The Intel Pentium 4 processor is a fast processor, built for the future, not today. Intel should have designed the processor for today so it's features can be fully utilized. Intel didn't though, they designed it hoping programmers would take advantage of the processors new features after it's release, not a very wise move I believe. I cannot justify spending AU$2000 on a processor and memory, not when it can be beaten in just about all benchmarks by a top end AMD Athlon processor (especially AMD's new AXIA stepping which can hit 1.5GHz) which is a quarter of the price of an Intel Pentium 4, at least at the moment. You not only have to buy the processor and memory, you have to buy a new motherboard, new case and new power supply, and that is the bear minimum. Upgrading to a new Intel Pentium 4 system is a costly exercise, but if you have the dollars spare and are looking for a new system and don't particularly want an AMD system the Intel Pentium 4 platform in the answer, maybe the answer for the future depending upon if it's features are fully taken advantage of, which we still don't really know. Rumours are floating around that Intel are soon going to release a 1.7GHz version of the Pentium 4, if these rumours are true I'd recommend waiting till it is released which will bring the price down of the lower end of the Intel Pentium 4 processors, making the thought of upgrading to an Intel Pentium 4 system not so daunting and saving your wallet some grief.
Rating - 7 / 10
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