New Intel processors

Intel's new range of Pentium 4 CPUs coincides with the release of its new platform (LGA-775 socket) and numbering system for its 520, 530, 540 and 560 processors. We tested the P4 560 and another new CPU using the new socket, the 3.4GHz P4 Extreme Edition.

Intel Pentium processor

For our tests, we used an Intel 925X chipset-based motherboard, 1GB of Kingston DDR2 memory, a Gigabyte PCI-Express graphics adapter and two Maxtor hard drives set up in a RAID 0 configuration.

Despite being 200MHz slower than the 3.6GHz P4 560, the new Extreme Edition processor fared better in business application testing and was also very solid in 3D game tests, pipping the P4 560 in Quake 3 and one Unreal test. The P4 560 flexed its muscle in the video transcoding tests, converting a DiVX video file to MPEG2 format using TMPGEnc 2.5 more than 5min more quickly than the Extreme Edition CPU.

It's important to note how the CPUs differ. The P4 560 runs at 3.6GHz with a front side bus speed of 800MHz, has a 1MB Level 2 cache and Hyper-Threading. The 3.4GHz P4 Extreme Edition features a 512KB Level 2 cache, an 800MHz FSB and Hyper-Threading, plus a 2MB Level 3 cache. The Extreme Edition is Intel's priciest CPU and squarely targets gamers and PC enthusiasts. The more-rounded P4 560 better suits mainstream use, providing good gaming and strong video editing/multimedia performance.

Intel Pentium 4 560, Intel 3.4GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition

Price: $TBA

Vendor: Intel

URL: www.intel.com.au

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