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

We've got our entire suite of benchmarks with all of the various processor speeds in the coming pages, but we thought we'd start this review out with the comparison that made the most sense: the Pentium 4 570J vs. the AMD Athlon 64 4000+.  Both chips are at virtually identical price points (the 4000+ sells for around $680, which is where we expect the 570J to be) and are the flagship desktop CPUs from both companies (not including the Extreme Edition and FX series). 

The comparison uses all of our normal tests, but simply singles out these two processors as the only contenders.  If you are interested in seeing a broad picture of AMD vs. Intel, the forthcoming pages will be able to give you just that.  This page is mostly for those readers who have kept up with the recent CPU reviews at AnandTech and just want an update on how the 570J changes things, so here we go:

Intel is unusually competitive in the Business/General Usage tests which is absolutely not the norm. Despite Intel's strengths, a couple of the tests greatly favored AMD (Mozilla and WinRAR), giving AMD the advantage here.

Business/General Use
 
AMD Athlon 64 4000+
Intel Pentium 4 570J
Performance Advantage
Business Winstone 2004
23.6
22.2
6.31%
SYSMark 2004 - Communication
150
144
4.17%
SYSMark 2004 - Document Creation
195
207
5.80%
SYSMark 2004 - Data Analysis
146
195
25.13%
Microsoft Office XP with SP-2
521
509
2.36%
Mozilla 1.4
279
478
41.63%
ACD Systems ACDSee PowerPack 5.0
485
482
0.62%
Ahead Software Nero Express 6.0.0.3
492
514
4.28%
WinZip Computing WinZip 8.1
398
394
1.02%
WinRAR
632
485
30.31%
Winner
-
-
AMD

 

The performance breakdown is somewhat close under the Multitasking Content Creation tests, with AMD even walking away with a win in the mutltiasking encoder test, but AMD's advantages of victory are not as frequent nor as large as Intel's.

Multitasking Content Creation
 
AMD Athlon 64 4000+
Intel Pentium 4 570J
Performance Advantage
Content Creation Winstone 2004
36.1
33.8
6.80%
SYSMark 2004 - 3D Creation
205
241
14.94%
SYSMark 2004 - 2D Creation
260
298
12.75%
SYSMark 2004 - Web Publication
187
218
14.22%
Mozilla and Windows Media Encoder
550
583
5.66%
Winner
-
-
Intel


We've been impressed at how close things have been thus far and our Video Creation/Photo Editing tests make things even closer, with both camps trading wins resulting in a virtual tie. It looks like Photoshop performance is identical between the two chips and while AMD is faster under Premier, Intel is faster under Movie Creator by about the same percentage.

Video Creation/Editing
 
AMD Athlon 64 4000+
Intel Pentium 4 570J
Performance Advantage
Adobe Photoshop 7.0.1
314
320
1.88%
Adobe Premiere 6.5
368
429
14.22%
Roxio VideoWave Movie Creator 1.5
306
265
15.47%
Winner
-
-
Tie


The encoding tests clearly go to Intel, AMD isn't able to muster up a single win here although they are close with the audio encoding Jukebox test. The performance advantages held by Intel are very strong in the DivX, XviD and WME9 tests.

Audio/Video Encoding
 
AMD Athlon 64 4000+
Intel Pentium 4 570J
Performance Advantage
MusicMatch Jukebox 7.10
458
437
4.81%
DivX Encoding
48.7
58.1
16.18%
XViD Encoding
32.8
35.3
7.08%
Microsoft Windows Media Encoder 9.0
2.23
2.73
18.32%
Winner
-
-
Intel


While Intel took all of the encoding tests, AMD still can't be beat when it comes to gaming performance. It is going to take a lot more than 3.8GHz to tilt the balance in Intel's favor here. Given what we've seen with the performance of the Extreme Edition chips under our gaming tests, we'd hypothesize that even Intel's 600 series of Pentium 4s won't be able to dethrone AMD as the gaming performance leader.

Gaming
 
AMD Athlon 64 4000+
Intel Pentium 4 570J
Performance Advantage
Doom 3
100.7
87.1
15.61%
Sims 2
56.5
49.7
13.68%
CS: Source
185.6
148
25.41%
Halo
96.7
88.9
8.77%
Far Cry
154.9
135.1
14.66%
Star Wars Battlefront
145
141
2.84%
Battlefield Vietnam
240
240
0.00%
UT2004
70.9
61.1
16.04%
Wolf: ET
108.9
101.2
7.61%
Warcraft III
62
61
1.64%
Winner
-
-
AMD

 

Both AMD and Intel trade wins in the 3D rendering tests, however AMD's two wins are in the same test (just different APIs) and the margin of victory is much lower than Intel's victory in the SPECapc 3dsmax 6 test, so when it comes to 3dsmax rendering performance the nod goes to the 570J.

3D Rendering
 
AMD Athlon 64 4000+
Intel Pentium 4 570J
Performance Advantage
Discreet 3ds max 5.1 (DirectX)
244
252
3.17%
Discreet 3ds max 5.1 (OpenGL)
300
314
4.46%
SPECapc 3dsmax 6
1.53
1.75
12.57%
Winner
-
-
Intel

 

Unusually close, our SPECviewperf tests show a very heated battle between the two chips, but AMD manages to secure two major victories that give them the performance crown here. AMD's performance under our Visual Studio 6 compile test makes it clear that developers working on large projects need to be using the Athlon 64 to keep compile times as low as possible; with almost a 20% performance advantage in compile time, the Athlon 64 will make a huge difference in how long it takes to compile large projects.

Professional Apps
 
AMD Athlon 64 4000+
Intel Pentium 4 570J
Performance Advantage
SPECviewperf 8 - 3dsmax-03
16.78
17.45
3.84%
SPECviewperf 8 - catia-01
14.04
14.43
2.70%
SPECviewperf 8 - light-07
14.32
14.78
3.11%
SPECviewperf 8 - maya-01
18.61
13.79
34.95%
SPECviewperf 8 - proe-03
17.31
17.16
0.87%
SPECviewperf 8 - sw-01
13.8
13.45
2.60%
SPECviewperf 8 - ugs-04
16.05
15.85
1.26%
Visual Studio 6
12.8
15.7
18.47%
Winner
-
-
AMD


While we expected this review to be more of the usual, we were pleasantly surprised to see that the Pentium 4 570J is actually a fairly strong competitor to AMD's Athlon 64 4000+. Part of the reason behind this is because AMD didn't actually increase the clock speed of the 4000+, it still runs at the same 2.4GHz as the 3800+, albeit with a larger L2 cache. 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.

Gamers, business users, developers and the general public will find that the Athlon 64 4000+ is faster in the types of applications they run. However content producers or anyone that does a good deal of video encoding or 3D rendering will find that the Pentium 4 570J will offer better performance for their applications. AMD still does better overall, but Intel does a very good job of hanging onto the performance crown in a handful of specific areas.

Remember that the recommendations change as soon as you start looking at lower price points, but at this $600 - $700 the recommendations above are quite valid.

For those of you looking for comparisons at the $200 and $500 price points we've already done these investigations in previous articles so be sure to check them out as well. For those of you who haven't been following our CPU coverage lately we've included our normal performance graphs comparing the Pentium 4 570J to the rest of the current CPU market over the coming pages.

An update on LGA-775 The Test
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42 Comments

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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).
    Reply
  • 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,

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • 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!
    Reply
  • skunkbuster - Sunday, November 14, 2004 - link

    i personally never put too much stock in synthetic benchmarks

    but thats just me

    Reply
  • 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.

    Reply

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