Pentium 4 v Athlon XP

Intel has upgraded the Pentium 4 architecture to support a 533MHz frontside bus. Check out our comprehensive benchmark tests to see how this affects the balance of power with AMD.
Written by Kai Schmerer, Contributor
Intel has recently launched three new processors that feature a 533MHz frontside bus (FSB), compared to the previous generation’s 400MHz FSB. The new flagship CPU is clocked at 2,533MHz, or 2.53GHz, and there are also new 533MHz-bus Pentium 4s running at 2,400MHz (2.4GHz) and 2,266MHz (2.26GHz).
Intel's 533MHz-bus Pentium 4s




Codename Northwood Northwood Northwood
Frontside bus speed (MHz) 533 533 533
Level 1 cache (KB) 8 8 8
Level 2 cache (KB) 512 512 512
Fabrication process (microns) 0.13 0.13 0.13
Die size (mm2) 146 146 146
Voltage (V) 1.5 1.5 1.5
Power consumption (W) 59.3 57.8 56
Price ($) 673 562 423

In our benchmark tests, which were performed by ZDNet Germany's Kai Schmerer, the new 2,533MHz Pentium 4 with 533MHz FSB performs very well, heading the rankings in all but a few cases. Only when running mainstream applications and some Internet-related tasks does AMD’s top-of-the-range Athlon XP/2100+ retain an edge. To accompany its new Pentium 4 processors, Intel has released a new chipset, the 850E, that supports the 533MHz FSB and Rambus memory. Further 533MHz-bus P4 chipsets are expected in May that will provide support for cheaper DDR memory.
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