As you may know in Tom's original p4 review he basically said he liked the p4 because in the areas where speed is important the p4 is fast but also mentioned that its floating point unit is not the best. Then a very short time later he turns the mpg4 test into a big old floating point test and says, surprise, p4 sucks! Of course it was already known from the first review that the p4's floating point unit was not the best so naturally on a floating point intensive benchmark the p4 will not excel. This is the first waffle. The second will come when Tom gets a hold of a benchmark that uses sse2. The reason Intel does not care about the p4 fpu is because of sse2. When the p4 is tested with sse2 software it will be about twice as fast as current processors and that will render the floating point problem a non issue. Then Tom will waffle again and claim the p4 is good and fast.
.... For intel's sake, Tom was trying REALLY HARD to LIKE the PIV, despite its too high price, RDRAM, & sucky performance in nearly ALL readily available apps., so when it looked halfway good in one of his fav apps., he hung all his 'like' there, but when he discovered that was an error, he finally LOST all respect for the PIV. It would take an act of Congress for Tom to reverse his stand. He, like the rest of us, have lost all confidence in Rambutt-kissing intel for now. Maybe next year. Maybe not.
How can you give a good reveiw for the p4 when it all depends on if SSE2 does what intel claims it will do? The Simple factors are that right here right now it is not worth the money. I dunno about you, but I don't want to spend my hard earned money of a processor that hinges on having decent support in the future for sse2 when all the current programs I use dont implemement it. Will this processor improve when SSE2 enabled software is developed? Almost certainly. Will Tom do more test's on this processor when there are more sse2 programs to run on it? Again yes I am certain of it. Should anyone rush right out to get it now? Hell no. Was it neccesary to casterate the FPU unit to support SSE2? I highly doubt it. If intel truly had held there consumers best interest at heart they would have given you both SSE2 and a good FPU unit that can run todays software as well.
.. Sharky's has always had an extreme pro-intel bias. For the most recent proof, look in his business PC recommendation TODAY wherein he claims that an Athlon is "almost comparable to a PIII" on business performance, then look at his own PIV review wherein his graphs all show an Athlon annihilating PIII's and PIV's of up to 50% higher HollowGhz in common business tests.
.... Most review sites have a bunch of common benchmarks that they use over and over to compare CPU's, but intel bundled in some uncommon SSE-only-enhanced benchmarks with the PIV and Sharky chose to emphasize those in his review, whereas other sites, like Tom's, merely mentioned those biased results as a 'curiosity' after posting their usual suite of benchmarks or ignored them altogether.
.. Its too bad some sites will insult our intelligence by making claims that even their own testing doesn't support in order to get ad $$$$$.
I've read Tom's Guide for quite some time now. I can see where some people might see his view as slanted away from Intel and toward AMD, but those with a little longer memory will remember back a year-and-a-half or so when Intel started its spiral of death that allowed AMD time to adapt and take the lead in throughput (notice I didn't say speed).
Intel has had quite a while to work out the bugs in the P3, but chose a different course knowing they were under scrutiny. The blunder that caused the 1130MHz P3 altogether showed me very clearly that Intel was more interested in speed racing that quality.
My personal observation of P4's release reminds me of another much-hyped release of "the next generation of computing."
It was called the IBM PS/2 model series...
<font color=green>Buy, build, abuse, and replace... </font color=green> :smile:
Would you believe that I agree with you on most all your points? My only problem with your post is the last line comes across as insulting. My post was not suggesting anyone needs a p4 right now. Right now a nice AMD with ddr would do almost anyone proud but the p4 may be the chip of the near future. The Register has an article about p4 sse2 performance titled "P4: total dog or really cooking?" and it appears that sse2 works as advertised. Also what is too expensive? I paid over $3k for a 166 a few years ago. A friend of mine (with more money than sense) is buying a loaded p4 system for just under $2k.
> Then a very short time later he turns the mpg4 test into > a big old floating point test and says, surprise, p4
Prior to running the second MPEG4 benchmark, Tom was under the impression that the MMX-based benchmark was meaningful though. He changed his opinion because the evidence supporting it lost its usefulness. That's not waffling, thats admitting a mistake.
> Then Tom will waffle again and claim the p4 is good and
Tom has already stated that the situation may change if/when SSE2-optimized software hits it big time. Benchmarks and opinions are only relevant at the time of their writing. As SSE2 software comes out, of course the worthiness of the PIV will change. But Tom's editorial only can say whether or not you should buy the processor _now_.
Just exactly what was insulting in my last line? Are you refering to my signature that appears on all post's? My last line simply stated that and I quote" If intel truly had held there consumers best interest at heart they would have given you both SSE2 and a good FPU unit that can run todays software as well."
Yes I was referring to your signature. Sorry Maybe I was a little touchy because I new my post would generate some negative responses. Please notice that exactly as I predicted Tom has an update on p4 mpg4 performance and it is a positive one. In case it looks otherwise, I really like Tom's and highly respect the opinions in their reviews. The opportunity to find a flaw in anything Tom does is very rare indeed but I believe in an effort to be prompt with a p4 review he was less thorough than usual. My current system is completely made from Tom approved/recommended parts. As will be my next.
Okay.. First I should think it is a bit fast to draw any good conclusion at the moment. Alright... in less than 4 days, Intel staffs specifically look at FlaskMPEG, which is open source. That is okay. 4 days only.. not finely tuned but generally yield very impressive jump in results.. thats okay..
but we gotta realize that, there are hundreds and thousands of title out there which is closed source. It would take ages to implement sse2 instruction in every of the program. and it is very likely that a lot of those titles up in the store will not be recompiled to include sse2. future titles? yes.. they will. but sensible to buy a p4 now? i think not yet.
we will just look at how soon they implement sse2 standard accross all the software developer before we can safely step in to p4 boat.
.... Most of us (99%) need a CPU in our PC that allows us to just grab any app. and run it exceedingly well. We don't have a bunch of intel software engineers in our basements to fix apps. with.
.... All x86 apps. are written for intel CPUs, if Athlon can run them well, then P4 should have been designed to run them hassle free also.
.... By the time SSE2 starts getting common in our software, AMD's Ultra-fast SSE2-capable 'Hammer series of CPUs will become available.
Who would buy a P4 worth the earth and expect every software maker writes its apps for it? For now, I think AMD Athlon or Duron is the best bet, and P3 the next one.
Say a year down the line if both AMD and Intel agree on a common SSE/SSE2/3D Now!/MMX/eMMX etc. instruction set (imagine Barrett and Sanders having lunch together and exchanging cigars after dinner!) all this argument might reduce to just PERFORMANCE!
But alas, it won't be!
In the meanwhile we users will continue to argue on whats-the-better-cpu-compatible-with-all-my-apps, while all the chip makers go past the cross roads, all to different paths.
Or could all CPU dependent code separated into a library and then we all will have another thing to worry about - hey do you have the latest driver 22.214.171.124 for your P4, else it wont run the freecell in your box! CPU drivers!! Hope floats!!!
It seems that Intel is taking the same route as its Merced again, it heavily relies on software optimizing in order to gain speed. This is bad. I still remember the time when P3 is faster than P2 right up from the box. No special optimization needed nor a full SSE optimization to compete with P2. Where are those days??