Why A Re-match?
When we ran our Athlon XP 2200+ article some weeks back, we had a couple of feedback from users who think our setup was a little bit skewed towards the Intel Pentium 4. Well, we hardly think so as our goal was to show brute performance but since a re-match with more down to earth setups would seem more fair to certain users, we decided to re-run our set of benchmarks with system setups that more or less favor the Athlon XP.
Now wait a minute, are we doing Intel injustice here? Again, we are not as we have considered the cost involved in these system setups. This means, we will be comparing performance across systems with similar costs so as to give you a clearer picture of which processor does indeed give you the better performance/cost ratio. Well, after all, most of you argued that the price of Athlon XP processors are so low that you can use the extra savings to buy better components, right? So, we did just that and so we ended up with components less favorable for the Pentium 4. We think this is only fair for both AMD and Intel.
However, just to keep things in perspective, we have included previous results using the Intel 850E-based motherboard with PC1066 RDRAM memory. But the exciting part is, we'll be running benchmarks using slower P4 processors, namely the Pentium 4 1.8A and 2.2A processors. Both of these processors are based on the Northwood core, which means that they'll have 512KB of L2 cache but running at 400MHz FSB only. We also overclocked a Pentium 4 1.6A processor to run at 533MHz FSB, which means you'll find a Pentium 4 2.133GHz result in our charts. Do note that Intel did not release any 2.133GHz processors, so just take that piece of result with a pinch of salt. All these new results were generated with an Intel 845E motherboard and we only used DDR266 memory here to give a fairer comparison between both AMD and Intel DDR platforms. We could use the SiS645DX or SiS648 based motherboards to compare DDR333 but we decided to just keep the competition strictly between Intel and AMD/VIA.
Over at the Athlon XP side, we will still continue to use a KT333-based motherboard running the Athlon XP 1800+, 2000+ and 2200+ processors (clocked at 1.53GHz, 1.66GHz and 1.80GHz respectively). The systems will utilize DDR333 memory modules instead of DDR266. This will give the Athlon XP a fairly good edge in terms of memory performance. Although it doesn't seem fair, our intention here is to show performance and cost. So, read the next page to see the actual prices involved.