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Besides ScienceMark test, we decided to test our processors in the MD@home Russian distributed computing client, dealing with the calculations of olygopeptides dynamic features (olygopeptides are protein fragments). These calculations will be a very helpful contribution into fundamental protein studies.

As we see, the new Pentium 4 processor copes much faster with molecular dynamics tasks than Athlon XP. Again, this is Hyper-Threading technology that helps here. Unfortunately, the MD@home client doesn’t support multi-threading, however, if you launch two client programs in parallel on a system with processors supporting Hyper-Threading, you will get a more than 40% performance increase.

Conclusion

The carried out test session shows clearly that Intel managed to defeat AMD this time. The last Northwood based processor is faster in most tests than the fastest AMD processor. Lately Intel has increased the CPU core frequencies quite a lot, speeded up the bus and introduced the tricky Hyper-Threading technology ensuring an additional performance gain in some applications. AMD, however, didn’t have any more technological and architectural opportunities to increase the core frequency of its processors, so their CPUs are not fast enough to compete with Intel on equal terms. Even the launching of the new Barton core wouldn’t help: the last Pentium 4 models are still evidently faster than the top Athlon XP models. As a result, Pentium 4 3.2GHz deserves being called the today’s fastest desktop processor. This situation is most likely to last at least until September, when AMD should finally announce its so long-awaited Athlon 64 processors.

We would also like to stress that AMD’s current rating system used for processor marking should not be considered a proper comparison criterion. The enhancements introduced in the new Pentium 4, such as 800MHz bus and Hyper-Threading technology, made this processor indisputably faster than Athlon XP 3200+.

Well, we are going to wait for the fall and to watch very closely all those new products Intel and AMD should announce at that time. The new Prescott and Athlon 64 are very likely to make the competition in the CPU market even more exciting. And now Intel ousts AMD into the Value segment, where they actually feel at home, we should say. Celeron is definitely no rival to Athlon XP.

 
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