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Let's go back to the questions we're trying to answer, and address each one individually:
What is the fastest platform for the new "C" Class P4?
It's obvious by looking at our test results that the 875P chipset is by far the new KING Intel chipset. 865PE is a very close second, which we get to here:
What kind of difference does "PAT" make?
First let's have a look at what kind of percentage increases we got with our tests:
Sandra Float: 4%
Aida32 Read: 11.1%
3DMark Final: 0.3%
PAT makes a noticable difference when you look at memory subsystem tests only, and that's only by around 200 MB/s or so.
Where does this put PAT, and his 875P? I think that the 875P chipset should be reserved for those who only want the fastest for the sake of having the fastest, and not for the benefit of the extra 5 frames per second you'll get in games, and the extra 10 seconds you'll save when encoding a CD.
What kind of difference does 800 FSB make?
After comparing the 533 FSB 3.06 and the 800 FSB 3.0 GHz CPU's against each other on identical platforms, it's easier to see that 800 FSB can make for an incredible difference in some applications.
I guess this would make the P4 3.0C a "3200+"
Will 533 FSB CPU's on DDR333 ram benefit from the new dual channel chipsets?
YES! YES! Compare the 3.06 numbers on the 865PE and the 845PE. The single channel 845 falls WAY behind in almost every test, especially in gaming, which matters to us the most. If you're on a 533 FSB right now, upgrading to one of the new chipsets is definitely worth considering.
How do the old platforms stack up now?
As I said above, the 845PE is simply embarassed by the new dual channel chipsets. RDRAM fares slightly better, keeping up with the 865PE in most cases. 800FSB puts the new platforms way over the top, however.
Will we miss RDRAM?
I know I won't! Now that they have a worthy alternative performance-wise, Intel can finally drop RDRAM completely. Let's just hope they don't get sued, although I think they can handle RAMBUST.
With worthy competitors, we no longer have to feel dirty for trying to get the most out of our Pentium 4 CPU's. I don't know where this puts SiS with their chipsets that support RDRAM. I have a feeling RAMBUST will have them by the balls, and we'll be seeing more chipsets from them whether SiS wants to or not.
So there you have it. We have answered all the questions we set out to answer, and hopefully you now have a full understanding of Intel's latest P4 platforms and CPU's. We'll cover overclocking in the very near future.
And finally, to address the question you might have, "Where is AMD?". Well, AMD is reluctant to send us anything nowadays, due to the cheeky logo we made up for our last AMD review. We poked fun at their paper launch antics, and they didn't like it. So it may be a while before we get to review another AMD product, unfortunately.
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