Tom's CPU Architecture Shootout: 16 CPUs, One Core Each, And 3 GHz

Outdated Dual-Core Designs: AMD Windsor And Intel Prescott

AMD Windsor, 90 nm (Athlon 64 X2 5400+, Rev. F3)

The 90 nm Windsor core was available with 512 KB or 1 MB of L2 cache per core, which was a lot back when it was considered modern. The Athlon 64 X2 5400+ we're testing runs at a nominal clock speed of 2.8 GHz. As a result, we have to overclock it a bit in order to hit 3 GHz.

Intel Prescott 2M, 90 nm (Pentium 4 660, Rev. N0)

This is probably one of the most interesting processors in this article. The 90 nm Prescott 2M (which stands for 2 MB of L2 cache) was a modified version designed for the LGA 775 interface and PCI Express (remember, the first-generation Prescott-based chips dropped into the Socket 478 interface).

The Pentium 4 was a particularly fascinating piece of work because it saw clock rates rise from 1.3 GHz up to almost 4 GHz over the course of a few years. It was also a total dead-end for Intel. The NetBurst architecture required a lot of power to reach its high clock speeds and consequently didn't deliver very good performance per watt (or clock, for that matter).

The Pentium 4 660 is a 3.6 GHz part, which we limited to 3.0 GHz by dropping its multiplier.