Intel atom compared to pentium 4: Putting It in Perspective: The Atom Takes on a Single-Core Pentium 4

Putting It in Perspective: The Atom Takes on a Single-Core Pentium 4

by Anand Lal Shimpion May 12, 2009 12:00 AM EST

  • Posted in
  • GPUs



IndexThe Zotac Ion Up CloseBlu-ray Playback: It Works Quite WellZotac’s Ion in My TheaterPutting It in Perspective: The Atom Takes on a Single-Core Pentium 4Zotac’s Ion vs. Intel’s D945GCLF2 in Application PerformanceSYSMark 2007 & Adobe Photoshop PerformanceVideo Encoding Performance3D Rendering PerformancePAR2, WinRAR, Sony Vegas, Sorenson & Excel PerformanceGaming Performance SummaryPower Consumption & Final Words

Putting It in Perspective: The Atom Takes on a Single-Core Pentium 4

When the Atom first appeared I immediately did my best to characterize its performance. Intel always referred to it as having the performance of a 90nm Pentium M but never really got as specific as I would like. In my subsequent testing I found that at 1.6GHz, Intel’s Atom performed like a 1.2GHz 90nm Pentium M (Dothan). If you had a Pentium M notebook back then, the comparison makes sense to you. If you didn’t, however, then you’d need another reference point.

I realized I had no idea how Atom compared to an old Pentium 4. To remedy the situation I dug up an old Dell based on a single-core, Northwood based (130nm) Pentium 4 running at 2.66GHz. These chips used a 533MHz FSB and had a 512KB on-die L2 cache. The system had an ATI Radeon X800 XT and 2GB of DDR memory. This Pentium 4 did not have Hyper-Threading, this was before HT made its official desktop debut.

For my first test I turned to Adobe Photoshop CS4:

Wow. This is huge. Intel’s dual-core Atom 330 is 25% faster than the 2.66GHz Pentium 4. The advantage is all in the extra core though. If you look at the Atom 230 the Pentium 4 beats it by almost 20%.

Next I wanted to look at video encoding performance, one of the Pentium 4’s strongpoints. If you remember back then, even the Athlon 64 had difficulty competing with the P4’s encoding prowess. We’ll start with Windows Media Encoder:

Again, the Atom 330 is faster than the Pentium 4 and again it’s due to the extra core. The Atom 230 is noticeably slower.

x264 encode performance is even more embarrassing for the Pentium 4; the Atom 330 is 62% faster in the first pass and 94% faster in the 2nd pass of the encode. The P4 system was 15% faster than the Atom 230 in the first pass and around 5% faster in the second pass.

Next up was Cinebench. This is an interesting benchmark to look at because it offers both a single-threaded and multi-threaded benchmark. The Pentium 4 without Hyper-Threading can only execute a single thread, so the multi-threaded test can’t run. I’ve combined the meaningful results in a single chart:

If we look at single-threaded performance, the Pentium 4 destroys the Atom — offering more than twice the performance of the svelte Atom core. Enable the multi-threaded render and the Atom 330 pulls ahead by 33%. This is the strength of the Atom; it’s clearly not faster than the Pentium 4 when working on a single thread, but exploit its ability to work on four threads simultaneously and it can actually be faster than a much larger, much more power hungry Pentium 4. This is a very important point to remember because despite losing to the Atom 330 in nearly all of the benchmarks, the Pentium 4 system it felt much faster than the Atom system in normal usage.

Simple things like opening up Control Panel or switching between windows felt faster on the old Pentium 4 system, which makes sense given that those tasks only spawn a single thread. In Cinebench we saw that the single-threaded performance of the old Pentium 4 was over twice as fast as the Atom — you tend to notice performance differences of that magnitude.

The final application test I ran was our WinRAR compression benchmark:

Once more, the Pentium 4 gets beat by the Atom 330 but turns the tables on the Atom 230. Even file compression is multi-threaded these days, and that is the Atom’s saving grace.

I wanted to know how well the GeForce 9300 could stand up against the old Dell’s Radeon X800 XT so I ran my WoW test on both systems. This is less of a CPU test and more of a CPU + GPU test obviously, but the results are interesting:

The Pentium 4 + X800 XT system is clearly faster, but not by as much as I expected. The advantage amounts to 22.5%, which is very noticeable, but close enough that if you had an even older system (or one with a lesser video card) you might not notice the performance difference between it and the Zotac Ion.

The last benchmark I ran comparing the Atom to a Pentium 4 was Futuremark’s Peacekeeper — a benchmark for measuring web browser performance. The benchmark is unaffected by internet connection and simply measures, once loaded, how fast your PC can work with various forms of commonly used javascript. I ran all of the Peacekeeper tests using Google Chrome:

The Pentium 4 absolutely demolished the Atom here. Once again it’s almost twice as fast as the Atom 330. In a multi-threaded environment the Atom 330 can pull ahead, but in most typical day-to-day tasks the Pentium 4 is going to be a much faster solution.

