Performance Summary & Conclusion
Performance Summary: In summarizing the Pentium D 820's performance, the processor showed a distinct advantage with multithreaded tests, which almost goes without saying. Both PCMark04 and 3DMark05 had multithreaded components in their respective tests, which the 820 took advantage of and was able to fully exploit. WorldBench's Windows Media Encoder 9, KribiBench, and Cinebench were all decisive victories for the Pentium D 820, as well, especially with Cinebench. When it came to standard, single-threaded tests such as LAME MP3, WorldBench Office XP SP2 module, and our gaming benchmarks, the Pentium D820 had little if any advantage, often falling behind the faster clock speeds and larger L2 cache-equipped Pentium 4 530J, 630, and of course AMD's Athlon 64 3200+.
With the release of the Pentium D series dual cores and the 945G/P series chipsets, Intel can now reach a broader overall market with its dual-core offering. With the target audience being the mainstream consumer and business environment, Intel's latest processor and chipset bring a lot to the game at a reasonable price point. With greater multitasking potential over single-core solutions and the ability to drive 64-bit computing in the future, Intel appears to have a well-balanced combination in the Pentium D and 945G/P chipsets.
From a business perspective, IT professionals can benefit from the 945G/P's Intel's Active Management Technology, while Intel Virtualization Technology will be supported when it comes to market in the near future. By offering tools to improve downtime response and remote repair capabilities and the ability to grow with future advancements, the long-term benefits and cost effectiveness can be very attractive in the business environment.
Pricing for the Pentium D 820 starts at $241 in 1,000-unit lots; pricing for the 830 and 840 models were not available at press time. Compared to the Pentium 4 530J, which retails around $175, and the Pentium 4 630, which comes in at $225, the Pentium D 820 can be an attractive option with room to grow. Surely you'll need to factor in the cost of a new motherboard, but Intel is aiming to keep these costs low, as well, with the 945G chipset starting at $42 in 1,000-unit lots. Although some of the performance metrics we took the new Pentium D 820 through today don't show as much strength for the core, as with single-threaded applications, the market is shifting now to multithreading. This means future strength for the new Pentium D core, which for today could be seen as being left somewhat "untapped" with the current end-user application code base. Either way, at less than $250 for the chip, its a great entry level price point for a dual core processor.