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Three Pentium 4 Amigos - Northwood, Gallatin and Prescott Compared

By: Cameron Johnson | Intel CPUs in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: May 13, 2004 4:00 am



Today we have seen some very interesting results brought about by Intel. The Prescott, rumoured to be the killer of the AMD64 and the next great leap for Intel has so far been anything but that, in fact, it lacks behind its earlier Northwood brother in a couple of tests.


While its current adoption is slow, the Pentium 4 went through this same problem when it first arrived - brand new high speed instructions with no applications to support it. Here we have seen only one program with any SSE3 support, granted it did manage to show the Prescott in a much better light.


The fact is at this stage P4C and P4EE are a better choice. The C series, now the Prescott has come out, will drop in price which will attract more customers towards the Northwood processor rather than pay big bucks for the Prescott. And with compatibility assured with the older series motherboards, it is more of an attractive prospect.


While the EE series is more expensive than the Prescott, its current grunt is much more powerful than the Prescott is currently able to produce. This could and should change in the near future when DirectX comes with SSE3 optimisations and programs start to take advantage of the SSE3 instructions, however, we don't see that happening for some time, if the adoption of SSE2 and X86-64 is anything to go by.


Overall the Prescott will make a great future CPU, however, the issue on the power drain on motherboards is currently a big issue, and in point of fact is driving many customers away from the CPU, with time, Intel will most likely improve the thermal design of the 478 series, but for now it certainly is a big issue and worth looking out for.


Overall the Prescott turned out a slightly disappointing from all the hype that was put towards the new 90nm process series, with Gallatin taking out most of the honours, it does tend to put a bit of a damper on the new design.


For the hard earned efforts of the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition, we have given it a TweakTown "MUST HAVE" Performance Award.



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