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

Known errors

Compared to AMD, Intel has been on guard for a long time written about functional errors in their own processors.

This is also the information that you get about an error can, a little more detailed. If you take a look at the list of known errors in the Pentium 4, you can seestruggling through a total of 49 pages of paper with a total of 61 documenting errors. That's a lot of wood when you consider that, according to AMD, the Athlon XP only has 9 known errors in total. A number that can certainly be argued about, because, on the one hand, nobody knows how many architectural errors are still in the processor and, on the other hand, the extent to which the errors found were all publicly documented. No matter how many errors there may be, neither of the two manufacturers leaves these little problems in the room wherever possible. For this reason there are new processor steppings from time to time that are supposed to solve a few problems. The following table shows the current steppings of the Pentium 4.

Pentium 4 erratas at a glance
Core stepping errors clock rates Willamette B2 57 1.4-1.6 GHz Willamette C1 38 1.4-1.8 GHz Willamette D0 34 1.4-2.0 GHz Northwood nB0 23 1.6-2.2 GHz

As you can see quite clearly in this table Intel has launched a new processor stepping on average with a clock increase of 200 MHz. While the Willamette still contained 57 erratas in B2 stepping, there were only 38 in C1 stepping. A considerable improvement, which is only noticeable in isolated cases during normal operation. With the latest Pentium 4 with B0 Northwood core, called nB0 to better distinguish it from the Willamette, there are only 23, of which only five will be removed in future Pentium 4 versions through slight modifications. The fact that Intel's documentation only begins with B and not with A stepping makes it clear that all Pentium 4s from the A generation come from the development department and have not yet been released for sale. At theIncidentally, the old Pentium III had almost 100 problem areas that Intel had to address. However, it was not quite as successful here as with the Pentium 4, because after a total of seven steppings, the Pentium III with the last Tualatin Core still has a good 80 errors.

Test system

To compare the current processors of the two market leaders, AMD used a VIA KT266A system with 256MB PC2100 DDR memory. At Intel, we decided to use a Rambus system with an Intel i850 chipset. This means that the currently fastest platform was used for both systems. The argument that is often thrown in at this point that Rambus is significantly more expensive compared to DDR SDRAM is no longer an issue, because you don't pay more than 130 euros for 256MB of Infineon memory in either variant. It looks different with the mainboard. The Asus A7V266-E with Raid onboard that we use costs a good 40 euros less than the Intel D850MD that was used for the Pentium 4 with better equipment. The advantages of the Intel platform are clearly in the effective memory throughput, although the Intel board we use is by no means one of the fastest representatives of its kind. To what extent this can give the Pentium 4 wings, we will see in the next few sections.

Most complete systems for the Pentium 4 are currently sold with DDR-RAM and DDR-RAM should therefore also be sold Mostly used in the home, but we approached this review with the approach that we first want to shed some light on what you can get out of a Pentium 4 with the faster Rambus. We will go into more detail about the differences to a DDR-RAM system in terms of performance in future reviews.

Our usual Windows XP Professional was used as the operating systemCommitment. Functions such as system restore or automatic system updates have been deactivated. In order to create a normal working environment, we have worked with smoothed fonts and the standard Windows XP surface as quality settings for the system interface. All other visual options have also been activated. We used the Detonator 27.30 as the graphics card driver for the Inno3D GeForce3 Ti500, which will continue to be introduced with the GeForce 4. In order to avoid questions, there is now a complete comparison of the hardware used and the installed drivers.

  • Processor
    • Intel Pentium 4 2.2 GHz
    • Intel Pentium 4 2.0A GHz
    • AMD Athlon XP 2000+
    • AMD Athlon XP 1900+
    • AMD Athlon XP 1800+
  • Motherboard
    • AMD platform: Asus A7V266-E (KT266A)
    • Intel platform: Intel D850MD (i850)
  • RAM
    • 256MB PC266 CL2 DDR SDRAM
    • 256MB PC800 Rambus
  • Graphics card
  • Peripherals
    • Pioneer 16x DVD
    • IBM IC35LC040
    • 10/100 MBit Ethernet card
  • Driver versions
    • nVidia Detonator 27.30
    • Via 4in1 4.37a
    • Intel inf Driver + IAA 1.1.2
  • Software
    • Windows XP Professional
P4 board with descriptions
Pentium 4 board with cooler
Intel's board connections
Pentium 4 cooler with built-in RAM bus
Pentium 4 and Athlon coolers in comparison
Test system components
Rambus and DDR-RAM in Comparison
Size comparison


To assess the performance, the test scenario already used in the AMD processor comparison was used, which this time was expanded to include the Magic Music Maker and the 3D rendering software Lightwave 7.0b from Newtek. Sysmark 2001 is also part of the team. As a special extra, we did not shy away from tests with SETI @ Home. Furthermore, each of the processors PI was allowed to calculate to the first 1 and 4 million decimal places. The benchmarks used should therefore be able to cover all areas relevant to the user.

  • Game Performance
    • 3DMark 2001
    • 3DMark 2001 SE
    • 3DMark 2000
    • Aquamark
    • Final Reality
    • GLMark
    • Quake 3 Arena
  • Office Performance
    • Sysmark 2001
    • Winace 2.11
    • FlaskMPEG
    • Lame
    • Magic Music Maker
  • 3D Render Performance
    • Cinema 4D
    • Lightwave 7.0b
    • Spec ViewPerf 6.1.2
  • Other
    • Sandra 2002
    • Seti @ Home
    • SuperPI

If you want to retrace the benchmarks yourself at home, you will find a large part of the test programs listed above in the download section.

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