Intel Prescott P4 3.2GHz and P4 EE 3.4GHz

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Intel Prescott P4 3.2GHz and P4 EE 3.4GHz - Page 3

Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz Prescott
And Pentium 4 3.4GHz  Extreme Edition
Significant changes in P4 architecture bring future scalability

By, Dave Altavilla
February 1, 2004

We began our testing with a few synthetic tests courtesy of SiSoftware's SANDRA 2004. SANDRA, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant, consists of a set of informational and diagnostic utilities designed to test various PC subsystems and relative performance.  We ran four of the built-in sub-system tests that comprise the SANDRA 2004 suite (CPU, Multimedia, Memory and Cache).  We ran all tests at stock speeds for the Pentium 4 3.2GHz Prescott CPU and the P4 3.4GHz Extreme Edition.  Reference numbers provided on the graphs below are from SANDRA's internal database.

SiSoftware SANDRA
Synthetic CPU and Memory Benchmarks

P4 Prescott 3.2GHz
CPU TEST
 

P4 Prescott 3.2GHz
MULTIMEDIA TEST
 

P4 Prescott 3.2GHz
CACHE TEST
 

P4 Prescott 3.2GHz
MEMORY TEST
 

P4 Extreme Ed 3.4GHz
CPU TEST
 

P4 Extreme Ed 3.4GHz
MULTIMEDIA TEST
 

P4 Extreme Ed 3.4GHz
CACHE TEST
 

P4 Extreme Ed 3.4GHz
MEMORY TEST
 

 

Surprisingly Prescott's performance versus a standard P4 Northwood falls a bit short.  We were fairly certain Prescott's deeper pipeline was the root cause of this situation so we asked some of our contacts at SiSoftware for their thoughts and here's what they told us. 
 
" Several micro-architectural changes were made in Prescott's core in order to enable headroom for higher performance, scaling and frequency. For many applications, the increased L2 cache size maximizes the benefit of the uarch changes. However, in Sandra's tests, which fit very well in the L1 cache, the increased L2 cache does not make a significant contribution and thus amplifies the impact of the uarch changes resulting in clock to clock difference."

So in short, clock for clock, Prescott's deeper pipelines are hurting its performance and its enhanced BPU and extra cache aren't making up for it.  We would suggest however, that in simple synthetic tests such as these, it's also difficult to draw direct conclusions on real world performance.  Synthetic test such as SANDRA, are useful in helping to detail a complete picture of performance and are only a component of a complete performance metric.

FutureMark PCMark 2004
Synthetic CPU and Memory Benchmarks

We also ran the CPU and Memory performance modules available with Futuremark's new PCMark04 suite. We'll quote Futuremark for an explanation of how these tests work.

"The CPU test suite is a collection of tests that are run to isolate the performance of the CPU. There are nine tests in all. Two pairs of tests are run multithreaded ? each test in the pair is run in its own thread. The remaining five tests are run single threaded. These tests include such functions as file encryption, decryption, compression and decompression, grammar check, audio conversion, WMV and DivX video compression."

Once again, Prescott shows it's slightly slower clock for clock than a Northwood core.   However, the delta that exists between the Athlon 64 and P4 scores, is indicative of this test's emphasis on compression and decompression functions, like those found in video conversion, which is the P4's strong suit. 

Editor's Note 2/9/04:  Since the release of this article we found an error in the above graph for our Pentium 4EE 3.4GHz score.  We accidentally transposed the score at the time, from that which is now noted here to "5346".  The correct score for the P4EE 3.4GHz system is now noted in this graph.


Here are FutureMark's comments on what PCMark 2004's Memory Performance Test is doing.


"The Memory test suite is a collection of tests that isolate the performance of the memory subsystem. The memory subsystem consists of various devices on the PC. This includes the main memory, the CPU internal cache (known as the L1 cache) and the external cache (known as the L2 cache). As it is difficult to find applications that only stress the memory, we explicitly developed a set of tests geared for this purpose. The tests are written in C++ and assembly. They include: Reading data blocks from memory, Writing data blocks to memory performing copy operations on data blocks, random access to data items and latency testing."

 

Prescott's additional L2 cache propels it ahead of the standard Pentium 4 Northwood processor and within striking distance of the Athlon FX-51 with its integrated memory controller and 1MB of L2 cache. The P4 Extreme Edition CPUs take the test with ease, most likely due to their full 1MB advantage in L3 cache.

Business and Content Creation Winstone 2004 and XMPEG

Tags:  Intel, Pre, 4G, GHz, 3.2, P4, 4GHz, 2G, and

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