Processor benchmarks: Intel versus AMD

Summary:Processors are now called upon to handle everything from simple text and graphics, through 3D games, to serious tasks like video rendering. We put Intel and AMD's desktop CPUs through the labs to see how they cope.

This evaluation of current desktop processors utilises over 60 benchmark tests including office and multimedia software, 3D games, Internet applications, video rendering and compression. We have used benchmarks that are relevant to a range of market sectors in order to get a balanced view of CPU performance. However, in an ideal world, you should also run your own mission-critical applications on any processor that you're considering.

Of course, performance is only one aspect of a processor purchase decision. For example, the Athlon 64's support for the NX (No Execute) feature safeguards it from certain virus attacks, and could be reason enough to choose an AMD processor. And if you're after a quiet PC, then AMD's chips have clear advantages over Intel's latest 'Prescott' Pentium 4. The power consumption of the Athlon 64 is lower than that of the Pentium 4 thanks to AMD's use of Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) technology. The Athlon's 64's 64-bit capability is also a potential advantage, although this feature remains largely unused because of the missing operating system support -- 64-bit Windows XP has now been delayed until 2005.

Power consumption


Athlon 64 3800+ (Nforce 3) 91W 172W
Athlon 64 3800+ (KT800 Pro) 82W 162W
Pentium 4 560 (925X) 155W 258W

Note: The power consumption figures quoted in the table above refer to a complete system with otherwise identical components.


Topics: Hardware, Reviews

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