Intel’s Pentium 4 3.06GHz processor

INTEL’S PENTIUM 4 processor crosses the 3GHz threshold today. We’ve been playing with this new P4 for a while, and now we get to show you what it’s all about. This chip brings Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology to desktop processors for the first time. Like clockwork, only much messier, we’ve loaded up eleven different test configs with a brutal suite of benchmarks to see how the new P4 measures up. Read up to get the lowdown on the new Pentium 4’s nosebleed-inducing 3GHz speeds and creamy smooth Hyper-Threading tech.


The Pentium 4 3.06GHz

Simultaneous multithreading lands on the desktop
The big change with the new Pentium 4 isn’t actually its clock speed, although 3GHz sounds like a whopper of a number to most folks. Instead, the big news about the new P4 is its Hyper-Threading technology. The impetus behind Hyper-Threading is simple. Throughout the Pentium 4’s young life, it has been a relatively slow performer at a given clock speed. Just last month, in our last big CPU review, we saw AMD’s Athlon XP 2800+ running at 2.25GHz perform roughly as well as a Pentium 4 at 2.8GHz.

The Pentium 4 is relatively slow on a clock-for-clock basis because of its unusually deep, 20-stage main pipeline. The Pentium 4’s clock speeds can reach amazing heights because of this pipeline, too. So it’s a tradeoff. The P4 is by no means a poor performer, but it’s a little slow clock-for-clock.

Intel has taken a number of steps to improve the P4’s clock-for-clock (and overall) performance. Most notably, the company has raised the P4’s front-side bus speed and doubled the size of the L2 cache. Hyper-Threading—or simultaneous multithreading (SMT) as it’s known in the wider, non-copyrighted world—is yet another way to increase the average number of instructions a processor can execute per clock cycle, or instructions per clock (IPC). Simultaneous multithreading makes a single physical processor look like two logical processors, and in doing so, it keeps the CPU’s execution units busier. This isn’t symmetric multiprocessing (SMP)—that creamy smooth goodness that comes from having multiple processors in a single system—but it essentially looks like it to operating systems and programs. As with SMP, software will have to be multithreaded in order to take full advantage of SMT.

The logic needed to make Hyper-Threading work adds only 5% to the Pentium 4’s die size, including duplicate copies of key resources necessary for maintaining two architectural states on one chip. Intel points out that’s not much extra real estate for an enhancement that can improve performance by as much as 30% in the right scenarios.

Hyper-Threading adds so little to the Pentium 4’s die size because it only requires physical duplicates of a small subset of the processor’s resources. Many other CPU resources, including the caches, registers, execution units, and scheduling queue, are shared, either through static partitioning (splitting ’em in two) or dynamic sharing. The most important shared resources are the processor’s execution units, where integer math, floating-point math, and load/store functions are handled. Execution stages in the deeply pipelined Pentium 4 are likely to be unused during some CPU cycles, and Hyper-Threading is intended to help keep the chip’s execution pipelines busier by exposing a second logical processor.

I would like to cover what gets shared in HT and why in more detail, but that’s another article altogether. If you want to understand the specifics of Intel’s Hyper-Threading implementation, let me recommend Jon Stokes’ article on the subject. He explores the complexities of adjudicating between logical CPUs competing for resources better than I can here.

Hyper-Threading’s resource sharing has the potential to sap performance in certain situations. Sharing the L2 cache between two logical processors means only half the cache space and bandwidth may be available to execute a given thread. We’ll examine this issue in more detail in our processor benchmarks here shortly.

 

What supports Hyper-Threading?
Only specific combinations of hardware and software will fully support Hyper-Threading. I’ll try to lead you through the maze the best I can.

First and foremost, you’ll need a Pentium 4 processor 3.06GHz , which is the only desktop processor to support HT. Interestingly enough, the logic necessary for Hyper-Threading has been present in Pentium 4 silicon since the first, original Pentium 4 “Willamette” chips arrived on the scene. However, Intel didn’t enable Hyper-Threading in those early P4 chips, preferring instead to introduce HT—pardon the abbreviation, but HT will have to do from here out—with its Xeon server chips.

Before you current P4 owners get too excited, Intel says it can disable access to Hyper-Threading “in the factory,” so your current P4 chips aren’t likely to sprout a second head any time soon. Also, Intel has taken the P4 through a number of revisions (or steppings) over time, and HT logic has been improved as that’s happened. So even if you can hack an older P4 into enabling HT, performance may not be all that great.

For now, Intel plans to keep Hyper-Threading exclusive to P4 chips at 3GHz and above, although I get the sense the company might change its plans if screaming hordes of Taiwanese mobo makers were to show up at its doors. Or if Michael Dell made a phone call.


The WinXP Device Manager sees double

Next, you’ll need a Hyper-Threading-aware operating system. To date, only Windows XP and Linux (kernel versions 2.4.18 and higher) are HT-aware. Some multithreaded operating systems, like Windows 2000, will run fine with multiple logical processors, but they don’t offer the performance benefits of an HT-aware OS. Microsoft has produced an interesting little white paper on HT support in WinXP, which explains the kernel tweaks needed for best performance. For instance, WinXP more aggressively executes the HLT command on an unused logical CPU. (The HLT command exists to tell processors to take a break for a while.) Doing so frees up shared resources for the other logical processor. In case you were wondering, while the Home edition of WinXP supports only one physical processor, it will support HT on that processor.

