When the Pentium IV first came out on the market, the first thing I thought is that I'd never upgrade to one. But I found myself buying one just 2 months ago and haven't regretted it. Why?? When they first came out they only supported RamBus memory. It was over-priced and didn't perform as well as everyone expected. Recently however, there has been a flood of new motherboards that make it more affordable. I used to have a Pentium III and had 768Mb of memory for it. Then I saw a review of a motherboard that supported the memory. It was only marginally slower than the DDR based boards so I went for it. It has made a big difference to the overall performance of the machine and I am quite happy. Now if only I could get a new video card..... If you have a fast Pentium III (>1Ghz) then it probably won't make a big difference unless you go for a top of the range CPU. If you are using an older slower processor (800Mhz or less) then even an upgrade to a 1.6Ghz processor can make a difference (My machine is running around 400% faster since upgrading) A word of advice however. Unless you are running Windows XP, be prepared to have to re-install your operating system. Price below is for a 1.6Ghz processor and is correct at time of writing
The Intel Pentium 4 is the latest Pentium to hit the market and I have to say one of the least concerning advancement. Don't expect your computer to be able to perform amazing tasks all of a sudden just because you upgraded your CPU, you must also upgrade other parts of your computer. The Intel Pentium processor was released under the advertisement campaign that it would prove to be faster and more efficient than previously launched versions, but is this necessarily true considering the amount of hype no and let me explain through this review why not. A processor is something in your computer that does certain calculations to actually allow your computer to perform certain tasks and operations. The Intel Pentium 4 claims to be more efficient at doing these calculations than any other previous versions, but just because it has a higher number than its predecessors does not necessarily mean that it automatically is better and worth the buy. Pentiums process, that's all and the power of your processor defines how fast your computer can calculate certain operations and thus perform them. Ever heard of over clocking your PC, well this is used sometimes to increase the power of the CPU; it basically supplies more power to it and makes it work at its optimum speed. So why doesn't everyone do this? Well basically, over clocking heats the processor up a lot and therefore damages it, one would need a powerful fan to safely perform this operation. Over clocking derives from the phrase the CPU's internal clock speed which is a description of what a Hz is or Hertz. The Intel Pentium 4 is 1.4 GHz but does this really matter when certain processors can only perform a certain amount of calculations in one cycle. When in the whole part no because most of us don't have hundreds of programs running on or PC all at the same time and this is what the Pentium 4 is basically for. It is for people that run a lot of operations at the same time , which for a lot of us is not the case. The question remains are you sure that you want to waste £140 on a processor that you really don't need and will never use the full potential of. In saying this the Pentium 4 does have its triumphs over the P3, for instance it has a sse2 instruction set which means it is able to speed up certain calculations such as 3D rendering and multimedia activities. The Pentium 3 only has a sse1 instruction set so obviously in this area it is not as powerful as the Pentium 4 but this again is only for times of high CPU demand such as when running complex games that take up a lot of RAM or in laymen's terms Windows short term memory. Again in retrospect, there are only a few software titles that use the power of sse2 instruction set rendering it almost a useless addition. You may be puzzled as to why it is called the Pentium 4 if it is almost a downgrade from the Pentium 3, basically this is a marketing thing as you can imagine. The enigma surrounded by the Intel and Pentium name are paramount to say the least and without a doubt a lot of people will go out and buy this without a second thought. Can the Pentium 4 beat its partner the P3? I don't think so. The P4 is so expensive to make and most people are comfortable with their existing hardware and don't want to upgrade if their programs are running smoothly constantly. In addition the die on the P3 is getting shrunk to 1.3 micron. Why is this good? Well this will mean that not only will it be cheaper to make and thus to buy but also it will consume less energy which is better for hardcore computer workers. I am telling you not to buy a Pentium 4 Processor now because of the simple fact that it will be the biggest waste of money ever. It has been recently announced that the Pentium 4 has a life span of 3 months, this means that in 3 months it will be rendered un-upgradeable, you will not be able to upgrade your Pentium 4's m otherboard and even worse you will not be able to put your Pentium 4 in newer motherboards. I know that a lot of you that will read this review will probably still consider buying the Pentium 4 now and not in June or July because you desperately need more power. If this is the case then I strongly recommend steering away from the Intel hype and perhaps being brave and buying the Thunderbird or P3. 900 MHz or the AMD Duron which both go for cheaper prices than the Pentium 4 and both have outstanding performance.
