Pentium 4, 2.53 GHz
Intel Pentium 4-2.53 and 2.4B GHz
No matter which side of the CPU fence you're sitting, it is quite clear that Intel is really putting the pressure on AMD. As we entered into 2002, both Intel and AMD released impressive new processor models, but since then it's been all Intel's show. The last big head-to-head battle took place between the Athlon XP 2100+ and the Pentium 4-2.2 GHz, with AMD squeezing out the victory.
Then Intel shot back with the Pentium 4-2.4 GHz and basically took back the performance lead, albeit with a very slim margin of victory. In addition to the performance benefits of the newer Pentium 4-2.4 GHz, the lower-speed 1.6A and 1.8A GHz Pentium 4 Northwood models really started to make their presence felt. These CPUs provided Intel with some impact in lower-cost OEM solutions, as well as taking back a part of the enthusiast market from AMD with a low cost, highly-overclockable processor line.
Most assumed that AMD would make the next move, either with the Athlon XP Thoroughbred, or in the event that delays occurred, a quick release of the Athlon XP 2200+. Neither of these came to pass, and instead it is Intel introducing a rather significant new line-up of 533 MHz Pentium 4 processors. These are the Pentium 4-2.53, 2.4B and 2.26 GHz models along with an enhanced i850E chipset replacing the i850 as the high-performance Intel platform. In this review, we will be covering the Pentium 4-2.53 and Pentium 4-2.4B GHz processors, along with full benchmarking using the i850E-powered Intel D850EMV2 motherboard.
The Pentium 4-2.53 and 2.4B GHz
These new Pentium 4 processors are not all that different from the previous models, as other than the 533 MHz bus speed jump, the rest of the Northwood specifications remain exactly the same. This includes a 0.13-micron die, support for SSE2, 512K of L2 cache, and a 1.5V core voltage, along with the other basic features of the Pentium 4. Even the core revisions of the Pentium 4-2.53 and 2.4B GHz review chips checked out the same as the previous Pentium 4-2.4 GHz, although Intel commonly does move to a new core revision soon after a major transition takes place.
There has been a lot of anticipation regarding the Pentium 4's transition to the 533 MHz front-side bus, for both performance considerations and platform support. Currently, the Pentium 4 line makes use of a standard 400 MHz FSB speed and is matched up with RDRAM, DDR or SDRAM platforms. The move to the 533 MHz FSB also brings with it a few new platforms, both from Intel and 3rd-party manufacturers. Some of these, like the SiS 645DX, are available now, while others will be released a bit further down the road. To coincide with the 533 MHz Pentium 4 release, Intel has introduced the i850E RDRAM chipset, and are rumored to have an i845E out soon after.
This is a double-edged sword for AMD, since not only has Intel jacked up Pentium 4 clock rates even further, but have also put additional FSB distance between the top-end AMD and Intel processors. The new platforms are the final blow, and many enthusiasts have been lured over to the Intel side with promises of a true 533 MHz FSB and unlimited overclocking possibilities. AMD still competes well in both price and performance, but Intel has really wowed us with their consistent improvements to their desktop platforms and the rapid speed increases to the Pentium 4 line.
With Intel introducing a Pentium 4-2.53 GHz with a 533 MHz front-side bus, the question isn't which company will have the fastest processor, but the margin of victory. Both Intel and AMD have taken decidedly different paths to CPU glory, but it seems that Intel's strategy of incredibly high clock speeds is at least the present winner. Sure, the Athlon XP can more with less clock speed, but at the end of the day, overall performance is still the determining factor.
The Intel 850E
Another important piece of this Intel product announcement is the updated Intel 850E chipset. This chipset is basically a revision to the powerful i850E, which certifies its use at a 533 MHz front-side bus and with PC1066 RDRAM. Other than support for USB 2.0, the other specifications such as ATA100, AGP 4X and four RIMM sockets remain unchanged. Another constant is the rock solid performance and stability of the i850E. Throughout the entire test period, the Intel D850EMV2 motherboard was a joy to use, from the initial Windows XP install and right through the stress testing and benchmarking we subjected it to.