Finally, you’ll need a motherboard with Hyper-Threading support. Realistically, that means you need a mobo capable of running a P4 3.06GHz chip, so it will require a 533MHz front-side bus and the right voltage regulator. These requirements will eliminate many existing P4 mobos. Beyond that, you’ll need a BIOS capable of supporting Hyper-Threading. With BIOS level support, users can turn HT on and off at will. Without BIOS-level support, HT won’t work. And you’ll need a chipset capable of supporting Hyper-Threading.

All of Intel’s current P4 chipsets and most of its past ones, with the exception of one stepping of the 845, support HT. With Taiwanese chipset makers VIA and SiS, the situtation is somewhat murky. I asked VIA about it, and I got this response:

Hyperthreading support is enabled in BIOS. VIA P4 mainboards will support hyperthreading. There will be more official info about this coming out of VIA before the end of this week.

That sounds promising, and I expect we’ll know more soon. SiS’s story seems similar. I wouldn’t count on HT support with mobos based on current Taiwanese chipsets, but I wouldn’t count it out, either.

 

Hyper-Threading in action
Using a Hyper-Threading enabled system looks, to the user, like using a dual-processor box. Windows’ Task Manager shows a pair of CPUs, like so:


Task Manager’s dual CPU use indicators set a geek’s heart aflutter

The picture above is fun, but it also illustrates an interesting phenomenon. The task you see taking up 50% CPU time is a Folding@Home distributed computing client, and as you can see, it’s oscillating between the systems’ two logical processors, just as it does in SMP systems sometimes. The penalty associated with the required context switches here isn’t as great as it would be with SMP, because cache and other resources are shared between the logical CPUs. Still, I’d rather set the processor affinity for the Folding client and keep it nailed to one logical CPU. Like this:


One logical CPU runs at full tilt, while the other is idle

By the way, the 50% CPU usage number you see in Task Manager doesn’t mean that 50% of the processor’s execution resources are still available for the second logical CPU. The OS only sees two logical CPUs, so it can’t give any deeper insight into what’s going on under the hood.

 

A word about benchmarks
In order to test the P4 with Hyper-Threading, we’ve mashed together elements of our usual processor benchmark suite with some of our customary SMP tests. Using a whole range of tests allows us to compare the new P4 to its competition, and the non-multithreaded tests will show us any performance penalties associated with HT. The multithreaded tests give us a chance to measure Hyper-Threading’s benefits directly.

There are also some things benchmarks can’t capture, like the “creamy smoothness” that comes from having a second (logical or physical) processor available to handle user tasks while other processes run in the background. The difference in the user experience is, by definition, best measured subjectively, and I’ll talk more about that later on.

I should note, though, that Intel’s push for Hyper-Threading has already started paying dividends in the form of multithreaded benchmarks and multithreaded revisions of popular applications. As we’ve seen in the past, Intel has a lot of clout when it comes to these things, and I’d have to categorize the push for more multithreaded software as a Very Good Thing. Those of us who are devotees of SMP will benefit from this push at least as much as P4 owners will.

So what should you expect to see in the benchmark results? Well, if an application isn’t multithreaded, you may well see a slight performance drop with Hyper-Threading enabled (we tested with HT and without). If a benchmark is multithreaded, the performance benefits of HT should be obvious, if not overwhelming.

One more thing: We tested the P4 3.06GHz with both PC1066 RDRAM and DDR333 memory. RDRAM is Intel’s highest performance solution, and DDR333 is the solution everyone will actually buy. I considered nixing the RDRAM tests, but it’s interesting to see how the different memory subsystems affect Hyper-Threading’s effectiveness, so I’m glad left them in.

Our processor 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 Athlon XP 2200+ 1.8GHz
Athlon XP 2600+ 2.13GHz
Athlon XP 2800+ 2.25GHz Pentium 4 2.53GHz
Pentium 4 2.8GHz
Pentium 4 3.06GHz
Pentium 4 3.06GHz
Front-side bus 266MHz (133MHz  DDR) 333MHz (166MHz DDR) 533MHz (133MHz quad-pumped) 533MHz (133MHz quad-pumped)
Motherboard Asus A7N-8X (pre-release sample) Intel D845PEBT2 Intel D850EMV2
Chipset NVIDIA nForce2 Intel 845PE Intel 850E
North bridge nForce2 SPP 82845PE MCH 82850E MCH
South bridge nForce2 MCP-T 82801DB ICH4 82801BA ICH2
Chipset drivers 2.77 Intel Application Accelerator 6.22 Intel Application Accelerator 6.22
Memory size 512MB (2 DIMMs) 512MB (1 DIMM) 512MB (2 32-bit RIMMs)
Memory type Corsair XMS3200 PC2700 DDR SDRAM Corsair XMS3200 PC2700 DDR SDRAM Samsung PC1066 Rambus DRAM
Graphics ATI Radeon 9700 Pro 128MB (Catalyst 7.76 drivers)
Sound Creative SoundBlaster Live!
Storage Maxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X 7200RPM ATA/100 hard drive
OS Microsoft Windows XP Professional
OS updates Service Pack 1

Though it’s not listed above, we also ran some of the multithreaded benchmarks on an Athlon MP 2000+ system, based on MSI’s K7D Master-L, both with single and dual processors. That system was configured similarly to those above—same OS revisions, amount of RAM, hard drive, sound card, and the like—with the notable exception that the graphics card was a GeForce4 Ti 4600. Since this system is present primarily to illustrate the similarities and contrasts between Hyper-Threading and true SMP, the graphics card difference shouldn’t be a big issue. Just keep in mind how that system varied from the rest.

Thanks to Corsair for providing us with DDR333 memory for our testing. If you’re looking to tweak out your system to the max and maybe overclock it a little, Corsair’s RAM is definitely worth considering. Using it makes life easier for us as we’re dealing with brand-new chipsets and pre-production motherboards, because we don’t have to worry so much about stability and compatibility.

