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 6

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


Those of you that like to skip those hard working business and professional application benchmarks and get straight to the fun factor, can rejoice here, as we round out of testing suite with an all out gaming benchmark blitz.

Wolfenstein Enemy Territory
OpenGL Quake Engine Gaming

We've finally moved on from Quake 3 here in the HotHardware testing labs but somehow a specter of its gaming engine still haunts the hallways and test benches in our work areas.  Wolfenstein Enemy Territory is a highly modified Quake 3 engine based game, with impressive all new lighting, textures and high polygon count models filling the landscape.  We turned the resolution way down, in an effort to offload the graphics subsystem and let the processors we tested stretch their legs.

There's no doubt about it, if you like to game in Quake engine based games and need extreme performance regardless of price, then the P4 Extreme Editions can be enticing.  However, a second glance at this series of scores, reports only about an 8% lead between the fastest 3.4GHz P4 EE score here and good ol' Northwood at 3.2GHz.  In addition, this is obviously a game engine that favors the P4, with all Athlon 64s reporting in behind the slowest Pentium 4 score.  Finally, note that Prescott posts in at about a 3% deficit under the 3.2GHz Northwood score we took here.

3DMark 2003
DirectX 8 Gaming Performance

We'll step quickly through FutureMark's 3DMark 2003 CPU test here, to provide you some reference points for this popular synthetic DirectX 8/9 gaming based benchmark.

Here we see large cache size and low memory latency, afford each of the competitors their respective ranks. Prescott's larger L2 cache allow it a lead over Northwood but not so much that it can overtake either of its Extreme Edition counterparts.  The Athlon 64 FX-51 here, with its integrated memory controller in addition to its 1MB L2 cache, takes even the 3.4GHz P4 EE by a small margin of victory.

Comanche 4
DirectX 8 Gaming - CPU Limited

Over the years, although this Combat Helicopter simulation from Novalogic has begun to show its age, time and time again we come back to it for consistent repeatable metrics on pure compute intensive power.  This game, with its constant calculation of moving objects in a given battle scene, really seems to isolate the CPU and overall system bandwidth.  Although it is a gaming benchmark, interestingly enough it isn't a very good graphics benchmark, since it is so CPU limited.


Once again, to coin a phrase "cache is king", pun intended.  Low cache latency is also a deciding factor here as well, with a strong showing by the Athlon FX but an even stronger showing from the P4 Extreme Editions.  Prescott on the other hand, hits another roadblock and obviously has issues with its deeper pipeline and branch miss error rates.  Even though it has a full 512KB cache advantage over the standard 3.2GHz Pentium 4, it falls in behind by a solid 15% shortcoming.  Although we ran this test repeatedly, the results were the same.  Which brings us to an observation we've made in previous processor launch articles, when there have been major architectural changes made to a CPU.  Some legacy code is simply not going to run as efficiently on these new cores, unless it is recompiled to take advantage of the new architecture.


Unreal Tournament 2003, X2 The Threat and The Wrap-up

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

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