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


Intel did not go the way of further developing its FPU (floating point unit), but has it The previous SSE instruction set was supplemented by 144 new instructions so that the Pentium 4 has the 70 old SSE and the other 144 new instructions. SSE2 is completely downward compatible with its predecessor. Also new is that the 144 added commands for 128bit integers andFloating point calculations are designed with double precision. Incidentally, SSE2 stands for “Streaming Single Instruction Multiple Date Extension 2”. The SIMD in the name stands for commands that are able to process several data at once. Intel's SSE technology has already shown that this can bring about a significant increase in performance, especially in games and other multimedia applications, through correct support.

Of course, the new SSE2 technology does not bring any speed advantages with old applications that are optimized for SSE.

Since even AMD is now considering integrating SSE2 into their processors, Intel can not have been completely wrong with the further development and a significant performance gain can be expected, especially with applications that are specially optimized for SSE2.


The Pentium 4 works Although only with a 100 MHz bus clock, a completely new 'Quad Data Rate (QDR)' technology is used, which allows four data packets to be sent during a single clock, so that the bandwidth corresponds to a clock rate of 400 MHz. This technology can be compared with the long-known DDR technology, which physically only works with 133 MHz, but still achieves the performance of a 266 MHz bus thanks to its two data packets per clock. The front-side bus of 133 MHz is physically higher in the Athlon, but thanks to Intel's QDR technology, the Pentium 4 achieves a significantly higher bandwidth in the transmission to the chipset. With the Pentium 4 it is 3.2 GB/sec, with the Athlon it is only 2.1 GB/sec. This higher bandwidth naturally shortens the time in which the processor has to wait for new data.

In order not to waste this bandwidth with the main memory, Intel only used the PC800 Rambus when the Pentium 4 was introduced he in the'dual channel' method can achieve 3.2 GB/sec data transfer.

Meanwhile there are also chipsets for DDR - and SD-RAM, because Rambus was much more expensive, especially when the Pentium 4 was introduced, and it deterred many customers from upgrading. At the moment, however, the price difference between DDR RAM and Rambus is no longer there.

Heat Spreader

Certainly a very positive fact for many users and hobbyists is the one used in the Pentium 4 'Heat Spreader'.

It has two advantages: On the one hand, it protects the CPU core from external damage that can occur when the CPU cooler is put on if it tilts; on the other hand, it also has that The task of releasing the heat generated in the CPU core over a larger area to the cooler and thus ensuring better heat exchange.

Pentium 4 with heat spreader
Pentium 4

That AMD is not averse to this 'heat spreader' is shown by the first pictures of the 'hammer', the also has a 'heat spreader'. Apparently, AMD has learned from the past, in which one or the other hobbyist broke his CPU core while installing the heat sink.

On the next page: Temperature sensor