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Intel's Prescott 3.2GHz compared to Northwood 3.2GHz

Review With numbers compris
Tue Jan 27 2004, 19:11
AS WE WON'T SIGN NDAs (non disclosure agreements) and therefore Intel has not given us a Prescott Pentium 4 to test, we've found a way to get some scores before everyone else's NDAs expire on the 2nd of February next.

It's already known that this CPU has a longer pipeline and more cache memory, with 16KB of L1 and 1MB of L2 cache, and that it's warmer than a Northwood based P4 at the same clock speed. It's cooled with an Intel traditional top line cooler but it ends up 10 or even more Celsius degrees hotter than the Northwood core. The machine we tested was stable, but it will be hard, probably impossible to clock these chips at 3.8GHz.

Both CPUs are close to each other as will see below, but in Comanche and Quake 3, the old Northwood core has a significant lead. Northwood renders faster while Prescott is faster in Professional OpenGL applications.

Aquamark 3 also likes Northwood more than Prescott, though the CPUs are very close in performance. The Cinebench CPU test shows Prescott ends up a little slower. In PC Mark 2004, Prescott ends up marginally faster.

Here is the test rig:

Pentium 4 Northwood 3.2GHz
Pentium 4 Prescott 3.2GHz
Canterwood 875 Board
1GB DDR 400 memory
Radeon 9800 PRO

The numbers say it all, but a 3.4GHz Northwood compared to a 3.2GHz Prescott would make the comparisons odious.

We will leave all the conclusions up to you. µ

Prescott 3.2GHz Northwood 3.2GHz
PC Mark 2004
PC Marks 5098 5059
Comanche 4 Demo
1024x768@32 bit 57 65
Quake 3 Arena 4
1024x768@32 bit 350 380
Aquamark 3
1024x768 44086 44334
Cinebench 2003
CPU Bench (secs) 78.8 69

See Also
Distributors price up Intel Prescott
Intel's Prescott reveals its process problems
Intel Prescott benchmarked against Northwood 2.8GHz
Intel's Prescott edges closer to 100 watts
Prescott delay avoids Intel launching toaster, rather than chip


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