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Our test of the world's fastest CPUs shows that a Pentium 4/3000 based on DDR SDRAM cannot utilize its full potential. This fact is reflected in our benchmarks, where we use a Pentium 4/2600 based on RDRAM (Intel 850) as a basis for comparison. In a few of the benchmark categories, even the Pentium 4/2600 system, in combination with RDRAM, was able to outperform the Pentium 4/3000 with DDR memory. The limiting factor with the Pentium 4 at high clock speeds clearly lies in the limited bandwidth of DDR SDRAM. This influence was not seen in the RDRAM system.
In the end, it is worth waiting for DDR400 and DDR II/533, as well as RDRAM with 533 MHz. The test perpetuates the impression that Intel's previous strategy regarding RDRAM made sense - at least with higher clock speeds of 2.5 GHz, which the manufacturer will introduce this year. At this point, the question arises: will Intel return to RDRAM and change its strategy once more? Otherwise, the chipmaker may still opt to go for DDR memory, such as DDR333, DDR400 and DDR II/533.
We broke a further record in speed with the Athlon XP 2300+, which is based on an overclocked Athlon XP 2000+. The limit was reached at 1866 MHz, at which completely stable operation was possible. However, to cool the CPU, we used an efficient watercooling system, as we had already done with the Pentium 4/3000. Otherwise, such a high speed for the Athlon processor would not be possible.
In the benchmark results, the Athlon XP 2300+ cannot quite keep pace with the Intel Pentium 4/3000, but the values that we measured are very impressive. In order to outperform the Intel Pentium 4/3000, AMD must switch over to 0.13 Micron in order to enable higher clock speeds. According to our laboratory results, with a speed of 1933 MHz, AMD can reach the performance of a Pentium 4/3000 based on DDR SDRAM. This clock speed can only be achieved by the new Athlon XP with the Thoroughbred core, which is expected soon.