The release of the i850E should also ring the dinner bell for many tweakers and overclockers. One of the main complaints regarding the original i850 was that it had grown a bit long in the tooth, and other DDR chipsets had passed it by. When choosing a platform for a potential Pentium 4-1.6A GHz overclock, the i850 usually was not even on the list. Once high-profile i850E motherboards really hit the market, it will be interesting to see what sort of performance options become available. And let's not forget the currently low RDRAM prices and the effect this may have on buyers.
Our Intel D850EMV2 reference motherboard allowed synchronous or asynchronous memory/FSB speeds, although these were unfortunately assigned using an auto-detect routine. Still, the option exists for a 533 MHz Pentium 4 running at PC800 speeds, and potentially overclocking your RDRAM to PC1066 may also be an option in some serious enthusiast motherboards. We'll have to wait for the retail boards to start trickling in, but the i850E is certainly an impressive chipset and the presence of a true 533 MHz FSB also makes it an intriguing performance option for Pentium 4 overclocks.
Our performance section gathers the fastest processors from Intel and AMD, along with what we feel are the absolute high-end of the platform range. The Intel Pentium 4-2.53, 2.4B, 2.4 and 2.2 GHz processors have been fully tested using the new i850E platform, and the Athlon XP 2100+ and 2000+ get the use of a powerful KT333/DDR333 combo for the evaluation. We haven't stopped there, and also provide SiS 645DX benchmark scores using the two 533 MHz Pentium 4 chips, to give a better idea on how the 533 MHz FSB rates out when using 333 MHz DDR.
The memory portion is comprised of standard PC800 RDRAM for the i850E platform. This chipset does support PC1066 RDRAM, but in the case of this particular board, only basic SPD timings were available for our PC800. The KT333 and SiS 645DX platforms use high-speed Crucial PC2700 DDR, which has been set to CAS 2 along with increasing the other memory timings and settings to maximum. Keep this in mind while reading through the performance evaluation, as forthcoming i850E motherboards will certainly have greater control over RDRAM memory timings and may contribute to much higher performance levels.
To make absolutely sure these powerful systems are given as much headroom as possible, we chose the GeForce4 Ti 4600 running on the standard 28.32 NVIDIA driver set. This allows a much faster reference base than a lower-end video card would, and also lets us increase our default game benchmark resolution to 1024x768x32. This is the standard resolution used by the vast majority of gamers, and is far more indicative of cutting-edge performance in 2002.
Our operating system choice is Windows XP Pro, and our benchmark list includes Business and Content Creation Winstone, SiSoft SANDRA 2002 and PCMark 2002, along with popular game tests like 3DMark 2001SE, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Quake 3, Serious Sam 2, Comanche 4 and Jedi Knight II.
Intel i850E - Intel D850EMV2 Motherboard
SiS 645DX - MSI 645E Max 2 Motherboard
VIA KT333 - MSI KT3 ULTRA
Quake III Arena Test Specifics
Return to Castle Wolfenstein Specifics:
Serious Sam: The Second Encounter Specifics:
Jedi Knight II Specifications:
3DMark 2001 Pro SE Specifics
Content Creation: Winstone 2001 Test Specifics:
Business Winstone 2002 Test Specifics:
Business Winstone 2001 Performance
The Business Winstone 2001 suite from ZD Labs is an application-based PC benchmark that uses business programs like MS Office 2000, FrontPage 2000, Lotus Notes, and Netscape to test overall system performance. New in the 2001 version are specific tests for file compression, anti-virus scanning and email. This suite of programs are run from a batch script that attempts to accurately emulate a business system load, then supplies a final performance rating.
Business Winstone 2001 performance results show the new Pentium 4 533 MHz line surging past even the Athlon XP 2100+. The Athlon XP does well against the standard 400 MHz P4 models, but falls behind once the 533 MHz FSB is brought into play. The added bandwidth seems to really help this particular benchmark, especially noting the performance gap between the Pentium 4-2.4B and 2.4 GHz processors. The i850E continues its proud heritage of exceptional business performance and the added speed of the Pentium 4-2.53 GHz places it well in the lead. One interesting point is how much lower the SiS 645DX performance is, since as we will see later on, this sort of discrepancy doesn't happen often.
