Conclusion: AMD Widens Its Lead
With its new Athlon XP 1900+, AMD has widened its lead in performance even more. In virtually all the benchmark disciplines we re-selected, the Athlon XP 1900+ takes the gold. The Athlon XP 1900+ is especially effective in CPU-intensive situations, for example audio/video encoding or classic 3D rendering. However, we have observed an important trend in this area: the frequent appearance of application patches and updates that increase performance of the Pentium 4 via SSE2.
Intel's efforts to gain a foothold for SSE2 in the market are beginning to show results, although it still cannot be claimed that SSE2 has really established itself at wider level. For the typical office user or gamer, the extra performance offered by Intel's fastest processor (Pentium 4/2000) makes only a marginal difference when it comes to practical applications.
However, the difference between Athlon XP 1900+ and the fastest Intel processor - the Pentium 4/2000 - is, realistically speaking, minimal in most cases. There is still a clear argument in favor of purchasing the Athlon XP 1900+ speed-demon - its price: AMD is launching this processor at a price of 265 dollars. The fastest Intel processor costs 400 dollars with fan (boxed version).
We'd like to round off this article with a meaningful price comparison for users interested in building their own high-end PC system themselves. Those of you in the market for complete systems are in a different situation, since OEM manufacturers acquire processors for substantially cheaper prices than customers can at their neighborhood computer store.
AMD System With Athlon XP 1900+
Processor 265 dollars, fan with thermal paste 45 dollars, motherboard with VIA KT266A 85 dollars, 256 MB DDR-SDRAM (Micron - CL2) 35 dollars, graphics card GeForce 3 (Asus V8200 Deluxe) 280 dollars = Total price 710 dollars
Intel System With Pentium 4/2000
Processor with fan and thermal paste 400 dollars, motherboard 100 dollars, 2x 128 MB RDRAM (Samsung 400 MHz) 70 dollars, graphics card GeForce 3 (Asus V8200 Deluxe) 280 dollars = Total price 850 dollars
The result from both configurations shows that there is a difference in price of 140 dollars between the two systems. With these figures, it's really up to the buyer to make the right decision.