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P4XE vs. P4E vs. P4C vs. P4A

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July 24, 2004 2:20:15 AM

Hello folks.

Maybe someone can straighten me out here.


QUESTION #1:

Regarding P4 CPUs, which series is *generally* the most recent, second most recent, third most recent, and fourth most recent?

Does it go like this?:

Most Recent: P4EE (P4XE)
2nd Most Recent: P4E
3rd Most Recent: P4C
Fourth Most Recent: P4A


QUESTION #2:

Okay, and more importantly, which series is *generally* the most highest in performance, second highest, etc.?

Does it go like this?:

Most Highest in Performance: P4EE (P4XE)
2nd Most Highest in Performance: P4E
3rd Most Highest in Performance: P4C
4th Most Highest in Performance: P4A


QUESTION #3:

Now, all of the above (except the P4A) have Hyper Threading (HT), correct?


Thanks very much!
DuckTape



NOTES:

The following information is for reference, and it has come from the "THGC CPU Buyers' Guide" (22/June/2004) by Spitfire_x86:

P4A
Pentium 4 - Prescott "A"
.09µ
FSB: 533 MHz effective (133 MHz Quad-Pumped)
L1 data cache: 16k
L2 cache: 1MB

P4C
Pentium 4 - Northwood "C"
.13µ
FSB: 800 MHz effective (200 MHz Quad-Pumped)
L1 data cache: 8k
L2 cache: 512k

P4E
Pentium 4 - Prescott
.09µ
FSB: 800 MHz effective (200 MHz Quad-Pumped)
L1 data cache: 16k
L2 cache: 1MB

P4EE (P4XE)
Pentium 4 Extreme Edition - Prestonia
.13µ
FSB: 800 MHz effective (200 MHz Quad-Pumped)
L1 data cache: 8k
L2 cache: 512k
L3 cache: 2MB

More about : p4xe p4e p4c p4a

a b à CPUs
July 24, 2004 4:41:46 AM

1.) No, it goes:

P4EE
P4E
P4C
P4B
P4A
P4

The first P4 was based on a Williamette core, A-C and EE were based on the Northwood core, and the E is based on the Prescott core.

2. No, it goes

P4EE
P4C
P4E
P4B
P4A
P4

The Northwood core is a bit more efficient than the Prescott (E) due to it's shorter pipeline. The Prescott was designed to clock higher, not perform better.

The EE is a Northwood, like the C, but with extra (L3) cache.

The P4A I've mentioned is the FIRST version, available at 1.6, 1.8, 2.0, 2.2, 2.4, and 2.6GHz. The P4A mentioned in Spitfire's guide is a new version based on the Prescott.

For Northwood cores, A=400 bus, B=533 bus, C=800 bus. For Prescott cores, A=533 bus, E=800 bus.

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July 26, 2004 8:37:55 AM

Spitfire_x86,

By the way, thanks for the CPU Buyer's Guide you put together. I found it very helpful!


Crashman,

<< The Northwood core is a bit more efficient than the Prescott (E) due to it's shorter pipeline. The Prescott was designed to clock higher, not perform better. >>

You know, I guess I didn't realize that there was a difference between CPU performance levels and CPU clock speed. Would it be easy to explain the difference in general simple terms? I mean, would it be correct to say that the actual performance of a CPU depends upon the level of its ability to actually UTILIZE its clock speed? Is that how that works?

Okay, and now the big question (and anyone -- please feel free to address my questions, by the way):

When it comes down to real-life results, (regarding speed, any any other important factors which I guess might [?] include accuracy, consistency, stability, reliability and lack of any problematic issues), which P4 CPU (P4C Northwood or P4E Prescott) is generally better? And is it significantly better? And in what ways?

Your time and knowledge is much appreciated.

Thanks much!
DuckTape
July 26, 2004 9:21:09 AM

> I mean, would it be correct to say that the actual
>performance of a CPU depends upon the level of its ability
>to actually UTILIZE its clock speed ?

Hmmmm... more or less. Think of it in engine terms, clockspeed is the RPM, performance is well, performance :)  For a given engine, the higher you rev it, the more power it will give you (until it blows up), but the engine RPM as such is in no way a measure of performance. P4's are like a 4 cylinder sportsbike engine, high reving, pretty high performance but only if you rev them over 10.000 RPM. Athlons are like V-twins, much power at considerably lower RPM's. One approach is not necessarely better than the other.

>When it comes down to real-life results, which P4 CPU (P4C
>Northwood >or P4E Prescott) is generally better?

I'd say Northwood (P4C).

> And is it significantly better?

No, depending what you find important in a cpu

>And in what ways?

Slightly better performance overall (for a given clockspeed), significantly less power consumption. power consumption means heat, which usually requires more noise (fans). The only advantage Prescott has, is higher clockspeeds (in the future), which doesnt matter when you buy a 3.2 or 3.4 GHz part, and possible some minor performance improvements in the future as software becomes optimized to make use of the new SSE3 instruction included in Prescott and not in NW.

Either way, the performance difference is so small, I wouldn't worry about it; IMHO less heat and noise is much more important than + or - 1% performance. Ideally, you would want a cpu that combines higher performance with lower power consumption, so really, you want an Athlon64 instead of any P4 for most things...

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
a b à CPUs
July 27, 2004 1:27:03 AM

It's often called Instructions Per Cycle (IPC). The PIII-S 1.4GHz was so much faster than the P4 1.4 you'd really need to compare a faster CPU to it...for example the 2.0GHz Williamette or the 1.8GHz Northwood P4. It was just that more efficient.

Intel does things to make processors clock higher that at the same time comprimise performance.

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July 27, 2004 8:33:06 AM

Hey, thanks for the great information, folks. I think I understand this "CPU stuff" just a little bit more. So far, as far as P4 CPUs go, the P4C CPU is sounding pretty good to me.

Best wishes,
DuckTape
!