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


Features Pentium 4 (old) Pentium 4 (new) Athlon XP core Willamette Northwood Palomino Manufacturing 0.18µm 0.13µm 0.18µm Socket 423 478 SocketA Clock rate 1300-2000MHz 1600-2200MHz 1333-1666 MHz Transistors 42 million 55 million 37.5 million DIE-Size 217 mm2146 mm2 128 mm2 Front-Side-Bus 100 MHz/400 MHz QDR 100 MHz/400 MHz QDR 133 MHz/266 MHz DDR L1 execution cache 12,000 µ-ops (trace cache) 12,000 µ-ops (trace cache) 64 KB L1 data cache 8 KB 8 KB 64 KB L1 clock CPU clock CPU clock CPU clock L2 cache 256KB 512 KB 256KB L2 bandwidth 256 bit 256 bit 64 bit L2 cache clock CPU clock CPU clock CPU clock hardware data prefetching Yes Yes Yes VCore 1.75 volts 1.5 volts 1.75 volts Instruction sets MMX SSE/SSE2 MMX SSE/SSE2 MMX/3DNow! 3DNow! +/SSE temperature diode Yes Yes Yes (not yet fully developed) Multi-processor capable No No No Memory types SDRAM, DDR-SDRAMRDRAM SDRAM, DDR-SDRAMRDRAM SDRAM, DDR-SDRAM CPU architecture 20-stage pipeline 20-stage pipeline 15- stage (FPU) 10 stage (ALU) pipeline

The table shows the differences between the individual processors, but it does not give any information about which processor is the fastest . Because even the best technical data is only of limited use if the interaction of all these components does not work properly. Intel's 20-stage pipeline plays an extremely important role here, but we will go into that in more detail later.

Pentium 4
Pentium 4 pins
Pentium 4 compared to the euro
Comparisonof the subpages

The table also makes the differences between the Willamette and Northwood very nice and clear. In the course of the shrunk production process, Intel also switched the conductor tracks from aluminum to copper, since copper is the better conductor. In addition, Intel was able to accommodate 512 KB of L2 cache in the now smaller DIE area instead of 256 KB of L2 cache as was previously the case with the Willamette. This 256 KB more cache of the Northwood also explains the 13 million increase in transistors, all of which are due to the additional cache. Otherwise, in addition to the lower core voltage, also due to the new manufacturing process, and thus also lower waste heat, not much has changed.

At least on paper, Intel's Pentium 4 is technologically and technically a lot ahead of the Athlon XP. In the further course of the review, we will of course examine whether this also translates into performance.

300mm wafer
Wafer 0.18 (PentiumIII)
300mm wafer

One Intel also made other changes that are not directly related to the processor in the course of converting the manufacturing process. Intel now uses larger wafers, i.e. the wafer disks are now 300 instead of 200 millimeters in diameter. On the one hand, this has the advantage that almost twice as many CPU cores fit on one wafer and, on the other hand, the waste that logically arises with a round wafer is significantly reduced in percentage terms with a larger wafer. Since Intel has reduced the manufacturing process from 0.18 µm to 0.13 µmhas changed, enlarging the wafer pays off twice. There was still space for 144 Willamette cores on an old wafer, and just over 200 on a 300 millimeter wafer. The new production process has increased this number to a maximum of 484 Northwood chips. The significantly better yield of a wafer naturally also lowers production costs, which should sooner or later also be reflected in the prices. At the moment, Intel is still producing on 200 millimeter wafers, but the switch is in full swing.

Size comparison
Size comparison

If you put a Northwood next to an Athlon XP, you immediately notice that the Pentium 4 is considerably smaller thanks to its lead in manufacturing technology and has a so-called heat spreader that covers the processor core . But more about that in our next section, the technology of the Pentium 4.

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