Intel's Pentium 4 with 533MHz Bus and The i850E Chipset

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Intel's Pentium 4 with 533MHz Bus and The i850E Chipset
2.4 and 2.53GHz performance with a 533MHz Front Side Bus

By, Dave Altavilla
May 6, 2002

Ah yes, finally we'll pay homage to the gamers out there.  After all, who doesn't game on their PC these days?  Well, at least we like to, when we can take a break from testing here in lab (a rarity unfortunately).  So without further delay, let's get some 3DMarks laid down and then we'll Quake.

3DMark 2001SE and Quake 3 Arena Benchmarks
Like Baseball, Hot-Dogs, Apple Pie and... err... never mind

First our friends at the angry or somewhat mentally disturbed Onion, will have their say on which Pentium 4 setup is the fastest, with their omnipotent 3DMark 2001SE benchmark.

"i850E, PC1066 and SiS645dx" scores are representative of a 533MHz system bus

Once again, as we saw in the Flask MPEG test, the new 533MHz system bus driven Pentium 4, along with PC1066 RDRAM, drives the most impressive scores here.  As a matter of fact, these are some of the best scores we've ever seen on a stock GeForce4 Ti 4600 card.  Furthermore, the Athlon XP 2100+ remains conservative to its naming convention, showing just a hair less than Pentium 4 2.2GHz performance, on a standard i850 system with PC800 memory.  However, add a 533MHz FSB and some PC1066 memory and we could easily surmise that a 2.26GHz Pentium 4B, would leave the XP 2100+ behind. 

Finally, our reference SiS645dx system was just not up to the task of completing this test.  For some reason it was crashing out to the desktop and we couldn't get a valid score.  It seems the board we tested, to remain nameless for now, still needs a little more work.

Last but certainly not least, Quake 3 Arena.

"i850E, PC1066 and SiS645dx" scores are representative of a 533MHz system bus

Here the picture is not much different in the Quake 3 Time Demo test.  Again, we set this test up to run at a very low resolution and color depth, so that the GeForce4 Ti 4600 graphics card could run flat out and not hold back the CPU.  Take a look at the very respectable showing from the SiS645dx board with a 533MHz FSB Pentium 4 and PC2700 RDRAM.  This board actually beat out the i850E by a fairly significant 6 frames per second.  This one data point shows great promise for the SiS645dx chipset, as a very cost effective alternative to an RDRAM based i850E system.


Intel has clearly taken a very comfortable performance lead over arch rival AMD, with this latest release of the Pentium 4 processor.  In the tests you've seen here, we've taken the highest speed Athlon and paired it with the best system board, chipset and memory money can buy and then compared the results to the Pentium 4B across multiple platforms.  The moral of the story is that Intel has a definitive edge with respect to overall system performance, at this juncture. 

However, the tech savvy consumer will also understand the the AMD Athlon XP's price/performance ratio is significantly better than Intel's right now.  An equivalent performing chip like the 2.2GHz P4 versus the Athlon XP 2100+, will cost the end user approximately $150 more, based on current street price figures.  The top of the line 2.4GHz Pentium 4B and 2.53GHz P4s, are being priced at $562 and $637 respectively, in lots of 1,000 pcs., at the time of this launch.  That is a hefty price to pay for a CPU for sure.  Perhaps a more practical approach would be the 2.26GHz Pentium 4B, priced at $423 in 1,000 piece volumes.  However, if your budget allows you to buy the fastest PC money can buy, their is only one solution currently, a Pentium 4 with a 533MHz system bus.  The Thoroughbreds are coming as well.  We'll see how the landscape changes again at that point but for now, it's advantage Intel.


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