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Pentium 4 3.2GHz w/ 800MHz System Bus
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Date: Jun 22, 2003
Section:Processors
Author: HH Editor
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Pentium 4 3.2GHz w/ 800MHz System Bus - Page 1

 

Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz Performance Evaluation
Another speed bump served up by Intel with ease

By, Dave Altavilla
June 23, 2003
 

Once again, Intel has decided to turn up the heat on their arch rival, AMD.  In a sort of digital ying-yang, the battle for Performance Desktop and Workstation Processor leadership, presses on relentlessly.  Like opposite yet mutual compliments, Intel releases the 3GHz P4 with 800MHz system bus and AMD lets fly with the Athlon XP 3200+.  It's almost like nature intended it to be, isn't it?  As Intel and AMD duke it out, in an effort to out class the competition, the end user community enjoys yet another incremental performance enhancement.  Not to mention a nice cost reduction usually comes along, with what was formerly high end product now mainstream, due to these brisk product maturity cycles.

Our last look at AMD's latest product left us questioning AMD's performance rating somewhat.  Although AMD's new Athlon XP 3200+ branding logically claims to have significantly better performance than the 3.0GHz P4, our testing showed that it was about on par with Intel's latest 3GHz chip, winning some and losing some, in various rounds of testing of our benchmark suites.  This is the risk AMD runs, branding a product relative to performance, rather than an easily understood clock speed figure. Intel's approach however, on this new product release of the 3.2GHz P4 is pretty straight forward.  It doesn't take a degree in Quantum Physics to understand that this new Pentium 4 is a full 1GHz faster that AMD's fastest Barton core at 2.2GHz for the Athlon XP 3200+. 

However, the performance picture behind the clock speed, is the story that many of you come here to find out and that's what we'll aim to deliver for you today.  At 3.2GHz, the new Pentium 4 is running a full 45% faster clock speed than an Athlon XP 3200+ at 2.2GHz.  This is perhaps an impressive data-point and a tribute to Intel's ability to scale the P4 core to amazing new heights.  On the other hand, as AMD likes to point out, it's not always about the MHz but how efficient a processor is within each clock cycle. We'll roll up our sleeves for you here and give you the straight scoop on that data-point as well.

Specifications of the Pentium 4 3.2GHz Processor
Another notch closer to the 4GHz mark
  • Clock Speed 3.2GHz
  • 800MHz "Quad Pumped" Front Side Bus
  • Hyperthreading Technology for increased performance in Multi-tasking and Multi-threaded applications
  • .13 micron manufacturing process
  • 512K on chip, Full Speed L2 Cache
  • Rapid Execution Engine - ALU clocked at 2X frequency of core
  • 128bit Floating Point/Multimedia unit
  • "Hyper Pipelined" Technology for extremely high clock speeds
  • Intel "NetBurst" micro-architecture
  • Supported by the IntelĀ® i875P and i865G chipsets, with Hyperthreading support
  • Internet Streaming SIMD Extensions 2
  • IntelĀ® MMX? media enhancement technology
  • Memory cacheability up to 4 GB of addressable memory space and system memory scalability up to 64 GB of physical memory
  • Support for uni-processor designs
  • 1.55V operating voltage range

           
                                                                                
   Pentium 4 .13 Micron Die


With 512K of full speed on chip L2 cache, an 800MHz Quad Pumped Front Side Bus, Hyperthreading, and 1.55V operating voltage, not much has changed for the new 3.2GHz Pentium 4, with the minor exception of an additional 200MHz in clock speed.  In the die image on the right, you'll notice a couple of large rectangular dark grid regions on the right hand side of the die.  These are the two banks of L2 cache memory.  There is also a small block up in the top left quadrant of the shot.  This is a block of what Intel calls "Execution Trace Cache", otherwise known as L1 cache. 

As you'll note, the memory structures here take up a sizable portion of the die area.  SRAM cache memory is big real-estate hog and you can understand why both Intel and AMD have to drive tighter process geometries, in order to support larger amounts of cache moving forward.  Intel's Prescott Pentium 4 core, built on a 90 nanometer manufacturing process, is going to have a full 1Mb of L2 cache on board.  Intel will also be one of the first to run 90 nanometer technology in high volume, when Prescott hits later this year.