The Pentium 4 has to be Intel’s biggest rip off so far. Then name 'Pentium' Has become so strong now, that all the designers have to do in order for there new chip to succeed is to merely up the MHz* rating a bit, stick a new flash colour on the symbol, manufacture a new sticker and hey presto your away. In fact, Intel’s latest chip is actually SLOWER than its predecessor; it's only thanks to the hyped up MHz that it manages to hold any ground at all. They have spent a few million redesigning the P3, making it larger and capable of handling a higher MHz rating, but thanks to it's increased size, the chip itself has actually become slower. Ok, so you do not misunderstand me, I am talking about the chip, meaning that if you got a 1GHz* P3 and put it against a 1GHz P4 (I know the P4 enters at 1.4Ghz) then the P3 would come out on top. The only thing that people ever look for when buying a processor (or put to that a computer) is the MHz and so this strategy has been working for Intel for quite some time. People generally disregard facts such as Cache*, System Bus* and the actual chip, in favour of the more commonly known Mega Hertz rating. But what can you do, I’m sure I’m going to receive countless 'Not Usefulls' from people who disagree but frankly I don't care, it's there loss if they continue to allow Intel to bugger them about, not mine. Intel Is sure to be able to push their P4 well beyond the 3GHz mark so are going to make a bomb out of very little effort. Thank you for bothering to read that huge rave about how crap Intel are, it's certainly made me feel a lot better I don't now about you. Jargon: MHz/GHz - Mega Hertz and Giga Hertz (1000MHz) this is basically one way to measure the speed of a chip, for some reason it has become far more widely used than other methods, probably because of it's simplicity . An interesting fact is that the higher the MHz rating is, the faster it vibrates, meaning it gets hotter and requires a bigger cooler. This is usually why it is hard for people to make Pentium Lap Tops, as they have to find a way of cramming the huge Power Hungary noisy hot processors into a small confined space, and then keeping them cool enough with a huge fan, that also saps power from the battery. Companies such as Apple (no i'm not a mad follower so don’t start accusing me of anything and disregard this whole opinion) who use lower MHz chips find it far easier to make lap tops than PC companies, and they usually end up far faster and with battery life’s ranging from 6-8 hours instead of the standard 2-5 of PC's. Cache - Vaguely similar to RAM* (Random Access Memory another misconception about a computers speed) in that it is a source of memory, however it tends to deal with the most recently accessed windows or pictures not the actual running of the program. For example if you clicked on a window in a game and it took 5 seconds to load, the next time you accessed it, (assuming you have enough cache) it will load virtually instantly. There is generally around 256k L2 cache (it comes in 3 levels) on the average Pentium and around 128k on a Celeron chip. For some reason L2 is the only one ever stated, this could be because very few companies use any other forms or it could just not have been seen as important, however the previous reason is probably the more likely. Ok this doesn't help much with processing, but it is another important part when buying a computer. System Bus - The system bus is directly related to your Mghz rating, and could be compared to a choke point, as basically it funnels Mghz through it, think off it like this: If you have a 1GHz processor and a 200MHz system bus then there is 1GHz of pressure attempting to get through a 200MHz wide gap. the m ore MHz you have the higher the pressure and yes this will increase speed somewhat, but only marginally, the best way is to increase the system bus at the same time, allowing far more MHz to travel through the gap. That is somewhat simplified so don't quote me on anything I said there. RAM - I mentioned above that RAM is "another misconception about a computers speed" well this is true. All RAM is is a way that the computer remembers things. If you have several applications (programs) open at one time, then the computer needs to remember this and so will begin to eat up your RAM (not literally obviously). All fine yes? Well the problem arises when people think that the more RAM you have, the faster things will run. This is far from the truth, it is like saying that the larger your Hard Drive is the faster your games will run, it simply isn't true. All RAM is, is a short term version or your Hard Drive, yes running low on it is no good thing, but on the other hand being over endowed in it has no advantages either. Wow look at me I’ve babbled on for ages. I hope if you actually bothered to read it all, you have learnt something.
