The Hardware

We attempted to purchase and scavenge hardware that fits about the same price bracket. We could have easily thrown in an Athlon 64 X2 4800+ or an FX processor but we opted to pick out slightly more practical hardware instead.

Test Configurations


Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Manchester
Athlon 64 3800+ Venice
Athlon 64 3500+ Venice

Intel Pentium D 840
Intel Pentium D 820
Intel Pentium 4 660
Intel Pentium 4 640


2 x 512MB OCZ PC3200 EL Dual Channel DIMMs 2-2-2-10

2 x 512MB Crucial DDR-II 533 Dual Channel DIMMs 3-2-2-12


Gigabyte GA-K8N Ultra SLI

Intel D955XBKLK

Memory Timings:


Operating Systems:

SUSE 9.3 Professional x86_64


Linux 2.6.11-21.7

Video Cards:

Gigabyte 6800GT GV-N68T256D

Hard Drives:

Seagate 160GB Barracuda SATA


GCC 3.3.4
glibc 2.3.4

You may notice a few things off the bat; first of all, we are not using any of the Pentium 4 5xx processors. This is because we anticipated only doing our benchmarks on a 64-bit OS. The processors we selected today all run in the $250 to $600 range. These processors are a bit on the high end, but the various speed bumps between the chips should demonstrate the scalability of the processor in our benchmarks.

We are running the relatively new SUSE 9.3 Professional for this analysis. All programs were compiled via the GCC 3.3.4 compiler unless they were preinstalled on the operating system. All multitasking benchmarks are launched from shell scripts unless stated otherwise.

We owe a special "thank you" to Monarch Computer for rushing us the Intel motherboard used in this review!

The Test Multitasking Scenario 1: DVD Transcoding
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  • juhl - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    I see that "Norton AntiVirus 2004" is listed with "No Suggestions yet" in the "Linux Application" column. I'd like to make a suggestion : ClamAV - ClamAV is a very capable free virus scanner that runs on Linux - check it out at
  • Hacp - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    He clearly stated that this test was based on the best bang for the buck. For all of you who wanted to see tests with higher end processors, you should have stopped reading the article and waited for one that met your needs. Don't complain and ask for stuff that the article was not designed to inform us about.
  • fishbits - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    Why bother to test the 840 D and draw no conclusions about it? And can you at least fix the price you quote in the one-sided swipe at the X2? I've given up on your explaining why the price of the 840 isn't also "paying through the nose," but at least fix the obvious error either in the text or the price list above it.

    "we have left a lot of not-so-subtle hints as to our feelings concerning performance between the two"
    Ah, you were talking about Windows and Linux there. Fits for CPUs too in this case.
  • semo - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    listen up

    everyone who needs the anandtech next gen console articles just email me. i printed them out to read in the bus/train and i can make some scans.
  • Avalon - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    You guys need to remember that this is Linux, so for everyone out there hollering that this article contradicts all the others out there that you read, all the others out there that you did read were most likely Windows based.
  • DrMrLordX - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    I agree that including only the X2 4200+ is a mistake. For ages, we saw benchmarks of new AMD cpus vs every Intel proc in the field, regardless of price. Kubicki shows up and insists on culling all AMD cpus from the lineup except one priced similarly(or even priced lower than) the Intel offerings in the test. I remember his initial, and rather controversial, article in which he did Linux benchmarks with a 3.6 ghz P4 vs a A64 3500+ Newcastle. Stupid! Where's the 4400+ and 4800+? If you don't have the hardware, DON'T DO THE REVIEW. If AMD has superior processors out at a much higher price, that's because AMD has better chips right now, and they damn well ought to be included in the review as well. Throw in an 840EE if you're so inclined.

    FURTHERMORE, where are the single-app tests and dual-app tests? All we have are contrived multitasking tests. This is about 1/3rd of the entire content of Anandtech's initial X2 review in a Windows environment. The Pentium Ds don't look so great when you put them into a scenario in which it's running one or two apps alone. Funny how Kubicki neglected to run any such tests in this article.

    This article has too little hardware, and too few tests. Thumbs down.
  • KristopherKubicki - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    Where do you see that? It should be 3.3.4

  • allanw - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    gcc3.4.5? That doesn't even exist! :)
  • xtknight - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    #39 - I meant why?
  • KristopherKubicki - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    xtknight: Yes.


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