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My thoughts on Prescott, reviews and buying

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February 2, 2004 4:39:37 AM

Prescott currently sucks. We definately can't call it good, since 2x cache and other core enhancements brought ~3% lower performance (upto 10% lower).

No point of buying prescott if you don't overclock

No point of buying prescott for overclockers unless- you have very good cooling and very good PSU

Only positive thing about prescott:- despite 55% longer pipeline, it's better branch prediction resulted in higher performance than northwood in data compression and program compiling jobs, which are some of the weak spots of P4 CPUs. But A64 still beats them by long shot in these apps.

Prescott has no bright future. At 3.8/4.0 GHz, it may be as fast as Nothwood. SSE3 instructions won't bring any performance advange, only add flexibility for programmers. Intel will have tough time to clock it ~4 GHz/4+ GHz because of thermal issues. And at these speed, it will be merely a faster clocked northwood. I don't call matching Northwood a bright future.

There is no proof/evidence that Alderwood is going to be 5% faster than Canterwood.

800 -> 1066 MHz FSB won't increase performance as much as 533 -> 800 MHz. On the AMD side, AMD will get also some performance boost from dual channel non-ECC memory.


<b>Prescott reviews:</b>

I've read 3 prescott reviews from THG, Anandtech and Xbitlabs. IMO, Anandtech did a great job covering the technical details of prescott and near the end of article added an interesting scaling chart. Their benchmark suite was also fairly good. Xbit wasn't great at covering technical things, but they had the best benchmark suite among three. And they made a very good overall performance graph.

THG article is inferior than Anandtech in every way. They've covered tenchnical things better than Xbit, but Xbit has the best benchmark suite.

Overall, Anandtech had the best article and Xbit had the best benchmarks. Anandtech made a decent conclusion, but Xbit conclusion proves to be most helpful for making purchase decesion.

If you want to read 1 article, then read Anandtech's. If you are interested in benchmarks only, then read Xbit's. If you have time, then read both of them. Unless time is no problem, no need to bother with THG article.


<b>Buying:</b>

<A HREF="http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/prescott-t..." target="_new">Xbitlabs conclusion</A> is really helpful for making purchase decesion if you're interested in buy a $200+ processor.

My views:-

If you want the best then buy A64 3400+, unless- it's weak points are your main task/you have too much money to spend after 3.4 GHz P4EE. It's better than P4 everywhere except audio-video encoding/photoshop.

The best price/performance solution is A64 3000+. Bonus:- some upgrade potential and x86-64 may prove handy when compaible OS and apps arrive

Stay away from Socket 478, unless the strong points of P4 are your main task. The best you can have for this platform is 3.4 GHz Northwood. Don't expect P4 3.4 GHz-EE to be priced ~$200 after 1 year. They will just vanish from the market sooner or later.

Don't listen to people who says- "Don't buy now, wait for 1066 MHz FSB P4/wait for Tejas." These people are the same people who told prescott is surely going to be 10%-20% faster than Northwood.

----------------
<b><A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86" target="_new">My Website</A></b>

<b><A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86/myrig.html" target="_new">My Rig & 3DMark score</A></b><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Spitfire_x86 on 02/02/04 09:25 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
February 2, 2004 7:32:25 AM

Wow that opinion peice made me think, why am I reading this its-his-opinion-peice-of-ha-ha-Intels-new-chip-isnt-uber-good.

Seriously dude some of us figured this when they announced the pipeline increase since without that the core could have been around 20% better clock for clock. In the end it doesnt matter since its going to be a little bit before most can buy the new hardware.

But hey its refreshing to see beany has choir boys.

-taitertot

If this post has attitude, seems to be overly aggressive, rude, distasteful to 99% of the users here, and shows a zealous defense of Intel... It’s probably Spud.
February 2, 2004 8:08:16 AM

Prescott has no bright future

Spitfire_x86, do not be so emotional. Some people says that the full advantage of Prescott can only be realised with faster speed and they are not absolutely wrong right now.
But one thing is absolutely true is that who is going to buy 478 Prescott to use in their 478 mobo if it is not better than Northwood.I could not figure any reason.
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Anonymous
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February 2, 2004 9:51:52 AM

I couldn't agree more.. down to the last word. except for your "meta review", since I've havent read all those reviews yet :) 

And as you all know, I think the AMD64 issue is being understated :) 

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
February 2, 2004 10:24:11 AM

It does look a bit troublesome for Intel right now.

