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The first Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.2GHz model is intended to use 800MHz Quad Pumped Bus and supports Hyper-Threading technology, like all other high-end Pentium 4 processors. Pentium 4 Extreme Edition CPUs working at 3.2GHz are compatible with all contemporary Socket478 mainboards and do not require any specific cooling systems, even though they have a 169-million transistor die and higher heat dissipation of up to 94W. this way, all owners of Socket478 systems will easily be able to upgrade to Pentium 4 Extreme Edition. Of course, if they are not discouraged by the price of this CPU, which is expected to be around $740. However, Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processors haven’t started selling yet, and they won’t come today or tomorrow anyway. The most likely schedule for the mass sales of this solution is within a month or two. The picture below shows Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.2GHz (on the left) and a regular Pentium 4 3.2GHz (on the right).

In fact, the exterior of the new processor is hardly any different from the predecessor. It probably differs only by the bigger number of elements on the reverse side of it.

Testbed and Methods

Today we are going to see a really exciting rivalry of AMD and Intel’s processors targeted for the enthusiasts market. In other words, we will take a closer look at the performance of AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 and Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition. Athlon 64, which belongs to a slightly different price category will be tested in one of our upcoming reviews, so don’t worry that we are leaving it out today. For a better comparison, we will also include the results obtained on top-performance processors of the previous generation: Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz and AMD Athlon XP 3200+/ the fact that both these processors work at the same core clock as their successors allows us to draw some very interesting conclusions about the efficiency of AMD Athlon 64 FX and Pentium 4 Extreme Edition architectures.

Note that so far of all 64bit operation systems supporting CPUs with AMD64 architecture there are only Linux clones available. That is why we have to carry out most tests in 32bit Windows XP.

So, our testbeds were configured as follows:

  • CPUs: AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 (2.2GHz), AMD Athlon XP 3200+ (2.2GHz, 400MHz FSB), Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz (800MHz FSB), Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.2GHz (800MHz FSB);
  • Mainboards: ASUS P4C800 (i875P), ASUS SK8N (NVIDIA nForce3 Pro 150), ABIT NF7-S 2.0 (NVIDIA nForce2 Ultra 400);
  • Memory: 1024MB DDR400 SDRAM (2 x 512MB, 2-2-2-5), 1024MB Registered DDR400 SDRAM (2 x 512MB, 2.5-3-3-5);
  • NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra graphics card (Detonator 45.23)
  • Western Digital WD400JB HDD.

A few comments to the testbed configurations, that you should take into account:

  • In all cases we used the memory in its fastest mode with the minimal timings for each particular configuration. This way, the systems, which didn’t require Registered memory worked with DDR400 with the timings set to 2-2-2-5. The Registered memory for Athlon 64 FX system worked with the 2.5-3-3-5 timings, because there are simply no faster Registered memory modules in the market yet.
  • The tests were run in Windows XP SP1 with DirectX 9.0 package, unless other has been specified.
 
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