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Prescott vs Northwood

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August 25, 2004 7:36:46 PM

Northwood setup:
$220 Pentium 4c 3.2GHz
$90 Abit IS7

Prescott setup:
$220 Pentium 4 3.2GHz
$?? ????

-- What is the best mobo to get if I go prescott? I know IS7 is best for northwood, but...?
-- Do you need different RAM for prescott, or will the same RAM that works in Northwood work for Prescott?

AND finally - why would I *NOT* want to choose a Prescott over a Northwood? It seems the Prescott is all around better - 1mb L2 cache as oppossed to 512k, plus the SSE3 instructions. Are there any disadvantages to choosing Prescott, or advantages to choosing Northwood.
-----I would like to point out I will *NOT* be doing any overclocking!-----

So what I should I do, Prescott or Northwood; and if Prescott, RAM/mobo?

Thanks so much for the help!

Dan

-- Oh, is it good to have ruled out LGA775 for now? I hear it needs different, more spendy RAM and doesn't really offer any advantages right now; plus it is not a tried-and-true setup... yeah? --

More about : prescott northwood

August 25, 2004 8:27:47 PM

I would go for Prescott, 1MB L2 cache is bliss and it uses the same ram and mobo the northwood uses, but you will have to do bios update immediately.

Some bad motherboards can't boot with Prescott, they need northwood first for bios update and then you can put prescott on them, but those are few. It will be safe to go with ASUS or Intel motherboards which are prescott ready when you get them, still need to do bios update though.

I would also recommend using an <A HREF="http://support.intel.com/support/processors/pentium4/sb..." target="_new">Intel approved chassis with air duct</A> that chassis is recommended for 3ghz processors and will solve any heat problem and noise.

That page has a video that shows the difference between a regular chassis to air duct chassis.

===========================
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August 25, 2004 8:38:49 PM

No need for LGA775 to expensive.
Prescott 3.2 is actually a tad slower in pretty much everything xept maybe doom 3. The extra cache is needed by the prescott to keep up with northwood.
Even with that funky looking case I expect more nois/heat from the cpu!

Bottom line is SSE3 is not used at all and wont be used for some time.

So why go with the prescott? really? no performance advantage, higher heat/noise I dont see why you would buy it.


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August 25, 2004 9:54:06 PM

Recent supplies of IS7 boards should have the Prescott updates in BIOS, making them a good choice for the Prescott. But the BIOS was released "just 6 months ago", so if you got an old board by chance you might have a problem getting it to boot.

All that to the side because the Northwood is faster in most applications and produces less heat.

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August 25, 2004 11:06:36 PM

Socket 775, PCIx, DDR2 and so on are all new stuff that perform like the old but cost a heap more... Id get the Northwood on Socket478, or if your in desperate need of the (not so) flashy SSE3 and 1mb L2 go with a Socket478 prescott cpu plus an ASUS P4P800 / P4C800 series board (but not the P4P800-s). The prescott generates more heat and requires bigger and more effective cooling, which also will generate a huge racket unless your happy with the 60+ degrease celsius tempratures most people suffer.
August 26, 2004 12:49:21 AM

I agree! If you're going for the latest chip why put it on an older board? If you want to stick with socket 478 get a Northwood!

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August 26, 2004 1:04:13 AM

I'd go with the Prescott 3.2 on a Gigabyte GA-8KNXP Ultra board. Cooling works with the Gigabyte 3d Cooler Pro. Memory would be 1 gig Corsair 3200XLPro. Vid an ATI x800XT.
Then your set.


========================
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August 26, 2004 1:06:01 AM

The SSE3 of the Prescott will be utilized by a few programs now, and most soon. Cost is the same, by the Best now.


========================
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August 26, 2004 2:23:18 AM

then why not buy lg755? isnt that the best?

seriosuly, if oyu buy into a nrothwood now, youl be very happy and then if you want to upgrade say 3 years down the road or sooner, you cna upgrade to an lg755 system or whatever. buying a prescott on s478 does not give you any longer upgrade path, youl still have to buy a new mobo if you want to upgrade to a more powerful processor, and doesnt give you lots of bonuses. sse3 is about the only thing it brings that is really a bonus and its likely you wont even make use of it unless you work with video alot.
August 26, 2004 3:43:51 AM

Intel had hopes for a much faster Prescott. To make it happen, they added a lot of pipelines. Pipelines may add potential speed, but hurts IPC. Intel tried to compensate with added cache. It just didn't help enough.
The odd program may get more from cache than performance, but they are few.
The one place the Prescotts shine, is as a baseboard heater. If you are looking for something to warm up a cold dorm, on a chill December night, scotty's your man.
August 26, 2004 3:21:48 PM

I second what Crashman said. Do you plan on OCing your Cpu?
August 26, 2004 3:40:47 PM

You should have no problems running a Prescott on an IS7, even though the bios reads "Cpu unknown" and times it at 1500mhz. Make sure you have the bios upgrades and the biosupdate program ready on a disk/cd. If not? well, you can actually run the neccesary os installations with the "unknown" cpu.

