CPU showdown

In the blue corner, Intel's brand-new Pentium 4 weighs in at 1500MHz and sports a completely redesigned core, a greatly speeded-up system bus, and high-bandwidth RDRAM memory. In the red corner, the latest Athlon at 1200MHz has a similar core to previous models, but its enhanced clock and bus speed and new Double Data Rate memory make it a worthy opponent for Intel's latest flagchip.

Intel's strategy is to use the Pentium 4's architecture, designed for extreme speed, to exceed the Athlon's top speed - much the same way the Athlon did with the Pentium III - and once again dominate the high end of the market. It also relies on widespread adoption of its new SSE2 instructions into software to optimise programs for the P4 architecture - not such a big risk, since we're talking about the world's most influential chip company here - but it will take time for the changes to spread throughout the software world.

While some early overseas tests indicate that enabling software for these new instructions can make a big difference to the Pentium 4's performance, suitably updated software was unavailable here at the time of writing, so our tests don't show the effect of SSE2. In any case, AMD is reported to be incorporating SSE2 into future processors, so in a few months the picture is likely to change again.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Aldis Ozols

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?