P4 for scientific calculations


I'm setting up a lab where we will need some decent computing power. We will be doing interactive image processing and intensive database searching.

Our IT fellow is recommending a HP 1.5 Ghz Pentium 4 system (HP VL800) and with some of the comments here, I'm not sure that it's the best choice. Many of the reviews address performance issues that I'm not convinced will really have an impact for us (ie. we won't be playing Quake).

Can anyone offer us an opinion regarding the raw computational horsepower of such a box in terms of its ability to do database searching and floating point calculations?


5 answers Last reply
More about scientific calculations
  1. http://www.spec.org/osg/cpu2000/results/cpu2000.html

    Here you can see many processors SMP, 32bit, and 64bit

    Notice P4 owning AMD, and scoring closely with Alpha?

    If your app requires alot of bandwidth then P4 is an easy winner. compataility and knowing that my CPU is not gonna fail means alot to me.

    If your app is non critical and you can afford down time, possible thermal failure, incompatabilities, less performance, and other problems associated with AMD (VIA) then go for that. go this route if you cannot afford a real machine. GL

    Dont let the cheap ass AMD "more bang for your buck" lemmings sway you the other way. One known problem with AMD and win2k requires a "patch" that doesnt fix the problem. it hides it. thats just what you need in your system.
  2. I would seriously consider a P3 if you want a solidly stable system. AMD's require the user to be fairly knowledgable about how to run around the insides of the computer. Basically, setting up an AMD system requires a lot of work. Once it runs, it runs fine.

    P4 is too expensive and I don't think it'll deliver the performance you need. The P3 out-performs it in FPU. Needless to say the AMD chips totally slam the FPU scores of P3 and P4 (but again, it's a stability thing).

    My opinion is that your best choice would be a P3.

  3. P3 1ghz should i say more....

    :cool: First person to get a topic banned. :cool: ABIT BP6 Lives FOREVER!!! :cool: VIA SUCKS !!! :cool:
  4. For heavy FPU calculations dual P3 is the fastest right now. As far a single processor systems the Athalon is the quickest. It depends on the ability of the app to use dual processors. I personaly am waiting for the dual Athalons to come out. Polywell.com used to have some good info on there site. Also checkout http://www.highend3d.com/tests/maya/testcenter/database.3d?page=0&sortby=
    Has the results of the same file on different systems, heavy FPU and Ram usage.
  5. Those spec scores are achieved with latest Intel SSE2-optimized compliers, don't expect your programs run nearly as fast. 1Ghz slower Alpha would probably smash P4 using non-SSE2 optimized code. For databases, P4 isn't good cause of big branch misprediction penaly and not as-good-as-should-be branch predictor. Sensible choices are either dual-P3 or fastest Athlon.
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