Intel 3.20GHz Pentium 4 on 800MHz FSB with Hyper-Threading

by Bubba “MasterFung” Wolford

 

Intel: Increasing the Speed Limit

Intel is announcing their newest (and fastest) CPU today. The 3.20GHz Pentium 4 is a 200MHz speed increase from the previous generation 3GHz CPU. There are no other changes to Intel’s latest besides the MHz increase.

The Pentium 4 logoIntroduction: Intel Pentium 4 3.20GHz Northwood at 800MHz FSB

This new Pentium 4 is running at 3.20GHz on a quad pumped Front-Side Bus. As we mentioned in our last review, the new FSB is 200MHz, which equates to an 800MHz FSB since the FSB is Quad-pumped.

Our multiplier is 16. So we have 200 * 16 = 3200 or 3.20GHz. AMD released their own ‘equivalent’ Athlon 3200+ a few weeks ago. It was a strong chip overall but we did find that it had some trouble keeping up with Intel’s 3GHz flagship CPU running on their newest 875P “Canterwood” 875P chipset driven motherboard. Both AMD and Intel are now running dual-channel DDR400 which is giving both companies excellent RAM performance.

CPUSince we simply have a CPU speed increase, we are going to move right along to the benchmarks, which I think, will be quite satisfying for simulation fans since we have added a sneak peak at what is without a doubt, the most talked about Combat Flight Simulation in development, Lock-On: Modern Air Combat. (LOMAC).

Also, for CPU tests, we have included a new test for games, which we are calling the “bullet” test. We turn all the graphics settings down to low along with the resolution and let the CPUs run full-bore. It’s nice to make sure the graphics card is not a bottleneck so we can see the true performance of these CPUs.

System Setup

Our Intel test system had the following components installed:

  • Intel 3.20GHz Pentium 4
  • 800MHz Front-Side Bus (FSB)
  • 512MB of PC3200 DDR (2 x 256MB)
  • Intel 875P “Canterwood” Motherboard
  • ATI Radeon 9700 PRO 128MB
  • Catalyst 3.4 drivers
  • Sound Blaster 128 PCI
  • 3Com 10/100 NIC
  • Seagate Barracuda 120GB 7200 RPM ATA-133
  • MSI 52X CDROM
  • Newly installed Windows XP PRO with Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Mouse PS2
  • Microsoft Force Feedback 2 Joystick

Our AMD test system had the following components installed:

  • AMD Athlon 3200+
  • 400MHz Front-Side Bus (FSB)
  • 512MB of PC3200 DDR (2 x 256MB)
  • ASUS nForce 2 chipset Motherboard
  • ATI Radeon 9700 PRO 128MB
  • Catalyst 3.4 drivers
  • Sound Blaster 128 PCI
  • 3Com 10/100 NIC
  • Seagate Barracuda 120GB 7200 RPM ATA-133
  • Sony 52X CDROM
  • Newly installed Windows XP PRO with Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Mouse PS2
  • Microsoft Force Feedback 2 Joystick

Benchmarks

Synthetic:

  • MadOnion’s 3DMark2003
  • Sysmark 2002
  • SiSoft Sandra 2002 SP1
  • PCMark2002
  • Main Concept 1.3
  • CodeCreatures

Games:

  • Falcon 4.0 Patch: 1.08a and SP3 using PD Benchmark
  • Ghost Recon Patch: English Patch
  • IL2 Sturmovik: FB Patch: Fresh install only
  • Comanche 4 Patch: Demo Benchmark
  • FS2002 Patch: Fresh install only
  • LOMAC Patch: ALPHA code*

