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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  • ProviaFan - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    On the OS and Kernel rows in the table on the Hardware page, the contents are reversed... :)
  • blackbrrd - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    I tried putting together a Pentium D820 and an Amd 64 x2 4200+ in a norwegian webshop (cpu+motherboard+1gb ram) and they came out about equally priced
  • Questar - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    Wouldn't the buffer underruns on the DVD burning tests be caused by disk contention and not CPU load?
  • The DvD - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    Interesting review. Nice work, Kristopher.

    btw, shouldn't there be a j=3 graph for the 4200+ in the compiling multitasting benchmark?
  • Frallan - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    Interesting... AMD does not show Intel the door in this one. However it would be very interesting to se total costs of system and the 4400+ as well.

    Gratz Intel!
  • Viditor - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    I must say that this review very much surprises me! The Pentium D looks much stronger than it has in any of the other reviews...congrats to Intel on this one.
  • Tiamat - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    The "siamese" penguin image gave me a nice laugh
  • Viditor - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    I will NOT say first post!

    One question so far...were the default memory settings on the AMD setup 1T or 2T?
  • shane3in1 - Tuesday, July 12, 2011 - link

    I was wondering the same thing.

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