The Contenders

Since this is a budget roundup, price is a very important factor in decision making. To get an idea of how current pricing is shaping up, here are the prices of these processors at the time of publishing, sorted from the most expensive to the least (pulled from our DealTime engine).

 Processor  Price
Intel Pentium 4 1.8A $120
AMD Athlon XP 2600+ (2083MHz) $88
AMD Athlon XP (Barton) 2500+ (1833MHz) $86
Intel Celeron 2.6GHz $85
AMD Athlon XP 2400+ (2000MHz) $68
Intel Celeron 2.4GHz $68
Intel Celeron 2.2GHz $67
Intel Celeron 2.0GHz $65
AMD Athlon XP 2200+ (1800MHz) $63
AMD Athlon XP 1700+ (1466MHz) $56
AMD Duron 1.6GHz $41

The prices fall where we would expect. Intel processors are priced near AMD CPUs with similar model numbers. That makes a price–to-performance comparison fairly simple, as the only factor we really need to consider is performance.

The Athlon XP processor has been in the spotlight for quite some time. Over the years, what used to be high end processors are given new life as budget products. The technology behind the Athlon XP and Pentium 4 1.8A are very well documented, so we'll spend some time speaking about the other players in this review.

Intel Celeron



The main difference between a Pentium 4 processor and a Celeron is cache (high speed memory on the processor core) size. The Celeron takes a cut in L2 cache from 512KB down to 128KB. The L1 cache in the Celeron remains unchanged from that of its big brother. Cutting down the L2 cache's size will increase cache misses (number of times when the information that the processor needs is not located in the cache), which will slow down the processor while it has to wait for its data.

The Celeron processors are also limited to a 400MHz system bus, which, in turn, limits RAM speeds on the system to 133MHz (DDR266) when used on 865 or 875 based motherboards. Aside from these, the only other difference between Celeron and Pentium 4 is that none of the Celerons offer HyperThreading.

Celeron processors are available in many speed grades between 1.7GHz and 2.8GHz. For this comparison, the fastest Celeron under our $100 price point runs at 2.6GHz.

AMD Duron



Like the Celeron, the Duron is basically a stripped down version of a mainstream processor. In this case, we drop to a 64KB L2 cache. The L1 cache on the Duron remains at 128KB, giving the AMD budget line a larger overall cache than the Celeron. The Duron also operates on a 133MHz FSB, and there isn't a limit on RAM speed as there is with the Celeron line when used on any Socket-A platform.

The Duron processor is currently only available in three speed grades: 1.4GHz, 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz. For this review, we tested with the 1.6GHz model.

Index Test Setup
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  • arejerjejjerjre - Wednesday, January 07, 2004 - link

    Someone said that P4 EE loses to A64 3200+ HAH LOL
    Reply
  • arejerjejjerjre - Wednesday, January 07, 2004 - link

    THIS PROVES THAT INTEL IS THE BEST!!!!!!!!
    A RESPECTED FINNISH SITE HAS DONE SOME BENCHMARKING ON A64 3000-3400 AND P4 3.2GHZ NORMAL AND EE!!!!!!

    LOOK WHAT THE RESULTS ARE!!!!!
    http://www3.soneraplaza.fi/pelit/muropaketti/artik...

    Even the P4 3.2GHZ rulez over A64 3200+!!!!
    The Extreme Edition rulez quite easily over 3200+ and 3400+!!!
    Reply
  • Skandaloes - Saturday, December 13, 2003 - link

    "so while Intel is quite competitive in the mid-range and high-end segments, their value processors are inexcusably slow compared to AMD."
    What are you talking about? Intels mid-range segment, 2.4-2.8GHz P4's, offer the same performance as AMD's value segment Barton processors. You should do a comparison of the 2500+ and 2800+ Athlon XP's and the 2.4C, 2.6C, and 2.8C Intel P4's. I think you would be even more surprised.
    The problem is you're comparing the AMD processors to Celeron ones based on their ratings which were meant for P4's. A 2500+ Athlon ($90) has about the same performance as a 2.53GHz P4 ($175) or a 2.4C P4 ($165). A 2800+ ($145) will do almost as well as a 2.8C P4 ($215).
    AMD really has Intel beat in all price segment. The Value segment is completely obvious, and that's because AMD offers mid-range performance processors at value prices. The Athlon 64's control the high performance sector already, and the 3000+ should extend that advantage into the upper mid-range segment. The 3200+ costs about $20 less than a 3.2GHz P4 when configured, and the FX-51 is as fast or at least nearly as fast as the extreme edition for $200-$300 less. It's simple really. AMD offers faster processors for less in every price segment, not just the value one.

