The Test

The goal today is to benchmark our newest Pentium M Dothans of both the 400MHz and 533MHz front side bus. We would like to see how these processors compare to the better-performing Athlon 64 and Pentium 4 processors available today, particularly for the same price category. We will also look at how the higher clocked front side bus speed, different memory speeds and different compilers affect our benchmark results.

 Performance Test Configuration
Processor(s): AMD Athlon FX-53 (130nm, 2.4GHz, 1MB L2 Cache, Socket 939)
AMD Athlon 64 3800+ (130nm, 2.4GHz, 512KB L2 Cache)
AMD Athlon 64 3500+ (130nm, 2.2GHz, 512KB L2 Cache)
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ (90nm, 2.0GHz, 512KB L2 Cache)
Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.4GHz (130nm, 512KB L2 Cache, 2MB L3 Cache)
Intel Pentium 4 560 3.6GHz (90nm, 1MB L2 Cache)
Intel Pentium M 765 2.1GHz (90nm, 2MB L2 Cache, 533FSB)
Intel Pentium M 755 2.0GHz (90nm, 2MB L2 Cache, 400FSB)
RAM: 2 x 512MB Mushkin PC-3200 CL2 (400MHz)
2 x 512MB Corsair PC2-5400 CL3 (475MHz)
Motherboards: DFI LanParty 915P-T12 (Socket 775)
MSI K8T Neo2 (Socket 939)
Memory Timings: Default
Operating System(s): SuSE 9.1 Professional
Kernel 2.6.5-7.108
Compiler: dave:~ # gcc - v
Reading specs from /opt/gcc-mainline/lib/gcc/i586-suse-linux/3.4.1/specs
Configured with: ../configure - enable-threads=posix - prefix=/opt/gcc-mainline - with-local-prefix=/usr/local - infodir=/opt/gcc-mainline/share/info - mandir=/opt/gcc-mainline/share/man - libdir=/opt/gcc-mainline/lib - libexecdir=/opt/gcc-mainline/lib - enable-languages=c,c++,f77,objc,java,ada - enable-checking - enable-libgcj - with-gxx-include-dir=/opt/gcc-mainline/include/g++ --with-slibdir=/lib - with-system-zlib - enable-shared --enable-__cxa_atexit i586-suse-linux
Thread model: posix
gcc version 3.4.1 20040508 (prerelease) (SuSE Linux)
Intel Compiler: dave:/opt/intel_cc_80/bin # ./icc -v
Version 8.1

As you will see from the specifications above, we are recycling most of our benchmarks from the last Linux CPU roundup that we published a few months ago. The two newcomers to the benchmark are the 2.1GHz 533FSB Dothan Pentium M and the 2.0GHz 400FSB Dothan Pentium M. Both processors use the desktop configuration, Socket 479. Socket 479 processors are somewhat difficult to find right now, although they similarly reflect the performance of their Socket 478 counterparts. Unfortunately, the Dothan/Banias Socket 478 pinout is different electrically than the typical desktop Socket 478, and thus you will need to use a Socket 479 board with a Socket 479 Dothan if you plan on using any of these Pentium M's in your desktop anytime soon.

Click to enlarge.

Looking at the CPU proc information we can discern the following:
dave:~/bench/gcc/linux-2.6.4 # cat /proc/cpuinfo 
processor       : 0
vendor_id       : GenuineIntel
cpu family      : 6
model           : 13
model name      : Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor 2.10GHz
stepping        : 6
cpu MHz         : 2104.892
cache size      : 64 KB
fdiv_bug        : no
hlt_bug         : no
f00f_bug        : no
coma_bug        : no
fpu             : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level     : 2
wp              : yes
flags           : fpu vme de pse tsc msr mce cx8 sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat clflush
                  dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss tm pbe tm2 est
bogomips        : 4177.92
The bogomips score seems fairly accurate; the 3.6GHz Nocona reports about 7200BMIPS per physical processor. However, note that there are no SSE3 enhancements, HyperThreading or EM64T addressing capability. All desktop Pentium M processors today are derived from the blade server market and their feature sets reflects that - blade servers are designed to be small, fast and cool; putting 8GB of memory in a blade would not make a lot of sense.

