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

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SYSMark 2002

SYSMark has to be the most controversial benchmark application ever.  AMD took issue with last year's version because it used software that did not recognize the SSE instructions in the Athlon.  Now AMD is accusing BapCo of dropping tests from 2001 which the AthlonXP excelled in, and replaced them with tests the Pentium 4 excels in.  Speaking of Excel, AMD also complains that SYSMark shouldn't be using such large spreadsheets in their latest version (Intel's larger cache will do a better job of handling these spreadsheets).  This just shows how low some companies will go to discredit a benchmark they are losing, although AMD MAY be somewhere with the former case.

There's nothing much we can do except post a disclaimer I guess... Look at it any way you wish.

You'll see from our test results that things are getting interesting however...

First up, the final score.  Not too much to mention here, Intel wins as usual.  Let's take a look at the detailed scores however:

Usually Intel and AMD are pretty close on the OP scores, with Intel winning with a slight edge.  However this time it is AMD, obviously boosted by the FSB increase, winning the OP tests.  It gets hammered in the ICC tests as usual, though.  I guess AMD won't have so much of a problem with the OP portion from now on ;)

After taking a 'first look' at the performance of the new 333 MHz FSB processor, I must say that I am quite impressed with it! The only problem is, with this paper launch, you guys won't be able to enjoy the increase until - who knows when - some time in Q4 this year I guess.

Intel can breathe a sigh of relief however; with yet another paper launch from AMD (which is occurring even before following through on their LAST paper launch), this just means Intel has more time to develop a counter to AMD's anticipated CPU's - the Barton and of course the Hammer.

By the time these 333 FSB CPU's even come out, Intel will be launching their 3.0 GHz (and maybe even higher) which should easily handle the 2700 and 2800's.

Die Hard AMD fans will appreciate the step up in FSB speed, but they will likely be the most disappointed by the paper launch.  Let's hope this is the last time it happens.