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XP3200+ - THG vs. X-Bit labs

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May 13, 2003 6:48:03 PM

I've been seeing reviews on THG for while, where the P4 is always a little better than on other sites. Actually, I wonder why. Also, the choice of benchmarks seems a little unfortunate. How about using SienceMark instead of SysMark?

Back to the comparison. While THG uses about the same system for the P4 setup, the Athlon system uses different mainboards. THG uses the Asus nForce Ultra and X-Bit labs uses the Abit version - both making good motherboards so one shouldn't expect too many differences.

Now, what got me startled for one thing, was the WinRar benchmark. While the Athlon processor is about 15% slower on Tom's Hardware Guide it's only about 2.5% slower on X-Bit labs. THG uses WinRar 3.11 while X-Bit labs uses v3.0. Can it be that WinRar recieved a major Pentium optimization in a minor version update? Or has one site wrong benchmarks?

Then there are the 3DMark results. While the Athlon is either better or equal to the P4 3Ghz on X-Bit labs it has a straight loosing session on THG.
Unreal Tournament is no man's land for the P4 on X-Bit labs while quite the opposite is going on on Tom's Hardware guide.

Then again, PCMark scores (has PCMark even been optimized for P4?) are quite equal on bothsites. So I wonder what went wrong when benchmarking? Someone misconfigured their systems? Is Abit that much better then Asus. Is the XP3200+ worth its money after all. It will be about 200$ cheaper than th 3.2GHz P4 when it comes out, not to mention the mobo.

So I wonder, what went wrong on either side

More about : xp3200 thg bit labs

May 13, 2003 7:10:12 PM

The same can be found at www.firingsquad.com. In the CPU mark for 3DMark2003, the AMD was ahead and on Tom's it was behind. UT2K3 is an AMD winner on other sites but Tom has the P4 the winner. I like Tom's reviews but they are not consistent with many other reviews. In other reviews I have seen a consistent flow of similarities with results being 2-3% different. But they were consistent. If one site has the 3.0g P4 with a bench score of x in x said benchmark and other sites use the same benchmark with similar results then it is consistent. I almost get the feeling that some of the scores on Tom's site are mistakenly reversed. Not to purposely make the AMD look bad or Intel look good. But on firingsquad and other sites, the UT bench favored AMD with a score that looked reversed on Tom's bench. Almost like the AMD score was in the Intel line and the Intel score was on the AMD line. I just think that more sites need to converse with each other on their testing methods to come up with a good general reference for both platforms. Anand should talk to Tom and Thresh and get an idea of the test setup and work together to come to the same conclusion. Tom has great reports on stuff but his benchmarking is just not consistent with the vibe on the web from other sites.
May 13, 2003 7:57:12 PM

If you want to know why the Athlon performed better in the Xbit Labs article than in the THG article, you have merely to look at the system setup done by Xbit Labs.

They used Corsair TWINX512-3200LL which is rated at DDR400 with timings of 2-2-2-<b><font color=green>6</font color=green></b>.

Xbit Labs tweaked the timings for the AMD platform to 2-2-2-<b><font color=red>5</font color=red></b>.

But what did Xbit Labs run the P4 platform at? Why 2-2-2-<b><font color=green>6</font color=green></b> of course.

How nice of XBit Labs to overclock the timings on the memory for the Athlon instead of keeping them at stock like they did for Intel.

On top of that there is also another possible biasing, with probably a much bigger effect than just the memory timings. THG makes special mention of what AMD marketing told <i>all</i> reviewers to do with the XP3200+:
Quote:
Prior to the actual launch of the processor, we at THG received a benchmark guide for our test sample that explains to the press the best environment for testing the CPU. Among other things, it contains recommendations for many benchmarks and BIOS settings. <b>It also advises testers to <i>exchange a DLL</i> before starting Sysmark 2002 in order to attain better results in the Media Encoder.</b> We, however, did not make any changes to the benchmarks and stuck to accepted standards.

And one other thing: before installing the operating system, <b>AMD recommends deactivating the APIC mode (Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller) in BIOS in order to boost performance</b>.

* My own emphasis was added to the words.

So AMD is telling reviewers to use specially-optimized software <i>and</i> to tweak the firmware/hardware setup significantly before benchmarking the AXP3200+. <SARCASM><i>Gee, that couldn't possibly bias the results.</i></SARCASM>

Funny how Xbit Labs <i>never</i> mentioned this. I would be willing to bet money that never mentioned it because they just followed AMD's orders to unfairly bias the results. Where as THG was outraged at the notion (and justly so) and refused to do anything to bias their results like AMD told them to.

<font color=purple><pre><b>There are 10 types of people in this world: those who can understand binary and those who can't.</b></pre><p></font color=purple>
Related resources
May 13, 2003 8:23:08 PM

Point and counter-point! Good show!

THG: 1
Xbit: 0
May 13, 2003 8:39:38 PM

Dude, actually the DLL you're talking about is a system DLL that was previously overwritten by SysMark. Also, I haven't been talking about Sysmark. Actually Sysmark was not tested on X-Bit labs.
In fact, 2-2-2-5 timings are not supported by the i875 but instead it uses 800MHz FSB which should easily make up for the difference concerning how well the P4 scales on higher FSB frequencies.
May 13, 2003 9:32:31 PM

How many P4 optimized software tests were run on THG?
How many AMD optimized software test were run on THG?

