Reviewing The Benchmarks
As usual, Sandra memory benchmarks favor the RIMMs by giving it a score double that of the SDRAM. The other scores are what were to be expected, except for that I thought the Biostar M7MIA would have favored better against the two Intel DDR boards. I even took all of the same components and installed them on an Iwill XP333 (with the RAM only running at 133, of course) and obtained the same scores. So this isn't user error...this time. ;)
The Sandra CPU benchmarks caught me funny. Given that we are benchmarking the same CPU, but on three different boards, I thought that all of the Pentium 4 benchmarks would be very close. They are all close, but notice that SDRAM based board inches out on the Dhrystone benchmarks. Hmm...
All of the other benchmarks show a gradual increase in speed depending on the memory bandwidth available (and the brand of chipset when it comes down to the two DDR boards).
When it comes to a compromise of price and performance, I really feel that DDR is where it's at. Of course, RAM is going to have to become faster and have greater bandwidth eventually, much like RAMBUS. This is a fact and PC2700 DIMMs isn't going to cut it as "the solution" for the next two years.
AMD insists that the bottleneck of a computer is not the RAM, but rather the CPU. I remember this from back when they were prototyping the Athlon prior to it's release and ran a Quad Athlon in NT using only 32MB of SDRAM yet getting insane benchmarks. Obviously they're doing something right as their memory benchmark scores are always low in Sandra, but all other benchmark scores are quite high.
One thing I learned is that SDRAM for a Pentium 4 really isn't too bad. Sure the memory benchmarks stink, but I really thought that the penalty on the 3DMark and Evolva benchmarks would've been a lot harsher.
I still think that if you're thinking about an SDRAM Pentium 4 solution, you either need to save up more money or buy an Athlon. That's just my 2 cents. :)
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