The P4 has almost the biggest hype on the market just now but it really is just the biggest waste of money for buisness users. Alright, I'll give it some slack, it is really good for gamers as it runs pretty smoothly and better than the P3 but it is useless for running programs. I have seen the P3 run programs faster but you would normally think the opposite, wouldn't you? Just because this is a P4 and says it is 1.4GHZ and upwards doesn't mean it will work that fast with all program structures. The 1.4GHZ+ Malarky Let's go into detail about the whole MHZ/GHZ terms for the computer newbies. A processor does exactly what it says on the tin, processes. Every different processor or same processor is able to process so many of certain calculations at a time. There are many unique calculations and operations the processor handles. What does HZ stand for? It simply means hertz. But what does that mean? you ask. Well it is the equivalent of one cycle per second. A 850MHZ P3 is running 600 million cycles a second. Does that mean that since the P4 is claimed to run at 1.4 billion cycles per second its 0.4 times better than a P3 that is running at 1 billion cycles per second? No, because every different processor handles the same programs differently from each other, so the speed stated for the processor is the speed it goes at for a program that works at the best speed with it (I think this is right, at least that is what I was told) But it says 4, it's bigger than 3 This is the biggest weapon that Intel have on the processor market. The reputation that the Pentium name holds is amazing. It is like choosing a new guitar, what would you rather go for; an Encore starter or a BC Rich Beast that pros use? Exactly. Everyone knows the name Intel and Pentium and it is usually the first processor anyone will check out. Just because this is newer and has a 4 o the end doesn't make it better. From my experience, the P4 is a step down in the evolutionary ladder. The fastest P3 out just now runs much faster for buisness users but it is brilliant for gamers. It costs a lot more to make ond buy and I don't think I would pay this much just to have faster and smoother gameplay. It really just isn't worth it. In my opinion, it has to exceed something in the region of 2.3GHZ before it is really worth it and would be considered ahead of the rest. In the other hand, by the time this happens the Pentium boys will have managed to make the P4 hit somewhere in the region of 2.2GHZ, I think the P3 will have dropped so much in price the speed to cost ratio will be in favour of the P3. Right now the Athlon Thunderbird out-performs the P3 but costs more and right now they are trying to reduce the price of it. If this happens, the P3 will be defeated by this. But I want a Pentium 4 now! Hold it, if this rather long review hasn't done enough to tell you to wait, Intel has already announced that the current life span on all P4s and their motherboards and chipsets is only 3 months. Yeah, well that is fine and dandy, but what does that mean? Basicly, 3 months from now your motherboard will be non-upgradeable to future p4's and furthermore you will not be able to put your processor in a new motherboard either. Basically anyone who buys a p4 at it's ridiculous cost now (around 200 to 300 pounds) is not only breaking thier bank balance, you won't be able to upgrade to a better processor. What should be bought instead just now? If there is still the urge to buy a P4 just because of the reputation and you feel loyal to the Intel and Pentium name, wait until something like july or august. By then the price should have dropped greatly, and your motherboard should still be able to be upgraded when the time comes. If you feel that you can't wait and you desperately need the power, I advise the Athlon Thunderbird or a good P3. 1GHZ Thunderbirds and 900MHZ P3s go for something in the range of 60 pounds, if you are lucky. I think the best deal right now is the AMD Duron. Excellent speed to price ratio although not the fastest around. I am going to rate the P4 based on a business point of view. I will rate the others just now as I don't have the time or proper knowledge to write a full review on them. I give the P4 a 2, the Thunderbird a 5/4, the P3 a 4, and a Duron 3 (all this based on performace for a buisness use).