If the P4 gets optimized software to benchmark with, the AMD should get the same as well.
May 13, 2003 10:03:06 PM

people a banchmark is a benchmark who cares about optimisation if one is faster than the other accept it

maybe AMD achieved its goal (altough not living up to PR) they are getting a lot of publicity and who really cares about a 3200+ or a 3ghz just the geeks on this forum, an ordinary PC buyer will just hear AMD one more time than intel and although negative its not the 3200+ there buying it'll be the much cheaper and not so misrated 2400+ or something like that

SL6EF OC's GOOD
May 13, 2003 11:22:03 PM

Quote:
How many P4 optimized software tests were run on THG?
How many AMD optimized software test were run on THG?

If the P4 gets optimized software to benchmark with, the AMD should get the same as well.


That's AMD's job. They're the ones who are suppose to go out and work with software developers to get more software optimized for their processors. Tomshardware is *not* responsible for doing this. They merely gather what software people use more often (supposedly) and show the results. It's not the review sites job to do optimizations. If you think the Athlon should get optimized software, you need to talk to AMD and get them to work harder at convincing developers to make more optimized software for the Athlons.
Funny, if Intel had suggested that review sites tweak their system to perform better with their latest processor, people would be up in arms complaining about the vast injustice. Even when the software itself was written *out-of-the-box* to run better on the P4, people were still bitching even though the performance that the review sites showed was *exactly what the consumer would get*. How many consumers would know to replace the DLL in Sysmark? How many would even care about Sysmark? How many would turn off APIC?

"We are Microsoft, resistance is futile." - Bill Gates, 2015.
May 13, 2003 11:39:56 PM

I have been a THG reader/fan ever since I've been surfing the net - for 6 years now - but lately I had to start questioning the objectivity/professionalism of Tom's tests and turned away from the site. The latest test (3200+ vs. Pentium4) only strengthened my doubts. If it was only one site on the net that contradicted Tom's results I'd say I believe THG and no one else. However, the picture is almost the opposite. Again we find, that while no one says that the Athlon XP beats the P4, everyone seems to agree, that the two products (P4 @ 3.06/533 vs. XP3000+, P4 @ 3.00/800 vs. XP3200+) are more or less even - or to be more accurate: they both have areas where they are the best (P4: multi media, media encoding, etc., XP: +D gaming, office use, etc.). Some of the difference between THG's and the rest of the world's results could be explained by the fact that Tom uses heavily P4 optimized benchmarks only but to see UT 2003 charts like that is quite simply ridiculous. Everyone knows that UT's engine is Athlon heaven, and the results of everyone else's tests - no surprise here - confirm this (though P4 @800 MHz FSB wins at some sites) while at Tom P4 wipes the Athlon off the board like it was a Celeron. The fact is that Intel has huge pockets and can "ask" benchmark developers to optimize their software for P4 - just check out these charts @ tech-report.com (http://www.tech-report.com/reviews/2003q1/athlonxp-3000...). They've compared the results of Content Creation Winstone 2001, 2002 & 2003 on the same platform. No comment needed - the charts speak for themselves. I've also read somewhere recently that some benchmarks simply ignore the Athlon XP's SSE capability and test it like that against the P4. To make my point: there are some serious problems with benchmarking these days. I found two excellent articles on the issue on the Inquirer.net (http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=9445) & (http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=9465) which, as far as I see, have already created a major debate all over the net. I highly recommend reading them. I hope that the biggest on and offline PC magazines can shortly find a way to sit down and discuss the issue - the issue of putting down standards for benchmarking. In the meanwhile, has anyone noticed that AMD's own tests are always audited by Pricewaterhouse Coopers while all the other benchmarks on the net (Tom's included) are audited by... just whom exactly ??

Mr. Double B.
May 14, 2003 12:07:04 PM

X-Bits Labs THG
Benchmark AMD P4 Diff. AMD P4 Diff.
3DMark2001 SE 16334 16323 0,07% 16098 16772 -4,02%
3DMark03 4802 4860 -1,19% 4798 4885 -1,78%
3DMark03 CPU 704 714 -1,40% 696 758 -8,18%
PCMark2002 CPU 6872 7447 -7,72% 6858 7446 -7,90%
PCMark2002 Memory 6475 8948 -27,64% 6503 10062 -35,37%

This little table might help... Excuse me, but the "forum engine" seems to not consider TABs...

--
Would you buy a GPS enabled soap bar?
May 14, 2003 2:23:46 PM

Another thing to be careful to note in p4 benchies is the use of a 3.0 as opposed to a 3.06... it makes a big difference in the benchies in cases where memory bandwidth is important.

Shadus
May 14, 2003 2:36:03 PM

I still don´t understand how you people always come up with arguments like this one...

