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Important Pentium 4 Evaluation Update

New Results Force New Conclusions

It is obvious that Pentium 4's mediocre x87 floating-point unit is responsible for those poor results. It is incredible, but Intel didn't seem to care about Pentium 4's FPU-performance whatsoever when this processor was designed. The Pentium 4-designers relied completely on the new SSE2-unit and the fact that SSE2-enabled software won't use the x87-FPU anymore. I leave it up to you to decide if you consider this as a brave move of Intel or an ignorant one. I suppose that Intel doesn't want to sell Pentium 4 processors to Quake 3 players only. However, for the time being Quake 3 is the only benchmark that shows above-average scores of Pentium 4.

I do certainly admit that MPEG4-encoding is only one of many tasks that could run significantly faster on Pentium 4 once new SSE2-code is used in the encoders. However, these are future tunes. Right now there is Quake 3 and then there is Quake 3, besides that there is only Quake 3. Have I mentioned that Pentium 4 is really good in Quake 3?

Let's summarize the latest findings:

  • Pentium 4 scores very badly in MPEG4 encoding benchmarks once the IEEE high quality iDCT is used.
  • Pentium 4 runs current office applications slower than Pentium 3 and much slower than AMD's Athlon, as proven in our Sysmark 2000 benchmark results from Monday.
  • Pentium 4 scores worse than Athlon in Unreal Tournament.
  • Pentium 4 is a very bad solution for compilations with gcc 2.95.2 under Linux.
  • Pentium 4 scores very badly in 3D Studio Max, proving a sub-par FPU.
  • Pentium 4 gets slightly beaten by Athlon in the 3D game MDK2.
  • Pentium 4 is badly losing out against Pentium 3 as well as Athlon in clock-for-clock comparisons.
  • Pentium 4 is currently the most expensive x86-system solution available.
  • BUT Pentium 4 is really good at Quake 3 Arena! Honestly!