Feeds

P4: Tom's Hardware has another rethink

Intel burns midnight oil in Munich

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

A week ago, renowned hardware site Tom's Hardware Guide reported that they really quite liked Intel's new flagchip Pentium 4. But after trying some MPEG 4 encoding, took the view that P4 was pretty horrible compared with the opposition, being outperformed by both Athlon and PIII.

A number of Tom's readers pointed out that it was unfair to judge the P4's performance using software not optimised to use the processor to its full potential and towards the end of last week, some dedicated folks at Intel Munich worked through the night to recompile the FlasK MPEG encoder to incorporate SSE2 code and mailed it to THG.

The results were illuminating. The P4's performance jumped from a pathetic 3.83fps to 14.03. Interestingly the 1.2GHz Athlon also improved thanks to Intel's tweaks, moving from 6.43 to 11.14fps.

As Tom states: "... the original compilation of FlasK was either done with an ancient compiler or with very strange optimizations. Intel's version doesn't only improve performance for Pentium 4 owners, but for Pentium III and Athlon owners as well."

What this goes to show is that judging a processor on benchmarks alone can be misleading, especially if the test program turns out to have some "strange optimisations". The good news for Intel is that, with AMD adopting SSE2 for its own products, the software industry will accelerate the introduction of SSE2 optimised code.

Dr Tom adds: "Once that's done Pentium 4 has a good chance to become a success even at its current clock speeds."

And like THG, The Reg applauds the swift and effective response from Intel's folks in Munich - give 'em a raise, or at least a day off to catch up on their sleep. ®

Related Stories

Tom's Hardware: P4 'performs horribly' in MPEG 4
P4: First Sandra 2001 benchmarks

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.