I totally 2nd crashman, why pay full prize for last years tech.? SSE3 (and the additional SSE2 instructions) might not be an 'issue' just yet, but they will be, and it's a lame excuse for not buying an up-to-date+future cpu

Abit IS7 - Prescott 3GHZ@3.6ghz - i865PE - 1024mb dual ddr400 - Geforce 2 MX400 64MB - 600W dualfan(front/rear) PowerTek Psu - maxtor 4K080H4 & 6Y120P0 - samsung sm-352b
August 26, 2004 5:30:53 PM

First of all, he made it clear he wont be doing overclocking at all.

Secondly, whats so bad about the northwoods? Besides SSE3, what does prescott offer that a compareable northwood on s478 cant?

The argument that buy prescott becuase its newere is pretty lame if you ask me. People still buy ahtlon xp,s and celerons and such, buying the last generation is not a stupid idea at all. Comparing northwood to prescott its even easier to choose since northwoods perform as good and evne ebtter in some cases then the prescotts, require less cooling, and offer the same upgrade path prescotts do on s478. Id like to know why everyone thinks SSE 3 is a reason to buy into prescotts when it might not evne matter for the things he will use the pc for? How long will it take for sse 3 to be adopted by everyone? Its been out for quite sometime and still there are only a handful of video encoding apps that make use of it.

if he wants prescott, then id say save up for lg755, since that is the 'new' socket for the future right? but since lg755 is not a viable option right now, northwood and s478 will do great until lg755 is a cheaper option, then he can move to prescott.
August 27, 2004 8:12:17 AM

did I mention overclocking? ;) 

There is nothing wrong with a northwood (sounds like an am. car commercial ;)  ) but for rougly the exact amount of money, he can get a cpu which had additional cache and SSE registers. Why would you argue that in a future perspective? Right, if he wants it cooler/quiter, he could also buy a PIII which can actually be operated without a fan, that's how cool that is.. see where I am getting at?

besides, my Prescott is sitting at 42c on 1800rpm this very moment

Whatever he picks; I am sure he will not be disappointed

Abit IS7 - Prescott 3GHZ@3.6ghz - i865PE - 1024mb dual ddr400 - Geforce 2 MX400 64MB - 600W dualfan(front/rear) PowerTek Psu - maxtor 4K080H4 & 6Y120P0 - samsung sm-352b
August 27, 2004 8:30:17 AM

OK.. The one observation I will make about Scotty Vs Northwood is the amount of noise the bundled cooler makes.

I've built several P4 2.8C systems here at work, and fairly recently built a virtually identical P4 2.8E (Scotty) system, and the scotty system makes a crapload more noise, as the bundled cooler has a lot more to cope with. It's quite noticeably louder than my 2.8C system despite the fact I have 3 additional 80mm fans in mine.

If you're planning to use a third-party cooler then this isn't an issue, but the bundled NW cooler is actually very good IMO.

---
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August 27, 2004 10:42:45 AM

You know what really tees me off about Scotties?
Pretty soon, mobos will start to fail. They cant take the heat, and the extra power will cause board failure.
Now I knw that the boards were speced to run with higher power requirements, but it is how and how often the board uses the higher requirements.
The mobo makers will take all the loses, but that will be reflected in the cost of our next boards. Even Amd boards will go up. Great, Intel screws you even when you buy AMD.
August 27, 2004 10:54:59 AM

-- Great, Intel screws you even when you buy AMD --

LOL

Abit IS7 - Prescott 3GHZ@3.6ghz - i865PE - 1024mb dual ddr400 - Geforce 2 MX400 64MB - 600W dualfan(front/rear) PowerTek Psu - maxtor 4K080H4 & 6Y120P0 - samsung sm-352b
August 27, 2004 2:53:05 PM

So, what is the verdict? Pre-Scotty of No-thWorthy!

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August 27, 2004 4:32:08 PM

no that was to the other posters :p 

again i ask the question, will he use sse3 to any benefit? you cant answer that can you? ok so the prescott has addiitonal cahce, does that produce better performance? not if you look at nearly any review made comparing the two at same speeds. Come on, dont start trying to push bigger numbers mean better, that type of thinking is pretty outdated.

