by January 30, 2004 0 comments



We reviewed the P4 3.2 GHz processor last August (page 117) and said it was
probably the last of the Pentium 4 series. But now, Intel has come up with a
special edition of the same processor called the P4 3.2 GHz EE (Extreme
Edition). It has the same clock and system bus frequency as the previous
processor, but has got an additional 2 MB level 3 cache. More cache means the
processor will fetch more data from the high-speed cache instead of the slower
system memory,  resulting in better performance. 

The processor is ideal for complex computing requirements such as, vector and
matrix multiplications; statistical and geometrical modeling; and simulation and
encryption. So this time , we used a different set of benchmarks that involved
computational modeling, molecular dynamics and encryption. There were three
benchmarks from Sciencemark called Molecular Dynamics, Primordia, which test the
processor for molecular simulation, and Cipher, which runs the 128-bit AES
algorithm. We also used Rightmark, which does computational modeling of physical
processes and solves complex 3D graphics problems. Plus, we also ran two regular
benchmarks, Content Creation Winstone 2001(CCW), which runs real world high-end
multimedia applications, and the Quake III Arena game demos. Lastly, we did a
Linux kernel compilation using the Fedora Core 1 distribution and measured the
time taken to complete. The hardware used was an Intel 865GBF motherboard with
512 MB dual channel DDR-400 and GeForce 4600 Ti graphics card having 128 MB
dedicated graphics memory. We compared it against a regular 3.2 GHz P4.

Snapshot
Price : Rs 56,000
Key Specs : 2 MB L3 cache added,
excellent performance for complex computing applications like vector
and matrix multiplications, statistical and geometrical modeling,
simulation, encryption
Contact : Intel India, Bangalore.
Tel : 5075000.
E-mail  : Linson.joseph@intel.com

Starting with CCW, the extreme edition scored 106.7 compared to 100.6 of the
regular processor, ie 6% improvement, which is significant for a benchmark that
doesn’t solely depend on raw CPU power, but also takes into account other
system components. Quake III Arena is famous for its CPU testing powers and also
scales very well as processor specifications improve. The regular processor
managed 390 fps, while the extreme edition scored 488 fps, a whopping 25%
increase. There were improvements in the remaining benchmarks as well, (shown in
the results table). Finally coming to Linux kernel compilation, the regular 3.2
GHz took 3 mins and 44 secs to complete a ‘#make bzImage’ command, while the
Extreme Edition took only 2 mins and 53 secs, saving about 51 secs.

  Content
Creation Winstone 2001
Quake
III Arena
Rightmark
Math Solving
Cipher
Bench
Molecular
Dynamics
Primordia Linux
Kernal Compilation**
  Winstone
Units
fps fps secs secs secs min:sec
P4
3.2 GHz EE*
106.7 488 545 13.6 92 422 2.53
P4
3.2 GHz
100.6 390 464 15.5 121 526 3.44
*Extreme
Edition  

**to run the make
bzImage command

To summarize, the new P4 3.2 GHz Extreme Edition brings a lot of power,
useful for computing intensive applications.If you have such a requirement and
are willing to pay the premium, it’s a good choice.

Anoop Mangla

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