A long time ago in a R&D lab far far away, (well not that far if you live in Santa Clara) Intel research and development came up with an idea for a new processor designed for future CPU requirements.
When Intel first announced the Pentium 4 CPU and its changes, we all believed that Intel would once again take its place as head of the super-fast processors. On release date we found ourselves questioning this. When tested against benchmarks of the time, Intel's Pentium 4 processor at the same clock speeds as the AMD Athlon (e.g. Pentium 4 processor at 1.4GHz against Athlon at 1.4GHz), the Pentium 4 showed to be lagging well behind its AMD competitor, and even in Office applications behind the old Pentium 3 processor. This turned out to be one of the biggest jokes in the PC industry of just about all time.
Since this time, Intel has learned that the market won't follow what the Corporation wants, but rather what is faster and cheaper. Intel lost quite a bit of the market share when the Pentium 4 was released, and it wasn't until the Pentium 4 processor hit 1.8GHz and beyond that it started to prove itself as a fast all-round CPU. Introduction of the Northwood core and the i845D chipsets helped Intel reduce the costs of Pentium 4 systems, and improving speeds, performance and that dreaded word all CPU makers don't want to know about, "Overclocking".
Intel released its new 2.8GHz Pentium 4 CPU and it was the fastest P4 to hit the retail market. Now with rumours of Celeron CPU's being made on the Pentium 4 core with 400MHz FSB, and now with the 0.13um die, Intel needs something to push its flagship Pentium 4 to the top. This was where Hyper Threading came in. Though not being favoured straight away, of late Hyper Threading has matured in applications and benchmarking.
Intel's latest move has been to incorporate a new 800MHz FSB with Dual Channel DDR-400 support on its I875P and I865 series chipsets. This boosted the Pentium 4's bandwidth to a maximum of 6.4GB/s. This allowed Intel to finally drive the nail into the AMD Athlon performance coffin with one big sledge hammer. Today we are taking a look at the new model coming from Intel at 3.2GHz on an 800MHz FSB and put it head to head against AMD's fastest desktop processor, the XP 3200+ at 2.2GHz.