The Athlon64 FX's integrated memory controller repeatedly showed off its strengths. Whenever users want to play 3D games (Comanche, Serious Sam, Splinter Cell, Unreal Tournament 2003, Wolfenstein Enemy Territory, and X2), the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition is only runner-up. Also, the FX holds a sizeable lead when it comes to data compression with WinRAR, compilation of a C++ project with Visual Studio.net and Mathematica. Even during testing at high clock rates, these strengths were quite obvious.
On the other hand, we should also point out the advantages of the Pentium 4 EE. Even though it cannot keep pace with the measured memory performance of the FX, there are many applications that benefit from a large cache, the high clock rate, and, especially, from Hyper Threading: 3D Studio Max, Cinema 4D, Cool Edit Pro, XMPEG with DivX, MainConcept MPEG Encoder, TMPGEnc, SYSmark 2004 and Microsoft's Movie Maker.
The bottom line? We need to delay the final verdict as to which of the processor strategies is better in the long term. We just can't determine a clear-cut winner at this point. At increasing clock rates, both processors offer additional potential.
Still within the first half of 2004, Intel will debut Socket 775, PCI Express and DDR2 memory.
Meanwhile, AMD will bank on Socket 939, which includes the faster HyperTransport bus, while also eliminating the slightly slower registered DIMMs and looking to a future that holds in store 64 Bit operating systems and software.
So of course, the supplier that manages to successfully combine these technology features in parallel with clock rate increases at the fastest speed will be the performance king before the end of 2004.