A few years ago intel was the undesputed market leader for processesors. However in recent years their lead was diminished and reversed with AMD out in front getting to 1GHz before intel. Intel's answer to this was the pentium 4 and more recently the northwood pentium 4 which is print at 0.13 instead 0.18 microns and finally starts using copper as opposed to aluminium. (AMD have been using copper for ages). In my opinion these are not bad processors just they are not the best. The latest Northhwood processors are only just faster (3%) than the AMD 2000+ which are still using the 0.18 printing process. However the northwood cost almost £150 pounds more and is not as overclockable as the AMD and untill recently had to use the more expensive rambus ram. However if one uses DDR ram with the northwood it is slower than the AMD so in my opinion there is little point in the pentium northwood. One clear advantage of the pentium is that it is slightly more reliable but only slightly. This is not a bad product it is just there are cheaper faster alternative and the money you save can be used to upgrade in a year or two's time.
Hi, I'm Igviz. And i want to present you my new opinion about Intel Pentium 4. Some month age I usually asked my friend why they wanted to by new Intel Pentium 4. And they usually told me that the 4th has capacity that necessary today then it has the power for the most modern internet programs, fast speed for creation and edition audio and video materials. Then Pentium 4 has production platform that provides submersion in 3d world. But in general they are right but now I can tell you more exact about this high power processor because I made sure myself when I bought Intel Pentium 4. At first there are four types of this processor they are 1.3 GHz, 1.4 GHz, 1.5 GHz, 1.7 GHz, 1.8GHz, 1.9GHz and 2.0GHz. And it has a lot of new advantages. For example in the games: 1. Capacity that allows synthesizing more detailed images 2. To raise the realism of the raise realism of the playing ambience 3. To enlarge frequency of the renovation of the screen. If you create your own video films than you need Pentium 4 because it is provides fast creation, edition and spreading video film with professional quality. If you work with audio and video than Pentium 4 provides you a power that is necessary for good quality and faster speed for MP3 files. And of course capacity for modern internet novelties such as: 3d graphics, animations and video materials. So I think that this new processor is really very approaches for us. And because of it I can recommend it for you. This processor will help us in many ways. So that was the opinion by Igviz! Good luck!! And don’t forget to read my other opinions
The P4 is getting a bad press from many people I upgraded from a Pentium III 500 MHz system to a Pentium IV 1.5 GHz system. The Pentium IV comes in eight different processor speeds 2 GHz, 1.90 GHz, 1.80 GHz, 1.70 GHz, 1.60 GHz, 1.50 GHz, 1.40 GHz, and 1.30 GHz and proves quite sublime when compared to its predecessors. The best improvement I have seen is in the fact that when I have many programs open, the performance of the programmes is not affected by lack of processing power. The Pentium IV has stopped all the hanging about when re-opening new programme windows and everything is so fast. I like to have a music playing while I am at my computer and usually have a music programme open, (media jukebox), and when I opened a large RAM sapping programme it used to lock up or take too long. Now it is as if it is the first programme to open. The extra processor speed and capacity generates excellent graphic quality to the extent that games seem more realistic and less like cartoon images, and more like video It makes the 3D action of your favourite games seem so realistic, even video quality and enables clear and smooth audio and video streaming. The Pentium IV has a 400 MHz system bus, the device that interconnects all the different components of your PC, which means that information is transferred from one component to another at treble the speed of my old Pentium III. If you are into making video or music productions the processing power of the P4 will more that meet your processing requirements. Encoding of music tracks to and from various codes, MP3, WAV, and CD music are fast and error free. Internet connections, live video, and audio streaming are excellent and not jittery. Though a lot of the quality of live streaming will depend on the quality of your connection and software. The Pentium P4 is an excellent chip with stacks of processor capability. I realise that there is cheape r competition on the market but I have always stuck with Pentium and do not yet see a need to change.
