell the difference is your wallet.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Gimme a break! You are b[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    AG 30 said: “based on the following criteria which processor and mobo would you pick and why.”

    [i]Business: P4 2.2A or Ath. 2000+ XP[/i]

    Neither. Standard business PC (office suite and ‘net connection), I’d go for 1Gig Duron w/ integrated mobo. Higher-end workstations would depend on the applications being used.

    [i]Home (basic stuff, casual gaming, internet, word processing, blah blah blah) P4 2.2A or Ath. 2000+ XP[/i]

    Neither. Either a low-end P4 w/DDR mobo or an Athlon 1600+ XP, with the money going for burner/DVD drives

    [i]HardCore Gamer/OC’er: P4 2.2A or Ath. 2000+ XP[/i]

    Gamers:
    Hardcore Quake3 player: P4
    Everyone else: Athlon 2000+ XP

    OC’ers:
    Enlargement surgery

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Forge, are you sure tbred will have 512kb of cache? Everyone seems to think it will have no changes from palomino.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    AG30

    AMD save yourself some money. Or wait till the Hammer comes out.

    • ExcessOrder
    • 18 years ago

    AG 37 – Huh?
    Hertz isn’t metric. The difference in speed is because of Instructions Per Clock — IPC. The Athlon XP has a higher IPC than the P4, which means that it does more “work” in each of its hertz.

    Or was that a joke? I can’t really tell…
    b[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    I just discovered the reason for the difference in performance vs. speed for AMD vs. Intel…

    Intel is using the metric Hertz instead of the English units that have been standardized.

    That would also explain why European cell phones don’t work over here…

    • Forge
    • 18 years ago

    Anybody know of a good speech recognition package besides Sphinx? I’d like to see if this is an anomoly or a trend. Maybe speech rec. can become the new Quake3, seeing as XP is rapidly overtaking P4 there…

    • Thresher
    • 18 years ago

    I really hope AMD does release a 166MHz FSB version of the Thoroughbred to take full advantage of 333MHz DDR RAM.

    The Asus A7V had a 133MHz memory bus and a 100 MHz FSB and of course the A7V133 had 133/133 buses. There was a drastic change in performance, more than just having an additional 33MHz on the FSB would seem to account for.

    I’m not sure, but is there a penalty paid for having the FSB and Memory buses operating at different speeds? Like some sort of wait state or latency introduced by the mismatched speeds? If so, it would hardly seem worthwhile going to a 166MHz memory bus and 133(266)MHz FSB.

    Any ideas?

    • indeego
    • 18 years ago

    That speech recognition bench is impressive. That would start our company on thew path to using these for production voice recognition, whereas now we are only toying around with it, and not impressed. VR would save the company I work at thousands of dollars a month, easily…

    Will start planning for implementation of this in a year…

    g{–I

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Forge, Aces’s hardware says that thoroughbred has only 256 KB of cache.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    I am really curious about the real-time voice recognition. That is the only “real” application that owuld get me to upgrade my computer in the forseeable future.

    The overclock percentage was relatively low in the case of the northwood, but the increase in speach recognition was very high (15% or so). It seems to me that the limitation is not the processing power, directly. I wondered if anyone had any insight into that. If it was just processing power, the returns from athlon overclocks would be better. Also, the improvement to the P4 wouldn’t be so drastic.

    Thanks

    B

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    b[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    k so lemme ask this. based on the following criteria which processor and mobo would you pick and why.

    Business: P4 2.2A or Ath. 2000+ XP

    Home (basic stuff, casual gaming, internet, word processing, blah blah blah) P4 2.2A or Ath. 2000+ XP

    HardCore Gamer/OC’er: P4 2.2A or Ath. 2000+ XP

    i know there are other things to consider alonside this (memory type and quality, pci cards etc. so ill just list the norm below,)

    SB Audigy
    3com 10/100 nic (pci)
    GeForce TI500 (gamer/home)
    ATI fx for business or S3 for the via/sis/ALi offshoots
    256 MB DDR-SDRam (crucial)
    WD 60 GIG 7200 rpm IDE hdd.
    NO RAID configs for workstations/home/gamers

    Reason im asking cuz i wanna see if people are really die hard intel/amd lovers or are willing to take each environment in consideration when selecting equipment.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    I thought the prices given were for January 27?

    Has Intel moved the January 27 pricing up to the launch date?

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[http://www.overclockers.com/tips693/<]§ Whiteout + pencil: §[<http://arstechnica.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?a=tpc&s=50009562&f=77909774&m=7550906013&r=2290901113<]§ (original article appears dead) Thermal grease + conductive ink: §[<http://www.vr-zone.com/guides/AMD/AthlonXPUnlock/<]§ Athlon XP interactive painting guide (English) §[<http://www.ocinside.de/index_e.html?/html/workshop/socketa/xp_painting.html<]§ So there are numerous means of cheaply performing a multiplier overclock with a Palomino. And it\'s not much harder than overclocking a Thunderbird or Spitfire, given that all that may be needed might be some tape and some whiteout.

