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Reviewed By: Carl Nelson [04.04.02]
Manufactured By: Intel & AMD
Prices: P4 2.4 GHz: $560 (in volume quantities)
AthlonXP 2100: $210  (in volume quantities)

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First Up: SiSoft Sandra 2001te

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, including both the Northwood Pentium 4 and Palomino AthlonXP we're testing.

First up is the CPU Benchmark.  This tests the raw computing power of each CPU, without using advanced functions.  Dhrystone is the Integer-based test, and Whetstone is Floating Point based.  As always, the AthlonXP excels in Integet-based calculations, and even the 2000+ beats the 2.4 GHz P4.

Looking at the Floating Point results tells a different story however, as both Intel CPU's easily handle the AthlonXP's by quite a margin.  If you're wondering how this may benefit you, Floating Point calculations are more beneficial to 3D applications and games.  Before you draw a conclusion however, you have to look at the multimedia tests.

The Multimedia test is quite similar, except enhanced instruction sets like 3DNow! and SSE are being used.  This time the processors are neck and neck, with the P4 2.4 coming out on top in the end.

The purpose of this article is not only to compare the top end CPU's to each other, but also to find out which CPU benefited from each respective upgrade.  The P4 2.4 saw a full 200 MHz increase in speed, while the AthlonXP saw a "100 MHz" performance rating (the actual speed was increased by 66 MHz).  To find out which chip is scaling better, compare the like numbers with each other (blue to blue, and red to red).  As you can see, Intel is seeing a much better performance increase with the model upgrade.

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