As you can also see from the information above, our Dothan 2.1GHz is in the 6th stepping, "F". The processor utilizes 64K of L1 cache and 2MB of L2 cache. The DFI motherboard that we use in this analysis keeps our Dothan bus at 100MHz while pushing the clock multiplier up to 21X; thus, effectively running it at 2.1GHz with 400MHz FSB. During the test, we also clock the bus at 133MHz and run the multiplier at 16X, which effectively runs our CPU at 2133MHz with the full 533FSB. This also skews our memory clock a bit - in the first 400MHz configuration, we are running DDR333 (100MHz with a 5:3 ratio). In the second configuration, we use 133MHz at a 4:3 ratio. This is perfectly normal behavior, although keep in mind that the default configuration with our set up runs at DDR200 with the 400MHz FSB. Keep in mind also that we anticipate these lower memory clocks to pinch the Dothan's performance in the long run.

Index Motherboard Details
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  • bhtooefr - Saturday, December 25, 2004 - link

    Problems on the John the Ripper section:
    DES: Where's the 755?
    MD5: Where's the 400MHz FSB 765?
    Blowfish: Where's the 533MHz FSB 765?

    Also, for anyone who wants to know what the heatsink IS, x86-Secret reviewed this before the heatsink was available, and they used a MicroCool northbridge heatsink.

    FWIW, I don't know why nobody's coupled this thing to an i865/875. It's definitely possible, as Shelton (0K L2 Banias) has been coupled to an i845, and Banias has been coupled to an E7501. And, the fact that Alviso is "i915GL" says a lot. Mobo makers should be able to simply rework the traces leading to the socket, and reuse their P4 board designs for a P-M board design. Or, if they're REALLY lazy, they could just make an adaptor - put the processor in it, and drop it in the socket.
  • ImSoHighRightNow - Saturday, December 25, 2004 - link

    "Encode rate, more are better"? Some encoding rates can't be "more" than other encoding rates. They can be HIGHER, but not "more". I would suggest "Encoding rates, higher is better"

    You know what you need? A grammar handbook. Nothing annoys me more than someone who can't conjugate "to be" correctly. I learn conjugations for other languages, the least you can do is learn conjugations for one verb in English. Thanks
  • ImSoHighRightNow - Saturday, December 25, 2004 - link

    "Rendering time in seconds, less are better"

    Shouldn't that read more like "Rendering time in seconds, fewer is better" or "Rendering time, a shorter amount of time is better"? At least something remotely grammatical would be preferable. Thanks
  • miketheidiot - Saturday, December 25, 2004 - link

    dothan will need work before its ready for desktop. Simple as that. And make it cheaper two, that would be good. $500 + $250 for a mobo is quite a bit, even if it does OC well.
  • DrMrLordX - Friday, December 24, 2004 - link

    Looks like the Dothan falls flattest when it's faced with multiple concurrent threads. Dual-core Dothan solutions might alleviate some of that problem, but, perhaps this is one of the reasons why Intel has been rather shy about pushing multi-core Pentium Ms for the desktop?
  • Googer - Friday, December 24, 2004 - link

    It seemed to me that the extra performance 133mhz that the 533 bus provides is rather small. My suggestion is couple this with an 875 or 865 chipset @400mhz and let dual channel memory add the needed performance boost. Its probably the cheapest and most effective way to increase the performance of Pentium M.
  • Pannenkoek - Friday, December 24, 2004 - link

    I believe that the price of the processor tested should have a more prominent position in the whole test. It's, after all, about the price/performance ratio for most of the consumers.

    If you plan on testing GCC vs ICC then I recommend to visit (though the site is "temporarily unavailable"), where you can find comparisons between the compilers, compile settings and more.

    The focus of the tests on the site is on scientific applications/algorythms which fit in cache, and is therefore more about how many micro-optimizations are not missed. Which explains why results can vary so much; and also why the ICC compiler, made by Intel for Intel processors, can be sometimes a lot faster than GCC, which does not share the intimate knowledge of the inner working of those processors and targets a zillion other architectures as well...
  • sprockkets - Friday, December 24, 2004 - link

    I wish though you included pics of the fully assembled system. I would like to see that HSF, since it appears AOpen simply uses a 478 type heatsink bracket. But looking at the board at, the Aopen board comes with the heatsink, and has DUAL Marvell Gbe, plus it has a SATA controller on it as well, and costs $14 less.
  • MDme - Friday, December 24, 2004 - link

    Anand and co: when will you guys do a full review of this chip against P4 and A64 across the different applications, games, etc? that would be a great gift to your readers at AT.
  • JustAnAverageGuy - Friday, December 24, 2004 - link

    Page 6:

    "We also took the same POV-Ray benchmark and ran it against the Pentium M clocked at speeds from 1.0GHz to 2.4GHz."

    Should read 1.6GHz

    [shake 3.5c]"Although it holds up well against an Athlon 64 3200+"

    Doesn't seem like it. It took over 12 minutes longer.

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