Intel Pentium 4 1.7GHz. Processor

The Intel Pentium 4 1.7GHz. Processor - Page 4

The Intel Pentium 4 1.7GHz. Processor
The "Hyper Pipelined" CPU takes it up a notch

By Dave Altavilla - April 24 2001

This one needs no introduction.  Quake 3 Arena, the perennial 3D Gaming benchmark.

More Pentium 4 Gaming Benchmarks
A Frame Rate Shoot Out Versus AMD's 1.33 T-Bird

There is no doubt about it, if you play Q3 Arena there is no faster processor than the Pentium 4.  As we've said in the past, Q3 is heavily memory bandwidth intensive.  Here at every clock speed down to 1.5GHz., the Athlon is beaten handily.



We ran the new Dronez benchmark, also an OpenGL based gaming engine, with the "GeForce2 Bump" setting.  Although Dronez, has the capability to take advantage of the GeForce3's Programmable GPU features and nFiniteFX engine, this setting runs within the capabilities of a GeForce2 only.  For this review we felt this was the best way to run this test since most users, at the time of this article, don't have a GeForce3 to make their own assessments with.

Once again, the Pentium 4 1.7GHz. processor man-handles the Athlon at 1.33GHz.  Again, Dronez really taxes memory and bus bandwidth and clearly the P4's strong suit is shown here as well.  We are also taking a look at Aquanox as possible candidate for future testing.  It may be very interesting to see how the competitors stack up in these next generation gaming engines.



We've shown you Intel's next generation in clock speed for the Pentium 4.  In addition, we given you a taste of things to come with our 1.9GHz. tests.  For the HotHardware staff, the Intel Pentium 4 has some mixed emotions attached to it.  On the average "Business User's" desktop, it has a hard time competing with AMD's top of the line, at least in legacy applications.  Future more multi-task demanding desktop productivity and content creation software could exercise the P4 a bit more and also utilize SSE2 instructions, which should definitely close the gap significantly.  However, for now it seems like the P4 is lagging in this segment.


On the other hand, we are continually impressed with some very specific data points like the Pentium 4's high end gaming performance, which gives us a hint that there is a real screamer of an engine under the hood that is just waiting to get on the right race track.  That track being future software that is compiled and written to take advantage of the new P4 micro-architecture.  We need to remember that the P4 is competing with AMD on legacy code that was not written to take advantage of its strengths specifically, like all X86 processor in the past and even the Pentium III.  As the Pentium 4 platform matures along with a wealth of PC software that needs to grow with it, we expect to see additional gains from the Pentium 4.  Furthermore, it really feels like Intel is just getting warmed up with respect to clock speed but only time will tell with that.


Finally, the Pentium 4 has taken a much needed turn towards being more economical.  We've been told that prices for the 1.7GHz. P4 in quantities of 1,000 pieces, will start at $352.  Lower clock speed P4s will obviously be less.  Although you may not see this kind of pricing in the retail channel yet, that day will come soon.    



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