Synthetic Benchmarks

3DMark2003

Intel
AMD
1024 x 768
1600 x 1200
Bullet

Sysmark 2002

Intel
AMD

SiSoft Sandra 2002

Intel
AMD

PCMark2002

Intel
AMD

Main Concept 1.3

Intel
AMD

CodeCreatures

Intel
AMD

Game Scores

1024 x 768
1600 x 1200
Bullet
Falcon 4.0
59 / 53
52 / 53
212 / 173
Ghost Recon
192 / 137
106 / 70
331 / 265
IL2 Sturmovik:FB
87 / 59
60 / 41
145 / 103
FS2002
38 / 34
35 / 34
240 / 232
LOMAC
23 / 21
17 / 17
65 / 60

Comanche 4

Intel
AMD
1024 x 768
1024 x 768
1600 x 1200
1600 x 1200
Bullet
Bullet

Benchmark Comments

The synthetic scores are decidedly for Intel. Look at the Hyper-Threading advantage Intel muscles in on MainConcept with converting the MPG to DVD. 20 seconds faster! The other scores simply improve on the lead obtained by Intel 3GHz processor.

The game scores are significant in many areas. The bullet tests are new so be sure to give those a good look over. Intel seems to have a pretty strong lead on the bullet tests overall. We had some problems with our IL2: Forgotten Battles benchmark. It was too big and started to not playback right with my plane crashing into the ground and shooting at the air. So I created a new one a few nights ago. This one is shorter but still quite effective. I was running OpenGL with the “perfect” option under textures but changed it to “Excellent” to keep it a bit more mainstream. The scores for AMD are better this time around but far from Intel’s performance.

LOMAC. There are a number of issues we need to discuss here. First and foremost, this is late ALPHA code*. These benchmarks are an absolute worse case scenario. Optimizing for speed is the last thing that will be done to LOMAC but there will be some optimizing done to the code.

With that said, LOMAC needs more than 512MB of RAM. Based on my limited testing so far, this game is primarily dependant on RAM. Less than 512MB and you are going to be in SERIOUS trouble. It is also very CPU limited. Video is important but there is room to increase the FSAA and AF without much frame rate loss.

Also, my benchmark was run over land with quite a bit of scenery going on. It’s pretty intensive on the system. As the weeks go by, we will be looking at what will make LOMAC faster. More RAM, faster video, 256MB cards… whatever. We will also be testing more settings. Here are the settings for the tests I ran below:

As for the LOMAC scores, it’s clear to see that the two systems are fairly evenly matched. I really expected the Intel system to wipeout the AMD system as it has on quite a few of our benchmarks but not this one. The scores are very close.

For those that have the same version of LOMAC I do 04.06.03, you can grab the .TRK benchmark file I created right here for the entire benchmark playback.

The benchmark should be kept in cockpit view as I dogfight an Su-33 Flanker in my F-15C Eagle. The dogfight lasts about 2:10 and then I spend 2 minutes or so flying along the coast. All the panning I did in the cockpit was not recorded for some reason so as I do strange things, keep in mind that most of the time; I was not looking straight and center!

Conclusion

Intel has extended their large performance lead further. They are the performance Kings without a doubt. LOMAC was a nice surprise for AMD. They should be very proud of the performance as it will be the next “BIG” flight simulation and given that I knew it was going to be so CPU limited, I really expected Intel 800MHz FSB to leave the Athlon behind but I was wrong. Overall, Intel is dominating the performance market with their new flagship 3.20GHz CPU when compared to AMD’s Athlon 3200+.

The next CPU we see from Intel might well be “Prescott” which will include 1MB of L2 cache and be a .09-micron part. We would expect that CPU to be released at 3.40GHz but it’s unclear right now.

The price of the new Intel 3.06GHz CPU is $637. That is a pretty high price but cheap when you have the fastest CPU on the market, hands down. Truth be told, the 3GHz P4 might be the best bang for buck on the market but nothing touches the 3.20GHz P4.

* It was understood by SimHQ that the above LOMAC build was a BETA when in fact we learned at a later date that the original build we received was late ALPHA code. We have edited the BETA above to reflect the change to ALPHA for accuracy purposes.

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