Content Creation Winstone Performance
Content Creation Winstone 2002 is another excellent benchmark from ZD, and is one of the first to have Windows XP as the intended platform. Its demanding applications and exceptional stability makes it a great match for our high-end testing and a valuable tool when determining system performance levels using cutting-edge hardware and software.
Content Creation Winstone performance is much the same story as Business Winstone, except the Intel lead starts at the Pentium 4-2.4 GHz and moves up from there. Before we let the Athlon XP 2100+ loose with DDR333, the lead using a KT266A system was even larger. In direct contrast to the Business Winstone scores, the SiS 645DX does quite well in this benchmark and essentially ties the i850E in high-end testing.
SiSoft SANDRA 2002 Performance
SiSoft SANDRA 2002 is an interesting suite of individual benchmarks and system utilities. The CPU benchmarks are artificial tests that can give a different view of processor and subsystem performance, far away from application-based testing. The benchmarks that truly isolate processor performance are the CPU Arithmetic and Multi-Media tests. Please note that in all CPU testing, there was no change in the default activation of all MMX, SSE and SSE2 enhancements.
The SiSoft SANDRA CPU Arithmetic tests outline the potential performance of the ALU (integer) and FPU (floating-point) portions of the CPU. In the ALU testing, the Pentium 4-2.53 GHz won the day and eclipsed the long-running streak of the Athlon XP 2100+. As expected, the platform choice means little to the actual CPU scores, with any variance between the i850E and SiS 645DX being within allowable limits.
The CPU Multi-Media benchmarks tell basically the same tale, as the Pentium 4-2.53 GHz once again powers to an easy victory. This benchmark has long been Pentium 4 territory, and the added clock speed just increases the overall lead.
The memory bandwidth tests are the most popular section of the SiSoft SANDRA benchmark suite, and really highlight not only the Pentium 4 vs. Athlon XP title match, but also the RDRAM vs. DDR333 side-bout. The i850E certainly didn't disappoint, as this platform easily took the checkered flag. The SiS 645DX puts up a good fight, but the Athlon XP/KT333 is well back.
This once again points to the 266 MHz Athlon XP being well suited to DDR266, while even the 400 MHz Pentium 4 needs all the DDR bandwidth it can get. Once the Pentium 4 hit the 533 MHz FSB, it literally gobbles up the 333 MHz DDR bus of the SiS 645DX and then asks for seconds.
BAPCo SYSmark 2002
SYSmark 2002 is a very demanding system benchmark that combines the elements of Business and Content Creation Winstone into one expansive program. The Internet Content Creation portion makes use of multimedia programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, Microsoft Windows Media Encoder 7.1 (AMD and Intel supported), Macromedia Dreamweaver 4, and Macromedia Flash 5. The Office Productivity selection includes popular office programs such as the 2002 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access, as well as Netscape 6, Dragon NaturallySpeaking, WinZip, and McAfee VirusScan.
The benchmarks clearly show the Pentium 4-2.53 GHz well in the lead, and in fact, all of the Pentium 4 processors tested surpassed the performance of even an Athlon XP 2100+. The Office Productivity scores are actually quite close, but once we hit Internet Content Creation, the Pentium 4 goes out to an insurmountable lead.
PCMark 2002 Pro Performance
PCMark 2002 Pro is an intriguing system benchmark, as it relates more to basic computer usage. Instead of relying on synthetic scores or actual business applications, it cuts a swath between the two methodologies. PCMark 2002 Pro performs CPU tasks such as image compression, text search and audio conversion, while combining this with a selection of similar benchmarks for memory, hard drive and video components. As we are dealing specifically with processors, the two portions we will be looking at are the CPU and Memory Scores.