With the introduction of a new generation processor comes the inevitable confusion among consumers about what to get. And face it, the competitive situation in the PC micro processor market today has caused a pace of product introductions in shorter order than ever seen before in what was already a fast paced industry. The purpose of this epinion is to examine what is behind Intels' new generation of processor, to determine what it means in terms of performance for both now, and the future, and finally, to help the consumer make an informed decision about when or if to upgrade to the Pentium 4. What is the difference between the Pentium 4 and the Pentium III? Ever since the introduction of the Pentium Pro, it was possible to express differences in a new generation of Intel processor by examining its predecessor, then noting the differences. For example, the difference between a Pentium II and a Katmai class Pentium III is simply the inclusion of SSE instructions, and in some cases, higher clock speeds. The difference between the Katmai Pentium III and the Coppermine Pentium III is in the integrated L2 cache, and datapaths to the cache. This is because all Intel Processors introduced after the Pentium Pro used the same processor core, they just taught it new tricks. This is not the case with the Pentium 4. The Pentium 4 is the first processor of an entirely new generation, therefore the differences between the new Intel top of the line processor, and it's predecessors are more numerous than in past product upgrades. Hyper Pipelined Technology Aside from the obvious difference in clock speeds, a major archetectural difference between generations of Intel processors is related to instruction pipelines. The P5 architecture used on Pentium classed processors used 5 instruction pipelines. The P6 architecture used on Pentium Pro, Pentium II, Pentium III, Xeon, and Celeron processors used 10 instruction pipelines. The new Pentium 4 architecture used 20 instruction pipelines. The number of instruction pipelines is a two edged sword. Having more instruction pipelines helps a processor using Out of Order Programming scale to higher clock speeds because there are more pipelines splitting up the work. This makes timing significantly easier. However, the downside to increased number of instruction pipelines is that the penalty for a misprediction in the OOP logic is greater if the CPU has to cycle through additional pipelines before it can pick up the missed code. Advanced Dynamic Execution Because the wait for a 20 stage instruction pipeline is longer than a 10 stage instruction Pipeline, Intel has taken steps to improve the performance of it's OOP engine. The theory is that is a better instruction prediction method is used, the downside of having to wait longer for a missed instruction to be executed is minimized. By changing the algorhythm used to predict operations, caching branch history in a 4KB buffer, and other improvements over the P6 architecture, Intel estimates there is a 33% improvement over the P6 architecture in terms of less missed branches. Execution Trace Cache Another major difference from the P6 architecture is Execution Trace Cache. In P6 architectures, both micro ops and data were stored in L1 cache. Intel has reduced the amount of L1 cache from 16kb to 8kb, and stores only DECODED micro operations. This speeds execution dramtically. Rapid Execution Engine In another interesting departure from P6 architecture, the ALU (Arithmatic Logic Unit) of the Pentium 4 actually runs at twice the clock speed of the processor, instead of at the same clock speed. This is one of the key selling points for the Pentium 4 right now. ( Prices are too high for most consumers) The number crunching ability of this processor makes it ideal for scientific uses, and this will only improve when SMP versions of the Pentium 4 are availab le. New bus architecture The redesign of the Pentium 4 did not stop with the processor itself. A fast processor needs fast access to memory. The high bandwidth of RAMBUS is ideal for a processor like the Pentium 4. The i850 chipset the Pentium 4 uses shares the dual channel concept of the i840 RAMBUS Server/Workstation motherboards for the Coppermine Pentium III's. At present time, RAMBUS is the only type of memory that the Pentium 4 supports. Fortunately, the price of RAMBUS is much more reasonable then it was at introduction. At the time this review is being written, 128MB of PC800 goes for about $150. The new 400MHz bus combined with PC800 RAMBUS allows a data throughput o up to 3.2GB/s as compared to 1.06GB/s for the 133MHz Front Side Bus Pentium III processors. SSE/2 And last, but not least is SSE2. SSE2 instructions unlock the true power of the Pentium 4 processor. In benchmarks on un-optimized software, a 1.5GHz Pentium 4 is about 25% faster than a 1GHz Pentium III. In some tests, it is actually slower than an 1.2 GHz Athlon. However, the key statement in this sentence is un-optimized code. When running optimized code, the Pentium 4 can almost double its speed in some benchmarkes. This holds the key to telling the average consumer when to upgrade. Because Intel has such a dominant position in the PC processor industry, code will be optimized for SSE/2. When a version of Windows, or a patch for Windows comes out that supports SSE/2 instructions, it will be time for the average consumer to consider upgrading. For now, the Pentium 4 is best suited for engineering types who need the number crunching capabilities.