We´re not evaluating one chip in the physical sense! The software support and optimisations are <i>very</i> important, and Intel has the upper hand there, no doubt about it. They have better software support for their CPUs! It´s AMD´s fault if they don´t! It´s like the other poster here said - real-world benchmarks are real-world benchmarks, and optimisations are part of the real world, so if one processor fares better, then that´s it!

That still doesn´t mean that sites should be allowed to use only software that has been optimised for platform X or Y... That´s the importance of a balanced set of benchmarks, not just one program, and equal configurations whenever possible in hardware (like memory timings!).
May 14, 2003 2:48:48 PM

imgod2u, you're just rocking. :)  For the second time today: I couldn't have said it better myself. (And for the first time today: I'm glad that I don't have to say these things myself.)

<font color=purple><pre><b>There are 10 types of people in this world: those who can understand binary and those who can't.</b></pre><p></font color=purple>
May 14, 2003 2:52:20 PM

Quote:
We´re not evaluating one chip in the physical sense! The software support and optimisations are very important, and Intel has the upper hand there, no doubt about it. They have better software support for their CPUs! It´s AMD´s fault if they don´t! It´s like the other poster here said - real-world benchmarks are real-world benchmarks, and optimisations are part of the real world, so if one processor fares better, then that´s it!

Damn straight!

<font color=purple><pre><b>There are 10 types of people in this world: those who can understand binary and those who can't.</b></pre><p></font color=purple>
May 14, 2003 2:58:25 PM

Quote:
How many P4 optimized software tests were run on THG?
How many AMD optimized software test were run on THG?

If the P4 gets optimized software to benchmark with, the AMD should get the same as well.

How many software packages that consumers buy and use regularly are optimized for a P4?

How many software packages that consumers buy and use regularly are optimized for an AXP?

So what should consumers be looking at to know how the software that they use will run? Need I say more?

No, but I will anyway. The simple fact is that a <i>lot</i> of software is optimized for the Athlon AND the Pentium. The majority of the rest of the software is just not optimized at all. Hardly ever does anyone optimize for a P4 and <i>not</i> for an AXP.

<font color=purple><pre><b>There are 10 types of people in this world: those who can understand binary and those who can't.</b></pre><p></font color=purple>
May 14, 2003 3:02:55 PM

No offense... but "the inquirer"? You couldn't find a barrel full of more half-wit unskilled monkeys writing what they pretend to call 'news' if you tried. (With the possible exception of Google's automated 'news' gathering, which accepts marketing announcements as 'news' sources.)

<font color=purple><pre><b>There are 10 types of people in this world: those who can understand binary and those who can't.</b></pre><p></font color=purple>
May 14, 2003 3:16:49 PM

have you noticed where 90% of the news articles on THGs right side panel come from?

What's it mean when THG reuses articles from the Inquirer if you think the Inquierer is so bad?

Athlon XP 1600+, MSI K7T PRO2 RU (POS), 2x256 MB CRUCIAL PC2100 CL2.5 memory, Asus V6800 DDR Delux (GF 256) video card, 6.4GB+27GB WD HD, 40GB IBM HD (all 7200RPM). My computer is an acronym
May 14, 2003 3:46:06 PM

It means tomshardware wants page hits and would post anything that would get them more page hits. It's the same reason newspaper stands also sell tabloids. That's what the Inquirer pretty much is, the tabloids.

"We are Microsoft, resistance is futile." - Bill Gates, 2015.
May 14, 2003 3:58:55 PM

It isn't about optimizations it is about reversed numbers. If X number of sites all had the same setup and came to the same conlusion (with a 1-2% difference) you would have consistent proof of the answer. Here we have Tom who is almost always different in his numbers. I am just asking if he could run the tests again with the help of some of the other big sites. Then you would at least have a consensius of agreement. If you remember when the bug in the PIII was discovered, Tom worked with HardOCP, ANAND and a few others to agree there was an error that would make the cpu look good to one reviewer and bad to another. Communication should be involved like: (Tom to Thresh) Hey Thresh I was looking through your review and noticed your numbers don't add up to mine. Based on the test setup and software we should be pretty close to each other. My numbers came out with Intel on top and yours (as well as other sites) have AMD on top. Lets work together and see what caused the differences.
May 14, 2003 4:19:12 PM

While software optimization is defenitely important the use of benchmarks bought or influenced by Intel is not. Like Bapco even admitted they optimized for the vast majority of CPUs (meanning not for the sake of benchmarking and providing good comparison).
AMD has quite a few programs optimized for itself like FlaskMPEG and games. Obviously, UT2K3 is one of them but mysteriously on THG it doesn't show.
So while the use of benchmarks may be quesionable I believe the results shouldn't be.
May 14, 2003 6:07:33 PM

Quote:
Lets work together and see what caused the differences.

Except that THG already knows what caused the differences. Try actually reading through this thread. I already posted above what caused those differences. So far THG is the <i>only</i> review site that I've seen to even admit to not skewing the benchmarks like AMD wanted them to.

(And if anyone else has seen another review that refused to play by AMD's shady games, I'd love to see it please.)

