Memory Performance

The biggest question on our minds when comparing these two heavyweights was: who has the better memory controller?  We turned to the final version of ScienceMark 2.0 for the answer.

Memory Latency Comparison

Amazingly enough, at the same memory timings, NVIDIA drops memory latency by around 13%.  This is a worst case scenario for memory latency. In all of our other memory tests, the nForce4's memory controller was equal to Intel's controller - but even any advantage here is impressive, not to mention such a large advantage.

Memory Bandwidth Comparison

NVIDIA's latency reduction and DASP algorithms offer a negligible 2% increase in overall memory bandwidth.  While you'd be hard pressed to find any noticeable examples of these performance improvements, the important thing here is that NVIDIA's memory controller appears to be just as good as, if not faster, than Intel's best.  Kudos to NVIDIA - they have at least started off on the right foot with performance. 

DDR2-667 or 533?

When Intel sent us their 955X platform, they configured it with DDR2-667 memory running at 5-5-5-15 timings.  NVIDIA sent their nForce4 SLI Intel Edition board paired with some Corsair DIMMs running at 4-4-4-15 timings at DDR2-667.  Given that we have lower latency DDR2-533 memory, we decided to find out if there was any real performance difference between DDR2-667 at relatively high timings and DDR2-533 at more aggressive timings. Once again, ScienceMark 2.0 is our tool of choice:

DDR2: 533 vs 667

Here, we see that even at 3-2-2-12, DDR2-533 isn't actually any faster than DDR2-667. 

DDR2: 533 vs 667

...and it offers slightly less memory bandwidth. 

It looks like there's not much point in worrying about low latency DDR2-533, as higher latency DDR2-667 seems to work just as well (if not a little better) on the newest Intel platforms. 

The Motherboards Business Application Performance


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  • segagenesis - Thursday, April 14, 2005 - link

    #15 - Score: -1, Troll

    Why are you here then? Hell, you cant even read I guess. I gave you a link talking about heat output when you said it was "opinion" when it was stated Intel runs hotter. I can tell you that from fact from the 25 prescotts sitting in a lab here and when they are all running the A/C better be running too!

    Why dont you come up with some facts yourself instead of insulting both the site and others?
  • Questar - Thursday, April 14, 2005 - link

    What makes you think I would care about "a huge landslide of flames regarding your post in this comment section"?

    99% of the people on this site are ignorant cattle without the ability to think for themselves. They are here as part of a communal circle jerk over AMD cpu's. I care as much for their thoughts as I care about the thoughts of the cow that gets slaughtered for my dinner.
  • jimmy43 - Thursday, April 14, 2005 - link

    I see we got an Intel fanboy posting in the forums :] Reply
  • Questar - Thursday, April 14, 2005 - link

    I see no information in your link that #8's argument. He specifically said that an A64 is faster than Intel in all applications except for video encoding. The link you provided actually proves him wrong, as there are other applications in which the comparable Intel CPU is faster, or the difference is insignificant between the two.
  • mlittl3 - Thursday, April 14, 2005 - link

    Oops, sorry...correction

    "...release of the K8 architecture 8 years ago..." should read "...release of the K8 architecture 2 years ago..."

    Sorry about that. AMD's 2nd year anniversary of the release of the Opteron is next Thursday where they will introduct dual core Opterons to the public. Can't wait.
  • mlittl3 - Thursday, April 14, 2005 - link

    Oh my God!!! Questar where have you been?

    Go read all the reviews of Intel and AMD processors since the release of the K8 architecture 8 years ago. You have a lot of reading to do.

    Don't give the editor-in-chief of a 8 million plus readership hardware review site advise about getting his facts straight. Anandtech receives and reviews hundreds and hundreds of hardware that you will never even dream of owning.

    If a statement is made in a review from a site as reputable as Anandtech, it is not made lightly. You have all the right in the world to question it and seek a second opinion elsewhere, but it is COMMON knowledge among those reading CPU reviews over the last two years that AMD CPUs are faster in games and computational number crunching whereas Intel excels in audio and video encoding PERIOD.

    You can easily explain these findings. Games and computational number crunching take low latency, high memory bandwidth to work well. Audio and video encoding need fast processor speeds.

    Wait about five hours after the release of this review and you will soon be finding a huge landslide of flames regarding your post in this comment section.

    Have fun! :)

    PS. You must not read at all if you think anyone has found a performance advantage of PCI-E and DDR2 over AGP and DDR for current software applications. Not tomshardware, Hardocp, Xbitlabs, Anandtech, etc. have found a performance increase between AGP 8X vs. PCI-E 16x or DDR400 vs. DDR2400/533/667.
  • segagenesis - Thursday, April 14, 2005 - link

    #9 - You havent been here long have you? Intel does have a performance advantage in encoding applications... but your claims of without proof to others?
    Umm yeah. Pay attention 007.

    And why even claim AGP has no performance benefits over PCI? Ever heard of a shared bus (PCI)?

  • Questar - Thursday, April 14, 2005 - link

    Without proof, it's your opinion. So, find some reviews that showed an Intel cpu being significantly slower than an equivalent A64 in all applications except video encoding.

    I assume you are using an AGP video card. Why? It has no performance benefits over a PCI card. Or is FPS in a game the only way you measure perfomance?
  • n yusef - Thursday, April 14, 2005 - link

    "Honestly, Intel processors and even the platform haven’t been interesting since the introduction of Prescott. They have been too hot and poor performers, not to mention that the latest Intel platforms forced a transition to technologies that basically offered no performance benefits (DDR2, PCI Express)."

    Your opinion only, don't make this out to be fact.

    That is pretty much fact. In all areas except encoding, they were worse performers than their competiton (Athlon 64). The extra heat sure didn't improve that either. As far as forcing DDR2 and PCI Express, when they didn't improve performance, you can't disagree with that.
  • radx - Thursday, April 14, 2005 - link


    I'm happy you're not the one writing these reviews here at anandtech. :-)

    Go Anand!

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