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We noted the following tendency (also in tests that we carried out but didn’t publish here): the Prescott is faster in multimedia tasks and at archiving (and the optimization for the SSE3 extension will make the gap even wider!), it also wins in SPEC ViewPerf and runs neck and neck with Northwood in games, but loses in raw computational power (Hexus PiFast, ScienceMark 2.0). It is strange but SiSoft Sandra doesn’t show any definite growth of the memory speed (although the Prescott is better than the competitors in all modes), while the “honest” CacheBurst says it is quite hefty.

PCMark 2002 is sensitive to the amount of cache memory in the first hand, and the Prescott is just in between Northwood and Gallatin.

As for our experiment with extreme overclocking of all three 3.2GHz processors from Intel, I believe some comments are necessary.

Of course, Pentium 4 Extreme Edition is beyond competition: this processor shows impressive results across all the benchmarks. However, we are more interested in the tests where Prescott loses to Northwood. And we see the gap getting smaller as the frequency grows: twice in 3DMark 2001 and Enemy Territory! At the same time, the gap between Northwood and Gallatin remains the same, if not bigger.

This evidence is important for understanding the idea implied in Prescott. This core just can’t show its best here and now as it is intended for different frequencies and operational environments. We can draw a parallel with the first Pentium 4 and Pentium III. At the same clock frequency Pentium 4 would lose in many applications, but as its frequency grew higher it would reach a level of performance, unattainable by processors of the previous generation.

Conclusion

Highs:

  • You can have the speed of future products today! The basic trump card of phase-change systems is their excellent performance;
  • Easy to install and use;
  • Stylish case design, relatively compact size;
  • Noise comparable to ordinary air cooling;
  • Easily upgradeable by buying another CPU kit;
  • Reasonable price for the performance boost you get.

Lows:

  • Poor case accessories set;
  • The quality of the case doesn’t match the level of the product;
  • The price of the system may be too high for a mass user.
 
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