<font color=purple><pre><b>There are 10 types of people in this world: those who can understand binary and those who can't.</b></pre><p></font color=purple>
May 14, 2003 6:17:45 PM

Show me a review that "does" what AMD is requesting. So far all sites with reviews simply state the test setup and apps but make no mention of tweaking the apps to better or hinder one or the other.
May 14, 2003 6:48:53 PM

Well, obviously you didn't read the replies given: SysMark deliberately overwrites a Windows system DLL and thereby disabling SSE support that was previously provided for by Microsoft. So restoring the DLL should only be fair since Intel gets all their optimizations and more, too.

This is what Sudhian writes:
"Both of the above tests use Windows Media Encoder. When WME is installed to a WindowsXP system it overwrites a newer, XP-created DLL with an older version of the same file. The problem is as follows: The newer version of the DLL that is installed by WindowsXP properly detects and implements the AthlonXP's support for SSE. The older version of the DLL that the benchmark installs does not."

If you care to read more about this then take a look here:
http://www.sudhian.com/showdocs.cfm?aid=379&pid=1351

The difference is not a lot so I don't see why THG didn't include it or at least care to compare as their P4 values seem a little too over-optimized, anyway.
May 14, 2003 7:59:11 PM

Quote:
Show me a review that "does" what AMD is requesting. So far all sites with reviews simply state the test setup and apps but make no mention of tweaking the apps to better or hinder one or the other.

Show me a review site other than THG that <i>doesn't</i> do what AMD is requesting. Any unbiased professional who isn't afraid of losing their support from AMD would have been outraged by the instructions that AMD sent to <i>all</i> of their reviewers. Since no one is even so much as mentioning it, I find it very difficult to believe that anyone is <i>not</i> just following it blindly.

<font color=purple><pre><b>There are 10 types of people in this world: those who can understand binary and those who can't.</b></pre><p></font color=purple>
May 14, 2003 8:22:10 PM

Quote:
Well, obviously you didn't read the replies given

Actually, no. Obviously you didn't provide enough information the first time to even evaluate the validity of your post not to mention formulate any sort of a reasonable reply. Now that you <i>have</i> finally included actually useable information I can reply.

Quote:
SysMark deliberately overwrites a Windows system DLL

I'm not convinced of any 'deliberate' overwriting. Accidental packaging perhaps, but proof of deliberate overwriting does not exist. And even then an accidental overwriting seems awfully unlikely, though marginally possible.

However, if AMD found such a flaw they should <b>not</b> be instructing people to overwrite the file with a version that they provide. They should be contacting the benchmark writers to get the installation fixed and in the meantime be suggesting that people restore the correct file from the WinXP distribution, <b>not</b> with a conveniently provided dll from AMD.

Quote:
and thereby disabling SSE support that was previously provided for by Microsoft.

I have a <i>very</i> hard time believing this. SSE support has been in the Win2K kernel since the beginning. WinXP was built on the same technology as Win2K. Therefore <i>any</i> version of the dll from WinXP should have support for SSE.

Quote:
So restoring the DLL should only be fair since Intel gets all their optimizations and more, too.

Again, see above. Frankly the whole reasoning just makes absolutely no sense. Even <i>if</i> it was indeed a WinXP dll that was overwritten by the install, it would still have SSE support in it and AMD should be making it publicly known for the benchmark to be fixed and telling people how to restore the correct file provided by Microsoft, not by AMD.

Quote:
The difference is not a lot so I don't see why THG didn't include it or at least care to compare as their P4 values seem a little too over-optimized, anyway.

Because the whole thing sounds incredibly shady for starters.

If it were me, I would have verified the truth by checking the files involved and if it was indeed the installer was overwriting a file from Windows then I would have made sure to get Microsoft's version of the file, not AMD's version. And then I'd have sent a scathing letter to both the benchmark company and to AMD for both being idiots. (The benchmark company for not testing and not catching this and AMD for not handling it properly and making it all sound so shady.)

Quote:
The difference is not a lot so I don't see why THG didn't include it or at least care to compare as their P4 values seem a little too over-optimized, anyway.

There were a number of other tweaks that AMD was also telling reviewers to do that THG refused to do. So even <i>if</i> AMD is being legit on this whole dll issue, that still leaves a noticable amount of biasing that AMD has to explain themselves for. If you think that THG's results are P4-biased, think again. The difference between THG's results and everyone else's is that THG wasn't Athlon-biased. (Which may actually be a first for THG in my opinion.)

<font color=purple><pre><b>There are 10 types of people in this world: those who can understand binary and those who can't.</b></pre><p></font color=purple>
May 14, 2003 8:22:47 PM

Quote:
Well, obviously you didn't read the replies given: SysMark deliberately overwrites a Windows system DLL and thereby disabling SSE support that was previously provided for by Microsoft. So restoring the DLL should only be fair since Intel gets all their optimizations and more, too.


The difference is, the SSE support for P4/P3's are out-of-the-box. That's the whole point, not whether you feel it's "fair" or not, but whether the review site is telling the consumers the correct information (what they can expect). How many consumers would know to go hunt down the DLL file and replace it?

Quote:
The difference is not a lot so I don't see why THG didn't include it or at least care to compare as their P4 values seem a little too over-optimized, anyway.