The test systems’ Windows desktops were set at 1024×768 in 32-bit color at an 85Hz 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
First up are our memory tests. These synthetic tests are often enlightening, but they aren’t always a good indicator of overall real-world performance.

Sandra and Cachemem tell similar stories about memory bandwidth. These results are more or less what we’d expect to see from each of these platforms. Having Hyper-Threading enabled has little effect on memory bandwidth scores.

Memory latency also works out as expected. In access latency, RDRAM is slower than DDR memory, and the Athlon XP’s 266MHz bus running with 333MHz memory is slowest of all. Again, Hyper-Threading has no real effect, which is more or less expected.

Linpack shows us visually the performance, from left to right, of the L1 data cache, L2 cache, and memory subsystem for each system. At 3GHz, the Pentium 4 peaks higher than the Athlon XP 2800+. The P4 also peaks much later, courtesy of its larger, faster L2 cache.

 

Business Winstone
Now we get to see some real-world benchmarks of this 3GHz hydra. This newly revamped version of Business Winstone ought to be more accommodating to SMP and SMT systems than previous revisions.

Here you can see a slight but real performance improvement with HT enabled. However, the Athlon XP—even the 2600+ model—outruns every flavor of Pentium 4 we tested.

Content Creation Winstone
Content Creation Winstone 2002 has always been friendly to SMP systems, so we expected good things from Hyper-Threading. However, the results weren’t so good…

Enabling HT knocks the new P4 down a couple notches. I expect this result would be different if more of the component applications in the CC Winstone suite were multithreaded. In fact, I’ve ordered the brand-new 2003 edition of CC Winstone, which ought to help in this regard, but our copy hasn’t arrived yet.

Still, this result shows that Hyper-Threading’s performance benefits aren’t universal.

 

LAME MP3 encoding
We used LAME 3.92 to encode a 101MB 16-bit, 44KHz audio file into a high-quality, variable-bit-rate MP3. The exact command-line options we used were:

lame -v -b 128 -q 1 file.wav file.mp3

Here are the results…

LAME isn’t multithreaded, and it shows. Nevertheless, the P4 3.06GHz comes out on top here, leapfrogging the Athlon XP 2800+ by just a few seconds.

DivX video encoding
This ought to be fun. Xmpeg is indeed multithreaded, and it uses Intel’s SSE2 extensions on the Pentium 4, as well. I’ve included results from an Athlon MP system here, so you can see the relative benefits of both SMP and SMT.

For this test, we took a 279MB video file, encoded in MPEG2 format at DVD quality, and converted it to a 33MB DivX file. We used the “medium” quality/speed setting on the DivX encoder, and we turned off audio processing. Otherwise, all settings were left at their defaults.

That’s more like it. Here, enabling HT gives the P4 a nice performance boost. Let’s compare the relative performance increases with Hyper-Threading and our dual Athlon MP system.

Obviously, Hyper-Threading can’t do as much for performance as adding a second CPU, but a performance gain of 14% essentially for “free” is a worthy accomplishment.

 

Kribibench 3D rendering
Kribibench uses an SSE-aware, software-only rendering engine to generate some very nice looking 3D images. Since rendering is easily parallelizable, Kribibench is multithreaded, too. We’ve tested with a couple of different 3D scenes, just in case there are any big differences in terms of rendering workload between them.

In both cases, Hyper-Threading shows some impressive performance gains. The “jetfog.d” scene runs relatively better on the Pentium 4 systems than the “office.d” scene, but both run quite well compared to the Athlon XP.

The biggest story here, however, is the performance gain with Hyper-Threading.

We’re seeing nearly a 25% improvement in the “office.d” scene with HT enabled.

Cinebench 2000 3D rendering
Cinebench is another multithreaded rendering benchmark. This one can run in both single- and multithreaded modes, so we have single-threaded scores for the SMT and SMP systems.

In a moment of high drama, the Pentium 4 3.06GHz loses out to the Athlon XP 2800+—until Hyper-Threading is enabled, and the P4 takes the lead. Of course, everything gets clobbered by the dually rig, but that’s not fair.

POV-Ray 3D rendering
Next up is that old staple of our test suite, POV-Ray. Perhaps I’m missing it, but I don’t believe even POV-Ray 3.5 is multithreaded. How a modern ray-tracing engine can avoid being multithreaded, I cannot fathom. Anyhow, here are the results from our usual scene render…

As ever, the Athlon XP comes out on top in POV-Ray, but the Pentium 4 3GHz is getting mighty close. If POV-Ray were multithreaded, that might put the P4 over the top.

 

Quake III Arena
Now for some 3D gaming benchmarks. Q3A is distinct in its multithreadedness, but Q3A’s multithreaded mode hasn’t worked very well for quite some time now.

Enabling HT doesn’t cause any significant performance difference, but using the game’s SMP mode slows things down. In this case, the fix is simple: don’t use the “r_smp 1” option. Most SMP system owners probably don’t anyway, simply to avoid crashes and other problems.

3DMark2001 SE

Once again, HT doesn’t affect performance significantly, but the clock speed boost to 3.06GHz lifts the Pentium 4 past the Athlon XP 2800+.

Serious Sam SE

Hyper-Threading actually seems to offer a minor speed gain in Serious Sam, but not quite enough to push the P4 to the top of the chart.

Comanche 4

Pentium 4 systems simply own Comanche 4, Hyper-Threading or no.

