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Attack: Duron 1200 Takes On the Pentium 4

Conclusion: Duron 1200 Beats Pentium 4/1500 & Celeron 1200

Our comprehensive benchmark analysis has shown that, in some disciplines, the new AMD Duron 1200 is even marginally faster than an Intel Pentium 4/1500. The Duron's strengths come clearly to the fore in 3D games still based on DirectX 7. Under DirectX 8, the Duron 1200 is still somewhat faster than the direct competition from Intel, the Celeron 1200, but, the low-cost CPU still can't outstrip Intel's Pentium 4. Encoding MP3s is another story, however - the Duron 1200 tops the Pentium 4/1400.

The results in the MPEG-4 encoding and Linux compilation benchmarks are proof enough that this low-end processor is in the same performance ballpark as substantially more expensive CPUs. In these disciplines, the fastest Duron today, clocked at 1200 MHz, even beats the Intel Pentium 4/1500. With that kind of performance, Intel's Celeron 1200 isn't serious competition for the AMD Duron 1200 .

The Intel CPU manages to score well only in selected benchmark disciplines. But this fact isn't likely to bother Intel - after all, most Celeron processors are sold in the OEM sector, where the system's performance isn't the main selling point. But the AMD Duron 1200 is a different animal - in addition to selling well in the OEM segment, it also does well in the end-consumer market. And the latter clientele is very interested in performance criteria.

The position of Intel's Celeron 1200 is threatened somewhat - although the Socket 370 platform may be very stable, it's no longer up-to-date. For example, the popular chipset Intel 815EPT only supports 64 MB RAM for the AGP. Modern graphics adapters with a GeForce 3 chip require a reserve of at least 128 MB for texture-heavy applications. This is a problem that the Duron 1200, based on the Socket 462 platform, doesn't have.