Because it's not relevent information. The vast majority of readers are not going to bother replacing the DLL in Sysmark. Replacing it, and tweaking the system without even stating that the system has been tweaked is vastly misleading. A consumer reads the review, buys the product, but doesn't get the performance he wants. What do you call that?

"We are Microsoft, resistance is futile." - Bill Gates, 2015.
May 14, 2003 9:19:57 PM

OK, I could provide you with a link that states that the replacement DLL is a Microsoft signed DLL.

But since you keep getting off topic more and more and SysMark is not even used on X-Bit labs discussion will end here for me with you and your follow-up as long as you refuse to respond to what I claimed and keep clinging to non-founded, off-topic statements.

"Obviously you didn't provide enough information the first time"

It's not my duty to provide you with proof for information I give as I'm not a reviewer nor do I claim to be a professional.
Did Tom's Hardware give anymore information on the recommendations and the DLL by AMD? I suppose they didn't and that's what you based you're claims on.

Now I would like to hear from you what you think about UT and the 3DMarks now that we sorted out that the DLL obviously has nothing to do with either of those.
May 15, 2003 12:18:46 AM

I would like to see some proof of the hugh difference in benchmarks going from 2-2-2-5 to 2-2-2-6 makes!

I'm used both of those timings including 2-2-2-4 and see little difference!

I also agree with some of the other posters that I find the difference in toms numbers from other sites kind of funny!
May 15, 2003 5:13:37 AM

Come THG!!!!! Where are you to defend yourself?? Where is your e-mail that you sent to these sights that shows you care about your readers opinions and want to find out too what's up???

Also... I want some free lunch.. WHERE'S MY GIFT CARD TO PERKINS!! ;) 
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 15, 2003 12:03:48 PM

What a load of crap, what we have here is an AMD vs Intel CPU, both top of the line models and its just a comparison.

Big deal as far as the web sites getting different results, all that matters is which one won, AMD or Intel?

If you dont like it because one was better than the other, then forget about reading benchmarks.
May 15, 2003 2:18:08 PM

If it was just one review or just one other site comming up with diffrent results you could blame it on setup's. But how is it that Tom's now always has the AMD loosing to INTEL by margins that are no way come close to other sites. Either all the thousands of websites out there that do reviews are tilting them towards AMD or something is fishy with the results Tom has been getting. Ask your self if one person say's that you smell you may disagree but when a 100 do it is time to take a bath and come clean.
May 15, 2003 3:29:45 PM

That is what I have been saying from the beginning. All other reviews I have read are showing consistent numbers with each other. Tom's numbers look like some of the AMD scores have been transposed where the Intel ones go. Why can't Tom get on the horn with the guys from other sites and say: "Your numbers don't match mine but they do match 80% of the other sites. What did you do differently so I can try and see if I get similar results." It wouldn't be the first time Tom worked with other sites. Remember the PIII problem? It made the PIII look really good for some and really crappy for others.
May 15, 2003 3:31:37 PM

Gonna have to agree with the those who are strongly questioning THG's objectivity here. Reasons:
1. not using the Windows patch (the afore mentioned DLL replacement, which every AMD owner I know has done using Windows update...) thereby disabling SSE on the Athlon
2. comparing THG's last 2 reviews of Athlon vs P4 (please see links), it appears that P4 has had a "miraculous" speed increase on identical tests with identical boards (about a 5% increase) while the Athlon 3000+ has had a 1-2% drop in speed. Mind you, these are both THG tests...

http://www6.tomshardware.com/motherboard/20030414/i875p...
http://www17.tomshardware.com/cpu/20030513/athlon_xp-19...

JMHO


Cheers,
Charles
May 15, 2003 3:44:27 PM

First, it's not "thousands" of reviews. Secondly, the following seem to have results similar to THG (keep in mind most of them are using Granite Bay motherboards for their 3.06 setups while THG used the i850e):

<A HREF="http://www.hexus.net/review.php?review=550&page=4" target="_new">Hexas</A>
<A HREF="http://www.lostcircuits.com/cpu/amd_xp3200new/4.shtml" target="_new">Lost Circuit</A>
<A HREF="http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content.asp?id=axp3200&..." target="_new">GamePC</A>

I've not looked over too many other reviews but the gaming (UT2003 especially) results of those are in correlation with THG especially considering they were testing at different resolutions with different setups.
The Lost Circuit review stated specifically they disabled APIC. They did, however, mention the fact that APIC was disabled and how to do it and included the results for when APIC was not disabled. They did stated clearly they were replacing the DLL for Sysmark as well. I thought this was very professional of them and wasn't as misleading as other sites who may have just done so and not say it.
Of course, these sites are "third-rate" sites and I'll wait for Anand and Ace's review (if they ever come out with one) before I decided on the validity of THG's numbers.

"We are Microsoft, resistance is futile." - Bill Gates, 2015.
May 15, 2003 7:53:52 PM

goes to show you that benchmarks is a bunch of crap. It depends on what you do or does it? I think it's a marketing tool. Intel or AMD pays a site so much money to benchmark their cpu. Whoever is doing the paying, that site will make them look better than the other.

So, buy whatever you think you'll need and want. It's just Name brand differences.

