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  • mindless1 - Sunday, April 18, 2004 - link

    WOnder of all wonders... we have evolved to supporting INDUSTRY STANDARD image file formats yet the review uses proprietary pics. I (and I suspect others) are "a rock" on this point, won't run flash. Using such pics in an article simply causes readers to go elsewhere, which in an overall elite-snob sort of way may not matter but in the grand scheme of things, losing readers beside of abandonment of industry standards is just a dumb idea. Reply
  • Aervires - Saturday, February 14, 2004 - link

    Are you sure you bought both processors retail?
    The P4EE is $955 AND THE A64FX-51 is $745
    The total cost a the P4EE will run you more however both are a waste of money. Also the when socket 939 comes BEWARE.
  • Aervires - Saturday, February 14, 2004 - link

  • Pumpkinierre - Saturday, February 14, 2004 - link

    #9 Trog, if it was only pipeline related then the p4EE comanche4 results should have the same as the northwood. But clearly it is better because of the extra cache 2Mb L3. The Prescott has 1Mb L2 and 16K L1 so it should have results in between the 3.2EE and 3.2c (if not close to the P4EE) if it had the same core as the n'wood and cache latency. In fact it is markedly down in commanche4 cf. with N'wood. Given that other games benchmarks/demos and tests have the two processors within 10%, I dont think this failure is solely as a result of the 31 stage pipeline and branch predictor etc. (remember intel also improved its efficiency with a lot of tweaks). The main problem is the cache latency has slowed down and this obviously has a marked effect on comanche4 as it would in real time gaming where memory subsystem latency is paramount. See here:

    "Yes, unfortunately, we have to state that not only the size of Prescott’s cache-memory has grown bigger, but also its latency. And the latency grew up a lot, I should say: for L1 cache the latency doubled! As a result, Intel will no longer be able to boast the extremely low latency of its L1 data cache. From the temporal point of view, the latency of Pentium 4’s L1 data cache got close to that of Athlon 64 L1 cache, though the latter is four times larger. However, the increase in the L1 cache latency is another forced measure, so that the new Pentium 4 processors on Prescott core could go beyond 4GHz core frequency.

    Similar changes were made to the L2 cache, too. In terms of L2 cache latency, the new Prescott processor yields to Northwood, as well as to the competing CPUs from AMD Athlon 64 family."

    That, plus poor fpu plus heat- not a good gaming cpu scenario. Intel have blundered big time and they must be rushing to get something out soon to relegate this doozer to the dustbin of history.

  • truApostle - Friday, February 13, 2004 - link

    The P4 extreme is a total waste of money, IMHO. To spend $550 more dollars only to gain 3-5 fps in some of the new(er)games is NOT worth it. OF course if you are still playing Quake III then you will realize some smokin fast frames in which case it's all overkill anywho. In every bench from content creation to encoding to gaming the P4EE was marginally ahead, at best. I guess if your a Rockefeller or a Rothschild then it's okay to build a system based upon that proc.

    I think the best deal out right now is a 64 3400. Benchmarks are really close to FX-51 and are matched too (content creation, encoding) or better (in gaming benchs) than most Pentium archrivals. Just my humble opinion.

    Either way isnt it a great time to be human, with all this technology to play with.


    -when you aim for perfection, you find that it's a moving target.

  • sipc660 - Friday, February 13, 2004 - link

    we seem to go down the same road as with the previous article.

    #1 was right you should overclock both 3.2C and 3.2E to show the overclocked performance delta with the measured temperature.

    that should give people who are interested in buying either a better comparison since the chips are going to be the same price at launch

    what you also should drain out of intel is wether or not it has built in 64 bit circuitry. and can it be unlocked through bios at a later stage.????

    right now at the moment it seems 3.2C is a clear winner regardless of the high end workstation performance.

    overall i would buy barton before i'd buy any of the intel chips. i don't beleive anyone here would buy any of these chips till they seriously come down in price.

    just keep it cool (hehehehe)....

    go amd

    P.S: cramitpal is a passionate joker, if no one can c that than you are blind. personally i'd give him a nice friendly hug if i met him on the street.

  • Superbike - Friday, February 13, 2004 - link

    I think I'll pick up a Prescott I need a computer/space heater. Reply
  • edub82 - Friday, February 13, 2004 - link

    Well this article clinches it for me...
    The 3.2EE must be mine, the increased performance over that pathetic 3.2C is well worth the 600 extra dollars I'm going to have to spend.
  • kmmatney - Thursday, February 12, 2004 - link


    Athlon 3400+ $270
    2x512Mb PC3200, Corsair: $155
    MSI KT8 NEO $97

    Total Price $522.

    That's the system we just ordered at work. We do a lot of image processing and image compression, and fpu intensive image manipulations and the Athlon is faster than a P4 - at least with our particular applications.
  • vedin - Thursday, February 12, 2004 - link

    That's true johnsonx but..

    Athlon 3400+ $404
    2x512Mb PC3200, Corsair: $155
    MSI KT8 NEO $97

    Total Price 656.

    And it's like, what? .5% slower than the Athlon FX-51?

