Intel Pentium 4 2.2 GHz and AthlonXP 2000+ in the test: The battle of the titans

Intel Pentium 4 2.2 GHz and AthlonXP 2000+ in the test: The battle of the titans


There is probably no topic on which opinions and minds differ further heat more than when comparing Intel and AMD processors. Often, however, the facts and verifiable advantages of the one candidate are simply not taken into account, but most insist on an often emotional point of view, which they use all meansrepresented.

In order to change this and shed some light on the darkness, we have in this review the Therefore, take a closer look at top models from Intel and AMD and compete against each other. It should not only be about the pure speed of the processors, we also do not want to withhold our experience in terms of stability and compatibility from you. Weighing up the features is one of the compulsory points as well as the question of whether AMD's 'performance rating' can be applied to the performance of the Pentium 4, although AMD expressly does not design it.

Since we are in In this review, primarily dealing with the history and innovations of the Pentium 4 and not going into the Athlon XP again, I recommend our AMD Processor Roundup to all readers of this review first.


We already dealt with the history of Intel processors enough in the last article. However, we deliberately neglected the Pentium 4 in order to take a closer look at its history and innovations at precisely this point.

Before we go into its features in detail, let's first deal with the external development of the Processors.

Since the Pentium III could only record marginal increases in performance due to further clock increases, Intel developed a completely new processor with the Pentium 4 that has hardly anything to do with its predecessors. It is based on a new architecture called NetBurst. But more on that later.

As the Pentium 4, which by the way is only produced in FC-PGA format and unlike its predecessors, which came on the market in a slot version, it initially made new demands on power supplies and housings. Since it requires a very large heat sink, it also absorbs the heat quicklyTo transport enough of the CPU, you can no longer just attach it to the CPU socket, but also to the mainboard. If you only clamped it to the base, there would always be the risk of tearing the base from the board when transporting the PC and thus destroying the board due to its heavy weight. To avoid this problem, Intel provided four additional holes around the CPU socket for the Socket 423, through which the heat sink holder (called rentention module) can be screwed directly to the housing. Most case board carriers did not offer these screwing options at that time, so that the board and case manufacturers were forced to switch to Intel's new ATX 2.03P1 specification. It defines the exact position of the processor on the board and thus allows a uniform design of the housing. At that time, Intel supplied the required Rentention module and no longer left the important method of fastening the cooler to the heat sink manufacturers.

Pentium 4 Socket423 Rentention Module

But that's not all. The Pentium 4 also made new demands on the power supply units to be used, but we will go into this in more detail in the further course of the review, as they have not yet lost their importance with the Socket 478. Certainly the new requirements for the case and power supply did not make the introduction of the Pentium 4 easier, as some manufacturers jumped on the new bandwagon with a little delay and some even tried to get around the new specifications at first. In the meantime, however, all manufacturers are adhering to the new specifications. Nevertheless, you should still pay attention to the designation 'Pentium 4 suitable' when buying a new case or power supply. With the i850, Intel also relied entirely on Rambus memory, theBack then, it deterred many customers from buying the Pentium 4 due to its higher price compared to SD and DDRRAM.

Yes some of the properties just described are a thing of the past. Everyone should know that Intel has already changed the socket for the Pentium 4, from Socket 423 to Socket 478.

For example, a Pentium 4-compatible power supply unit is no longer required for Socket 478. However, this depends on the respective motherboard and whether the manufacturer is working past Intel's specifications. Intel's specifications still dictate the 12 volt plug. The Rentention module has also been changed and now represents a kind of border for the heat sink, which is already firmly connected to the mainboard and no longer has to be screwed to the housing.

At the same time as the switch to the Socket 478 was switched to the new 0.13 µm technology before the competition and thus ensures operation beyond the 3 GHz limit.

But of course that is not all that the Pentium 4 with Willamette core and Socket 423 differs from the new Pentium 4 with Northwood core and Socket478. We will therefore devote ourselves to the differences between these two processors and a comparison to the Athlon XP in the next section.

On the next page: Overview