"Bread makes me poop!" - Special Ed

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?id=9933" target="_new"> My Rig </A>
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 16, 2003 1:51:09 AM

Is it a good CPU for ..... ?

A. Games
B. Server
C. Desktop Publishing
D. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx :smile:

answer: D.
May 16, 2003 2:10:33 AM

You know, I'm hearing a lot of people crying "FOUL" at THG, but a couple of the sites I checked out have totally bunk results. First, the X-Bit labs says they couldn't get 2-2-2-5 timings, but THG did. Who knows what else X-Bit didn't get right? Frankly, their whole review sounds more like an AMD fanboy review than an objective take on the situation.

But even more damning than the X-Bit review is the Firingsquad review. Check it out here:

http://firingsquad.gamers.com/hardware/amd_athlon_xp_32...

Now, you go through the review, and the conclusion is that the AMD 3200+ is a great CPU and that it trounces the P4 in most of the benchmarks. I've sent the reviewer an email expressing my concern and disgust at his results, mainly because THE SAME REVIEWER DID A PREVIEW OF THE 875 IN WHICH HIS SCORES WERE ALL 15% FASTER ON THE P4!!!

Let me reiterate: Check out this link:

http://firingsquad.gamers.com/hardware/intel_875p/defau...

This is FS's Chris Angelini giving a preview of the 875 chipset. But if you compare the results he gets in the preview with what he posts in his AMD review, all of the P4 scores HAVE DROPPED SIGNIFICANTLY!

Comparing his results with THG isn't really easy to do, since a lot of things are not setup in the same manner. However, there are numerous FiringSquad reviews using the same FS benchmarking tools that also disagree by as much as 30% with the scores that are posted for the P4 in their 3200+ comparison.

Here's an example of the discrepancies (the number in parentheses is the score from the AMD 3200+ review, with the other number being taken from their review of the ASUS P4C800 found at http://firingsquad.gamers.com/hardware/asus_p4c800_delu..., and the final number is from the AMD 3200+):

Serious Sam SE:
800x600x32: 213.9 (170.5) to 192.1
1024x768x32: 208.1 (165.6) to 187
1280x1024x32: 194.6 (153.6) to 170.7
1600x1200x32: 176.8 (138.1) to 147.3

Conclusion: "As we’ve seen in the past, Serious Sam SE seems to favor the Athlon XP over Intel’s Pentium 4. More specifically, the 3200+ is about 11 percent faster at 800x600. Then again, if you plan to buy an Athlon XP 3200+, we’re sure you’d also want to be playing games like Serious Sam at higher resolutions. At 1600x1200, AMD’s lead shrinks to six percent."

So, in this game, his scores show the 3200+ killing the P4 3.0 GHz 800FSB chip. But in a different review of the P4, FiringSquad has numbers that are MUCH higher than the AMD chip is scoring.

Let's continue... We all know that the P4 rules the Quake3 benchmarks, but check these scores out. We're talking up to 15% difference between the real P4 on 875 scores and those that he compares the 3200+ with!

I have no idea what version of Q3 THG uses, but I'll put their P4 to AMD scores in brackets where appicable. Note that THG uses the Radeon 9700 Pro and yet STILL the scores are better (on BOTH platforms!) than what FS achieves with a Radeon 9800 Pro.

Quake III v1.17 Demo001 HQ:
800x600x32: 403 (358.5) to 329.7
1024x768x32: 385.8 (345.3) to 320.2 [402.9 to 336.9]
1280x1024x32: 319.5 (280.9) to 272.1 [300.2 to 283.6]
1600x1200x32: 236.2 (203.6) to 203.7

Conclusion: "Quake III is a particularly strong showing for the Pentium 4. The 3GHz chip, paired with Intel’s new 875P platform outpaces the Athlon XP 3200+ by about eight percent at 800x600. As we just pointed out, though, most gaming enthusiasts with the latest hardware won’t want to play at such a low resolution. At 1600x1200, game play is limited (if you can call more than 200 frames per second limited) by the RADEON 9800 Pro, not processor performance."

Well, apparently it's not as limited as HIS scores are showing! WTF is up with this reviewer!? And you trust HIM over THG???

How's about Comanche 4, same pattern as before, with THG thrown in for comparison:

Comanche 4:
800x600x32: 63.9 (60.71) to 55.32
1024x768x32: 64 (60.67) to 55.34 [65.07 to 55.31]
1280x1024x32: 63.5 (60.73) to 55.23
1600x1200x32: 61.7 (59.31) to 54.35

Clearly, here the game is CPU limited, and the scores between THG and FS are about the same (except for the bunk P4 scores from the FS AMD review).

Unreal Tournament 2003:
800x600x32: 242.6 (230.54) to 233.97
1024x768x32: 228.6 (223.93) to 227.49 [232.2 to 225.3]
1280x1024x32: 179.4 (191.72) to 193.25
1600x1200x32: 121 (135.56) to 135.68

Now the results get REALLY odd! Here, FS has the "real" P4 beating the imposter at 800x600 and 1024x768, but then losing at the higher resolutions! Go figure... Still, where we aren't GPU bound at 1024x768, we see once again that THG's scores compare pretty well with those of FS on the "real" P4.

