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Reviewed By: Carl Nelson [02.02.02]
Manufactured by: AMD, Intel
Prices: AthlonXP 2000: Find the lowest price on iBuyer!
Intel Pentium 4 2.2 GHz: Find the lowest price on iBuyer!


First Up: SiSoft Sandra 2002

I always like to kick off processor reviews with a SiSoft benchmark.  This is a synthetic benchmark, so "real world" numbers are not given (in other words, you look at arbitrary numbers, rather than something like frames per second, or decoding time).

SiSoft Sandra uses excellent tools for theoretical CPU benchmarking, for comparison purpose.  Version 2002 is updated to support the newest CPU's, such as the Northwood Pentium 4.

First up is the CPU Benchmark, which tests the raw computing power of each CPU.  It looks like a tossup between the two CPU's in this test, as they are within nearly 300 points of each other in each test.  Note that the Pentium 4 performs better at the floating point based benchmark (Whetstone), which the AthlonXP excels slightly at the Integer-based benchmark (Dhrystone).

The Sandra Multimedia benchmark tests using extended instruction sets, rather than raw computing power.  This is why the Multimedia numbers are always higher than the basic CPU tests.  Once again, the AthlonXP takes care of the P4 in Integer calculations.  They are right on top of each other in terms of Floating Point performance.  In case you're wondering which will benefit you the most; gamers will benefit most from Floating Point performance.

This test is strictly a platform benchmark, and I just threw it in to show how they perform against each other on different platforms.  This test is mainly useful for comparing motherboards against each other, but it should be noted that both motherboards we used in testing are second generation chipsets for their respective platforms (VIA P4X266A for the P4, and KT266A for the AthlonXP).  The Pentium 4 board we used is a second generation Shuttle board, while the AthlonXP board was a third generation Shuttle board.

We also did some testing using an Intel brand 845D motherboard.  This did not perform as well as the P4X266A chipset board, but it was faster than our P4X266.  Watch for more info in future reviews.

So far, I would say that the scores are pretty even, but with a slight edge to Intel for its slightly higher floating point performance, and faster platform speed.

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