In the CPU tests, the Pentium 4 has exhibited noticeable advantages in previous comparisons, and at 2.53 GHz, this one is not even close. Where we see a surprising result is in the i850E vs. SiS 645DX comparison, where the SiS chipset takes the overall crown. PCMark 2002 is a bit different CPU test than found in SiSoft and based on previous benchmark reviews, it does take into consideration the performance of the subsystem.
The way PCMark 2002 Pro actually performs the memory tests is different than other benchmarks (such as SiSoft SANDRA), as it tests the system using a wide array of data sets, and of varying sizes. This tends to give the Pentium 4 an advantage, since at the lower-size data levels, both AMD and Intel platforms perform closely, but at a few of the tests using very large data sizes, the Pentium 4 takes a noticeable lead. Once again we see the SiS 645DX taking the performance lead, and solidifying for AMD owners that previous results were not simply a RDRAM/DDR discrepancy.
3DMark 2001SE Pro Performance
MadOnion's 3DMark 2001SE is a very popular 3D benchmark tool, and as long as the video component and driver revision is kept absolutely consistent, then it can be a good system/CPU test as well. 3DMark 2001SE also fills the dual role of doing some idea as to which processor may be the best fit for upcoming DirectX 8.X games. Benchmark testing was performed at the default setting of 1024x768, 32-bit color/textures, and Pure Hardware T&L support.
In what must be sounding like a broken record by now, the Pentium 4-2.53 GHz takes the performance crown once again. The posted scores are quite high for 3DMark 2001SE, and also note that the SiS 645DX continues to eke out game performance victories over the i850E.
Quake 3 Arena Performance
Quake 3: Arena is our primary gaming benchmark here at SE and its design really shows off some of the advantages of the Pentium 4 and Athlon XP. Quake 3 is both floating-point intensive and has support for SIMD optimizations (MMX, 3DNow! and SSE), making it a great fit for processor testing. It also happens to be an extremely popular game and Quake 3 performance is often used as the barometer for many CPU and 3D video card purchases.
Quake 3 testing is performed using High Quality detail and 1024x768 resolution and Quake 3 testing has also been updated to release 1.30, along with a natural progression to the standard "demo Four".
If there is one game benchmark that you would expect the Pentium 4-2.53 GHz to win, it is Quake 3. With its impressive victories in previous testing, it's no surprise to find a significant margin of victory with Quake 3. As per other game benchmarking, the SiS 645DX once again steams past the i850E and posted one pretty incredible score for Quake 3 HQ 1024x768.
Serious Sam: The Second Encounter Performance
Serious Sam: The Second Encounter is a great sequel in the popular franchise and the benchmark portion is even better than the original. This new game not only puts the pressure on processors and 3D cards (especially at higher resolutions) but provides some excellent in-game demos in wide open spaces with tons of enemies. For our specific tests, we have used the in-game Elephant Atrium demo to determine potential framerates, at 1024x768x32-bit.
The benchmark chart tells the tale, and we once again maintain the status quo of the Pentium 4-2.53 GHz well in the lead, with the SiS 645DX speeding ahead of the platform pack.
Return to Castle Wolfenstein Performance
Return to Castle Wolfenstein is another Quake-based game, but with some notable differences. The basic game engine may be the same, but the graphics, gameplay and stress it puts on a processor are very different. Until the next Quake game appears, RtCW is the next best way to determine high-end Quake engine performance. We have used the Checkpoint MP demo using the default High Quality detail settings and have upped the resolution to 1024x768.
The results in Return to Castle Wolfenstein are a bit closer that usual, but the more things change, the more they stay the same. Though the actual margin of victory is smaller the rankings remain very consistent with past game benchmarks.
Comanche 4 Benchmark
The Comanche 4 benchmark from Novalogic gives us an opportunity to use an actual flight sim for performance testing. Flight sims are notorious for their CPU-dependence, and this makes the Comanche 4 benchmark potentially a better CPU test than it is for 3D video cards. The reliance on the CPU shows itself off in the benchmark, and even the slightest difference in framerates could pay off in significantly enhanced game framerates. For our processor comparison, all testing has been performed at 1024x768, 32-bit with audio disabled.
