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Chips out for the lads

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Always good for a bit of reader feedback, Mike Magee hits the new year running:

P4 Mihocka has attacks on him shocka

re: programs with a working set of 8k or less run much faster (And this is probably a s***load of programs.)

Then why do the otherwise identical Celereon A and P3 chips have such differing performance on real applications? More damning to the line you've been fed by Intel: Why did the L1 only Celeron's (with 32K L1 cache!) perform so poorly? Surely not because "a s***load of programs have a working set of 8K or less".

re: The P4's single decoder can decode instructions much faster than they can be read in from the dual RDRAM channels

But it still takes 2 to 3 times as many cycles before it can issue an instructions than does P3 or Athlon. Thats a pretty big latency hit, especially on top of RDRAM's less than stellar latency. And I think more of his concern was in regard to the rate at which instructions could be issued than the rate at which they were decoded.

re: It's true that many instructions take longer to execute on the P4, but this is almost certainly due to Intel's goal of clock speed headroom (which I didn't see mentioned).

Good point, and another good point is that the article would have been more convincing if the rhetoric had been toned down by about 90%. But I'm not sure that increasing nominal clock speed at the expense of a significant decrease in actual performance is a particularly laudable goal. As far as ultimate scaling is concerned, the jury is still out on that one - the first follow up to the initial release of the P4 is a slower chip, not a faster one.

The Intel reps gotcha, particularly on point one.

Regards,

Dan Miller

Err... the Intel reps haven't been feeding me any line... are you
bats?

I suspect they hate this kind of coverage.

Mike

Dell jumps gun on 1.3GHz Pentium 4

Hi Mike,

Just to confirm the Dell pentium 4 story.

Dell not only advertise the product but have been shipping for the last month. I have had mine for the last three weeks. Not only was the service from Dell the best I have ever experienced but the machine is a treat to work with. I'm seeing some real benefits across the board but particularly in the graphics arena and heavy 3D applications. This is the first time in many years the PC simply works out of the box and flies, I can't wait for the application tweaks to take full advantage of the new chip.

Ta Sean Briggs

Really? Was that a 1.3GHz Pentium 4 then? I think we should be told.

BTW, you are likely to be quoted in the letters page...

Mike

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