    I see your point about the FX though, as do most here. It's kinda useless with a much cheaper AMD option right next to it performance-wise. But either way, the system I just described makes BOTH systems look silly for buying, unless you just like spending money.
  • TrogdorJW - Thursday, February 12, 2004 - link

    Pumpkinierre, I think you are totally wrong on the cause of the Prescott slowdowns. Without getting technical, let me just assure you that it has pretty much everything to do with the 31 stage pipeline in the Prescott compared to the 20 stage pipeline in the Northwood (and P4EE).

    The larger cache can help the Prescott overcome the effects of the long pipeline, but in certain types of code, you're basically screwed. Even the branch prediction can't help in some instances. Say a program has a lot of branches, and they're spread over a large enough area that the predictor can't track all of them. If you "overflow" the size of the branch prediction table, then the penalties of the longer pipeline are going to become very apparent.

    It appears that games are quite capable of doing this, and Comanche 4 in particular seems to have a lot of unpredictable branch code. Really, though, who cares? Comanche 4? I tried it, and thought it was pretty lame. At least UT2K3 and Q3 are pretty fun to play, even if they're old now.
  • johnsonx - Thursday, February 12, 2004 - link

    Cram says the P4 EE (aka the Piss-4 Enema Edition, according to Cram) is a $1000 pipe dream. Lets compare, shall we, using prices from NewEgg:

    Socket 478 Mainboard, ABit IC7: $119
    Intel P4 EE 3.2Ghz: $880
    2x512Mb PC3200, Corsair: $155


    Socket 940 Mainboard, ASUS: $205
    AMD Athlon64 FX-51: $733
    2x512Mb PC3200 Registered, Corsair: $258

    TOTAL PRICE FOR A64 FX-51: $1196

    Why is the P4EE more of a "$1000 pipe dream" than the FX-51? The P4EE is actually a touch cheaper, plus the board and ram are both standard types which many people may already have; with the FX-51, it all has to be purchased new yet will soon be obsolete.

    Seems to me the FX-51 in it's current form is just silly... perhaps even a $1200 pipe dream.

    None of this has much to do with the article these comments are supposed to be referring to, but Cram's comments never do either...
  • Pumpkinierre - Thursday, February 12, 2004 - link

    The p4 northwood IS a good gaming chip. The equivalent a64 doesnt beat it in some games and only by < 10% in the others. If AT had included a stock cooled o'clocked 2.4c@3.2 in these benchmarks (and I believe they've got a good one in the cupboard) the story would be a lot different. The big problem here is Prescott. It's too hot to o'clock sanely with standard air and stock, it underperforms Northwood which has half the cache. Why? Is the fpu a dog? Is the double sized cache slower latency-wise? From all reports its both.
    Comanche4 gives it away- generally regarded as a cpu intensive benchmark. The p4 EE is the same as the Northwood up to the L2 cache but the P4EE has 2Mb of L3 which lowers memory latency in some apps. cf. to Northwood. So the difference in performance, 3.2c vs 3.2EE, cant be fpu related but must be dependent on memory sub system latency The same lowering of memory latency can be achieved by o'clocking a 2.4c. In the case of the Prescott you cant do this because of the heat, you are just stuck with a dog!

    I think 512K L2/8K L1 caches is the optimum for gaming with the P4. Northwood is the better gaming and enthusiast P4 as well as still the best all round cpu (coolness, reliability, compatibility and M'board support). Prescott is relegated to workstation/encoding where sse3/HT play a bigger part and o'clocking/tweaking/ reliability are'nt of great importance. A poor fate for the P4 where Prescott should have been its crowning glory.
  • PrinceGaz - Thursday, February 12, 2004 - link

    The article pretty much confirms my gut feeling about Prescott after reading all the reviews on NDA day, which is that its every bit as good as the Northwood for non-gamers if you aren't going to overclock it and therefore not concerned with heat.

    As the Northwood is still considerably behind the A64 in all gaming type applications, its a non-issue that the Prescott is slower than the Northwood for games as no gamer would consider buying either anyway. As for the P4EE, systems built using it will only be purchased by those where cost isn't a concern -- I can't see many people who build their own box actually opting for it over an A64 (gamers) or P4 'E' (DVD-rippers).

    Please don't mock Cram..., he may actually believe some of what he spouts and it sure gives me a good giggle whenever I get to read any of it (before mods delete it) :)
  • Icewind - Thursday, February 12, 2004 - link

    Athlon 64 is just looking better and better every day.

    Can't wait to upgrade this summer.
  • cliffa3 - Thursday, February 12, 2004 - link

    when anand publishes his article on how his mac experience goes, that's still going to be the "bottomline" according to cram...can we get a feature that auto-posts that as a comment to each new article to save him the trouble?. Reply
  • CRAMITPAL - Thursday, February 12, 2004 - link


    Prescott SUCKS and PEEEEEE is a $1000 Pipe Dream.

    Only a fool...
  • araczynski - Thursday, February 12, 2004 - link

    Great article, very usefull and to the point.

    Good job :)
  • tfranzese - Thursday, February 12, 2004 - link

    Nice article and I'm glad you guys went ahead and published it as is. I just wish I did encoding - then I'd have a good reason to put together an Intel system. I may just do it for fun someday to compliment my other boxes.

    Can you guys please included RC5 crunching benchmarks? I would like to see that and benchmarks of overclocked Prescotts vs. overclocked Northwoods to better see the scaling @ 3.4/3.6 GHz and how big a gap will start to form.

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