With Comanche 4 being a flight sim, we really didn't expect much of a gap between processors, and the results mirror this opinion very closely. About the only statistical anomaly is that the i850E squeezes out a very tight win over the SiS 645DX, which is the first time this has happened in 3D game testing. Comanche 4 may put a bit more stress on the CPU-memory subsystem, and thus give RDRAM platforms a bit of an edge.
Jedi Knight II
Jedi Knight is the newest Quake 3-based game and many would say it is the most resource hungry. In fact, it's been nicknamed the "best reason to own a GeForce4 Ti" and supplies us with another excellent way of measuring high-end gaming performance. In this particular instance, the processors have been tested using standard High Quality detail settings with the resolution increased to 1024x768.
With Jedi Knight II we are back on familiar territory, and we find the usual suspects in the standard order. The Pentium 4-2.53 GHz is well ahead of its Athlon XP competition, and we are treated to perhaps the most convincing performance victory by the SiS 645DX.
If you anticipated a pitched battle between the Pentium 4-2.53 GHz and Athlon XP 2100+, then we apologize. At 2.4 GHz, the Pentium 4 moved ahead of the fastest Athlon XP, and its subsequent transition to even higher clock speeds and the 533 MHz front-side bus, just made the gap wider. In order to compete at this level, AMD needs to release their Thoroughbred processor and fast, especially given that the SiS 645DX proves quite soundly that DDR333 can easily compete with PC800 RDRAM for high-performance gaming supremacy.
The performance of the i850E is extremely impressive, and some aspects of the Intel D850EMV2 motherboard go well beyond the actual benchmarks. Basic Windows XP application use is lightning fast, disk performance is top of the scale, and overall stability is virtually unmatched. We threw everything we had at it, including a 24-hour+ benchmarking torture test, and the board was more than up to the task. For high-end business PCs, the i850E should be right at the top of the list and is a great match for the 533 MHz Pentium 4 models.
That said, the biggest surprise of our benchmarking had to the super performance of the MSI 645E Max 2, 645DX-based motherboard. This MSI board is a real beast, and easily pumped out some of the fastest 3D game scores we've ever seen. Stability is also excellent and with DDR333 in hand, the SiS 645DX is the fastest gaming platform we've yet seen for the new 533 MHz Pentium 4 processors.
Just keep in mind that the i850E was tested with standard (though high-end) PC800 and the situation may be quite different once PC1066 RDRAM is brought into the equation.
There is no doubt that the Intel Pentium 4-2.53 GHz is now the most powerful desktop processor available. It surpassed the Athlon XP 2100+ in every single benchmark test, and even the Pentium 4-2.4B gave the Athlon XP 2100+ a good schooling. The platform selection for the new 533 MHz Pentium 4 also looks strong, and both Intel and SiS offerings tested out very high on the performance and stability charts. If performance is the name of the processor game, then for now at least, Intel is king.
Intel Pentium 4 2.53GHz Processor Review.
The Pentium 4 processor has come a long way since it was 1st introduced two years ago. Initially, whole computing community were sceptical at 1st (including myself). But since then, the Pentium 4 underwent a series of metamorphosis most notably, from its initial 423 pin to a dense 478 pin mPGA design change. Not long after, it went on to adopt a new 'Northwood' core and reduced its on die process from .18µ to .13µ thus allowing it to double the cache size to 512KB. With the new core which is given the 'A' model number, power/heat restrictions were also reduced and thus allowing it to scale up to 2.4GHz in clock speed.
Intel Pentium 4 2.53GHz Processor
The current reincarnation of the 'Northwood' Pentium 4s is basically the same as 'A' models but the difference is it sports a totally new and bigger Front Side Bus and at 533MHz, it boasts the biggest Front Side Bus in production. Available starting from 2.26GHz right up to 2.53MHz, it is now given the 'B' model number to differentiate from its 'A' model cousins running at 400MHz. Even though roadmaps have confirmed the release of a 2.6 and 2.8GHz versions that should be out anytime now, our review of the Pentium 4 2.53MHz 533MHz Quad Pumped Bus Processor is still currently is the fastest clock speed Processor that are readily available on the retail market that you can actually buy.