    • Damage
    • 18 years ago

    Bruce:

    Yep. Thanks. 🙂

    • Damage
    • 18 years ago

    Guys:

    We got our prices directly from the manufacturers on the eve of the launch. The are list prices for 1K units. Of course, market prices may vary. They always do.

    • Bruce
    • 18 years ago

    Hi,

    Looks like it’s been fixed….

    Bruce

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[http://www.slcentral.com/watch/<]§ Tech-Report, where the heck did you get your prices? -PK

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Things are very close now. I think price is about the same when considering that the Athlons need bigger heatsinks and more powerful PSUs than Northwoods. Plus I really like the heatspreader and absolute stability of the P4. My AMD 761-system is rock stable but you can always read about some new issue with Via’s chip sets. But looking at a few speed grades down and the Athlon XPs have the advantage. The price gap grows bigger.

    • LiamC
    • 18 years ago

    PK, official distributor prices in 1000 unit quantities I believe.

    You could check Pricewatch every half hour and come up with a different price

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[http://www.3DNow.net<]§

    • Bruce
    • 18 years ago

    Hi,

    Minor gripe, but on page one, shouldn’t the die sizes be in ‘square millimetres’ rather then ‘millimetres squared’? The second implies that the Northwood die is 14.5cm per side….

    Bruce

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Anyone got an eng sample w00dy they can lend Forge so we can see what’ll happen when Intel opens up the FSB on the p4 to 133? Last I knew that really gave the willy a kick in the arse, running DDR or RDRAM (especially if the RDRAM ran at 1066mhz also) so it’d be interesting to see what w00dy got out of it.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    It’s already been established that the initial Thoroughbred won’t be getting any more cache. Barton might when it debuts in October, but doubtful.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Are you sure the new Thoroughbred Athlon is getting a 333 FSB? AMD has said nothing about that during their financial updates and presentations; indeed, they seem to do quite the opposite, implying that 266FSB was here to stay this year.

    Certainly, VIA intends to release a chipset with DDR333 support for the Athlon this summer…but will this chipset up the FSB, or just the memory clock?

    • Forge
    • 18 years ago

    166 bus is coming soon for Tbred. That helps loads more than just more clockspeed would. It’s a case of diminishing returns. Once multipliers get to a certain ratio, increases in clockspeed help less and less. Basically, the 1900+, the 2000+, and a hypothetical 2000+ Palomino can all blow through 256K of data pretty damned fast. The 2000+ Tbred, on the other hand, gets a nice new 166/33 FSB, and doubled cache to use it on. Ought to go a very long way towards getting Athlon’s performance up.

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Here’s the GamePC overclocking results of a 2.0A @ 2500Mhz using the stock Intel heatsink and the the Asus P4B266 i845 DDR motherboard with the DDR at 125MHz (=500MHz FSB):

    §[<http://www.gamepc.com/reviews/hardware_review.asp?review=p42a&page=11&mscssid=&tp=<]§

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    When are we going to see some results with these processors overclocked on DDR boards? GamePC only shows a few results for overclocking, but their 2.0 to 2.5GHz overclock with the stock Intel heatsink shows an almost linear 25% improvement in performance.

    Let’s see that P4 @ 2500MHz or 2600MHz against the Athlon XP 2000+ @ 1775MHz in the Office, Sysmark, and other tests….

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    I’ve played with a 2.2 and 2.0 Northwood for the last 3 weeks on a Rambus based Asus P4T-E. Even though the 2.2 was an unlocked ES I could not get it to do a 133fsb even after lowering the multiplier from 22 down to 17. So basically, the P4T-E sucks at handling the PCI divider. Having said that though, I could run either chip quite easily at a 115fsb.

    I845 or SIS 645 boards probably handle the overclocking much better.

    I hope that helps somewhat AG6.

    Stan

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Why are there so few tests of the overclocked setups? That’s what we all wanted to see….Please run more tests with the proccessors overclocked. 🙂

    • Forge
    • 18 years ago

    Well, probably a lot sooner than you think. .13 was very very good to the K7 core.

    • sativa
    • 18 years ago

    hmm so when are we gonna see a 512k .13 athlon eh? hehe.

    • sativa
    • 18 years ago

    yeah but forge those Northwood’s are getting 300+ overclock w/ standard cooling. yummy

    • Forge
    • 18 years ago

    Not to mention that the competition was 1666MHz versus 2200MHz, a delta wider than the total clock speed of my first P3 system.

    • Forge
    • 18 years ago

    w00d has smack, but not enough. I like how the XP [b]2000[/b] was trading braodsides with the w00d [b]2200[/b] and WINNING. That’s some hotshit IPC on XXXP and some sad clock-for-clock out of the almighty w00d. Hope Intel has another trick coming, cause AMD does and a half.

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