Clash Of The OC'd Titans: Athlon XP 2300+ vs. Pentium 4/3000

Speed Euphoria: AMD Vs. Intel - Who's Ahead? Continued

The more reasonable of us might claim that the performance potential of the top processors from the AMD Athlon and Intel Pentium 4 series is completely sufficient. However, the urge to reach greater heights lies within all ambitious users who do not regard the PC as merely a simple tool. And lucky for us, for even the strongest and most expensive CPUs, there are methods of enhancing performance. (One can never get enough!)

This exorbitant play of numbers continues with our latest efforts: we equipped the test platforms with the best of the currently available watercooling systems. In addition, more than 50 of the latest boards were tested for their overclocking ability, and the best out of the group were used for this test. In the preparatory stages, we removed the multiplier lock from three of the Athlon XP 2000+ series CPUs.

A view of the water-cooled CPU element in the AMD platform.

In comparison, today the average system is equipped with a 900 MHz processor as well as an MX2000 graphics card. The test candidates reach performance levels of which most of us can only dream: in the Quake III test, we measured a top rate of 325 fps, while the 900 MHz system only barely manages to reach 141 fps. The performance in video encoding via Xmpeg is also impressive at 39 fps - that is far more than 25 fps real time, not to mention 18 fps from an Athlon 900.

The watercooling system from Innovatek enables extreme overclocking. Not much will run if you use a conventional cooler with an AMD system.