A New Chip And New Stock Intel Heat Sink
Intel's Product Launch Kit

   

 

Physically, the new P4 chip looks the same as any other Northwood core, so again there really isn't much to report here.  However, Intel took a step up with respect to their stock retail cooling solution.  Above, you'll notice the larger copper core aluminum hybrid cooler that was sent to us in our test kit.  The sink has a dense population of aluminum radiator fins that all connect in with the cross section area that surrounds a solid copper core.  The copper slug is centered directly on the P4 heat spreader, once the heat sink is installed.  The fan assembly is a 2500 RPM unit with a strong retention clip.  All told, this cooler does an excellent job of keeping the new 3.2GHz P4 at a reasonable 38 - 40C.  This is easily the best stock cooling solution we've seen from Intel in a long time.

 

System Setup, Sandra Test And Over-clocking

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Pentium 4 3.2GHz w/ 800MHz System Bus - Page 2

 

Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz Performance Evaluation
Another speed bump served up by Intel with ease

By, Dave Altavilla
June 23, 2003
 

 
Before we get into the benchmarks, please take a look at our system specifications, so you can get a feel for our test methodology.  Our platform of choice was the Canterwood based DFI LANParty Pro875 motherboard.  This board is perfect for the test bench, with its on board push-button on/off and reset switches.  It is also built on Intel's highest performing i875P "Canterwood" chipset, with Dual Channel DDR400 support and an 800MHz System Bus.

HotHardware's Test Systems
It's got game

Intel Platforms:
Pentium 4 Processors at 3.0GHz (800MHz FSB), 3.06GHz (533MHz FSB) and 3.2GHz (800MHz FSB)
Motherboard and RAM Config
DFI LAN Party 875Pro - i875P Canterwood Motherboard
512MB of Kingston HyperX PC3500 CAS 2 RAM
Other Hardware and Software:
ATi Radeon 9700 Pro
Western Digital Caviar WD1200 SE 120G HD
Windows XP Professional SP1
ATi Catalyst 3.4 Drivers
Intel Release Chipset Driver  v5.00.1012
DirectX 9.0a

AMD Platform:
Athlon XP 3200+
Motherboard and RAM Config
Asus A7N8X (nForce 2 Motherboard)
512MB of Kingston HyperX PC3500 CAS 2 RAM
Other Hardware and Software:
Radeon 9700 Pro
Western Digital Caviar WD1200 SE 120G HD
Windows XP Professional SP1
ATi Catalyst 3.4 Drivers
nForce2 Drivers Version 2.03
DirectX 9.0a

 

P4 3.2GHz CPUID
Pentium 4 Stepping ID: 9
 

 

WCPUID informs us here that the stepping of this new P4 has also not changed.  The 3.2GHz Pentium 4 also has a stepping ID of 9, as does its 3.0GHz predecessor.  The processor's multiplier is 16X, with a 200MHz Front Side Bus (also known as System Bus) and the i875's DDR Memory Controller and the Motherboard's DDR PLL then clock double this 200MHz signal, for a DDR 400MHz memory timing.  The P4 System Bus is a Quad Pumped 800MHz multiple off the 200MHz base bus frequency.  The bandwidth within the latest Pentium 4 System Architecture is robust and well balanced.

 

Pentium 4 3.2GHz SiSoft Sandra Testing
3200 MHz With Hyperthreading

First, a quick take with a few SiSoftware's SANDRA (System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) benchmarks, which will show us performance levels relative to a few reference system scores, in SANDRA's database.

CPU Test
3.2GHz

Multimedia Test
3.2GHz

Memory Test
3.2GHz, Dual DDR400

As you'll note, our test system with the 3.2GHz Pentium 4, is the fastest on the charts, topping the highest performance machine noted in SANDRA's new "SANDRA Max3" version of the software.  An Athlon XP 3200+, as well as an Opteron 1.8GHz system, are noted here, both of which fall well short of our i857P 3.2GHz Pentium 4 test-bed, in all the tests we ran.

Overclocking The 3.2GHz P4 - Stock Cooling And The Vapochill
4GHz anyone?

We're the types that like to eat our dessert first here at HotHardware.  Hey, life is short, right?  So, we might as well overclock this new Pentium 4 early and often.  We'll dig into rigorous multi-scenario benchmarking shortly but for now, let's just have a little fun. First we fired up this new 3.2GHz Pentium 4, with the stock cooler that came with the chip.  Then, we plugged it into our Vapochill test system and took the temperatures into the sub-zero C range.

