Intel's Pentium 4 2.4 Ghz Northwood Processor

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

By, Dave Altavilla
April 2, 2002

We've run more loops of this benchmark than we care to remember, frankly.  Why is it that we can't seem to just discard Quake 3 in favor of something more modern and comprehensive?  Call it nostalgia or old habits dieing hard, here are our Quake 3 Time Demo runs with all the eye candy turned down in a flat out drag race.

Quake 3 Arena Low Quality Time Demo
It's still alive and kicking

This would definitely have to classify as a milestone.  This is the first time in the HotHardware Lab, that we have ever gotten the frame rate above 300 fps in this test.  Remember again, we're also using a GeForce3 Ti 500 for our graphics card here, so the high scores are not as a result of the GeForce4 Ti 4600.  Actually, we have the resolution, texture detail, geometry and color bit depth, turn way down so as to not limit the system in any way but rather let the processors run as fast as they can pushing polygons.  The 2.4GHz Northwood has a 7% lead over the Athlon XP 2100+.  You can also see where system memory bandwidth plays a big factor, with the 2.95GHz P4 and its 500MHz RDRAM clock, scoring a big 20 - 25% gain over the other processors and clock speeds in this test.

We've said this before and we'll say it again as much as we hate to admit it, nothing beats RDRAM for overall system bandwidth, at least for now until Dual Channel DDR II memory becomes available and there are chipsets that support it.  Furthermore, Intel's next move in chipsets with RDRAM, is going to make PC1066 (533MHz RDRAM) a reality much sooner than later.  You can see a glimmer of what is to come for PC1066 in this test as well and it sure is pretty.


We've taken a look at the new Pentium 4 2.4GHz Northwood Processor and have shown you what it can do in a myriad of situations and software applications.  Additionally, we've given you a look into what the future holds for the Pentium 4, with our over-clocked scores here.  We've been impressed with the overall performance of the Pentium 4 since its debut in November of 2000.  It's just the price points that have kept us a little more reserved about things with Intel, along the way.  However, in that regard, we also like what we see for process technology enhancements, with 300mm wafers and .13 micron die geometries.  Intel should definitely have the capability to gain market share from a cost/value perspective as well, moving forward.  At the time of this article's release, the Pentium 4 2.4GHz processor is priced at $562 in lots of 1K pcs. 

The rubber will really meet the road however, when the new 133MHz Front Side Bus Northwoods hit the streets and AMD's Thoroughbreds are out in the market with them as stiff competition.  It's definitely shaping up to be an interesting Spring and Summer season in the PC Hardware scene.


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