Power efficiency is obviously where the Atom based Zotac Ion wins out. AMD and Intel both viewed the move to multiple cores as a performance and power efficiency win, and the results below help show that. Granted Atom is built on a 45nm process and we’re looking at a 130nm desktop Pentium 4 system, which is where much of the difference really comes from. But the results do show you that if you don’t need top bin performance you can build a very capable PC these days with significantly better power consumption characteristics.

NVIDIA is forever arguing with me about how Atom and its Ion platform is a significant upgrade to PCs that are a few years old. My Pentium 4 results show that unfortunately, that’s not exactly the case. The Pentium 4 system I compared Zotac’s Ion to could never function as a modern-day HTPC and it won’t play Blu-ray discs. In those senses, Zotac’s Ion would be a tremendous upgrade. Even in multi-threaded CPU bound scenarios such as video encoding or 3D rendering, a dual-core Atom 330 is appreciably faster than the old Pentium 4 based Dell system. However, in normal web browsing and simply interacting with Windows, the Pentium 4 is significantly faster. The benchmarks show a nearly 2x performance advantage in single-threaded applications and I’d say they are accurately reflected in the usage experience.

Zotac’s Ion in My Theater
Zotac’s Ion vs. Intel’s D945GCLF2 in Application Performance
IndexThe Zotac Ion Up CloseBlu-ray Playback: It Works Quite WellZotac’s Ion in My TheaterPutting It in Perspective: The Atom Takes on a Single-Core Pentium 4Zotac’s Ion vs. Intel’s D945GCLF2 in Application PerformanceSYSMark 2007 & Adobe Photoshop PerformanceVideo Encoding Performance3D Rendering PerformancePAR2, WinRAR, Sony Vegas, Sorenson & Excel PerformanceGaming Performance SummaryPower Consumption & Final Words



Page not found — Technical City

Page not found — Technical City

We couldn’t find such page: /en/cpu/pentium-4-2. 4-ghz-vs-atom-n450%23characteristics

Popular graphics cards comparisons

GeForce RTX
3060 Ti


GeForce RTX

GeForce RTX
3060 Ti


GeForce RTX

GeForce GTX
1050 Ti


GeForce GTX

GeForce GTX
1660 Super


GeForce RTX
3050 8 GB

GeForce RTX


GeForce RTX
3050 8 GB

GeForce GTX
1660 Ti


GeForce GTX
1660 Super

Popular graphics cards

GeForce GTX
1050 Ti

GeForce RTX

Radeon RX
Vega 7

GeForce RTX

GeForce GTX

Radeon RX

Popular CPU comparisons

Ryzen 5


Core i5

Ryzen 5


Core i5

Core i5


Ryzen 5

Ryzen 5


Ryzen 5

Ryzen 5


Ryzen 5

Ryzen 5


Ryzen 5

Popular CPUs

Ryzen 5


Core i3

Core i5

Ryzen 5

Ryzen 3

Comparison of Intel Atom Z3745D and Intel Pentium 4 2.


Comparative analysis of Intel Atom Z3745D and Intel Pentium 4 2.66 processors by all known characteristics in the categories: General Information, Performance, Memory, Graphics, Compatibility, Technology, Virtualization, Security and Reliability.
Analysis of processor performance by benchmarks: PassMark — Single thread mark, PassMark — CPU mark, GFXBench 4.0 — T-Rex (Frames), GFXBench 4.0 — T-Rex (Fps).

Intel Atom Z3745D


Intel Pentium 4 2.66


Reasons to choose Intel Atom Z3745D

  • 3 more cores, the ability to run more applications at the same time: 4 vs. but with lower power consumption: 22 nm vs 130 nm
Number of cores 4 vs 1
Process 22 nm vs 130 nm

Reasons to choose Intel Pentium 4 2.