Either they do something about Prescott, and soon, or they will have some trouble...

I still think that Prescott has a future, though. It's obviously not that good now at all, but maybe in the future, when its disabled circuitry (dynamic multithreading and x86-64 are "supposed" to be there) is activated...

For Intel's own sake, I hope they can work on prescott. And I know we all would appreciate some alacrity on their part.

:evil:  <font color=red><b>M</b></font color=red>ephistopheles
February 2, 2004 10:48:44 AM

Is anyone working on a cpu buyers guide? Now that prescott is out, it seems like a good time. Most other forums have it on THG, so maybe?

XP2000, 256ddr 2100ram, GF4 MX440, XP Pro
February 2, 2004 10:55:15 AM

Yes, that would be an interesting thing to do.

But how would we do so?

Maybe we could make buyer's suggestions to low-end, mid-end and high-end. Something like:

High End: AMD: A64 3400+ (highly recommended) *****
High End: Intel: P4EE 3.4Ghz (not recommended) **
Mid End: AMD: A64 3000+ (highly recommended) *****
Mid End: Intel: P4 2.8C (recommended - cheaper than AMD's A64 3000+, but slower too) ****
Low End: AMD: 2500+ Barton ***
Low End: Intel: 2.4C ****

Something like that, with more details... These are not the real choices, I just made that up spontaneously, could be wrong. But that's just a general Idea. The "*" designate quality stars... or something.

:evil:  <font color=red><b>M</b></font color=red>ephistopheles<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Mephistopheles on 02/02/04 10:57 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
February 2, 2004 4:15:28 PM

Quote:
Spitfire_x86, do not be so emotional. Some people says that the full advantage of Prescott can only be realised with faster speed and they are not absolutely wrong right now.

You don't understand what's "bright future" in my eye.

Northwood "C" is already ~9 months old. Intel's new offering is upto 10% slower in current clock speed. It also draws more power, though more refined manfacturing process usually reduces power consumption. At the end of the year, it should reach 4.0 GHz if Intel can solve cooling related problems. I think it's very likely that Intel will either be able to make a better stepping or come up with adequate cooling. So it may not be impossible to see 4.0 GHz prescott before 2005. At this clock speed, prescott will be equal to NW "C" or maybe slighty faster in some apps (per clock, of course). Now would you call it a "bright future" if it barely manages performance level of a 20 month old core with loads of enhancements and making the PSU work hard?

IMO, it's "zero potential", because it's supposed to reach Northwood "C" level from an inferior level. And 2005 is year of Tejas. Where's room for prescott to shake the earth?

Prescott may turn out bright in future only if-

# Tejas is delayed.

# Intel keeps on improving prescott (like NW "A" to NW "C") because of Tejas delay and finds a real good way to deal with thermal problem

# Tejas performs worse than last generation prescott

With so many "if"s, it definately doesn't have bright future.

----------------
<b><A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86" target="_new">My Website</A></b>

<b><A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86/myrig.html" target="_new">My Rig & 3DMark score</A></b>
February 2, 2004 4:16:11 PM

Coolsquirtle and mine graphics card buyers' guide received good acceptence and proved helpful for many newcomers in THGC. Would you like me to write a cpu buyers' guide? If you like, then I can post a beta guide within 2 days. I swear, I won't make the guide influenced by my personal preferences. I will try to maintain maximum neutrality.

----------------
<b><A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86" target="_new">My Website</A></b>

<b><A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86/myrig.html" target="_new">My Rig & 3DMark score</A></b>
February 2, 2004 4:40:39 PM

I'm perfectly willing to let you do more work. :smile: Seriously though, I like the graphics card buyer's guide and see no reason why we shouldn't have one for cpus.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 2, 2004 4:51:03 PM

Agreed it would help us from having to answer the same question over and over.
Other usefull informations such as the meaning of the CPU name for amd/intel, the difference between the steppings etc. could be included...
February 2, 2004 5:06:36 PM

It really won't make much difference to most of the buyers in the market. They don't and won't look at benchmarks and will just buy up whatever Intel throws at them for the most part. Only small number of people who read reviews may not buy Intel and get amd or something. However, Intel still will have around 80% of the cpu market share and making tons of money!
February 2, 2004 5:12:04 PM

I think the format of the gfx guide is great (cards to avoid etc). I also think an faq would be useful, stuff like why is amd clock speed slower, but equal to faster intels? etc. Now seems like a good time too. I think mobos could be included (only for recommended cpus, so its easier to buy).

