AMD's Athlon XP 2000+ vs Intel's 0.13-micron Northwoodby Anand Lal Shimpi on January 7, 2002 4:16 AM EST
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Moving into more professional territory we make use of the Cadalyst Labs' C2001 benchmark for AutoCAD 2002. This is indeed a very stressful test to place any test system under as even the fastest of systems will remain pegged at 100% CPU utilization throughout the vast majority of this benchmark.
Although our test bed used an admittedly average video card for AutoCAD (GeForce3 Ti 500), the differences between the CPUs are most important here.
The overall score continues to make it clear why the Athlon XP is a favorite among CAD users; the CPU definitely provides a lot of bang for your buck. The C2001 total index only shows about a 5% performance improvement courtesy of the Northwood core, but let's dive a little deeper to see if we can discover why the performance unfolds the way it does.
Here we get a completely different picture; the 3D wireframe tests seem to favor the Pentium 4 by a significant amount. Not only that but the Northwood core accounts for over a 9% performance improvement in this area alone. The Pentium 4 at 2.2GHz is approximately 20% faster than the Athlon XP 2000+. This would seemingly be an indication of platform limitations holding the Athlon XP back, possibly the KT266A AGP controller. But let's dig deeper...