Official Product Specifications/Features of the Pentium 4 2.53GHz Processor are as follows :
In stark contrast, the Heatsink/Fan of the Pentium 4 is excessively humongous when compared to the Processor that it is designated to cool. However, Intel did a great job not only in the effectiveness of the cooling, fan noise is also kept to a bare minimum which I must credit Intel for starting a revolution that even other Cooler manufacturers are starting to embrace. It doesnt ends there either, the retention mechanism of its 'Flip Arm' is the best and easiest to use facilitating easy & effortless removal of the Heatsink, all this without requiring the use of any tool (namely speaking, the dreaded flat-head screwdriver).
As mentioned, installation of the Pentium 4 Processor and Heatsink is the easiest Ive ever came across. The Processor fits in just like any other 'Flip Chip" Socket type retention mechanism but the way the Heatsink is designed and its locking retention mechanism ensures maximum and even contact between the Processor and the Heatsink.
Since our last review with a Pentium 4 Processor, we've decided to conduct our tests this time around with Intel's own Chipsets, namely the 850E and the 845E as Platforms and what a better way to do so than with Intel's original motherboards. The D850EMV2L and D845EBG2L are Intel's current top flagship boards supporting the 533Mhz Front Side Bus which are both great representatives of RD and DDR-RAM.
As in all our reviews, our setups are outfitted with the maximum Memory possible with all Banks populated. Also Adaptec U320 SCSI Adapters are used together with the fastest SCSI Hard Disks currently available which is the Cheetah's X15 36LP 15,000rpm units. The method and reasoning behind our kind of configuration is to test the performance of the product at full load and capacity, not just in days, weeks, but throughout the lifetime of the product from an end-user perspective.
A note worth mentioning even though only the Processor is being reviewed here, is that both our boards, the D850EMV2L & D850EBG2L comes with an Intel 82562ET PRO/100 VE Onboard LAN controller. Not only this is a high quality LAN controller (as compared to other cheap poor quality Onboard LAN controller), it saves a PCI Slot from otherwise being wasted from the need to add in an NIC for your Networking duties. Another fine but superb detail, is the Backport itself already includes 4 USB Ports with the option to add in an additional 2 more front Ports which many most new ATX Cases currently supports for easier connectivity making it a total of 6 fully usuable USB Ports, all without the need to add in an additional USB Bracket that will otherwise occupy another PCI Slot wastefully. Also a standard issue in all Intel's motherboard are custom I/O Shield Brackets (pictured on the right) specially designed for your motherboard model and type.
This is a picture of our Test Machine currently fitted with the D850EMV2L Motherboard loaded with maximum Memory and the most demanding peripherals possible.
The Pentium 4 2.53GHz Processor excels & performs very well even in the gaming department. Here we are shown the mighty horsepower of the Pentium 4 2.53GHz 533Mhz Quad Pumped Bus and how much of an affect it has on advanced 3D Games.
Our principle & believe has always been 'Performance without Sacrificing Stability' and the Intel Pentium 4 2.53GHz Processor is a perfect example of such. There isnt a single issue whatsoever even after being burned-in for nearly a month now. Its super rock stable performance & reliability is the best Ive personally seen so far even with its Platforms fully loaded up with all banks populated and the most demanding peripherals such as a U320 SCSI Adapter, Rocket Drive SSD & etc.
Quality Customer Service is not measured by size of a Company but by the policies it undertakes. I have personally encountered poor and even absurd service from big and small companies both professionally as well as an end-user and its one of the very reasons that we attribute this criteria so seriously in all our reviews. Intel, though a very big & major player in the industry is one such company that takes its Customer Service and Support very seriously.