Unreal Tournament 2003

Unreal Tournament comes out much like the rest of our gaming tests, so I’ll take this opportunity to summarize our results. The good news for gamers is that Hyper-Threading doesn’t hurt performance, and if anything, it offers a nearly imperceptible performance boost (perhaps HT handles system overhead better). Any worries about resource sharing with HT slowing down games appear to be unfounded.

Also, with or without HT, the Pentium 4 3.06GHz is the fastest gaming CPU in all but one of our tests.

 

SPECviewperf
We’ve included SPEC’s viewperf suite of workstation-class graphics tests for completeness. I expected some of these tests to be multithreaded, but….

Only 3dsmax shows any daylight between the HT and non-HT scores, and even there, the differences are minor. Moving on…

 

Speech recognition
Sphinx is a high-quality speech recognition routine that needs the latest computer hardware to run at speeds close to real-time processing. We use two different versions, built with two different compilers, in an attempt to ensure we’re getting the best possible performance.

There are two goals with Sphinx. The first is to run it faster than real time, so real-time speech recognition is possible. The second, more ambitious goal is to run it at about 0.8 times real time, where additional CPU overhead is available for other sorts of processing, enabling Sphinx-driven real-time applications.

Sphinx isn’t multithreaded and leans heavily on the memory subsystem, so it’s no suprise to see the results we do here. Nonetheless, the P4 3.06GHz with RDRAM produces some astounding numbers. Only the Athlon XP system with a 333MHz bus, the 2800+ system, can run with the Pentium 4 systems in Sphinx.

picCOLOR image processing
picCOLOR came to us via Dr. Reinert Mueller, who wanted us to test his image processing program on a dual-processor Athlon system for him. We’re glad we obliged him, because picCOLOR does a nice job testing common image processing-related functions with multiple threads. For this test, we’ve cleared off the table and just included results for an SMT system and an SMP system.

You can tell that some of the tests are multithreaded, while others aren’t. Let’s look at the relative performance gains.

Incidentally, in order to make this graph readable, I’ve not reported performance decreases, of which there were a few. Overall, the performance increases more than offset the few decreases.

In some cases where SMP helps a fair amount, Hyper-Threading offers no benefit. However, in a few cases, HT does quite well.

 

Hyper-Threading and resource sharing
Jon Stokes’ discussion of Hyper-Threading’s resource sharing arrangements gave me some ideas for testing, and I checked with Jon to see what he thought of them. The results below are my fault, but Jon gets credit for helping if you like them.

I decided to use Linpack, which can visually represent L1 and L2 cache size and performance, to illustrate HT’s divison of the L2 cache between logical processors. In order to do so, I ran a Quake III Arena botmatch in a 640×480 window on the Windows desktop. Then, with Q3A running, I kicked off Linpack. The game’s “r_smp” variable was set to zero in all cases. Here’s what I found.

With Hyper-Threading enabled, L2 cache performance changes dramatically. The total cache bandwidth available is half what it is without HT. (Assuming the FPU being overworked isn’t the culprit.) Also, the Q3A + HT config peaks at about 192K matrix sizes, earlier than the Q3A + non-HT config. Effectively, the cache size is smaller because cache is being shared between two logical processors. This is just as Jon’s article predicted.

Also, that “hitch” in the Q3A + HT performance at around 270K matrix size is no fluke. What you’re seeing above is an average of three Linpack runs, but the individual Linpack runs all exhibited the same quirk:

I suspect this “hitch” shows us something about how Intel’s HT logic manages cache sharing, but I won’t venture a guess beyond that.

Before you worry too much about losing cache space and bandwidth with Hyper-Threading, though, read on. I showed these results to Jon, and he suggested turning the tables a bit:

I wonder how much Q3A actually benefits from the cache in the first place and is therefore affected by HT. I recall that the original Quake didn’t suffer too much a hit on the cacheless Celeron, because even when it has a cache it dirties the d-cache quite a bit. So if you have Q3A mostly dirtying the cache with data that it’s not going to reuse, and then you have Linpack trying to store matrices in the cache at the same time, then I would expect the Linpack performance to suffer much more than the Q3A performance. In other words, if you ran the same tests, but benchmarked _Q3A’s framerate_ rather than Linpack, my tentative hunch is that you’d see that Q3A’s performance degrades much slower from hyperthreading under the same conditions as Linpack.

I tested Q3A performance with Linpack running, both with and without Hyper-Threading enabled.

The results were just what we suspected. The effects of Hyper-Threading’s resource sharing mechanisms will vary greatly depending on the type of applications used.

 

Creamy smoothness?
Intel claims Hyper-Threading can offer real usability benefits of the same type we’ve always enjoyed from SMP. Here’s the scenario: The user is running a host of different applications at once—web browser, e-mail client, instant messenger, MS Office apps, and something nasty from Adobe like Acrobat. The something nasty from Adobe conspires with a Flash app in the web browser and several MS Office apps to chew up all the user’s CPU time, probably because something nasty from Adobe is in some kind of an unnecessary loop. The user’s PC slows to a crawl, nearly unresponsive, because no CPU time is available.

The creamy smoothness of SMP is just this: no slowdown in that scenario. Intel claims similar things for Hyper-Threading.

Unfortunately, I haven’t yet been able to decide whether and how much creamy smoothness Hyper-Threading is truly capable of delivering. Some of the benchmarks look promising, but making the subjective usability evaluation is more difficult. Truth be known, any 3GHz Pentium 4 system is so fast, it’s tough to contrive the kinds of slow-downs that one can “feel” subjectively. I’ll have to make a Hyper-Threaded PC my main system, full of MS Office apps, instant messaging programs, and nasty somethings from Adobe before I can make that call.

