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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [06.23.03]
Manufactured by: Intel

Est. Street Price: $700

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MP3 Encoding

Something that is important to many people is MP3 encoding. I have personally started listening to encoded music exclusively when at my PC. I use WMA, because Windows Media 9 absolutely kicks ass, and it sounds pretty great at 250-350 Kbps VBR. When on the move, I re-encode at a lower bitrate (256 mbps CBR), for space concerns on my MP3 player. The drop to 256 isn't as noticable on a portable player, of course.

For CPU benchmarking, we've found that a high range VBR to be the most stressful. Therefore, we encode at a VBR range of 32-320 Kbps MP3.

With such a stressful encoding task, it's easier to see who the faster CPU is.

3D Rendering

For our CPU 3D Rendering tests, we use KribiBench, because it is 100% software based; no hardware acceleration at all. 

As such, we can see a nice performance increase with the clock speed jump.

Artificial CPU Test

To round things out, we'll throw PCMark into the equation.  PCMark is to CPU's as 3DMark03 is to video cards: An overall score isn't the BEST way to compare performance, but the more numbers and benchmarks you have, the better.

And there you have the CPU Test results from PCMark. Once again, performance is perfectly consistent with the rest of the benchmarks we've looked at.

Well that's it for the Pentium 4 3.20!

As I said earlier, there just isn't a lot to talk about until Prescott is released. What we have here is likely the fastest CPU around today, and the last of the Northwoods.

Again, I apologize for not having a 3200+ to compare it to. As I've said in previous articles, AMD is still pissy from their paper launch with the 2700+. I'll see about securing a 3200+ or something; we need to have SOMETHING to compare to these scorching hot P4's! And I am dying to see what happens when Prescott shows up.

Keep an eye on HCW for a full 3.20 vs. 3200+ review; it may just happen after all. For now, keep in mind that the 3200+ is neck-and-neck for the most part with a Pentium 4 2.8 GHz.  You saw the difference between 3.0 and 3.20. Imagine the difference between 2.8 and 3.20, and you'll have an idea of where that puts the AthlonXP 3200+.

For more details on the new 800 FSB Pentium 4's, and the platforms they run on, you should check out our Pentium 4 Platform Overview from last week. In that article, we answer such questions as:

  • What is the fastest platform for the new "C" Class P4?
  • What kind of difference does "PAT" make?
  • What kind of difference does 800 FSB make?
  • Will 533 FSB CPU's benefit from the new dual channel chipsets?
  • How do the old platforms stack up now?
  • Will we miss RDRAM?

    Check it out!