Well with intel releasing there Pentium 4 series not so long ago, most would agree that the performance of a 1.4 P4 was no better than the 1ghz P3. So what exactly are Intel doing to combat this problem? Well they have hit the market with the 1.7Ghz P4. But dear o dear, this latest installment seems to have the same performance as the earlier P4's. The only difference with the P4 is the power consuption. Which it soaks up 1.75v. So how does it perform with your applications and your gaming? Well to answer that in a straight forward way. It performs terribly. The more noticable software problems arise around MS Word & Excel. Also do not expect miracles with your games of Quake3Arena. Once office applications are compiled for the P4, we could see this being a benaficial contender. But as it stands it really would not grace your system with joy. If you ask me once again Intel have released this processor way to soon, and have failed again. They seem to be unable to have the patients to wait till they have a stable product and then release it. If they would just hold back untill more R&D was done. They could be releasing some decent CPU's. Unfortunatly they seem to set to throw junk out, just so they can beat AMD to the market. but AMD take there time and release stable and solid CPU's. Good things about the P4 though is, they have made a dramatic price cut on the cpu. But also the main one would be the chipsets. Planned for the second half of this year (2001). The new Brookdale chipset shall come into play, which will allow for SDRAM & DDR-SDRAM support. As it stands at the moment, the P4 will not come within 10 feet of my servers or systems. P3 still being there strongest series. But AMD still remaining the CPU of choice.
A lot has been said about the Pentium IV since it's launch, most of it being negative. This isn't the first time that Intel have been criticised for new processors, but ultimately their technology becomes more accepted and in some cases the standard. Remember MMX? It offered no benefits at launch but very quickly became a must have because games and software were written to support the instructions. This is now true of their latest processor, the Pentium IV. It has been slated for it's inability to beat a lower clock speed Athlon DDR, but this is un-realistic. There isn't ANY software that supports the architecture of new SSE2 instructions of the P4, and once they become available the benefits will very quickly be seen. Indeed, the latest drivers for nVidia graphics cards have been optimised for P4 and show a 100% improvement in some cases. Will this be true when OfficeXP is launched? Maybe not 100%, but you can bet that it includes the optimisations and will run a lot better than it would have. So what's the big deal about the Pentium IV? It contains a totally new architecture that Intel have named Netburst, which by it's very nature needs very high clock speeds, made up of:- Hyper Pipelined Technology - basically a way to make the CPU do less work per clock cycle. Rapid Execution Engine - double pumps the integer instructions. Cache Memory - lower latency and higher bandwidth level 2 cache memory. 400Mhz system bus - as opposed to the Athlon DDR's 266Mhz sustem bus. The other big feature is the addition of SSE2, the latest incarnation of MMX. As with MMX, any software that is optimised for these instructions will have a huge advantage over un-optimised software. Unfortunately these optimisations are not yet available in current software, so the Pentium IV is practically useless when put against an Athlon DDR, but this won't always be the case. Over the next six months we should see more and more software that has been optimised for SSE2 and the Pentium IV, and I predict that this will see it pull ahead of the Athlon DDR. In some cases, Quake 3, this is already happening. Unfortunately for Intel these are not the only hurdles that the Pentium IV faces. Just as they did with the newer P3 processors, Intel have once again stuck with RDRAM, which costs more than DDR-SDRAM although it offers more performance. They are currnetly developing a motherboard chipset that will use DDR-RAM but nothing has surfaced as yet, that I am aware of. They have also