Pentium 4 2GHz. Socket 478 Review!

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Intel's Pentium 4 2GHz. Socket 478 Processor
Breaking through the 2GHz. ceiling with ease

By, Dave Altavilla
August 27, 2001

One draw back for early adopters of the Pentium 4, is the fact that a move to this new socket 478 pin out, requires a new motherboard architecture.

Installation and setup with a new motherboard platform
Neat as a pin

We actually used a couple of motherboards in this piece, one reference design from Intel and the ever fabulous Abit TH7II-RAID.

Intel's D850MD Socket 478 Motherboard w/ Integrated LAN and 4 USB Ports

 

   

Abit's TH7II-RAID

The Intel D850MD is a highly integrated board with 10/100 Ethernet, Sound and 4 ports of USB supported.  Most "power users" will find this board a little limited on expansion with only three PCI slots.  However, system integrators will love this board for its ease of setup and cost efficiency without the need to add a dedicated sound card or NIC.

 

We gave you a taste of what the TH7II-RAID could do, in our recent coverage of this board.  This motherboard has all the toys that we have grown a custom to with BX chipset motherboards of old.  With an integrated High Point ATA100/RAID controller, sound, three USB ports and even "Abit Engineered" overclocking strips, PC Gear Heads that are into the P4 platform, will be all over this board like a cheap suit.

Test Setup
Intel and Abit infused

 

Intel Based Test System:

  • Intel Pentium 4 2GHz. Processor

  • Abit TH7II-RAID Pentium 4 Socket 478 Motherboard (i850)

  • Intel D850DM Pentium 4 Socket 478 Motherboard (i850)

  • 256MB of Samsung PC800 RAMBUS DRDRAM

  • nVidia GeForce3 AGP

  • Thermaltake P4 Volcano 478 Cooler

  • IBM DTLA307030 30Gig ATA100 7200 RPM Hard Drive

  • Windows 2000 Pro SP2

  • WindowsME 

  • Direct X 8.0 and nVidia reference drivers version 12.41

  • Intel chipset drivers version 3.00.029

AMD Based Test System:

  • AMD Athlon 1.4GHz. (10.5 X 133)

  • Epox 8K7A+ AMD 761 / VIA 686B Motherboard

  • 256MB Corsiar PC2400 (8-8-8-2-4-2-2)

  • IBM 30GB 7200RPM UDMA/100 HD

  • nVidia GeForce3

  • Windows 2000 Pro SP2

  • Direct X 8.0 and nVidia reference drivers version 12.41

  • AMD AGP Mini-Port 5.22

  • VIA 4-in-1 drivers

Earlier in this article we spoke of the Pentium 4 mPGA 478 package as having superior thermal characteristics versus the legacy 423 PGA.  For reference, here is a quick take on the thermals as reported by Winbond's Hardware Doctor program.  These numbers were taken at 2GHz. at idle in WindowsME.

It has been reported and it is factual that Intel has introduced a "clock throttling" mechanism in the P4, that is designed to invoke various lower duty cycles depending on settings within a motherboard's BIOS.  If the core temp of the chip reaches a certain high threshold, the clock speed to throttled back considerably.  However, we were assured by the folks at Intel that this does not happen under "normal" conditions.  That is to say, you would need to have catastrophic failure of a fan or some other subsystem, that would cause the core to reach dangerous levels.  In other words, if this clock throttle kicks in, consider it cheap insurance because otherwise you may have one cooked Pentium 4 on your hands.

Overclocking With 2GHz. of fun
Overclocking or overkill?

Now, we know what you are thinking.  How does this "governor" of sorts affect overclocking?  Suffice it to say, not one bit.

  CPUID @ 2GHz.                    CPUID  @ 2.24GHz.
 

We were actually able to boot windows at 2.3GHz. but were unable to complete the benchmarks at this clock speed.  Perhaps with a little more TLC, this clock speed could have stabilized.  This overclocking test was performed on the Abit TH7II-RAID, with its plethora of front side bus speeds.



Initial Tests:  SiSoftware Sandra, Winstones and Video 2000

 

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