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First benchmarks from the Pentium 4 Northwood

First benchmarks from the Pentium 4 Northwood

As reported, Intel recently informed the first dealers about the upcoming launch of the Pentium 4 with Northwood core on January 7, 2002. Together with this announcement, the first test samples of the processor have already been sent to dealers and websites with a confidentiality notice.

The French website Hardware.fr has now published a first review of the new Intel Pentium 4 with 512kb L2 cache. The guys let the new Pentium 4 with 2.0 and 2.2 compete against an Athlon XP 1700+, Athlon XP 1800+ and Athlon XP 1900+.

It was tested under Windows 2000 with Service Pack 2. The Pentium 4 the P4B266 (i845D) from Asus was used as the mainboard. The Athlon XP ran on a Gigabyte GA-7VTXH (KT266A). 2x256MB Micron PC2100 CAS 2.5 memory was used in both systems. A GeForce3 served as the graphics card.

In order to be able to highlight the architectural differences between a Pentium 4 (Willamette) and a Pentium 4 (Northwood), two representatives of this product series competed against each other with a processor speed of 1.5 GHz.

Speed ​​difference between Willamette and Northwood at 1.5GHz
3DMark 2001 Quake3 Arena Flask MMX Flask SIMD Winstone 2001 9% 14% 13% 11% 7%

As you can see, the Northwood is able to book significant performance advantages due to the 512kb L2 cache, which is twice as large as the Willamette. With this, the Northwood should make the life of its fiercest competitor, the Athlon XP, even more difficult when it was introduced. The numerous benchmarks in which the processors were allowed to compete against each other, however, shows that at least one Athlon XP 1900+ is largely superior to the Pentium 4 2.0A (Northwood); against the top model with 2.2 canEven this won't do anything.

But there is a lot more potential in the new Northwood core. Because due to the modern production in 0.13µm, the Northwood does not get as warm as its predecessor and can thus be overclocked much better. Since it is not possible to overclock the processor via a multiplier, the only alternative is to use the front-side bus. The colleagues from Hardware.fr have raised this to 533MHz (133MHz Quad Pumped). Surprisingly, the Northwood ran stably even with the resulting processor clock of 2.52GHz (19x133MHz). The following benchmark results were obtained.

Performance comparison between Athlon XP and Pentium 4 Northwood
Application 3DMark 2001 Quake3 Arena Flask MMX Flask SIMD Pentium 4 2.53GHz 104% 112 % 119% 114% Pentium 4 2.2GHz 100% 100% 100% 100% Athlon XP 1900+ 98% 88% 100% 98%

With an introductory price of 620 US dollars the Pentium 4 2.2GHz but anything but a bargain. Especially when you consider that an Athlon XP 1900+ doesn't even cost half the price.