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Testbed and Methods

The test session should show s how fast the new Pentium 4 3.2GHz is compared with the predecessors and with the fastest competitors from AMD Athlon XP processor family. This way, there were the following testing participants besides our Pentium 4 3.2GHz: Pentium 4 3.0GHz, Athlon XP 3200+ and Athlon XP 3000+. We ran all tests for Pentium 4 on a system built with i875P (Canterwood) based mainboard with dual-channel DDR400. For Athlon XP we used a mainboard on the today’s fastest NVIDIA nForce2 400 Ultra chipset.

As a result, our testbeds looked as follows:

CPU

Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz (800MHz bus)
Intel Pentium 4 3.0GHz (800MHz bus)

AMD Athlon 3200+ (2.2GHz, 400MHz bus)
AMD Athlon 3000+ (2.17GHz, 333MHz bus)

Mainboards

ASUS P4C800 Deluxe

ASUS A7N8X Deluxe 2.0

Memory

SDRAM (2 x 256MB)

Graphics card

ATI RADEON 9700 PRO (Catalyst 3.4 driver)

HDD

Western Digital Raptor WD360GD

Notes:

  • In dual-channel configurations the memory worked synchronously with the FSB. The timings were set to 2-2-2-5.
  • The tests were run in Windows XP SP1 operation system with DirectX 9.0a package.

Performance: Office and Content Creation Applications

First of all, we as usual ran the tests in office and digital content creation applications. For this purpose we used Winstone test package.

In Business Winstone 2002, which includes all top business applications, the laurels belonged to Athlon XP processor family, which turned out much faster than the competitors from Intel. This is a typical situation for this benchmark due to Athlon XP architectural peculiarities as well as bigger cache-memory of the Barton based processors. Since the L2 cache of Barton based Athlon XP CPUs is an exclusive one, the L2 cache size equals 640KB.

In the complex Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2003 measuring the systems performance in applications working with digital content, the situation is somewhat different. Pentium 4 processors with NetBurst architecture and fast bus featuring 6.4GB/sec bandwidth leave the top Athlon XP processor models far behind.

 
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