    Reply
  • arejerjejjerjre - Saturday, December 13, 2003 - link

    I am not going to post anymore its pointless you wouldn't believe me anyway! Reply
  • arejerjejjerjre - Thursday, December 11, 2003 - link

    By the way Celeron 2GHZ performed better in raw calculations (Pifast 3.3) than Pentium 4 1.8A

    Basis for claims about celerons low performance was that it was not good in raw calculations! It's better than you think!
    Reply
  • arejerjejjerjre - Thursday, December 11, 2003 - link

    You would probably have a heart attack if I could prove to you that the review is wrong! Reply
  • arejerjejjerjre - Thursday, December 11, 2003 - link

    How will I prove it? You wouldn't believe anything! You'd have to see for your self that's the problem!!

    Celeron has a different potential with different setting I meant!! And my test's used low end parts if you meant that!!!

    Noone reads magazines anymore :)

    Hard proof is hard to get! Like I said! And even if I had you on my side what does it matter? Still noone else wouldn't believe what I say!

    Yes it's true I just spitted out what I have said crappy text,bad english and all that! :)
    Review got me quite angry because the truth is far from what the article says.

    I cant stop thinking thats my problem! What's yours? If you do not even consider something to be truth you are in denial but that's not me whos in denial then!! :)
    Reply
  • JAGedlion - Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - link

    you know someone's in denial when they start to spam the boards like arejerjejjerjre. Seriously, if that isn't spamming, what is? At least the spam in my e-mail comes with pr0n, with arejerjejjerjre its just filled with the same old crap over and over.
    arejerjejjerjre, just think for a sec, I'm only asking for one second, so I am hoping that you can comply.
    Yes, some things will do better when on different platforms, that is rather obviouse... So whats your point? This is anandtech, not amdzone or w/e, and as such, they are successful if and only if they are reliable. Who buys a magazine and reads it through (real reading, not liek a comic book) knowing its all crap? Just as always, you have to learn to pick your battles. arejerjejjerjre, you started off at a disadvantage because the article strongly says the opposite of what you claim, and I grant you, that makes your job even harder. But to say they lied? Come on. Admit that they are right first, then say what you want. I will belive you saying that the celerons potential was not revealed, but realize, it was not only compared to durons. It was compared to XP's. These are full fledged chips, it makes sense that they would perform better, just like the worst viper outperforms the best tercel. Second, just stop with your proclamations about the unreliability of AMD procs, try to prove your point, not bash another's. Just the same, your idea of calling people liars is also moot. Compare the palimno to the throughough bred, in paper, not in what you could do. Performance increase may not have been much for you, btu there is no doubt it is a core designed to perform better. I'm not saying your right or wrong, but you need to work on your debate skills. Lastly, these are budget chips. The key word there is budget. 50% off the price of the chip isn't a little. Add to that the fact that amd mobo's are generaly less expensive and you see that for all of Intels capability in higher end systems, little can be said for their low end element.
    Reply
  • arejerjejjerjre - Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - link

    I only seen a duron run at 40 Celsius :) nothing else!

    Palomino 1700+ 60 C
    Thoroughbred 1700+/1800+ 50 C
    Duron 1300mhz 70 C the case was quite small! :)

    All the other cpus had big tower cases and good cooling!

    And intels stock cooling is silent too!!
    Reply
  • arejerjejjerjre - Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - link

    Justly if you got the money you should try and test it yourself that much better choice then to trust these reviews! Of Course if your afraid of what the results might be...

    Moronbasher what I said about the scores going high in 3dmark01 and not in quake 3 is completely true!! Hard to believe though I didn't believe it my self first!!!

    And again Intels stock cooling has allways been quite efficient enough my 2.4C is running at 42 degrees celsius!!!

    Hmm my friend had maxtor 80gb in serial ata! So that is the problem then but I've seen in some people say in nforce forums that they had had corruption with other harddrives not just maxtor!

    Yes VIA had had driver problems big time! But their chipset has workt greatly! And the performance difference between nforce 2 and via kt400a isnt much!
    Reply

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