Intel's Pentium 4 2.4 Ghz Northwood Processor

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Intel's Pentium 4 2.4 Ghz Northwood Processor - Page 4


Intel's New 2.4GHz Pentium 4 Northwood
200MHz more, like a walk in the park

By, Dave Altavilla
April 2, 2002

You've got to hand it to the folks at MadOnion.  They have a full complement of extremely user friendly and meaningful benchmarks, for all aspects of systems performance.  From the omnipotent, 3DMark 2001SE to their great new PCMark2002 test that we've decided to incorporate in all of our future motherboard and CPU reviews, they put out great benchmark software.

MadOnion Benchmarks
A full suite of testing - 3DMark 2001SE, Video 2000 and PCMark 2002

We are still testing and learning about this next new benchmark from MadOnion.  We've only been using it in the lab for a couple of weeks now but it certainly has a slick interface that produces repeatable, consistent results.  Before we dive in to the numbers, first some notes on PCMark 2002 and it's CPU test...

An important issue in CPU benchmarking is the choice of compiler. PCMark2002 includes CPU test compilations of both the MS Visual C++ default compiler, and the Intel C++ Compiler. There is one Intel compilation optimized for CPUs with SSE support and one optimized for SSE2 support. Some tests are compiled faster with the default compiler, while others get better results with the Intel Compiler. PCMark2002 therefore uses the optimal compilations for Intel CPUs supporting SSE, Intel CPUs supporting SSE2, and AMD CPUs supporting SSE. All other CPUs will run all tests compiled with the default compiler.

This test performs the following benchmarks:

  • JPEG decompression
  • Zlib compression & decompression
  • Text search
  • MP3 Audio Conversion
  • 3D Vector Calculation

The overall CPU score is calculated from the results of tests described above according to the formula:
CPU Score =  { JPEG Decompression*60,6 + (FileCompression*153,8 + FileDecompression*12,4)/2 + TextSearch*4,9 + AudioConversion*11,1 + 3DVectorCalculation* 16,7 }

This formula has been obtained by separately fixing the individual results on multiple manufacturers' high-end systems to a reference point. The final weighting (multipliers) have then been averaged from the individual weightings.

We decided to include some overclocked scores in this test as well.  Remember, the system memory is also heavily overclocked at the 2.95GHz clock speed.  What is more important is that the 2.4GHz Pentium 4 Northwood, at default clock speed, has a clear and definitive lead in this test.  Also, note the comment section above, where it states that this test is optimized for best performance on the Intel C++ compiler in certain areas of the benchmark.  Perhaps this is a hint of things to come, as the Pentium 4 platform matures and more optimizations of software compilations are based on the current Intel C++ compiler.

Video 2000 MPEG 2 Encode:

Narrowing our focus down to something more specific, we have MadOnion's Video 2000 Mark with it's MPEG 2 Encode Processor test.

All processor are within a few percentage points of each other in this test.  A 1-2% variance is nothing to get overly excited about.  This test is obviously beginning to show its age.

3DMark 2001SE:

Let's look at some more mainstream numbers here with MadOnion's 3DMark 2001SE.


Once again, we decided to toss in the 2.95GHz scores on this test, since it is such a widely used and excepted benchmark for many of our readers.  Here you can garner what the future has in store for the Pentium 4, at close to 3GHz clock speeds.  Also, keep in mind that this test was performed with a GeForce3 Ti 500 card at 1024X768 resolution and 32 bit color.  The 2.4GHz Pentium 4 Northwood bests the Athlon 2100+ by a comfortable margin here and at 2.95GHz, a gap of almost 1000 3DMarks is displayed.  It is important to note however that AMD's "performance rating" number for the Athlon XP 2100+ is fairly accurate and conservative, especially in light of this test. 


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