Conclusions
All in all, the Pentium 4 3.06GHz is the fastest PC processor available. The fastest Athlon XP system we tested, the 2800+ chip running on an nForce2 system, isn’t widely available yet, over a month after we first reviewed it. The Athlon XP 2800+ can challenge even the Pentium 4 3.06GHz for supremacy; which one is faster depends entirely on what you want to do. You’ve seen the results, so you can decide for yourself which would best suit your needs.

Personally, I’d probably pick the Pentium 4 over the Athlon XP, simply because I’m all over fast busses, memory, and graphics. I also like to play the occasional video game when I’m not working on a review (once a year), and the P4 is just a teensy bit faster in most gaming tests. But it’s very close.

That said, the significance of going from 2.8GHz to 3.06GHz is largely symbolic. And I don’t even know exactly what it symbolizes. The steady march of progress in PC processors is, to me, much more impressive than reaching the occasional round-number milestone. But then I’m too close to this stuff, I suppose. “3GHz” is just easier to digest than “2.2GHz, 2.4GHz, 2.53GHz, 2.8GHz….”

Hyper-Threading technology, on the other hand, is truly novel. Our tests have shown performance increases in line with the “up to 30%” claims you may be hearing from Intel, provided the applications are multithreaded and the workloads are easily parallelizable. This is a real-world performance gain that’s “free” for Pentium 4 buyers. Hyper-Threading’s benefits aren’t as universal as those of, say, a clock speed increase or a larger L2 cache, but they are compelling at times, especially if the user experience is truly enhanced by HT. At other times, Hyper-Threading is not a factor, and in rare situations, it causes slowdowns. As Intel’s push for Hyper-Threading progresses, I expect to see more and more multithreaded and HT-aware apps arrive. We’ve seen this pattern before with SSE2 enhancements. Over time, Hyper-Threading’s benefits should grow more pronounced.

Until then, if it causes problems, users can always turn Hyper-Threading off in the system BIOS, and they’ll still have one of the fastest PC processors anywhere. 

Comments closed
    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    [q]Some scientific computations are very resistant to being multithreaded because of the nature of the algorithm. Maybe POV-Ray is one of them. I’m pretty sure Linpack, as written, can’t be multithreaded either and thats why it made no difference on page 5.[/q]

    Raytracing is one of the most “parallelizable” algorythms.
    Anyway, a truly optimized (tuned) floating point algorythm will not benefit from HT because all units are kept busy by the single thread.

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    [quote]Or am I missing something here?[/quote]You’re missin something. It was a screenshot, not something ‘typed.’ And they altered it without saying anything after the review was out for a day or so. Then when people noticed this and mentioned it in the forums, steve from [H] denied it completely and they banned at least a dozen or so members for discussing it!

    Then Kyle says that the screenshots actually were switched, yet the members who discussed it are still banned (to the best of my knowledge).

    weird stuff…. and even their new score doesn’t seem at all in line with what other tech sites have gotten when they benchmark 3dmark2001 with HT on & off. They somehow manage a huge gain in a single-threaded application. its ridiculous.

    • IntelMole
    • 17 years ago

    From #73’s post:

    17,829 to 17,329?

    500 3DMarks?

    Hell, that could have been a typo!

    Or am I missing something here?
    IntelMole

    • Mr Bill
    • 17 years ago

    [quote]Next up is that old staple of our test suite, POV-Ray. Perhaps I’m missing it, but I don’t believe even POV-Ray 3.5 is multithreaded. How a modern ray-tracing engine can avoid being multithreaded, I cannot fathom.[/quote] Some scientific computations are very resistant to being multithreaded because of the nature of the algorithm. Maybe POV-Ray is one of them. I’m pretty sure Linpack, as written, can’t be multithreaded either and thats why it made no difference on page 5.

    • Mr Bill
    • 17 years ago

    I read HC right after TR and saw the original graphs. But all I thought at the time was that the [H] must have a really hot video card to get numbers so out of synch with TR. Then I read the one at Aces and had that opinion confirmed. There are a couple of threads over at extreme and overclockers that suggest both the H/T and non H/T figures represent overclocks compared to the 2.8GHz.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Sativa, [H] lost their credibility a long time ago as far as I’m concerned…

    Notice the comments Kyle makes a lot about different memory at the same timings/clock frequency performing identically, a while ago he linked to an article I’d written, in which I pointed that out, and made an “off the cuff” remark, about Mushkin HSDram (which does _NOT_ have the same timings as ordinary Sdram) performing differently at the same clock.

    to anyone that knew the details, it was an irrelevent comment, to everyone else, it was as if he were saying “ha, he’s wrong, he’s an irrelevent example to ‘prove’ it”

    So screw him >:(

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    If Intel had Increased PIII to 3GHz ? The winner would be!!

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    Even though [H] admitted they were wrong, I cannot believe they BANNED so many significant people from their forums for discussing it.

    Sorry Kyle, but your site just lost its credibility. Makes me wonder what else you guys ban forum members for.

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    Steve even said[quote]BTW: Nice fake picture, JCViggen posted the real one, you posted the photochop right under it, you HAVE to see the humor in that. That picture is fake.[/quote]LOL. So, so wrong.

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    [quote]If you think [H]ardOCP has been not been founded on honesty and integrity over the last five years, then you might as well stop reading now, as what I have to say will not pertain to you. We are an enthusiast site that existed before we were called “enthusiasts”. We have watched the community grow and we have grown with it. Our readers are our peers and our number one concern, and never think any different.

    There is a situation that we need to discuss that has been brewing since we posted the Intel 3GHz review on the 13th at 9pm CST. After two days of talking and listening to our readers and our peers that we have full trust in, it is evident that we have done something that is inexcusable.

