Performance Analysis and Conclusion
Performance Summary: The performance landscape is changing these days, slowly perhaps but literally right in front of our eyes. Intel's new Pentium 4 670 held its ground as we expected it to, in general desktop Business app performance as well as Gaming scenarios. For us the chip felt sort of like a "jack of all trades but master of none." That is to say that where we saw strength amongst both single- and dual-core processors in non-multi-threaded applications, the P4 670 was often surpassed by one of the high-end Athlons or perhaps the 3.73GHz Pentium 4 EE with its higher-speed frontside bus, as we saw in our gaming tests. On the multi-threaded end of things, the Pentium 4 670 offers solid performance indicative of single-core Intel processors that are Hyper-Threading enabled. On the contrary, depending on the application, the 670 doesn't keep pace with the higher-end dual-core offerings recently introduced from both Intel and AMD.
In the end, depending upon if you're a "glass is half full or half empty" type, you could look at the P4 670 as striking a balance on the Intel side of the fence: between standard and multi-threaded or gaming and professional application performance, against the backdrop of price-point versus a more expensive dual-core Athlon or Pentium 4 EE 3.73GHz CPU. However if you're a hard-nosed performance enthusiast, the metrics we've shown you today may have left you a bit thirsty. We subscribe to the former mind-set actually, because there is no denying this processor is more than fast enough for just about anything you could conceivably throw at it currently.
According to our sources at Intel, the Pentium 4 670 processor is going to be priced at $851 in 1,000-unit quantities. That puts this new P4 a healthy notch beneath the ridiculously expensive Pentium 4 Extreme Edition at 3.73GHz (currently $1000+ street price), as well as the recently announced Athlon 64 X2 4800+ (MSRP of $1001), which we have yet to see emerge in the retail channel. Without question, the world is going the way of multi-core processors and multi-threaded applications. The question is "when," and our response to that would be "now." Obviously OS support for multiple threads in multi-tasking scenarios has been around for quite some time. Furthermore. application-level support is growing literally exponentially, as new dual-core architectures are introduced by both Intel and AMD. Not to mention Intel has been seeding the market for years now with its Hyper-Threading technology, now refined in the company's new P4 6XX sequence CPUs.
So where does this leave the new P4 670? Again, we come back to the question of "balanced performance"... Ultimately it's up to you to make this call from what we've shown you within our benchmark matrix here. We'd suggest that the P4 670 strikes a happy medium. It's not the fastest desktop processor around, but it's certainly no slouch if you're willing to part with a limb or two to afford it. At least you won't have to part with your first born, as is the case with the Pentium 4 EE 3.73GHz or Athlon 64 X2 4800+.