  • About 45% more clock speed: 2.66 GHz vs 1.83 GHz
Maximum frequency 2.66 GHz vs 1.83 GHz

Benchmark comparison

CPU 1: Intel Atom Z3745D
CPU 2: Intel Pentium 4 2.66

Name Intel Atom Z3745D Intel Pentium 4 2.66
PassMark — Single thread mark 419
PassMark — CPU mark 599
GFXBench 4.0 — T-Rex (Frames) 1407
GFXBench 4. 0 — T-Rex (Fps) 1407

Performance comparison

Intel Atom Z3745D Intel Pentium 4 2.66
Architecture name Bay Trail Northwood
Production date Q1’14 August 2002
Place in the ranking 2119 not rated
Processor Number Z3745D
Series Intel® Atom™ Processor Z Series Legacy Intel® Pentium® Processor
Status Launched Discontinued
Applicability Mobile Desktop
Support 64 bit
Base frequency 1. 33 GHz 2.66 GHz
Process 22nm 130nm
Maximum frequency 1.83 GHz 2.66 GHz
Number of cores 4 1
Number of threads 4
Bus Speed ​​ 533 MHz FSB
Crystal area 131 mm2
Level 1 cache 8KB
Level 2 cache 512KB
Maximum core temperature 74°C
Number of transistors 55 million
Permissible core voltage 1. 345V-1.420V
Maximum number of memory channels 1
Maximum memory bandwidth 10.6 GB/s
Maximum memory size 2GB
Supported memory types DDR3L-RS 1333 DDR1, DDR2
Graphics base frequency 311MHz
Maximum GPU clock 792MHz
Integrated graphics Intel HD Graphics
Low Halogen Options Available
Package Size 17mm x 17mm 35mm x 35mm
Scenario Design Power (SDP) 2. 2W
Maximum number of processors in configuration 1
Supported sockets PPGA478
Power consumption (TDP) 66.1 Watt
Intel 64
Intel® AES New Instructions
Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology
Parity FSB
Idle States
Intel® Demand Based Switching
Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology
Intel® Turbo Boost Technology
Intel® Virtualization Technology (VT-x)
Execute Disable Bit (EDB)
Intel® Trusted Execution Technology (TXT)
Data on the Intel Atom Z520 system tire — 533 MHZ FSB Data on the Intel Pentium 4 2. 0a — 400 MHZ FSB
ATOM Z520 ATOM ATOM ATOM ATM 2000 MHz Pentium 4 2.0A greatly outperforms 2000 MHz compared to 1330 MHz
2.0A Pentium 4 2.0A is less technologically advanced, since its manufacturing process is much larger and equal to 130 nm
more transistors, 55 million vs. 47 million as its TDP is 54.3W
The Atom Z520 core temperature limit is much higher and reaches 90 degrees Celsius. And that’s a big plus Pentium 4 2.0A’s maximum possible core temperature threshold reaches 70 degrees. Not significantly behind the Atom Z520
The L1 cache of the Atom Z520 CPU is much larger compared to the Pentium 4 2.0A and equals 56 KB The L1 cache size of the Pentium 4 2.0A processor is much smaller compared to the Atom Z520 and is equal to 20 Kilobytes

Comparison of instructions and technologies

Auto overclocking and processor power increase technologies

Technology or instruction name Intel Atom Z520 Intel Pentium 4 2. 0A Short description
Turbo Boost Intel Auto Overclocking Technology.
Energy saving technologies
Technology or instruction name Intel Atom Z520 Intel Pentium 4 2.0A Short description
EIST (Enhanced Intel SpeedStep) Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Energy Saving Technology.
Stop Grant state Energy saving status.
Extended Stop Grant State Energy Saving Status (Advanced Technology).
Sleep state Sleep state.
Deep Sleep state Deep sleep state.
Deeper Sleep state Deeper sleep state.
Enhanced Deeper Sleep state Improved state of deeper sleep.
Autohalt state Automatic stop status.
Extended HALT state Extended stop state.
C5 state Extended deeper sleep.
Deep Power-down technology Deep power off.
Thermal Monitoring Temperature monitoring.
Idle States Idle states.
Standard extension set
Name of technology or instruction Intel Atom Z520 Intel Pentium 4 2.0A Short description
MMX (Multimedia Extensions) Multimedia extensions.
SSE (Streaming SIMD Extensions) Streaming SIMD processor extension.
SSE2 (Streaming SIMD Extensions 2) Processor Streaming SIMD Extension 2.
SSE3 (Streaming SIMD Extensions 3) Streaming SIMD Processor Extension 3.
SSSE3 (Supplemental Streaming SIMD Extension 3) Additional SIMD extensions for streaming 3.
NX (Execute disable bit) Execution inhibit bit.
Safety technology
Technology or instruction name Intel Atom Z520 Intel Pentium 4 2.0A Short description
TXT (Trusted Execution Technology) Trusted execution technology.
EDB (Execute Disable Bit) Execute trip bit.
Virtualization technologies
Technology or instruction name Intel Atom Z520 Intel Pentium 4 2. 0A Short description
VT-x (Virtualization technology) Virtualization technology.
VT-d (Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O) Virtualization technology for directed I/O.
Other technologies and instructions
Technology or instruction name Intel Atom Z520 Intel Pentium 4 2.0A Short description
Hyper Threading Hyperthreading technology.
SMM (System Management mode) System control mode.
Dynamic FSB frequency switching Dynamic FSB switching.
DBS (Demand Based Switching) Switching on request.