changed the socket that the P4 goes in, to what they call Socket 423, but that isn't the worst thing. They are going to change sockets AGAIN, from Socket 423 to Socket 478, meaning that if you buy a P4 system now, it is very likely that you will have to replace the motherboard when you want to get an even faster processor. Finally, a third hurdle, is that the P4 needs a newer form of power supply, which again attracts a price premium. Pentium IV Pros - it has the fastest clock speed of any processor. Cons - no software support, different socket, specialist expensive memory, specialist power supply, going to change sockets AGAIN, it's tomorrows technology Athlon DDR Pros - relatively cheap, uses any SDRAM, AMD committed to Socket A for some time, overclockable Cons - it's todays technology Conclusion The Athlon DDR is the processor to build a system round TODAY, as it offers the best performance overall with current software. TOMORROW however is a whole new game and the Pentium IV will undoubtedly claw back the advantage, before surpassing it, at least until AMD release the 'Hammer' series of processors which will also have SSE2, but by then Intel will have released the Pentium V, which will mean that AMD will respond by.... I think you get the pict ure. The Pentium IV is a very good processor, as is the Athlon, but they both will be surpassed as the circle turns once more.
Please be aware, Intel themselves have said that they have released this processor early for market and customer needs. Basically its not working to its true potential. New P4 chips are planned to be release with new computers in September, which will be at the optimum speed and effeciency. Thus please do not rush out an buy!!! It is overpriced and very expensive. You are currently better off with the P3 or new AMD processors. Wait till September for the improved P4!
As i mentioned in my article about the P3, the P4 is the fastest currently available processor at 1.5 Ghz. This said, what would your average user need anywhere near that amount of power. If you are a home user i recommend going for a 700 - 900mhz P3 or Athlon. If you are a business user who needs to be able to run specialist programs that requiore a large amount of processing power then the P4 might be worth considering, otherwise a high end P3 or Athlon.
Intel made the first ever showing of the Pentium 4 chip at the Comdex trade show in Las Vegas last Christmas. Pentium 4 based systems currently run at 1.4 and 1.5GHz, they are now appearing in brand names like Dell, Gateway and IBM. This was a key release for Intel as they were facing though competition from their competitors especially AMD. Presently, the AMD Athlon processor costs half the price of a Pentium 3 and performs better in almost every area. Rumours have it that the first Pentium 4 chips are not as fast as the current 1GHz Athlon, and are slower than the 1.2GHz Athlon system with DDR memory. However, the 1.5GHz Pentium 4 chip is excellent for playing games and multimedia devices. PC manufactures have complained about the high costs involved in making a Pentium 4 chip. They may have a point but whenever a new processor chip comes along, the cost is always the issue. However, prices will be slashed in due time (usually whenever AMD reduce their prices). The Pentium 3 was stretched to the limit - in fact, Intel had to recall the 1.13GHz version because of instability – whereas the clock speed of Pentium 4, is much higher. So, should we buy one? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For starters, the price may be an issue for some users. If you are thinking of upgrading your existing PC to a Pentium 4, you will need a motherboard with the i850 chipset, an expensive Rambus memory chip to replace all your old ones, and extra connectors on the power supply. In terms of upgrade, you may be disappointed. The first batch of Pentium 4 have different pinouts so future upgrades may be tricky. (As with the first Pentium 60’s which worked on a different voltage form subsequent Pentium 75’s and Pentium 90’s) Therefore, for now, the Pentium 4 has landed, but it really has not arrived as such. For more info about Pentium 4, copy and pa ste this URL onto a web page http://www.intel.com/pentium4/index.htm?iid=intelhome+roll_Pentium4&
