Conclusion: AMD & Intel The Fastest X86 CPUs, P4 With 3.2 GHz Currently Leads
Originally, the P4 based on the Northwood core wasn't supposed to reach such high clock speeds, with 3 GHz thought to be the max. However, the delay on the launch of the Athlon 64 (September 2003) meant that Intel could take a defensive tack with its product cycle (by Intel standards) and plan on presenting the Pentium 5 at the end of this year. In the final phase of development, Intel launches the 3.2 GHz version P4, which competes with the AMD Athlon XP 3200+ in name alone.
In our extensive benchmark tests, the P4 is always in the lead - we talked about this in our last article High-Flying: AMD Athlon XP 3200+ Squares Off Against Intel P4 3 GHz . To be fair, it must be said that AMD offers a good performance/ price ratio with its Athlon processors, but it still cannot quite keep up with the Intel CPUs.
But, as ever, there's a big fan club that is loyal to the Athlon. After all, the evaluation phase of the Athlon 64 will soon be wrapped up in Dresden, so the processor with optional 64 bit addressing will be available on the market. If the Athlon 64 surpasses the P4 in performance, then the market will become active once more. This is the only way to break Intel's current dominance. However, Intel has prepared for this and has the Pentium 5 (Prescott) ready and waiting in the wings.