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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [10.01.02]
Manufactured by: AMD
Price: $349 (per 1000)

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SiSoft Sandra 2002 SP1

I always like to kick off processor reviews with a SiSoft benchmark. This is a synthetic benchmark, so "real world" numbers are not given (in other words, you look at arbitrary numbers, rather than something like frames per second, or decoding time).

SiSoft Sandra uses excellent tools for theoretical CPU benchmarking for comparison purpose.

As usual, Intel beats AMD on the Floating Point tests, and AMD is happy to own the Integer calculations.  A CPU by either company is going to have to be mighty fast to win both categories.

The Memory/Chipset test is more of a platform related test, and it is at this point that I should mention the fact that the memory on the Intel platform we are using is only running at PC2100 spec.  I wanted to test with DDR ram because I think RDRAM is going the way of the Dodo.  The only PC2700 Pentium 4 board that is available in any significant quantity is an SiS board.  'Nuff said.

If our P4 2.8 was on an RDRAM platform, which of course is widely available right now, but not the wisest choice for the future, expect SiSoft Memory scores to be in the 3000's, easily beating the AthlonXP.

PCMark 2002

PCMark 2002 is an excellent benchmark that spits out a nice quick, easy to contrast number. It gives you 3 results, based on different parts of the system - a CPU score, a Memory score, and a Hard Drive score. PCM2K2 works very well in the first 2 tests, but I have seen some really wonky HDD scores. HDD scores are irrelevant to our needs right now anyway, so we just leave them out.

Despite the memory bus being a lowly DDR266, the P4 still walks away with the Memory Test easily.  Things are a bit closer on the CPU score, in fact almost directly correlating to CPU speed.

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