Well, Intel may have won the race to 2Ghz, but the battle is still far from over. In the benchmarks, we can see in a few of the test Intel's Pentium 4 2GHz lagged behind the Athlon Thunderbird 1.33GHz CPU. With AMD's new desktop Palomino due to hit the shores of the hardware world very shortly, possibly even as soon as Comdex 2001, Intel has quite a bit of ground to make up. The only major flaw in the Pentium 4 design is relying too much on expensive RDRAM based chipsets. While Intel is releasing a SDRAM chipset for the Pentium 4 CPU, SDRAM alone doesn't deliver enough memory bandwidth to keep the Pentium 4 happy. With DDR SDRAM Pentium 4 chipsets not expected till late Q2 2002, and the battle between Intel and VIA over the P4X266 chipset, the Pentium 4 still has a hard road ahead; in the courts mostly. With the technical side of things out of the way, here is the practical side of things.
If you just want to play games like Q3 and stuff where memory latency isn't a factor, and the higher the memory bandwidth the better the FSB, then the Pentium 4 takes this case hands down. Even VIA and the DDR SDRAM aren't able to match the memory bandwidth of Intel's Dual Channel RDRAM based i850 chipset at the present time. The stability of the Pentium 4 2GHz was also remarkable. Overclocking... Well, since we only had an Intel motherboard with no overclocking options, we can only guess at the moment. However, with the reported temperature of only 33 deg with stock cooling, full load and running at 1.7v core volts, I think the Pentium 4 has definately got some goodies behind it. All in all, Intel have done a very good job in getting a future proof CPU to market very quickly. With it's increased memory bandwidth, business and high-end graphic content creators should look towards the Pentium 4 with RDRAM. it's one to consider as an alternative to AMD. Keep those speeds coming Intel.
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