Pentium 4 Meets DDR
Late last year, Intel introduced a DDR version of the i845 chipset and SiS revealed the 645, which can support SDRAM and DDR on the same board (but not used at the same time). Other than the price of the CPU itself, this levels the playing field a bit more between Intel and AMD.
So now, just as AMD processors can use SDRAM or DDR and even either on the same motherboard, the same is true for Pentium 4, only with the added bonus of having a RAMBUS solution as well for those with the extra flow to justify the slight speed increase.
How slight of a speed increase? That's what we're here to find out.
In this comparison, we put the same 1.9 GHz Pentium 4 on an Intel D845WN (SDRAM), Intel D845BG (DDR), Biostar M7SXF (DDR) and Intel D850MV (RAMBUS) and to give some sort of median, we threw an Athlon XP 1900+ on an AMD 761 based Biostar M7MIA. All configurations used 512MB of RAM, either in the form of 2 256s DIMMs or RIMMs.
About The Benchmarks
The first benchmarks I'm going to hit you with are the Sandra memory bandwidth benchmarks for the four boards. I'm doing this and getting it out of the way because I know a lot of AMD zealots will flame me for using it in the first place.
So why use it? I just wanted to get a comparison between the SDRAM, DDR and RAMBUS with something that focuses most specifically on the memory. The 3Dmark2000 scores will prove that this benchmark alone can't possibly be used to gauge the overall performance of a CPU or it's platform.
I also included Sandra scores for CPU Whetstone, Dhrystone and Multimedia benchmarks. These primarily reflect the CPU itself and do not reflect much change due to the type of RAM used.
The final three benchmarks are derived from running standard benchmarks in 3DMark2000, 3DMark2001, and Evolva.
Evolva is a great game. About a year ago it was praised as being a contender as game of the year, but somehow got overlooked because of Quake 3 Arena and Unreal Tournament. I like using Evolva for a benchmark because it's a quick load with no set up, and the crazy graphics get everyone's attention. Due to the circumstances surrounding this article, I needed a "quick and dirty" benchmark. Besides, Evolva is a lot busier and colorful than Q3A or UT. The colors of the game looks like what would happen if Elmo ate a Picasso painting with an Orange Julius chaser and then got run over by a Volkswagen Harlequin Golf. What else should we expect from Computer Artworks, the company that brought us Organic Art.
3DMark2000, as well as 3DMark2001, was used because not only does the video card get taken into consideration (obviously we're not looking at my lame Asus V7700), but also because the lower resolution scores can be used for a relatively good estimate of a CPU and it's memory subsystems' performance. Also, the game engine used in 3DMark2000 is DirectX 7 based, so it does not make use of the pixel and vertex shaders that the GeForce has, so there is again less reliance on the video card.
The game engine used in 3dmark2000 is DX7 based, it does not make use of the pixel and vertex shaders that the GeForce3 has, so there is again less reliance on the video card.
>> About The Benchmarker