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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [02.20.05]
Manufactured by: Intel


The Test

Thanks to for providing us with some AMD CPU's. This allows us to cover a much wider range of CPU's than we normally do in our 'first look' CPU coverage.

We have tested the following CPU's from Intel and AMD:

Pentium 4 660 (3.6 GHz)
Pentium 4 630 (3.0 GHz)
Pentium 4 560 (3.6 GHz)
Pentium 4 530 (3.0 GHz)

Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.73 GHz (Prescott, 2MB L2 cache)
Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.46 GHz (Northwood, 2MB L3 cache)

Athlon64 3000+ (1.8 GHz, 512 KB L2 cache)
Athlon64 FX55 (2.6 GHz, 1MB L2 cache)

Tests were performed on WindowsXP with SP2. All of the latest downloadable drivers were used.

The platforms consisted of the following hardware:

P4 Testing Platform:
Intel D925XECV2 (925XE chipset)
Memory: 1 GB OCZ DDR2 PC2 4200 3-2-2-8

AMD Testing Platform:
Soltek K890Pro 939 (VIA K8T890 Pro chipset)
Memory: 1 GB OCZ DDR PC3200 3-2-2-8

Common Hardware:
Video Card:
Hard Drive: Maxtor Diamondmax 10 250GB

Price Chart

Using prices found on, we're going to chart the prices of all the CPU's we tested. Since the P4EE 3.73 is not listed, we used Intel's 1000 lot pricing:

We have a few things to look at here. First of all, comparing the 6xx CPU to a 5xx CPU of the same speed, you can see that there is quite a bit of price premium. Would you pay $200 extra for the exact same speed and core, just to get SpeedStep and EM64T? At the 3 GHz level, the price premium is $74, still quite a bit. Of course, the 3000+ seems like quite a bargain at $155 compared to $185 or $259 for 3 GHz P4 parts.

At the high end, the FX55 is still ridiculously expensive. Keep in mind that the $999 for the 3.73 Ghz EE is in quantities of 1000. I would expect the final retail price to be around the same as the FX55.

Now let's find out which of these is the best deal... Keep these prices in mind as you read the rest of this article.

Next Page: (SiSoft Sandra CPU tests, Memory test)