Pentium 4 architecture and platform in general, has
been maturing nicely since our initial look at the
CPU last year. In fact, third party vendors in
the motherboard and cooling markets, have made
working with the P4 much more efficient and just
plain "tweakable" (yes that's a
word). So let's have a look at our test rigs
and the gear that we used to set things up properly.
Hardware's Test System
cooling from Thermaltake and
motherboard from Abit
Test System 1
Abit TH7-RAID Pentium 4 Motherboard
256MB of Samsung PC800 RAMBUS DRDRAM,
Thermaltake Indigo Orb P4 CPU Cooler - Thanks
IBM DTLA307030 30Gig ATA100 7200 RPM Hard Drive - Supplied
by Outside Loop!
nVidia GeForce 2 Ultra 64MB AGP Graphics Card,
Sound Blaster Live Sound Card,
Pioneer 10X DVD
Direct X 8.0 and nVidia reference drivers version
Intel chipset drivers version 2.80
K7ADA (AliMAGiK 1)
- 256 Crucial PC2100 CAS 2.5
- 1.33GHz AMD Athlon Processor (T-Bird)
- IBM 30 Gig ATA100 7200 RPM Drive
- SB Live!
, GF2 Ultra and Detonator 11.01 Version
motherboard of choice, for the Pentium 4 machine is
a beauty, Abit's
TH7-RAID. We'll have a full review on this
little gem in the weeks ahead but here is a preview
of our test system in action.
than our high tech testing rack (a no longer needed
"in bucket"), you'll notice some niceties
about the TH7-RAID. There are three USB ports
on this motherboard for added expandability and of
course the integrated High Point RAID
controller. All told, this is an excellent
base to build a P4 system on.
also notice our choice of coolers in this test, the
Thermaltake Indigo Orb. Our
good friends at Plycon set us up with this space
age looking cooler and it really delivers.
might be a little noisier than our
stock Intel supplied Pentium 4 cooler that you saw
here but it certainly takes the core temperature
down a few notches and ultimately allowed us to
overclock this processor to a level we never thought
we would see anytime soon.
The Pentium 4 1.7GHz.
speed is not an issue for Intel
@ 1.7 and 1.9GHz.
lord, it sure does warm our hearts to see 1.9GHz.
come up fairly stable on a processor. After a
few hours of rigorous testing, we did experience a
couple of lock-ups at the 1.9 mark. However,
that did not stop us from running all the benchmarks
at that speed, so you can an get idea of things to
come from the P4. You'll also note at that
speed, the memory is over-clocked to 448MHz. which
doesn't hurt of course. Our fully stable speed
for this P4 1.7GHz. chip was in fact 1.87GHz. or
110MHz. times a 17X multiplier with the RAM
"Quad Pumped" to 440MHz.
here's my take on clock speed for the Pentium 4 and
this is mostly speculative on my part. Intel
is pretty much "sneezing" this kind of
speed out of the P4 right now. They are most
likely realizing high yields on the P4 at 1.3 to
1.5GHz. and 1.7 is pretty much a walk in the park as
well. This allows them to achieve excellent
economies of scale in manufacturing and thus lower
price points, which we will cover in our final
assessment, later in this article. In
addition, I think it is fair to say that they are
releasing next generation clock speeds on this
specific P4 design, almost at will. When the
time is right in the market for them to turn things
up a notch again, you'll see the 1.8G and 1.9G
versions, we have no doubt. In processors as
in most things in life, timing is
Sandra, Winstone, Quake 3, SPEC viewperf and more!