Anyway, to wrap this all up, none of the other reviews I've looked at for the AMD disagree clearly with THG while at the same time appearing to be realistic results. If you continue comparing those two FiringSquad articles, you'll see that the two supposedly similar P4 systems have completely different results. And yet FiringSquad published this article, gave the 3200+ a 90% score, and people are trying to say that THG has no integrity! What a joke!

I have yet to see anything that I seriously question on THG. The fact of the matter is that THG would like to see AMD do much better, but it just isn't happening. The P4 is a very well designed CPU, and while it may lose the clock-for-clock coparisons against the AthlonXP, the XP can't hope to reach the speeds where the P4 is heading. And from what I've seen, the Athlon64 will need to be at least 2.5 GHz to compete with the P4 3.4 GHz and above CPUs. Right now, that 1.80 GHz Athlon64 has a long row to hoe!
May 16, 2003 3:30:09 AM

I've been reading these posts for awhile now and have been looking at the benchmarks at many of the other sites mentioned. All the sites seems to be using a fairly wide range of hardware setups and some varience in software configs to. There is a lot of room for aurguments against comparing all these sites benchmarks. Many of them seem to be running configurations that work in favor of the 3200XP+.

But at the end of the day it noils down to these simple facts:

A) The P4 3GHz with 800FSB is as good overall or better by a variety of margins in all these tests I've seen. Yes some benchmarks always skew towards AMD (like UT2K3), but the 3200XP+ never comes out as the true winner in any overall review.

B) The rating for the 3200XP+ suggests it would run at a speed comprable to the 3.2GHz P4 that is coming soon. But if the 3200XP+ can only keep up with the 3GHz in the best of these reviews, it is going to be a almost 100% across the board loser against the 3.2GHz. You really can't look at it any other way.

C) According to pricewatch.com right now the 3GHz with 800MHz FSB is $10 cheaper than the 3200XP+.

So there you go...
My Two cents whether you wanted it or not...
May 16, 2003 8:03:13 AM

I first thought you might have a point here but Firing Squad uses a Radeon 9800 Pro while X-Bit uses a 9700 pro which should easily make up for a 15% difference.
May 16, 2003 1:12:42 PM

G'day Kornath!
"THE SAME REVIEWER DID A PREVIEW OF THE 875 IN WHICH HIS SCORES WERE ALL 15% FASTER ON THE P4!!!"

Ummm...could it be because in his P4 review he used 1GB of PC3500C2 ram, and in the newer review he only used 512MB of PC3200 C2 ram?? Just a thought...

Cheers,
Charles
May 17, 2003 5:25:16 AM

Quote:

What a load of crap, what we have here is an AMD vs Intel CPU, both top of the line models and its just a comparison.

Big deal as far as the web sites getting different results, all that matters is which one won, AMD or Intel?

If you dont like it because one was better than the other, then forget about reading benchmarks.


I hope you don't call yourself a scientist (not a personal attack, just fact). As a scientist you'd know that if you everyone else didn't get the same results as you did then everyones results aren't accurate and should be looked at to as why. That's why they should find out why and fix it for this round of tests or the next.
May 17, 2003 12:31:07 PM

THG was expressing like just emotional superpressing
"Paper tiger, incorrect rating..." big words for good
appropriate consideration... That were or not?
- it was advertising, really, if not consciously.
While not else sites was agreed with them, they did not mentioned reasons of it, no any explanation,
so information is incorrect by methodology of supply and consider - to be trusted, like normally.
Many technical paragraphs was wrong.

Existed(!) -(system)Dll will be supplied in next software version to all people- so real speed of processor must be supplied. Not very local timing Drawback of Microsoft.

Agents of Intel here was writing much, like a spam-
(may be enthusiasts of processor that they buy and own,
means - love, but better written- in need.)
It was not clear to understand them well - as a result of their quality, to differ from others here.
They write to differ self, only to Intel side - they said.
So Doubts there is- who is theses?

See the typical result of the THG kind of test,
of usual user:
"Does AMD suck?"
http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam...

(many people - do not ask anyafter above "tiger" words,
for any of processors.)

By the way:
{
I have heard that 875PE mainboard cost 100$ higher that
board for AMD. Is it true? For win of 4% performance.

How do you think - does this analogous of cold Azot using-
just resource consuming solution?

Does this correct for "real" comparison?
}
Not top processor that is used for advertising, AMD costs
100$ cheaper.

In my thread I was changed some to some wrong impressions just by methods of delivery results of THG,
if were not read this thread. Were not any objective references to compare from this people.

Advertising at THG is important - die to looking as enthusiasts (I mean people here, not THG on first, on this word, I think they act like representative of that kind of readers ) - like PriceWaterhouse, opinion ,
as well as on trade influencing - that all others read, considering fair. So your opinions is very important.

- Money - for some more smart people than CPU technology...
May be? (Acts like it.)