The prescott was ment as an interim to bring Intel past the speeds of the northwood and to give them time to design thier next chip. To really take advatange of prescott's strength, better scaling, you would want to buy a prescott taht is clcoked above anything on the northwood, unfortuantely intel has been slow to bring up new speed bins and even the top end models arent easy to find to buy.

i just dont see any prescott pluses for this guy's situation, and if he wont be using a 3rd party cooler, then he will have more noise/heat. al im trying to say is he misses out on nothing in his situation by goign northwood nwo and prescott later donw the road.
August 27, 2004 6:27:31 PM

Quote:
I would go for Prescott, 1MB L2 cache is bliss

actually the only reason the Prescott has 1mb L2cache is to make up for the dratically increased latency. meaning the CPU has to sit idle while the cache becomes ready to be read/written. so to try to match the performance of the Northwood with 512k, they had to give Prescott 1mb. even so, it still doesnt perform as good as the Northwood
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August 27, 2004 6:52:15 PM

So, if I buy a Prescott now, and as time passes, it will be utilized more and more by software utilizing SSE3. It also exceeds some benchmark now for video and multimedia, which will also improve. In the areas it does not surpass in the benchmarks it is only a small and intangible margin.
You get SSE3, 90nm technology, double cache, future improvement, and for the same price...
What the heck am I missing...


========================
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August 27, 2004 7:46:47 PM

Quote:
You get SSE3

its not being utilized, and probably wont be much more due to the way its used

Quote:
90nm technology

and this matters how? a 3.2ghz P4 on 130nm has the exact same processing power if it was shrunk to 90nm.

shrinking the CPU to 90nm is supposed to alot higher clock speeds, but the Prescott has leakage problems causing heat, and heat reduces how high it can clock. theres a 3.6ghz clocked prescott coming out soon, but lotsa people hit that speed with their Northwoods.

other than a *potential* increase in clock speed, .90nm offers nothing.

Quote:
double cache

see my post above about why the Prescott has double cache. its needed bcause the cache itself is slower than the cache on the Northwood

Quote:
future improvement

like what

Quote:
and for the same price...

yea, so get a Northwood , beacuse they are the same price and overall faster (and much cooler temps)


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August 27, 2004 7:53:54 PM

The cache itself is not slower, the Prescot has a longer pileline to position itself for higher clock speeds, and the Prescott does have a higher o/c potential compared to Northwood.
It boils down to preference, I would chose Prescott, you Northwood. Nothing wrong with either...


========================
Try everything...
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Live life to the fullest...
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August 27, 2004 7:57:56 PM

the cache itself is slower

both processors have on die full speed cache, but im talking about latency. the amount of time the CPU has to wait for the cache to be ready. its like 4 times higher on the prescott

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August 27, 2004 8:16:36 PM

oh and alot of Northwoods hit 3.6ghz +

most prescotts cant hit much higher beacuse of their heat output (like 65c stock)

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August 27, 2004 10:50:16 PM

From TomsHardware Article

The Pentium 4 Northwood reached a maximum of 4 GHz with a modicum of stability. Above this, signs of failure appeared in the form of Windows errors.

We used two conventional 3.2-GHz processors that can be bought at retail channels for this test. They thus reflect performance results that can be achieved with commercially available processors.

The following table shows the all configurations we benchmarked and tested:
CPU Clock FSB Clock CPU Voltage
P4 Northwood 3,207 MHz 200.5 MHz 1.55 V
P4 Northwood 3,535 MHz 220.9 MHz 1.55 V
P4 Northwood 3,695 MHz 230.9 MHz 1.55 V
P4 Northwood 3,866 MHz 241.7 MHz 1.575 V
P4 Northwood 4,009 MHz 250.6 MHz 1.625 V

P4 Prescott 3,207 MHz 200.5 MHz 1.375 V
P4 Prescott 3,535 MHz 220.9 MHz 1.375 V
P4 Prescott 3,695 MHz 230.9 MHz 1.375 V
P4 Prescott 3,866 MHz 241.7 MHz 1.40 V
P4 Prescott 4,009 MHz 250.6 MHz 1.425 V
P4 Prescott 4,149 MHz 259.4 MHz 1.50 V
In order for the processors to remain stable at 3.8-GHz and higher clock speeds, a compressor cooling system was required. The processor cores' voltages, which increased drastically at 4 GHz, produced a clear rise in thermal power - without the VapoChill the processor could not have handled the thermal power of well over 100 watts.
The P4 Prescott gained an edge over the Northwood with a somewhat higher maximum speed: 4.175 MHz, which indicates its potential.

Either way, they are still neck and neck.