The Intel Pentium 4 (Williamette) chip has been designed virtually from the ground up, and is the first entirely new architecture since the P6 core - which was in every Pentium since the Pentium Pro, and is built around a totally different principle to the Pentium III chip. Intel has taken the (apparently) bizarre option to design the Pentium 4 without the everyday user in mind???? Strange? Well not so if you think about it - how many people with say a 700MHZ Pentium III sit in front of office 2000 wishing it would go faster? Unless you are the worlds quickest typist, you are just not gonna have that problem. So what is the Pentium 4 aimed at? Well clearly the power user - for applications such as graphics and mp2/3 encoding as well as the games player. Unfortunately this has meant that the Pentium 4 does not perform to it's full extent unless the rest of the system packs enough punch to knock Lennox Lewis out without breaking into a sweat. In my opinion, there are much better processors available for a much smaller price (Namely AMD ATHLON), but there will always be people who want the greatest and the best. So let's take a look at what the Pentium 4 does offer... Firstly, at it's launch, the only chipset available for the Pentium 4 will be Intel's own 850, which needs 2 sticks of RDRAM (RIMM) Memory, which although falling in price, is still twice as much as conventional 133MHZ memory. This does however mean you get the speed of an 800MHZ Effective memory bus. This situation will change in the future, with different motherbards able to accept different types of RAM, and cheaper RDRAM available. The New core architecture gets away from the traditional rigid naming system (like 486, P5, P6) and instead embraces a far more dynamic name for it's architecture. It has been named "NetBurst" which is a sure declaration of it's intended purpose by Intel, as the Internet is now a major factor influencing PC b uyers, and with increasing bandwith (and compression methods) it becoming increasingly processor-intensive. It has been designed to operate at higher clock speeds than the (outdated) P6 core, which explains why from the start Pentium 4 chips will be available at clock speeds of 1.4GHz and 1.5GHz, and according to Intel reaching 2.0GHz by mid-2001.The Pentium for has a larger amount of execution trace cache, which deals with basic integer operations faster than the P6. This basically increases the efficiency and performance of the Processor, while reducing the latency. Pentium 4 chips also now have 8KB of Level-one on die data cache, which again has high bandwith and low latency. This is important as cache is like a notepad for the PC. It's a quick way of jotting down small pieces of info, without undertaking lengthy processes. It also has 256KB level 2 cache (like the PIII). One of the things that Processors have always tried to incorporate are extra (unique) instuctions. For example - MMX (Multi-Media eXtensions), AMD's 3DNOW and the Pentium III's (SSE) Streaming SIMD (Single Instruction Multiple Data)Extensions, which accelerates certain operations. Now the Pentium 4 brings us SSE2, which holds 144 new instructions designed to speed to operations. Again the problem at the moment is the same as when the PIII first came out - there are few applications that can take advantage of it, so until they are written then users will not see it's benefits. Finishing off the system is a 400 MHZ System Bus. A system bus is like a real bus, but instead of carrying around people, it carries data. This is where there have traditionally been bottlenecks in a system, and with a 3.2GB/s claimed data transfer rate the Pentium 4 shouldn't have any problems. The first systems to use this new technology are out now so how good are they? Well surprisingly slow. They performed worse than an AMD Athlon 1.2GHz chip that has just be en released in a new system (although work out around the same price) which could start to worry Intel. However there is no doubt that as applications embrace the new technology, and more efficient hardware is developed, the full extent of the Pentium 4 will be realised. But until then, I'd recommend an ATHLON.