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Reviewed By: Carl Nelson [02.02.02]
Manufactured by: AMD, Intel
Prices: AthlonXP 2000: Find the lowest price on iBuyer!
Intel Pentium 4 2.2 GHz: Find the lowest price on iBuyer!

 

Pricing

One thing AMD will probably always have over Intel is their great prices.  Intel has developed extraordinary brand recognition over the years, while AMD has only recently developed a truly competitive and worthwhile product (with the introduction of the Thunderbird Athlon).

To compete with Intel's monster brand name, AMD has to sell their CPU's at a much lower cost, comparatively.  Looking at our Weekly CPU Price Guide, you can see that the AthlonXP 2000 can currently be had for just around $275, while a Pentium 4 2000 sells for about $100 more.  That doesn't sound like a lot, so we're going to find out if the new P4 is worth the extra $100.

Comparative Matrix

One thing I like to do when I am comparing competing products is do up a small comparative matrix.  This will allow you to have a glance at the features each product provides, without having to sift through gobs of marketing jargon.

  Intel Pentium 4 (Northwood) AMD AthlonXP (Palomino)
Die Size 0.13 Micron 0.18 Micron
Interconnects Copper Copper
L2 Cache Size 512KB 256KB
Integer Pipelines 4 3
Floating Point Pipelines 2 3
Operations/Clock Cycle 6 9
System Bus Speed 400 MHz (100 X 4) 266 MHz (133 X 2)
SSE Instructions Yes Yes
SSE2 Instructions Yes No
Data Prefetch Logic Yes Yes
On-die Thermal Diode Yes Yes

As you can see, with the introduction of the Northwood core, the Pentium 4 really makes the AthlonXP look like old news already.  Of course we are comparing a product that is 1 month old to one that is 4 months old, but if you were to buy either CPU now, this is what you would look at.

Testing Methodology

Here comes the fun part - Benchmarks! Testing was done on Windows XP.  System Restore, Automatic Updates, and all WindowsXP advanced visuals were disabled.  Here are the details:

Intel System Hardware
CPU:
Intel Pentium 4 2.2 GHz
Motherboard: Shuttle AV45GTR (P4X266A)
Memory: 512MB PC2100 Crucial DDR
Hard Drive: Maxtor 13GB ATA/66 7200RPM
Video Card: ATI Radeon All In Wonder 8500DV
CDROM: Pioneer 105S 16X DVD-ROM
Ethernet: D-Link 530TX+ PCI (10/100)

Intel System Drivers
VIA 4-in-1 4.37V
VIA AGP 410 Driver
ATI Radeon Driver ver. 6.13.10.3286
C-Media Audio Drivers ver. 0632

AMD System Hardware
CPU:
AMD AthlonXP 2000+
Motherboard: Shuttle AK31 3.1 (KT266A)
Memory: 512MB PC2100 Crucial DDR
Hard Drive: Maxtor 13GB ATA/66 7200RPM
Video Card: ATI Radeon All In Wonder 8500DV
CDROM: Pioneer 105S 16X DVD-ROM
Ethernet: D-Link 530TX+ PCI (10/100)

AMD System Drivers
VIA 4-in-1 4.37V
VIA AGP 410 Driver
ATI Radeon Driver ver. 6.13.10.3286
VIA Audio Driver ver. 74mu160a

Note that you can get most of the benchmarking software we use from our Downloads Page.

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