Pentium 4 3GHz w/ 800MHz System Bus and Intel's Canterwood

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Intel's Pentium 4 3GHz With 800MHz System Bus
And The i875P "Canterwood" Chipset
More bandwidth and leading edge desktop technology for the P4

By, Dave Altavilla
and Chris Angelini
April 14, 2003
 

 
For those of you that like to really make money with your workstation, we have the new SpecViewperf 7.1 benchmark suite, for your model spinning pleasure.  Since Intel classifies the Canterwood as an "entry level workstation" performance chipset, this test should put a smile on the faces of the Marketing folks in Santa Clara.

Professional MCAD and 3D Rendering Performance
Get to work!

 

In a few cases, AMD's tag line for the Athlon XP, "the Athlon means business", holds true.  Intel has infused the new 3GHz Pentium 4 just enough here to keep it out in front of the Athlon XP 3000+ by respectable margin.  Here we also witnessed the anomaly of the 2.8GHz P4 beating out the 3.06GHz P4 (most likely due to Hyperthreading) but not in the case of the Canterwood/D875PBZ driven P4 3.06GHz setup.  We're beginning to think Intel may have further optimized the Canterwood chipset, in conjunction with their Hyperthreading technology.  Again, we'll provide more detail here, if and when it becomes available.

Intel SATA RAID Controller Testing
Intel's new ICH5 steps up to the plate

Before we wrap things up, we want to give you a quick snapshot of what Intel's ICH5 and its integrated SATA controller can do, versus current SATA controller solutions on the market.  We've paired our two Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 SATA drives up with both the Silicon Image controller and the new SATA 150 controller on Intel's Southbridge.

Here's a quick look at Intel's RAID BIOS, which is nicely laid out and user friendly.

 

Also, a BIG new feature that Intel is bringing to the table with this controller, is that it can stripe a RAID 0 array on the fly in WinXP.  You simply install the OS with Soft RAID enabled in the BIOS, as well as the respective drivers.  Then all you'll need to do in the future is add the second drive and the next time you boot, the controller will stripe the array in the background.

On with the testing...

 

A very respectable performance is offered by Intel's SATA solution here, in both single drive and RAID 0 configurations.  These two controllers are neck and neck with each other, although with a RAID 0 array, the nod clearly goes to the SI controller.  However, for the debut of this new Intel controller and its supporting drivers, we're more than impressed with the results.  A driver revision or two more and Intel could easily close this small gap.

 

Intel yet again shows us how it is done, with this latest optimization to the Pentium 4 architecture.  In the early Willamette days of the Pentium 4, there were many who scoffed at the processor's performance, relative to its high clock speed.  However, one could hardly argue that the Pentium 4 is the fastest Desktop processor on the market today, perhaps not clock for clock but definitely in raw performance and dare we say "dollar for dollar", for many end users.  The new Pentium 4 3GHz with 800 MHz System Bus, will retail for somewhere in the mid $400 price range.  This new Pentium 4 outperformed the Athlon XP 3000+ by as much as 25%, depending on the test and only lost to it by a hair, in the two legacy Winstone test suites.  What's more impressive is that Intel was able to squeeze out as much as another 8-10% increase in peformance, while maintaining the same relative clock speed for the chip.  And this was achieved without making a change to the core CPU design.  You've got to hand it to Intel and the P4.  This chip has legs to stand, walk and run on for a long time to come.

Finally, the introduction of Intel's Canterwood chipset heralds in a new day for the enthusiast, looking for performance and features at a respectable price.  With its high level of integration, including features like AGP8X, Gigabit Ethernet, SATA and SATA RAID, USB2.0 and Dual Channel DDR400 support, we expect this chipset to take over where the "BX" left off.  The i857P will sell for about $50 without RAID and $53 with RAID enabled on the Southbridge (yeah, we'll call it $50 even).  This should allow for boards in the $125 - $150 price range easily and that's a price point that seems reasonable, considering the feature set.  In addition, Intel's new D875PBZ motherboard, that debuts here today, would be a great place to start, if you are in need of a rock stable board with great performance and you're not looking to overclock too heavily.  However, you can almost hear the landslide of third part OEM boards coming down, that will be based on Canterwood, so keep your eyes peeled.

 

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