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Athlon 1.4GHz == P4 2.0 GHz

Published by marco on

There’s a lot of people who just look at the speed of a chip; even people who should know better. Higher equals faster. If I’ve got an Athlon 1.4GHz, then how much faster could I be going with a P4 2.0 GHz. I mean, 2.0 GHz! Intel broke the 2 GHz barrier! Wow!

Settle down.

Here’s some good benchmarks from HardOCP showing that the Athlon 1.4 chip is faster in some tests and slower in some tests (about 50/50) on this page, but only by small margins either way. Statistically, they’re neck-and-neck. The tests also include the brand-new Athlon XP chip, but I’m ignoring that one for now. In 3D-gaming tests, the Athlon 1.4 is faster.

At AnandTech, there are pages and pages of tests, most of which have the Athlon 1.4 and the P4 2.0 pretty much neck and neck. They each win some and lose some. It’s pretty much statistically insignificant.

As for the new Athlon XP processor (emphasis added):

<q>While there was some debate as to which was faster, the Pentium 4 2.0GHz or Athlon-C 1.4GHz, the Athlon XP clearly establishes a performance lead over the competing Pentium 4 solutions. At 1.53GHz, the Athlon XP is able to consistently outperform the Pentium 4, partially due to the incredible performance of the retail KT266A motherboard that we paired it with. Especially in games such as Wolfenstein and Serious Sam, the idea of the Pentium 4 being the better gaming processor is clearly put to rest.</q>

So remember, it’s not just the speed of the chip…it’s what it’s doing with it.