iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Athlon XP 2600+ vs. Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz

<< Previous page

     Next page >>

The today's comparison holds on to the typical tests of this kind carried out in our lab. A top processor of one manufacturer is compared with that of another, and they are coupled with the fastest for them chipsets. Apart from the new processors the chipsets are also of great interest.

Athlon XP 2600+ processor

Although the lately released Athlon XP 2200+ and the latest Athlon XP 2400+/2600+ are based on a bit different Thoroughbred cores. The previous core revision used in the 2200+ had the Stepping 0, and turned to be a little raw, that is why the frequency couldn't be lifted over 1800 MHz. Therefore, the redesigning of the Thoroughbred which brought us the stepping 1 is a forced step made to reach just the planned capabilities instead of new summits. This case reminds me of the VIA Apollo KT266A, whose elder brother KT266 came with a memory controller that couldn't provide the potential stated in the specs.

The core of the new stepping has a greater surface (did they try to eliminate problems of heat removal from a small surface?), a greater number of transistors (by 400,000) and the maximum consumed power. AMD has changed a policy of ratings. The 2400+ had actually to be clocked at 1800+2*66=1933 MHz ( 2000 MHz in fact), and the 2600+ at 1933+2*66=2066 MHz (2133 MHz in fact). But it's known that at the fixed FSB frequency the performance gain gets smaller as the multiplier (i.e. the core's frequency) grows up. AMD proves that it takes very seriously its rating as an indicator of processor's performance, and is not going to turn it into a meaningless figure.

The rumor has it that soon the Thoroughbred of Stepping 0 will be taken out of production, and even the lowest model based on this core (2000+) will be coupled with the Stepping 1. Well, taking into account the more reliable core of the new stepping, this step of VIA is obvious, as the KT266 was also gotten rid of when the KT266A appeared. :)

Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz processor

Actually, this is the Northwood itself as it uses a 0.13-micron process, 512 KB L2 cache, the FSB's speed is identical to 533 MHz in its bandwidth (Quad Pumped Bus 133x4). This core lacks for an official support of the Hyper-Threading technology, though the Northwood has it unofficially... :) In the Pentium 4 2.8 GHz it's only the performance that will make interest for us as it has nothing more to boast of as compared with the P4 2.53 GHz.

VIA Apollo KT400 chipset

There is a good principle: one should speak (write) about something as much as a given thing is worth of. We will describe the new chipset from VIA Technologies given to three aspects:

1. Those who want to keep abreast of all latest solutions of the computer market have already downloaded all available information from the VIA's site. Such readers may omit this section as they will hardly find anything new here.

2. Those who prefer getting news from our site have probably read about the VIA Apollo KT333, and in this case they can read just about the differences between the KT400 and KT333. 

3. Those who are not very interested in such things as support of certain specs and memory types, frequencies and bandwidths of internal buses and other highly specialized information on the KT333 chipset will hardly read this section as well :).

So, what's the difference between the KT400 and KT333? Strange though it may seem but we failed to find any official information that it supports DDR of the same frequency as shown in the chipset's name. On the other hand, this is a normal situation when the standard is not officially confirmed by JEDEC and no one is sure it will be. But I think that the support of the respective memory bus speed and even necessary divisors to make normal PCI and AGP frequencies is provided in the KT400. But it's just an assumption as the official information is lacking. But if it's true the BIOS of most boards will let us enable the unsupported DDR 200 MHz, even without increasing frequencies of other buses, as, for example, it was possible on the ASUS's solution included into our test stand. :)

Another important innovation is a new 8X V-Link bus between the north and south bridges providing 533 MB/s. Many expected the 8X V-Link yet in the KT333, but it seems that VIA decided to combine two "8X" in one chipset :). VIA Technologies thus caught up with Intel (the latest chips of this company also use a bus in the chipset of the same throughput), and both are behind SiS with its 1.2 GB/s MuTIOL developed a long time ago and boasting of its fastest bus in the whole x86 kingdom. :)

The second "8X" is 8X AGP (AGP 3.0). Video cards and video chips supporting this mode are already coming onto the scene, and soon they will let us estimate its efficiency. However, nobody expects wonders: we just don't want new bugs. By the way, VIA works excellently in this respect - it has its won program of certification of AGP8X compatible 3D accelerators.

Other innovations are related with the south bridge, and they are quite obvious: ATA133 was yet in the VT8233A south bridge; the current VT8235 also supports the USB 2.0.

The attention of experts can also be drawn by the "Future Pin Compatible Upgrades with Serial-ATA and 802.11b", i.e. future south bridges supporting these functions will be entirely pin compatible with the current VT8235 (and the whole line starting from the VT8233), which must cut expenses for redesigning of the boards.

I must admit that the chipset is quite modern; it's the best choice for today for Socket A based computers.

It should also be noted that the hypothesis of the 166 (333) MHz FSB supported in the KT400 is not proven yet. Like in case of the DDR400 SDRAM, probably the FSB333 IS supported in this chipset. But we will make it clear only when such processors become available.

Write a comment below. No registration needed!

Next page >>

Article navigation:

Page 1: Processors

Page 2: Tests

Page 3: Tests cont'd, conclusion

blog comments powered by Disqus

  Most Popular Reviews More    RSS  

AMD Phenom II X4 955, Phenom II X4 960T, Phenom II X6 1075T, and Intel Pentium G2120, Core i3-3220, Core i5-3330 Processors

Comparing old, cheap solutions from AMD with new, budget offerings from Intel.
February 1, 2013 · Processor Roundups

Inno3D GeForce GTX 670 iChill, Inno3D GeForce GTX 660 Ti Graphics Cards

A couple of mid-range adapters with original cooling systems.
January 30, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1

An external X-Fi solution in tests.
September 9, 2008 · Sound Cards

AMD FX-8350 Processor

The first worthwhile Piledriver CPU.
September 11, 2012 · Processors: AMD

Consumed Power, Energy Consumption: Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge

Trying out the new method.
September 18, 2012 · Processors: Intel
  Latest Reviews More    RSS  

i3DSpeed, September 2013

Retested all graphics cards with the new drivers.
Oct 18, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, August 2013

Added new benchmarks: BioShock Infinite and Metro: Last Light.
Sep 06, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, July 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 and AMD Radeon HD 7730.
Aug 05, 2013 · 3Digests

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample Graphics Card

An excellent hybrid of GeForce GTX 650 Ti and GeForce GTX 660.
Jun 24, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

i3DSpeed, May 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770/780.
Jun 03, 2013 · 3Digests
  Latest News More    RSS  

Platform  ·  Video  ·  Multimedia  ·  Mobile  ·  Other  ||  About us & Privacy policy  ·  Twitter  ·  Facebook

Copyright © Byrds Research & Publishing, Ltd., 1997–2011. All rights reserved.