    After researching this fully for two days, I have been able to pull together 100% factual evidence that a single set of benchmarks in the 3GHz article were changed after publication of the article. The 3DMark benchmark was changed from “17829” to “17329”. The fact of the matter is that we did not note this change. It is standard operating procedure that anytime a portion of an article is changed, outside spelling and grammar, it is noted and explained as to why the change was made. This was not done.

    As I am Editor-in-Chief of HardOCP.com this is 100% fully my responsibility to make sure issues such as these do not occur. The change in the benchmark without notation is fully my responsibility and I did not fulfill my responsibility to you. For that I apologize.

    Our detractors have been posting stories that have reached from one end of the spectrum to the other every since they smelled blood in the water. I assure you that we do not post lies, and we have never intentionally posted numbers or benchmarks that we have known to be wrong. Doing that is simply not in our character. We do not accept bribes and we do not play favorites. While this site has become my livelihood, it is never viewed as “for profit” business. Our first and foremost objective is to supply solid information to our readers. At this point, if you question our competency, I can understand as we have given you a reason for doing so. Please do not let this be a mark against our integrity and honesty.

    I assure you that this will not happen again.

    Kyle Bennett
    Editor-in-Chief [H]ardOCP.com[/quote]At least he finally admitted it. Seems odd he denied it so hard at first and banned several people for discussing it. I wonder if they will get their accounts back now that he has admitted they are right.

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    I know, I had the original in my cache too. I heard about how people say he changed it, but i didn’t go back to check until i made sure i looked at my cache. sure enough, it was the higher number.

    Seems kinda sad to ban so many long-time contributers to his forum just to cover up a tiny mistake he made. oh well.

    • monaco
    • 17 years ago

    sativa: believe anybody but Kyle. He’s completely full of shit on this one- he DID fake the numbers, then he DID change the graph, and now he IS refusing to admit it- I’ve got the images in my cache to prove it. Ask the hundreds of people who got banned from the [H] forum last night what they think of it. All they did is question his results, and he started banning IP blocks.

    It’s not just that he lied…it’s that he’s refusing to even address the issue, and now he’s doing his best to hide that it ever happened. Christ, it got so bad he had to shut down his own forum and turn off new member registration; the whole damn ‘net flocked there to try to get him to admit what he did. All he did was lock threads and ban people. He’s trying to keep anyone from even knowing about what happend.

    [H] is on an even lower level than THG these days.

    Back on topic: TR’s results on HT are trustworthy, and just about in line with what I expected. Nice to have, but I’m not rushing out to spend my hard-earned $$$. For the price of one HT-enabled CPU I could build at least one entire system.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Hyperthreading IS good if you know what to expect. From the article I think it is safe to conclude that the Quake performance with Linpack running in the background is the situation where to expect the performance increase, i.e. several competing processes rather than multithreaded applications.

    Besides, late revisions of Q3A have a bug which disabled the multithreading… So, tell us which version you had or redo the analysis. Carmack is aware of the bug.

    • Dposcorp
    • 17 years ago

    [q]Posted by droopy1592

    Pentium 6 with Quadra Threading

    Hammer with Octa-pumped 4 state front side bus.

    ATi 50000 first 1024 bit GPU 512 bit memory bus.

    Geforce 6, four core Cel derived GPU [/q]

    LOL. I am laughing because i started thinking, what if 3Dfx was still around, imagine how many GPUs they would have on there cards.
    They had 4 GPUs per card when, in 2000?(VooDoo5 6000).

    They would probably have 8 GPUs per card, but you could onlyun them in pairs in SLI and have to run them on a special motherboard with Dual AGP ports.

    [b]AND YOU WOULD STILL HAVE ONLY 16 BIT COLOR, BUT DAMN, UNREAL WOULD SURE RUN FAST. :)[/b]

    • Mr Bill
    • 17 years ago

    Intel is hyping something that every CPU designer already tries to put in silicon. All I can see that is new here is faking the OS into thinking it has two CPU’s so the OS can try to poke a few instructions in from another thread. A true multithreaded task should be quite as likely to benefit from 7th generation processor design. Its called a scheduler and Intel has improvised an interesting take on the idea but this is not completely new. Gotta go read more reviews so I can say something more outrageous. grin

    • indeego
    • 17 years ago

    Interesting how you and Anand bothuse the new Nforce2 motherboard but make it into a PIV story. oh well… that is the exact Nforce 2 board I’ve been keeping my eyes ong{<.<}g

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    nice review…however i own a pair of 2.0 ghz xeons…and using w2k advanced server…it sees them as 4 1.0 ghz xeons….therefore…single threaded apps it sucks…..but multithreaded it r0x0rz…

    just thought i’d comment heh

    • indeego
    • 17 years ago

    uh I think you all misunderstood me. All I was saying is that $700 is not a mortgage payment. I made no comment on the processor’s price/performance value. I would never pay g{<$700, $600,$500,$400, $300<}g for a processor, r{

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[http://www.nutrend.com/app/search.asp?submit=manufactory&catalog=343&manufactory=1028<]§

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    hey leave #50 alone if he want to pay $700 for a porc then thats his right. I remember the days of $2500 p1- 233’s. Get a grip ppl its only money, get a better job or get a life and leave those of us who have money alone!

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    [q]…web browser, e-mail client, instant messenger, MS Office apps, and something nasty from Adobe like Acrobat.[/q]
    [q]The something nasty from Adobe conspires with a Flash app in the web browser and several MS Office apps to chew up all the user’s CPU time, probably because something nasty from Adobe is in some kind of an unnecessary loop.[/q]
    [q]I’ll have to make a Hyper-Threaded PC my main system, full of MS Office apps, instant messaging programs, and nasty somethings from Adobe before I can make that call.[/q]
    Three -[

    • b3n113
    • 17 years ago

    dissonance – well it’s not like the 2700 exactly fails in the performance arena compared to the 2800 🙂 – But point taken.

