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Reviewed By: Carl Nelson [04.04.02]
Manufactured By: Intel & AMD
Prices: P4 2.4 GHz: $560 (in volume quantities)
AthlonXP 2100: $210  (in volume quantities)

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SYSmark 2002

You saw the big stink made about SYSmark in our original AthlonXP vs. Pentium 4 test in February... Basically, one of the tests were flawed, which pretty much invalidated the entire score for most people.  I wasn't about to apply a manufacturer-created patch to change the scores around.  Rather than that, we will just use the brand new version of SYSmark which handily takes care of the whole mess, and at the same time updates all the software used in the benchmark!

First we'll do the Office Productivity scores.  SYSmark 2002 tests Office Productivity performance in the following REAL applications:

  • Microsoft Word 2002
  • Microsoft Excel 2002
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2002
  • Microsoft Outlook 2002
  • Microsoft Access 2002
  • Netscape Communicator┬« 6.0
  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred v.5
  • WinZip 8.0
  • McAfee VirusScan 5.13

We still have to talk to BapCo about these results, because it definitely looks like the test is broken somehow.  So let's forget about these results for now, and get to the other tests...

SYSmark 2002 tests Internet Content Creation performance in the following REAL applications:

  • Adobe Photoshop┬« 6.01
  • Adobe Premiere┬« 6.0
  • Microsoft Windows Media Encoder 7.1
  • Macromedia Dreamweaver 4
  • Macromedia Flash 5.

Intel easily wins this one.  Some people have criticized SYSmark for being too favourable to the Pentium 4, but the way I see it, real applications are being used, and if those applications make use of the features provided by the P4, then so be it! As far as the ICC tests go, I think the SSE2 instruction sets are what's giving Intel such a big jump here.

The final score is pretty much tainted by the Office Productivity results.  We'll be sure to talk to BapCo before using SYSmark 2002 in a review again.

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