So
It is absolutely not a crap - that people writed here.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by du_volon on 05/24/03 01:42 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
May 20, 2003 5:40:42 PM

If you don't like the THG's Review About UT please look on Ace's Page. He also have similar reviews like THG's UT. On Ace's review P4 also win in UT benchmark. Can you disagree with Ace also. Or will you wait until Anand comes out and prove you wrong again.

KG

"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity." - Sarah Chambers
May 20, 2003 5:56:24 PM

HardOCP and ExtremeTech also found the 3200+ to be lacking.


<font color=green>The Netherlands is where you go when you're too good for heaven.</font color=green> :tongue:
May 20, 2003 11:32:15 PM

And Hexas.

"We are Microsoft, resistance is futile." - Bill Gates, 2015.
May 24, 2003 2:25:31 PM

And,
in response, so said the Oracle:

If sheet would win, you would be fun,
if you would fun, you would be glad...
(so).

______________________________________________

Look at this people opinion, and have some thinking:

I think we are talking 2 different things here.

1. Someone cheats. My thought is: so what? everyone does that. They are all tampering with drivers or some ADJUSTMENTS. Asus mb's 133 is always 134 or 135 for a long time. Now someone else doing something different, and got flamed. Yes, I don't like that kind of tampering. But where is the line? It is a big gray area.

2. Someone tries to manipulate the media. That is totally unacceptable.

But reality is reality. You can't expect the media to be totally impartial . we are all human. When I was doing marketing some years ago, I never get as much as media attention as some of my competitors. Because the media like my competitors more. If those competitors produce some inferior products, they are FORGIVABLE, and will be IMPROVED. But when my products have some advantages, those media people will only mention these in a very short paragraph, but will spend another long paragraph emphasizing on the disadvantages.

That is not the media's fault. The company I worked for haven't maintained a good relationship with the media. I was not public relation guy, but only a marketing guy. I have to do public relation because nobody in the company will do it.

So media, in my opinion, is always biased. But asking them to lie, is something very very different. (yorkie)

I agree.You really have to take a gain a salt with benchmarks.I'd never buy a product without hearing the actual real world proformance from people using it.This is what makes sites,like newegg,really great.Because of the customer reviews,I'm able to make a better,more informed choice on what is right to buy.

What really fries me is MSI tries to use this as some kinda new feature?Bull!They can't even own up and say what is really happening.Really pathedic.I can't say I've ever owned an MSI product,but I can say I never will own one now.I'm not going with a company that so balantly destroys your CPU's warranty.

I also agree with yorkie on the media being impartial.Just look at the link soppxx put up.Tom's hardware has always had an Intel bias.And in that artical they manage to flame AMD when it is totally unnessisary,adds nothing to the story,and is only taking up space.A whole page of space,infact.It's like movie reviewers.Some have different tastes.And you have to know their tastes. (Sonic587)

http://www.ocworkbench.com/ocwb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_...;f=11;t=001921;p=2
_________________
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by du_volon on 05/25/03 02:44 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
May 29, 2003 6:35:25 AM

i've read through this thread, and first off i want to state that i'm not an AMD fanboy or an Intel fanboy, but i do favor AMD because i am a fan of competition, and AMD brings that to the table against the intel giant...
i usually don't pay too much attention when reading product reviews online, but this one of the xp3200+ struck me. it's been well discussed as to why the numbers differ from site to site, but i have some other questions for THG as well. Why did they leave out certain benchmarks that many other sites use (particularly ones where AMD usually wins) such as serious sam2? it seems to me as if THG primarily included benchmarks that favor the p4, and they did include ut2k3 (usually an XP win) but this time ut2k3 came out with the p4 on top on THG. that was the first aspect that made me question this review. secondly, in the system setups, two types of RAM are listed, one pair from kingstone, and another from corsair. now, which board got which pair of RAM, and from being around, i know that corsair is usually the preferred one for performance. lastly, a topic that was brought up was the use of certain "adjustments" to the systems that AMD requested reviewers performed, and the issue of optimizatoins. as was stated, intel has deep pockets and they can afford to work with software developers, or bribe (depending on how you feel about it) to include optimizations for their chips. AMD, on the other hand, is scrapped for cash and counting their pennies, and they do not have the pockets to "work with" software developers. i see nothing wrong with including minor adjustments that can be performed to benefit your hardware. people do it all the time, it's called TWEAKING. basically, i am very disturbed by this review, as well as the supporters of it, as there are definitely some very questoinable issues here. what is being conducted in these reviews is a test, they should be conducted in a scientific manner, and as one poster said, in science, differences in results lead ot further testing and questioning, and that is exactly what should happen in this case. in my opinion, neither the p4 or the XP can be named as the fastest chip, but in my mind, AMD is the winner because they bring competition to the table against intel when no one else does (at the moment or forseeable future), and as i said to begin my post, competition only benefits us, the end-users, and the greater the competition, the better it is for us.
May 29, 2003 5:11:09 PM

Dear,

you are impressed by common right of AMD,
yes it is true.

But some things you forget -
rating of processor must true, and that's about which we are speaking.
The subject - is to not forget first speaking especially about second.

The Dll - is about eliminating minor bag,
for most real system that must be in next service pack -real widely used. Not Tweaking - that is bad thing here,
die to not for wide use.
!