    • Spune
    • 17 years ago

    Wake me up when AMD gets something out I can buy until then… whatever

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    i think the question on everyone’s mind regarding this new CPU is:

    WIll this make pr0n d/l faster?

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    cheese with that whine?

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Anonybomber- stop whining. It’s an opinion.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    What’s important for those of use who aren’t on the “must have the fastest CPU now!” treadmill is figuring how the P4 3.06 will stack up against the competition when in drops into the top ‘realistic’ price point, which the 2.53 GHz P4 had, and should shift to the 2.66 GHz P4 in the next few weeks.

    After all, the 3.2 GHz and 3.33 GHz P4s will be out before I get my income tax refund (and replace my aging-too-fast P3) 🙂

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    [b]Indeego[/b] You should post on some other enthusiast web sites, where other kiddies have something to prove.

    $700 is too much to pay for a processor… Unless you are buying a server, or crazy enough to buy an Apple

    • droopy1592
    • 17 years ago

    [q]I don’t know what shack you live in but that’s about half my mortgage payment… But thanks for reminding me where the majority of my money goes![/q]

    Indeego — You should think before you speak. Notice I did say [b]some[/b] people’s mortgage payment. Depending on the area, cost of living is different. The cost of a home/rent varies more based of area than any other factor in the cost of living. I live in a $230,000 White Florida Stone house, but because of the area I live in, I only paid $140,000. Same house in some parts of Alabama, or any other State for that matter, you might find for less… If I lived only 4 miles northeast of where I live now, my house would be worth $380,000 easy.

    Shacks in San Francisco, San Diego, Atlanta, (2 beds, 1 bath, 1 kitchen, one living room, porch, in decent shape) can cost you $3500 a month in a 30 year mortgage for 7% interest.

    Stop sounding like a dummy for once.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    INDEEGO, most of the country pay less than 700$ amonth for rent or to buy a home, except california and a few other states, yes 700$ is a lot of money for a processor.

    • indeego
    • 17 years ago

    [quote]
    Can you say $700!?

    That’s two car payment’s or some people’s rent or mortgage payment.
    [/quote]

    I don’t know what shack you live in but that’s about half my mortgage payment… But thanks for reminding me where the majority of my money goesg{

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • atidriverssuck
    • 17 years ago

    As hard as it is for me to believe people actually pay this price for a processor, there are those people out there that bragging rights, more than a need for the product, is everything, and they slap the cash down. This ‘Hyper-Threading’, for all the hype, is very disappointing.

    If the current Athlons (and Durons) aren’t a steal at the prices they’re selling now (or not selling now, as the case may be), I dunno what is.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    So you need WindowsXP (Or Linux) to get the best performance from Hyperthreading… no thank you… I would rather stay with Win2k and take the performance “hit”

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Nice article but one minor nitpick

    On page 11 with picCOLOR image processing the last graph on the page that shows % performance increase from single to multithreaded.

    [q]Incidentally, in order to make this graph readable, I’ve not reported performance decreases, of which there were a few. Overall, the performance increases more than offset the few decreases. [/q]

    I dont think including performance decreases affects readability at all and of the 10 tests, 3 showed negligible differences, 4 test showed increases of 40%, 5%, 7%, and 52%, and two showed decreases:

    ‘Video+trgn’ : -9.9%
    ‘Fixed Interpolation’: -23.4%

    These arent trivial decreases either… If you wanted to say anything >~10% to be a ‘significant’ impact, then just as many tests found HT to be detrimental as beneficial (2 each).

    Conclusions are subject to interpretation of the data and the purpose of summary graphs should highlight the data ‘as it is’, not hide details that could wreck your conclusions.

    I’m not saying that’s what’s happened here, but why not just present the all negative with the positive and let readers draw thier own conclusions without having to whip out the calculators to check numbers that should have been there.

    And if a reader can’t figure out a graph because it has -ve numbers, then maybe he/she is reading the wrong site 🙂

    Anyways it was a great read! Keep up the quality work.

    • Damage
    • 17 years ago

    Doh. I knew that, and I pointed out instances of asymmetry in the review. Fixed.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Good review.

    But it isn’t SYMMETRICAL multithreading – it’s SIMULTANEOUS. HT is highly, highly asymetrical.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    its a loser, i can buy two athlon 2200mp for 204$ each for a total of 408$ on price watch and get better performance, throw in a mother board for 160-200$ dollars and i will still have money left over for a video card, for the price of that processor. it doesnt add up. thank you AMD for the athlon.

    • droopy1592
    • 17 years ago

    Windows ST will be out in 2006 amongst these others…

    Windows Super Tight.

    Pentium 6 with Quadra Threading

    Hammer with Octa-pumped 4 state front side bus.

    ATi 50000 first 1024 bit GPU 512 bit memory bus.

    Geforce 6, four core Cel derived GPU

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    No overclocking at all? Like to see what this chip could hit with the lower wattage consumption.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    what’s next?
    Windows HT?

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    There are too many buzzwords and too little imagination

    HyperThreading HyperTransport HyperHype
    Windows XP, Athlon XP, eXtreme Programing (called XP too)
    Xplode

    I’m getting HyperXPloited by all that eXtreme marketing Hype.