========================
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August 27, 2004 11:00:16 PM

ok and we know that the Northwood is faster at the same clock speed, so there you go, thanks for proving my points further
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August 28, 2004 3:37:43 AM

ok why in the world are you guys arguing over overclocking at all? are you avoiding the point that he wont be doing any overclocking at all?! you want to debate northwood vs prescott in general thats fine, but for this thread ti was about him, in his situation, it seme sliek youve forgotten about that...

he wont miss anyhting by going northwood and he will get a performance edge at astock speeds, which is what he will be using it at. later on when lg755 comes down, then he can make the move to prescott.
August 28, 2004 5:39:42 AM

As a general rule, I recommend never being an early adopter of anything drastic, both for stability and cost.

Thus, the Prescott core is something I would never recommend now seeing as how it brings so many big changes with it, not even counting the processor itself.

DDR2 and PCI-Express are both not worth having at this moment. DDR and AGP8X are plenty good as benchmarks have shown.

So, for a less stable, hotter processor, you get to pay more for technology that is basically untested in the real world by a large public and has seen no significant performance gains.

Wait a half a year or so and then adopt the new technology, when it will be cheaper and better. Then I am sure Prescott will have matured into something not seen as a premature bust.

Honestly, when you buy into brand spanking new technology, you are basically a public beta tester, using a product the company intends to make cheaper and better in just a few short months, so why one would pay for the honor of doing so is a bit odd.

Go Northwood. It will see you through the next couple years, or at least until upgrading to a new level of technology is worth it.
August 28, 2004 5:40:45 AM

Easy answer, read what petertoy wrote, then do the opposite. He has yet to make a usefull post. He has been nominated for moron of the month, and may yet make it to Village idiot.
August 28, 2004 5:46:27 AM

ROFL I couldn't agree more.

Watch out for the <b><font color=red>bloody</font color=red></b> Fanboys!

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August 29, 2004 1:08:44 AM

Hey, thanks for the all the responses guys... wow haha I didn't realize it would be so heated.

OK so I definetly want a Northwood (sorry all you Prescott fans), but here's the thing... I can't seem to find any online from pricewatch for a decent price anymore!! I think they're disappearing... so, a RETAIL prescott is like $220 and an OEM Northwood around $260... AHHHH!!! Someone help!

I'm actually leaving for Fry's Electronics in an hour, so PLEASE before I go if someone knows an online store where I can get the retail boxed Northwood chip for $230-ish or less PLEASE post it! I owe you!! :) 

Thanks so much for all the help,

Dan
August 29, 2004 1:53:19 AM

Apparently, the recent price drops Intel made does not seem to apply for the older Northwood cores. Seems these indeed are still priced in the $260 and up range for those that carry it. Newegg wants $290 for the Retail version, while only $245 for the Retail Prescott.


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Try everything...
Do not be afraid of failure, for this is how we learn and grow...
Live life to the fullest...
Do not regret what you have not done!!!
August 29, 2004 10:01:10 AM

Well I went down to Fry's and ended up getting the Northwood Pentium 4c 3.2GHz RETAIL box for $260. I got the Abit AI7 mobo ($120) since they were out of stock on the IS7. Looking at ABIT's website it looks like the AI7 is basically the IS7 with uGuru tech. Anyone have reservations on this mobo or setup (other than the Prescott fans, I know I know... sorry!)

Thanks again,

Dan
August 29, 2004 3:15:14 PM

No, it should work fine. Enjoy!

Abit IS7 - 2.8C @ 3.4ghz - Mushkin PC4000 (2 X 512) - Sapphire 9800Pro - TT 420 watt Pure Power
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August 30, 2004 12:02:02 AM

Why are most of the prescotts cheaper than a northwood of the same speed?
August 30, 2004 12:02:02 AM

Why are most of the prescotts cheaper than a northwood of the same speed?
August 30, 2004 1:14:25 AM

becuase intel wants you to buy prescotts and stop buying northwoods. they want to start moving more prescott inventory.
August 30, 2004 2:32:08 AM

Prescotts are cheaper to make, so more profit.
August 30, 2004 3:44:53 AM

Sorry, that was in answer to dosun.
a b à CPUs
August 30, 2004 7:00:33 AM

The best board for the money is one of the oldest boards, the IS7. All the latest boards do nothing to make it look outdated. There just hasn't been that much going on in board tech, boards are just getting cheaper now, not better.

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August 30, 2004 7:03:54 AM

Abit rearranged the AI7 to make it cheaper to produce. The only negatives I can see is that it doesn't have as many soundports and they moved the AGP slot down 1 position (I like it up high to keep it away from my PCI cards for cooling).

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August 30, 2004 9:28:58 PM

What I've heard is that they run hotter and the sound is poorer than the IS7. That does little to tempt me into recommending it.


Abit IS7 - 3.0C @ 3.5ghz - Mushkin PC4000 (2 X 512) - Sapphire 9800Pro - TT 420 watt Pure Power
Samsung 120gb ATA-100 - Maxtor 40gb ATA - 100
Sony DRU-510A - Yellowtail Merlot
!