Looks promising :) 

XP2000, 256ddr 2100ram, GF4 MX440, XP Pro
February 2, 2004 7:22:57 PM

I hate raw benchmark numbers, they mean nothing for me. I normalised the results of 9 reviews and here is the "easy to read" comparison of CPU performance in UT2003. FX and EE CPU are too expensive to consider them mainstream products. It why I have placed them alone.

NORMALIZED CPU PERFORMANCE IN UT2003 :

100% A64 3400+
93% A64 3200+
90% A64 3000+
82% P4C 3.4GHz
79% XP 3200+
79% P4C 3.2GHz
78% P4E 3.2GHz
75% P4C 3.0GHz
73% P4E 3.0GHz
73% P4C 2.8GHz
73% XP 3000+
70% P4E 2.8GHz

HIGH-END CPU NORMALIZED PERFORMANCE IN UT2003 :

103% A64 FX-51
92% P4EE 3.4GHz
86% P4EE 3.2GHz

NOTE : Percentage based on A64 3400+ results. Based on 9 reviews.

--
Would you buy a GPS enabled soap bar?
February 2, 2004 8:39:26 PM

Nice benchmarks. But personally, I think it's not representative of the overall gaming picture, because AMD is always extremely powerful in UT games because Epic never really had the P4 in mind...

So, for other games, this paints a picture that is slightly off. More games should be considered for an accurate evaluation - which would probably still favor AMD, but to a much lesser degree.
February 2, 2004 9:08:06 PM

I know this!

It just take sometime to compile all the data, I wish to compile results from at least 4 to 5 games.

--
Would you buy a GPS enabled soap bar?
February 2, 2004 9:35:47 PM

Ouch, I think there's a lot to this idea! :smile:

But it will take a lot of effort, unfortunately... :frown:
a b à CPUs
February 2, 2004 9:43:25 PM

Yes, but the only good platforms currently on the market for the A64 are the 755-A2 and K8USA, both made by companies I don't want to deal with.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
February 2, 2004 11:55:28 PM

Crashman, you should't *hate* K8 VIA chipsets. They're far better than initial K7 chipsets. In fact, K8 CPUs do the half job of the chipset (on die mem. controller). So there's not much chance of VIA problems. They're aren't highly overclockable, haven't PCI bus lock etc. are the bad sides of these chipsets. But they're perfectly suitable for everyday use. When market becomes flooded with nForce3 Pro 250 and SiS 755 chipset mobos, then they may not be the first choice. But I won't say that they're unusable.

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<b><A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86/myrig.html" target="_new">My Rig & 3DMark score</A></b>
a b à CPUs
February 3, 2004 12:50:16 AM

Even if I don't hate VIA K8 chipsets, the two boards I listed don't even have the problems you mentioned. The K8USA is the top performer as well, according to OCWorkbench, and the 755-A2 performs about the same as VIA's K8 boards.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
February 3, 2004 12:57:47 AM

In my opinion,Prescott will not have its future until 2005,because its frequency isn't high enough to beat A64 and persuades people to believe it's better than Northwood.
February 3, 2004 1:38:28 AM

I'm not a fan of either AMD or Intel. But from what I can see, in the long run, AMD architecture seem to be te way to go. I mean, recent tests shows that clock speed might not be the best way to go fast. AMD 2.x GHz can hold against the much faster clocked Intel 3.xx Ghz. That means less heat, power need. Efficient chips are, in my point of view, better than just fast chips.so, in near future, the chip that might win the race might not be the higher clocked one, but the more efficient one. Especially with smaller and smaller device.

So for me, Prescott is not a fast chip...just a demo by Intel that they can do high GHz chips...which for most people, means fast chip. And peoples will buy that..they still celeron!

-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
!