    Xhit

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I don’t see the hit in breaking the 3 Ghz barrier. It’s much the same than breaking the 300Mhz barrier. The “barrier” now is the next unit order: TeraHerz 🙂

    This chip is nonetheless innovative and important for being the first bringing Multi-Threading for “home” usage. Better said, it WILL bring homes multithreading since 700$ is not yet a price for a chip aimed at homes. An Athlon MP (or even some Xeons) would be even cheaper and I’m not counting those.

    I think there must be already some chips in the workstation market featuring dual cores around the same price.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Very nice review. It was a great read.

    -morpheus777

    • Mr Bill
    • 17 years ago

    Very good review! I’ll be thinking about it all day at work. IMO A duallie would have run the linpack and the Q3 both at single CPU speed, and runs linpack twice very nicely (I know I’ve tested it). Good on you for benching with more than one application at a time. Its about time we started getting a feel for how multitasking gets done. One question about the Q3 + linpack test, do you feel that the CPU priorities were identical or different. Alternatively, do you have a speculation about why the Linpack test was slowed down at the expense of Q3 with H/T enabled, instead of vis versa?

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    This is all going to be confusing if people start blathering on about HT. Hypertransport, or Hyperthreading? An Intel grab for acronyms? 🙂

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    is it just me or did anyone else notice the term “creamy smoothness” being used an inordinate amount in the review? might i suggest the occasional “viscous sleekitity”?

    • Ruiner
    • 17 years ago

    Funny,
    at the [H]: HT is awesome, noticable gains across the board (I paraphrase)

    at x-bit labs: more unrestrained praise

    Both sites had huge Intel banners….IN THE F’IN REVIEWS!

    TR: hmmm, it’s ok, let’s wait and see a bit.
    NO BIG INTEL BANNER.

    Cooincidence, I think not!

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    for 700$ it doesn’t make it

    AFAIK, the best sub 3000$ (no monitor) box would be one based on XP 2600+

    One would rather invest the difference in better HD’s, maybe RAID, more and better DDR RAM etc.

    I’m not investing +3000$ in a box plus monitor for home usage, so I don’t bother about this right now. It’s like paper launch to me.

    • droopy1592
    • 17 years ago

    [b]Can you say $700![/b]?

    That’s two car payment’s or some people’s rent or mortgage payment.

    • mech
    • 17 years ago

    This is really bizarre – we’ve had the P4 3.06Ghz here in Australia for about 2 months now. Last I saw they were going for US$700 though….

    Did they have an early release in the states too?

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I just read the review at Anandtech.

    The Tech Report review is excellent. Anandtech didn’t even run tests with HT disabled, as did TR, a glaring mistake.

    WTG guys, excellent work.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    On page 11, it shows the Microsoft compiled Sphinx running faster on a P4 2.8 than a P4 3.06. How could this be?

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Page 8 says this:

    [quote]In both cases, Hyper-Threading shows some impressive performance gains. The “jetfog.d” scene runs relatively better on the Pentium 4 systems than the “office.d” scene, but both run quite well compared to the Athlon XP.[/quote]

    But it appears that, relative to the Athlon MP, the “office.d” scene does better on the P4. In “office.d” the MP is below all of the 3.06 P4’s, but in “jetfog.d” it comes in 2nd after the RDRAM w/ HT enabled.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • nihilistcanada
    • 17 years ago

    So the sudden system halts when some dumbass program decides to use all the system resources, ie the real reason to go smp, is still going to happen right? Then what is the point? I always prefer one fast processor to two middle of the road ones because I am a gaming freak, but I wouldnt mind a little psuedo smp goodness so I could say download using emule and play utk23 at the same time without wild processor swings.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[http://www.googlegear.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=80660<]§

    • Craig P.
    • 17 years ago

    [q]I’m kind of curious to see what happened to the q3a framerates with Hyperthreading turned on and off when you ran the linpack tests.[/q]RTFG — Damage displayed the q3a framerates with and without linpack, with and without HT, a total of four cases.

    • b3n113
    • 17 years ago

    It just makes me happy on average the p4-3ghz is beating the athlonxp 2800+ by 1-2.5 fps in all the games, if not losing by 1-2 fps. And what a 2800 is 395$, vrs. the 700ish$ for a 3ghz p4? I know where my hard earned pennies are going..

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Nifty tech. $700? F**k that.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Nifty review from the TR guys. Though i think their server is getting beaten down like a $5 ho, because the graphs were taking forever even w/ my dsl…gotta love those 12:01 NDA expirations. 😉

    I’m trying to hold out for the Hammer launch to replace my aging 1 GHz fleet, but all these new cpu intro’s are getting me a bit impatient…

    Feh.

    • EasyRhino
    • 17 years ago

    Oh, and the deal with FAH running on the task manager was a real head trip. I mean, if you set the affinity to one “cpu”, then it says 50% CPU utilization, but it’s really more like 100% cpu utilization… which makes me cry.

    ER

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Gee Damage, thanks for telling me how the HT is enabled/disabled, ON THE LAST FREAKING SENTENCE OF THE STORY!!!!!oneone

    The Q2A vs. Linpack graph potentially blew my mind. I think that might be the start of something deep, but I dunno what.

    ER

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • JohnnyQ
    • 17 years ago

    3Ghz… didn’t we break the 1Ghz barrier like, last week? feels like it. 🙂

    • EasyRhino
    • 17 years ago

    pg 1 says ” This isn’t symmetric multithreading

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    As I feared, HT still goes around slowing some things down.

    • EasyRhino
    • 17 years ago

    See this it what I’m talking about with Damage getting all the glory reviews 🙂

    • indeego
    • 17 years ago

    The link leads to the middle of the articleg{<.<}g

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