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Performance Guide: Intel Pentium III

Coppermine Price/Performance Index

Some of you may be a bit confused due to the large amount of benchmark numbers. I collected the actual Pentium III Coppermine prices and made another chart, which will show you which CPU provides best performance for your money.

As you know, fast CPUs are always quite expensive. There's only one reason to buy a super-expensive and super-fast CPU: You need highest performance to earn money. Few high end users may also always get the fastest components, but I suggest most of us just don't have enough money to obtain a new CPU every few months.

Originally I wanted to use all three results: SYSmark, Expendable and Quake III Arena. As Quake III is one of the most demanding 3D games, I decided to base the processor index on it. I got my results as following:

Quake III Benchmark result on the BX motherboard (as seen in the chart one page before) / CPU price (I took the avergage CPU price from pricewatch.com). To get better results, I multiplied the result with 100.

Better results indicate better performance for the money you will have to spend. A Pentium III 600/133 scores 122 fps in Quake III, while its price is about $220. 122/220=0.55. Multiplied with 100 results in a speed index of 55. The Pentium III 800EB is almost three times more expensive ($620), while the resulting performance is only some 13% better. 137/620=0.22. So the Pentium III 800/133 scores 22 points, which of course is much worse. Loser is the Giga-Pentium, as hardly anybody can afford it today.

All overclocked CPUs are marked yellow, while all standard CPU charts are marked red. By overclocking a CPU from 133 to 150 MHz FSB, you can increase the price/performance relalation considerably.