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Product: Intel Pentium 4 1.7GHz & Intel D850GB MotherBoard
Company: Intel
Estimated Street Price: $326 for the CPU
Review By: Julien Jay

Benchmarks Analysis

Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: CPU Architecture
3: SSE2 & CPU Design
4: i82850 Chipset

5: Intel D850GB Motherboard
6: Benchmarks
7: Benchmarks Analysis

8: Conclusion

Review Quotes
  "The Pentium 4 will begin to shine on the processors' market since its SSE2 instructions really boost performance"  

As you see our various benchmark results put, most of the time, the Pentium 4 1.7GHz CPU ahead of its competitors. If few of today applications are optimized for the new Pentium 4 1.7GHz instructions, benchmark programs now really take in charge the new Pentium 4 characteristics. That's why most benchmarks reveal the unbelievable, unprecedented new powerful capacities of the Pentium 4 1.7GHz. Video benchmarks clearly demonstrate the Pentium 4 is at the level of its pretentions since it always smash the Athlon 1.2GHz. With the Pentium 4 1.7GHz you get more power than ever, proving the clear benefits of the new CPU architecture. If Adobe has already released a patch for its flagship software PhotoShop 6 so it can take advantage from the new Pentium 4 SSE2 instructions, today games and programs aren't all yet optimized for the Pentium 4 and so you may not be able to enjoy an exceptionnal level of performance with casual applications. To better understand this we have included an excellent point of view from the Linley Gwennap Group:

“Performance data for the recently released Pentium 4 shows the chip's unique characteristics, which will affect the way Intel markets the processor. In 1995, when Intel began designing Pentium 4 (aka Willamette), the first MMX chip had not been released. The designers realized, however, that by the time Willamette reached the market, MMX would spur demand for multimedia applications and that those applications would become key measures of PC performance. Indeed, now that Pentium III has reached 1 GHz, it has become clear that 1990s-style applications, such as word processors and spreadsheets, don't really benefit from faster CPUs. Just as 2-D Winmark became an obsolete metric once graphics chips could redraw the screen faster than the eye could see, benchmarks based on the old-style applications become meaningless for super-GHz CPUs. For that reason, Willamette's designers did not emphasize benchmarks, such as SysMark, that rely primarily on the older productivity applications. As a result, a 1.4-GHz Pentium 4 delivers the same SysMark 2000 performance as a 1-GHz Pentium III. But those applications don't need more performance. The applications that will tax PCs in the future are 3-D graphics, image manipulation, audio/video compression and voice recognition. Pentium 4 excels in these areas: On test after test, the new processor outruns Pentium III by 20 percent to 40 percent. The results should also put Pentium 4 ahead of Advanced Micro Devices' Athlon on most multimedia apps. Presciently, the Willamette team also focused on maximizing the clock speed of their processor. Pentium 4's ultralong pipeline should reach 2 GHz in Intel's 0.18-micron process, nearly doubling the top speed of Pentium III in the same process. Athlon will be hard-pressed to reach 1.5 GHz in a comparable process. Thus, Intel will emphasize Pentium 4's clock-speed advantage over Athlon and, for more sophisticated users, its advantage on multimedia applications. AMD will point to Athlon's superior performance on benchmarks like SysMark. Intel undoubtedly wishes that Pentium 4 beat Athlon on SysMark. But the designers made the right choice in emphasizing multimedia performance. As Intel's flagship PC processor for at least the next four years, Pentium 4 is designed to excel on tomorrow's software, not yesterday's.”

The new Pentium 4 1.7GHz really makes a difference over the 1.5GHz model thanks to the 200MHz frequency increase. This supplementary 200MHz helps the Pentium 4 to beat the Athlon most of the time, but it's not enough yet, since the Athlon manages to outperform the Pentium 4 in a few tests even with a huge 500MHz handicap. Anyway with the appearance of the first Pentium 4 optimized applications like Adobe PhotoShop 6.01, the Pentium 4 will begin to shine on the processors' market since its SSE2 instructions really boost performance especially with dedicated multimedia applications crucifixing the Athlon processor. The benchmarks demonstrate that the Pentium 4 processor was clearly designed to bring outstanding treatment power to handle high demanding multimedia and video applications. Ripping and encoding operations have never been so fast than with a Pentium 4 1.7GHz system. Actually it would be a great nonsense to use a Pentium 4 processor to perform only office related tasks like typing Word letters: as a matter of fact this top notch processor is mainly aimed to be used with content creation applications like Adobe PhotoShop, Premiere and last generation games. Hard core gamers will get ultimate frame rate with the Pentium 4 promising to propel games into a new level of reality for an enthusiastic experience.


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