Benchmark Summary And Conclusion
Looking back at our test scores gives us a sense that this iteration of the Pentium 4 Prescott processor core is significantly more balanced than prior versions. The new Pentium 4 6XX Sequence and Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.37GHz CPUs offered a bit more performance in gaming scenarios but not enough to catch AMD's fastest Athlon 64 chips at what they do best. And again, when it comes to media encoding or conversion, 3D rendering and modeling, and many newer standard business applications, the Pentium 4 extends it lead today with these new additions to the Intel lineup. Especially in common multitasking workloads and usage models, with an OS that supports Hyper-Threading, the Pentium 4 obviously is at its best.
Intel's price list for these new Pentium 4 Processors that will go out to the channel today is as follows:
Considering these price points, we'd say P4 650 and 640 chips are the sweet spot, and with a full 2MB of L2 cache on board, you'll get solid gaming performance in addition to the great multithreaded capabilities of the P4. And with the introduction of Intel's EM64T extensions, you'll be ready for the 64-bit desktop, whenever that becomes feasible in any way, shape, or form. Add to that the ability to SpeedStep down when idle to keep things generally cooler inside your chassis, and all told the P4 6XX Sequence family, as Intel likes to call them, is representative of some very nice refinements of a CPU core that needed a good ol' mid-life kicker.
The Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.73GHz chip is a bit of a mixed bag however, showing sometimes faster and sometimes slower performance than its other previously released Extreme Edition siblings based on the Gallatin P4 core. Not to mention its price tag that was handing down through the generations. But then again, for enthusiasts, there is the allure of overclocking with this new CPU, which clearly has new-found capabilities beyond that which Gallatin could offer with its shorter pipeline.
In any event, Intel has delivered new architectural innovation and higher performance to its line of Pentium 4 processors for the consumer desktop market with these new introductions today but they still haven't found a way to catch the Athlon 64 in the gaming space. Next up on the Intel roadmap of technological wonder are Pentium 4 Dual Core "Smithfield" CPUs, with what we've heard are essentially dual 90nm Prescotts on a single integrated die... with Hyper-Threading possibly? Stay with us and you'll be sure to find out!