CPUID 3.68GHz
Air Cooled
CPUID 4GHz
Vapochilled

With standard air cooling, we were able to hit a 230MHz FSB at 3.68GHz, with full stability.  Perhaps we would have reached 3.7GHz or higher with a higher end P4 cooler but this was still fairly impressive, at almost 500MHz over its stock speed.  We needed to bump the core voltage to 1.65V to achieve this.

However, when we dropped the new CPU into our Vapochill SE test system, amazing things started to happen.  We were able to load and run a few benchmarks in WinXP at 4GHz, the first time we hit this mark in our labs, with any stability.  We've included a few SANDRA runs here for your viewing pleasure.  However, at 4GHz the system did not pass our full stability testing and we settled back to 3.9GHz in the Vapochill, again at 1.65V core voltage.

CPU Test
3.68GHz

Multimedia Test
3.68GHz

Memory Test
3.68GHz

 
CPU Test
4GHz Vapochilled

 
Multimedia Test
4GHz Vapochilled

 
Memory Test
4GHz Vapochilled

 

Coming back down to earth, we resume our regularly schedule programming of the latest benchmarks, with the new 3.2GHz Pentium 4 versus the best AMD has to offer in the Desktop space, the Athlon XP 3200+.
 

Business and Multimedia Content Creation Winstones

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Pentium 4 3.2GHz w/ 800MHz System Bus - Page 3

 

Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz Performance Evaluation
Another speed bump served up by Intel with ease

By, Dave Altavilla
June 23, 2003
 

 
 

XMPEG is a Video File Conversion Utility, that utilizes compression and decompression techniques to target various video/audio file formats with an installed system CODEC.  We took our in-house 19MB MPEG video clip and converted it using the latest DIVX 5.05 CODEC.

XMPEG And PCMark 2002
Real world video conversion and synthetic CPU testing


                               In frames per second - Higher scores are better
 

This is another test that stresses overall system bandwidth and seems to be well optimized for the Pentium 4.  We should note that with this new 5.05 version of the DIVX CODEC, Athlon XP 3200+ performance dropped by almost 25%.  With the older 5.02 version of the DIVX CODEC, the Athlon scores a 57.1, which is still far below the Pentium 4's watermark but better than what we're showing here none-the-less.


Futuremark's PCMark 2002 is a synthetic suite of benchmarks for various aspects of system performance.  We ran the CPU performance module, which runs through a series of both integer and floating point workloads, including JPEG decompression, Zlib compression & decompression, text search, Audio Conversion and 3D Vector Calculation.  According to this test, the new 3.2GHz P4 is 18.5% faster than an Athlon XP 3200+ and about 7% faster than a 3GHz P4.

We'll cover one more series of synthetic tests and then get back to real-world application and gaming benchmarks.

Gaming Benchmarks - 3DMark 2003 And Comanche 4

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Pentium 4 3.2GHz w/ 800MHz System Bus - Page 4

 

Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz Performance Evaluation
Another speed bump served up by Intel with ease

By, Dave Altavilla
June 23, 2003
 

 
 

The much maligned and misunderstood 3DMark 2003, is fortunately for us here, mostly without controversy.  Since we're using only one graphics card in this test, the Radeon 9700 Pro, there should be less muck to cloud the picture. The only concern you could remotely point to here, is whether or not the test's Athlon or Pentium 4 compilations favor one host CPU over another.  However, this can be argued for nearly every test you could throw at a processor, either real application or synthetic.  As the old saying goings, let's "get over it" and just run the numbers. 

3DMark 2003 Standard and CPU Test
No controversy here - One graphics card fits all

The 3.2GHz P4 only takes the lead by 5% versus the Athlon XP 3200+ here.  The graphics pipeline is the limiting factor and as you can see, at 1024X768, the performance gain from 3GHz to 3.2GHz in the Pentium 4 is negligible.  However, the CPU test portion of a standard 3DMark 03 run, will drop the quality settings down, taking the burden off the graphics subsystem.

