An update on LGA-775

When Intel first launched the LGA-775 socket we were skeptical; reports of extremely high failure rates of initial sockets were pouring out of Taiwan and we had feared the worst: had Intel finally broken all ties with the enthusiast community by implementing a socket that would fail after a couple of insertions? 

Now, 5 months after the public introduction of LGA-775, we can say that our deepest fears didn’t end up materializing.  We’ve done a tremendous number of LGA-775 CPU installations over the past several months across various motherboards and have yet to encounter a system that will no longer POST or even a single bent pin on the motherboard. 

Click to enlarge

We do have complaints about Intel’s retail heatsink/fan and its mounting mechanism.  While we were originally quite impressed with how much easier the LGA-775 HSF mounted than the older Socket-478 units, the more we used them, the more we began to despise them just as much as we did the previous model. 

The problem with the new heatsink is that it is very easy to not get all of the four pegs to lock into place properly, which usually results in a clock throttling CPU that’s difficult to detect.  The issue seems to be much more common on the higher speed Prescotts (3.6GHz and 3.8GHz); the first time you mount the heatsink it’s usually not a problem, but remove it and reinstall it a few times and now things aren’t quite as perfect.  The pegs don’t always lock into place securely and we’ve had cases where one of the pegs will pop out of place.  Usually if you spend more time with it and apply a good amount of pressure to the culprit pegs you’ll avoid any issues.  It’s not an unsurmountable problem but it’s definitely an annoyance we’ve had since the launch of the LGA-775 socket. 

We much prefer AMD’s simple, single lever approach to heatsink installation as it is effortless and we’ve never had an issue with an improperly cooled CPU.  To Intel’s credit, the Pentium 4 does produce significantly more heat than the Athlon 64 so maintaining better contact between the heatsink and the CPU is much more important to Intel than AMD, but that doesn’t change the fact that Intel’s heatsink can be a pain to install and reinstall. 

The worries of users bending pins in the socket and returning their motherboards also doesn’t seem to be a real issue as we haven’t heard any complaints from the Taiwanese motherboard manufacturers. 

Testing EDB Functionality AMD Athlon 64 4000+ and Intel Pentium 4 570J: Head to Head


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  • mrdudesir - Monday, November 15, 2004 - link

    Great idea including the Benchmark summary tables at the beginning of the article. I for one don't like having to always comb through the benchmark tables and pick out each specific test when its just a new processor being introduced. Keep up the great work guys. Reply
  • thebluesgnr - Monday, November 15, 2004 - link

    To include IE render times you have to keep in mind that it's also very dependent on the chipset. If you really wanted to compare the two processors ideally you would use two motherboards with the same southbridge (SiS, VIA and now ATI).
  • jimmy43 - Monday, November 15, 2004 - link

    A lot more often than i make spreadsheets in excel. Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Monday, November 15, 2004 - link

    jimmy43: Although IE render time is a good test, Windows startup times seem kind of pointless. How often are you restarting your PC?

    Furthermore, virus scans are almost entirely bottlenecked on the HD.

    Hope that helps,

  • jimmy43 - Sunday, November 14, 2004 - link

    Personally, I would love to seem some actual real world benchmarks such as these:

    -Windows Xp startup times.
    -Internet Explorer startup/render time.
    -Virus scan times
    -THOROUGH multitasking tests.

    I really dont understand why these are not included. Most uses will spend 90% of their time doing such tasks (except gaming, where AMD is the obvious leader) , and as such, these benchmarks are CRUICIAL. Obviosly, one can extrapolate results for these from synthetic benchmarks, but i personally would much rather see real world benchmarks. Thank you!
  • skunkbuster - Sunday, November 14, 2004 - link

    i personally never put too much stock in synthetic benchmarks

    but thats just me

  • Xspringe2 - Sunday, November 14, 2004 - link

    Woops sorry wrong comment section :) Reply
  • Xspringe2 - Sunday, November 14, 2004 - link

    Do you guys plan on testing any dual opteron nforce4 motherboards? Reply
  • stephenbrooks - Sunday, November 14, 2004 - link

    Well saying their recommendation is split doesn't mean to say it's split _equally_. ;) Reply
  • KeithDust2000 - Sunday, November 14, 2004 - link

    Anand, you say "Had AMD released a 2.6GHz Athlon 64 4000+ Intel would have had a more difficult time with the 570J, but given that things are the way they are our CPU recommendation is split between the two."

    I don´t think it´s a good idea to recommend the 3.8Ghz P4 at this point. While A64 still has the advantage of Cool´n´quiet (while INTEL has rather the opposite), apparently INTEL thinks 64bit support (and Cnq)
    is important enough to introduce for desktops next quarter. As you know, 64bit can e.g. speed up applications like DIVX encoding by 15-25%, others even more, and will give a performance advantage of roughly 1 speed grade or more rather soon. Not taking that into account, and recommending the rather future-unproof 3.8 Ghz P4
    doesn´t seem wise at all. You´ve seen in the Linux tests as well what AMD64 is capable of. Buying a 32bit CPU for more than $600 now just looks like a dumb idea at this point.


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