The Giga-Battle Part 2


There you have it! With the inclusion of Intel's 840 chipset in the Giga-evaluation, Giga-Pentium III is able to win each real world benchmark in this set. Only Giga-Athlon's pure FPU-performance is on top of Giga-Coppermine's.

I mentioned it already in the first part of the Giga-project, most of you will read these numbers like reading the performance numbers of the latest Porsche 911 Turbo (my favorite car). You are impressed, maybe shaking your head, but only very few of you will buy it right now.

As for the winner of this competition, the Giga-Pentium III, you are in a strange situation. First of all the product doesn't seem to be available. World wide only a handful of reviewers has done testing with it. European reviewers are ranting and raving about Intel's inability to supply review samples. Actual Giga-system are hardly in sight anywhere and I doubt that there will be any boxed Giga-Pentium III in retail shops for quite some time to come. So what does that leave us at? A Phantom-product has won the competition. It's as if an Athlete broke the latest 100m-race record by running on the moon. Even if Giga-Pentium III was available though, you would get the best performance out of an officially 'outdated' 440BX-platform, or out of an expensive i840-system, which currently doesn't support Giga-Pentium III as well.

Giga-Athlon may look like the loser in the benchmark results, but it might turn out as the actual winner. Even though the supply of Giga-Athlon is short as well, there is still the actual chance to purchase an Athlon Giga-system right now. This product is no phantom, and that makes quite a difference. AMD should also realize that Giga-Athlon lost this competition against Giga-Pentium III for two reasons:

  • Giga-Athlon should have been released with the 'Thunderbird'-core, which doesn't suffer from a slow 1/3-speed second level cache. Pushing Copper-Thunderbird in the Dresden-fab and holding off this crazy Giga-release by a bit would have made sure that Giga-Athlon is able to look a significant lot better against Giga-Coppermine. I am sure that Intel wouldn't have released Giga-Pentium III as prematurely as they did as well, so AMD could still have won the race.
  • It's about time for some Giga-platforms for Giga-Athlon. VIA's Apollo KX133 may be a step into the right direction, but it's hardly good enough against Intel's chipsets. Dual-processor support, dual SDRAM channels, DDR-support, .... is what Athlon will require to look good against its archenemy Coppermine and particularly against the upcoming Willamette.