 


Things scale more in line with what is expected here with nearly an 8% advantage for the 3.2G P4.  Additionally, the 3.06GHz P4's 60MHz clock speed advantage actually gives it a small edge over the 3GHz P4 with 800MHz FSB. 

Novalogic's Comanche 4
Frame rates on the battle field

Flight Sim fans in our midst will attest to the fact that one of the best things you can do to improve performance in rendering all that terrain data, is to drop in a faster processor.  Novalogic's Comanche 4 is no exception and the test is very CPU and bandwidth intensive.  The 3.2GHz P4 has a 21% lead over the Athlon XP 3200+ and approximately a 7% lead over its 3GHz siblings.  This again all scales appropriately, since a 200MHz speed advantage versus a 3GHz P4, translates to roughly a 6.6% clock speed boost.

 

Quake 3 Four Demo, SPEC ViewPerf And The Wrap-up

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Pentium 4 3.2GHz w/ 800MHz System Bus - Page 5

 

Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz Performance Evaluation
Another speed bump served up by Intel with ease

By, Dave Altavilla
June 23, 2003
 

 
 

It needs no introduction, we give you the elder statesman of the benchmark arena, Quake 3.

Quake 3 Time Demo Four
Pushing the polygons

In this time demo benchmark run, we've utilized the latest 1.32 point release of the Quake 3 engine.  We then extracted the recorded "Four" demo and installed it in our demos folder.  The graphics quality settings were set to "Fastest" in the game menu and we ran each test 3 times, taking an average score between each run we recorded.  The 3.2GHz Pentium wins this race hands down again and by a wide margin over the Athlon XP 3200+.  Again, with performance spreads like these, is it fair to call the Athlon XP 3200+ a 3.2GHz equivalent?  We'll let you ponder that while we fire up our last series of tests, on the professional side of the house, SPECviewperf 7.1.

 

SPECviewPerf
All Pro MCAD And 3D Modeling Performance

We ran the latest SPECviewperf version 7.1 installation, along with the latest Catalyst 3.4 drivers for the Radeon 9700 Pro we used in our test beds.  Viewperf also tends to be an excellent processor test, since there are lots of vectors to calculate and models to spin.

The following tests are utilized in SPECviewperf version 7.1:

  • 3ds max (3dsmax-02)

  • Data Explorer (dx-08)

  • DesignReview (drv-09)

  • Lightscape (light-06)

  • Pro/Engineer (proe-02)

  • Unigraphics (ugs-03)
     


             Higher scores indicate increased performance

Viewperf utilizes OpenGL for its rendering calls and with the exception of the ugs-03 test (Unigraphics V17), there is a fair spread amongst the contenders here in the field.  The engine model in the ugs-03 is rendered in wire frame and then shaded.  As a result, the workload is largely on the graphics processor.  The rest of the test suite, as you can see, places much more emphasis on the host CPU.  Once again, the 3.2GHz Pentium 4 proves that it is the fastest Desktop Processor in existence, beating out the best AMD has to offer, in almost every test component of SPECviewperf.  We've shown you performance from a lot of different angles and any way you look at it, a 3.2GHz P4 is the fastest processor for your PC, that money can buy, at this juncture.

 

Less than 3 months after the release of the 3GHz Pentium 4 w/ 800MHz System Bus, Intel bins out another 200MHz like a walk in the park.  There's no question, things will get interesting when AMD lets loose with the Athlon64.  Then again, there's Prescott on the horizon in the second half and you can rest assured that processor will pack some serious pain as well.  While Intel is driving toward 4GHz and beefing up on chip resources, AMD is taking another route and a wider path yet unpaved in the Desktop Consumer market.  Industry analysts are placing their bets but let's face it, this thing is a crap shoot.  Both Intel and AMD have major league technological resources at their disposal.  It's a great match-up and we all have a ring side seat.

The new 3.2GHz P4 is roughly 7% faster than its 3GHz predecessor and 15 - 25% faster, in most applications, than an Athlon XP 3200+.  The new P4 will be priced at $637 in quantities of 1K upon its launch today.  While this is pretty steep for certain, you can't argue with the performance Intel's new flagship brings to the table.  Here's hoping street prices will subside shortly after its debut in the channel.  For now, Intel can still claim full dominance in terms of raw overall performance but as usual, it doesn't come cheap.  Here's to competition and ever shrinking die size.  90 nanometers, here we come.

 

 

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