Benchmark Marathon: 65 CPUs from 100 MHz to 3066 MHz

CPU Performance Check: AMD & Intel 1994 To 2003, Continued

Let's dip our toe into the waters right here: in order to compress a 1.2 GB DV-video file to MPEG 2, the 1996 Intel Pentium 166 MMX takes an excruciating 7,688 seconds - equivalent to two hours and eight minutes of processing time. By contrast, Intel's top of the range processor, the 3.06 GHz P4, completes this task under the same conditions in 292 seconds, or 4 minutes, 52 seconds. We are looking at a 26-fold difference in performance here.

Classic Pentium 133 in a Socket 5 board. The COAST socket (COAST = cache on a stick) together with 256 kB L2 cache is clearly visible in the center. Those were the days!

The popular task of MP3 compression provides a further example: the Intel Pentium 100 takes two hours, nine minutes to encode a music file from WAV to MP3 format (our test file is 17 minutes, 14 seconds long). The 3.06 GHz Pentium 4 does the same job in 72 seconds, making the P4 108 times faster than the Pentium 100! How about one of the latest 3D shooter games? At 2.6 frames per second, Unreal Tournament 2003 looks like a slide show on our Pentium 100, while the AMD Athlon XP 3000+ runs at a blistering 215.1 frames per second. If that weren't enough, the refresh rate is 82.7 times as fast. These figures are why we all want to get the latest (and the fastest) CPU.

This is what it looks like: system configuration under Windows XP with Intel Pentium 100.