The New Athlon Processor: AMD Is Finally Overtaking Intel

Benchmarking AMD's Athlon

In this part Athlon will have to show what it can really do when racing through several benchmarks. We decided that for this article a comparison with Intel's Pentium III would suffice, but we'll make an overall comparison of all available CPUs very soon too.

Those are the two contestants when they're all dressed up.

Is Intel Losing The X86-Floating Point Crown?

It's long ago that a a non-Intel x86-processor was able to beat its competitor from Intel in all possible benchmark areas. We have to go back to the days of 486 and 386 to find AMD and Cyrix processors that were able to beat the top Intel-product in integer as well as floating-point benchmarks. Especially the latter became Intel's strongest force once Pentium turned up on the scene and until today there was no x86-CPU that came even close to Intel's reign of the floating-point arena. One of the beauties of Athlon is that it kicks the butt of Intel's flagship right there where it hurts, in the floating point area. This is very remarkable, because the good old x87-architecure is not exactly designed to reach high performance easily. Still each floating point operation needs to use the stack and only two operands can be used. The design of the PowerPC processors is a lot better here, it has 4 times the amount of floating point registers and it can use three operands in its instructions. Still Athlon's floating point performance is even able to put a PowerPC's number crunching ability to shame and that's really not shabby.