The Intel Pentium 4 Processor has certainly evolved in the right direction and its current offering is not only stable, but also offers superb all-round performance as well. Its currently the fastest and most powerful processor that are readily available on the retail market that you can actually go out & purchase. The bigger and improved Bus significantly increases performance making it the ultimate solution to enjoy many of the newer intensive applications, advanced 3D Gaming, high-end multimedia & etc.
But perhaps the most important factor and reason that many (esp myself) have realized, is that the stability and reliability of the Pentium 4 Processors is second to none. Gone are the instabilities and BSODs that are all too common in the alternative offerings. Even Power Users, Hardcore Enthusiasts and many of the Reviewers that I know of have switched over to Intel and if you havent heard of it yet, the Intel Pentium 4 is the current rave even among the overclocking crowd. With the recent annoucement of price cuts up to 62% for the Intel Pentium 4 2.53GHz Processor, cost shouldnt be a factor anymore and if youre looking for a fast, great performing but yet stable, then look no further than the Pentium 4 2.53GHz Processor.
Manufacturer : Intel Corporation
A special thanks goes out to Wendy Toh of Intel Technology Asia for making this review possible.
As they each try to claim the
title of world's fastest PC processor, the ongoing jockeying between Intel and
AMD is creating a price war between the chip giants that should leave power PC
SiSoft Sandra's synthetic memory bandwidth tests are an effective way to judge if the Pentium 4's higher bus speeds are delivering more throughput. The results are very close, with the PC800 memory just beating out Corsair's DDR memory.
The POVRay benchmark database gives a useful guide to the relative math performance of various computers, processors and compilers by timing how long it takes for POVRay to render a standard image with standard parameters. Here the Asus motherboard with DDR memory edges out the Intel motherboard.
MadOnion's brand new benchmark PCMark2002 consists of a series of tests that represent common tasks in home and office programs. The winner again is the Asus board with fast Corsair memory.
The Pentium 4 has traditionally excelled under Quake III Arena, so it's no surprise to see very high numbers with either CPU. At lower resolutions the Asus boards grabs the lead, but the slightly higher bandwidth of the PC800 RDRAM gives it a slight edge at higher resolutions.
Another popular gaming benchmark Serious Sam clearly prefers to be run with DDR RAM in this test. It's strange that the PC-800 equipped Intel board reported no difference in results between the two processors running this game's benchmark.
Can't compute at a mere 2.53MHz? Fear not, both of these CPUs proved to be quite capable in the overclocking area. I was able to get both the 2.4 GHz and 2.53 GHz chip working flawlessly at 150 FSB on the Asus board. The Intel board does not allow overclocking. The overclock on the Asus board translates into an overclock of 2.7 GHz and 2.85 GHz respectively, using only the stock CPU fan for cooling. Be warned that overclocking voids your chip's warranty and can cause system instability. Proceed with care.
The fastest setup for the Pentium 4 2.53 GHz chip is when it is mated with PC1066 memory. Unfortunately, Intel does not support this memory at this time. That may change, however. Your second best option is PC800 memory or very fast DDR memory such as that offered by Corsair. Considering the price difference between the two and my results, I would advise you to get some quality DDR memory to run with these CPUs.
To be fair we're comparing an Intel board, which cannot be tweaked for higher performance, with Asus's P4B533-V board, which is an overclocker's dream tweaked by Asus for speed. What the Intel board does provide is piece of mind - it was rock stable in all my testing, as was the Asus board.
The first Pentium 4, which debuted nearly two years ago, got off to a rather rocky start. The original P4 clocked 1.5 GHz Williamette could barely outperform Intel's own Pentium III 1 GHz! Today, the Pentium 4 at 2.4 GHz and 2.53 GHz is a very mature product, fast enough to compete with any processor on the market.
Intel boasts that the 2.53GHz processor offers more than a 40% performance improvement in 3D gaming and MPEG-4 video encoding, compared to that of the 1.7GHz P4 processor. And there's no doubt that anyone using a 1.8 GHz or slower CPU will realize a powerful boost by upgrading to either processor. With the recent deep pricing cuts, now is definitely a good time to fulfill that need for speed.
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