RSS Feed

HCW Tech Blog

For the latest info on computer hardware, tech, news, video games, software tips, and Linux, check out our new improved front page: HCW Tech Blog

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)

Discuss This Article Now!


Where is Winstone?

Normally we do ZD Winstone tests, but I find that to be rather redundant, since they use pretty much the same applications as SYSmark 2002 (older versions at that). I also find Winstone to be quite flaky, often producing unrepeatable results. We may or may not end up getting the latest version of Content Creation 2002... Stay tuned to see...

It's pretty hard to come to a final conclusion with so many things to consider for many different people.  Some people want nothing more than a CPU that runs cool so they can have a quiet CPU.  Some people want the cheapest, fastest CPU they can get.  Others just want a certain brand because that's what they've been using all along.

But we have provided you with numbers that show... A lot of different things.  Sometimes AMD's performance rating was right on.  Sometimes it looked like AMD under-rated their CPU's, and occasionally the ratings were over... It all depends on what tests were used, and that's what makes the whole Performance Rating thing so wacky...

Last week we saw a report that bashed AMD's naming scheme, but only SYSmark and Quake 3 were used; two benchmarks that clearly favour the P4.  You could also find a pair of benchmarks that benefit more from the AthlonXP and say that Intel should be rating their 2.4 GHz at "2000+".  It's really just a big mess.

One thing you can do is look at reviews that use a ton of benchmarks, and see that both CPU's probably perform better than you'll ever need.  From there, you can look at the other factors I described, and come up with your own buying decision.

The Final Word

So what is MY buying decision? This time, I am still giving the nod to the P4 2.4 GHz.  It is faster in most cases, and it runs cooler, allowing me to keep my case quiet.  I could just as easily go with the AthlonXP 2100+ and the only difference I would likely note is a noisier PC.

If you can't afford the Intel brand, you're definitely not losing out by much with the AthlonXP.

I am dying to see how the Tbred changes things... Watch for that in the future!