Overall performance rating

The summary rating is calculated according to the formula, taking into account the data: test results in programs, technology, year of release, socket, temperature, structure, number of cores, threads, instructions, frequency, and other indicators. The results of the overall rating showed that the Atom Z520 processor is not much superior to its rival Pentium 4 2.0A. The Pentium 4 2.0A processor itself managed to score 141.82 points, slightly outperforming its competitor.

PassMark CPU Mark

The benchmark has a large pool of tests to evaluate PC performance, including the CPU. Among them are compression, extended instruction checking, integer calculations, game physics calculations, floating point calculations, encryption, single-threaded and multi-threaded tests. In this case, you can compare the received data with other configurations in a common database. This is perhaps the most popular benchmark tester in Runet. All processors presented on our website have passed PassMark tests. Performance Test showed a clear advantage of the Atom Z520 processor (156 points) over the Pentium 4 2.0A (119points). The Pentium 4 2.0A with a score of 119 clearly loses in this test.

Cinebench 10 (32 bit) Single-threaded test

Works under Mac OS X, Windows operating systems. The basic mode of passing tests for speed is multilevel reflections, working with light, imitation of global illumination, photorealistic rendering of a 3D scene, spatial light sources, and procedural shaders. It uses a method of geometric optics — ray tracing. Released by MAXON, and based on the Cinema 4D 3D editor. It is possible to test multi-processor systems. This benchmark for video cards and processors is already very outdated in our time. Single-Core in its work uses only one core and one thread for rendering.

Cinebench 10 (32bit) Multi-thread test

Multi-Thread version is another way to test in Cinebench R10 benchmark, which already uses multi-thread and multi-core test mode. It is important to note that the number of threads in this version is limited to 16.

Cinebench 11.5 (64-bit) Multi-threaded test

Multi-threaded version of the CINEBENCH 11.5 test, — can load the CPU at 100% using all threads and cores. Unlike older versions, 64 threads are already used here. Testing the Atom Z520 in Cinebench version R11.5 gave 0.26 points, which indicates a higher performance of this model. While the Pentium 4 2.0A scores 0.14, it is far behind its rival in this test.

Cinebench 11.5 (64-bit) Single-threaded test

Good old fully functional Cinebench 11.5 from Maxon. In checks, as before, ray tracing technology is used, rendering a detailed three-dimensional room with many crystalline and glass and translucent spheres. His tests are still relevant today. In this case, Single-Core tests are performed using one core and one thread. The result of the check is the value «number of frames per second». The single-thread test results for the Atom Z520 in Cinebench 11.5 Single-Core showed high performance compared to the competitor, with a score of 0.26 points. But the Pentium 4 2.0A itself, scoring 0.14 points in this test, is far behind it.

Cinebench 15 (64-bit) Multi-thread test

Multi-Thread version of Cinebench 15 — will load your system to the full, showing what it is capable of. Ideal for new multi-threaded CPUs from AMD and Intel, as it can use 256 computing threads. Enables all CPU cores and threads when rendering detailed 3D models. The Atom Z520, with a score of 23.09 points, unconditionally scores more in the Multi-Core test from Cinebench 15. While its competitor Pentium 4 2.0A lags far behind with 12.46 points in the test.

Cinebench 15 (64-bit) Single-threaded test

Cinebench Release 15 is the most up-to-date benchmark from Finns from Maxon. A complex 3D scene is being rendered with a large number of complex objects, lights and reflections. With the help of this program, they check the entire system: both video cards and processors. For processors, the result of the analysis will be the value of PTS points, and for video cards, the number of frames per second. FPS. In this version of the Single Core program, 1 thread is involved in rendering. The single-threaded test of the Atom Z520 processor in the Cinebench R15 program indicates its high performance, the result is 23.22 points. Compared to it, its Pentium 4 2.0A competitor fails this test with a score of 12.49points.

Geekbench 4.0 (64-bit) Multi-threaded test

This is already a 64-bit multi-threaded Geekbench 4 test. It is the support for different devices and operating systems that makes the tests from Geekbench the most valuable now. In Geekbench 4, the 64-bit multi-core Atom Z520 received a score of 507, well above the Pentium 4 2.0A. In this test, the Pentium 4 2. 0A gets a very low score of 298.22 compared to the Atom Z520.

Geekbench 4.0 (64-bit) Single thread test

Single-Core check uses one thread. The current single-threaded version of Geekbench 4 for testing laptops and desktops. The program, like its earlier versions, can still be run on operating systems running Windows, Linux, Mac OS. For the first time ever, iOS and Android mobile devices are also supported in this release. The Atom Z520 scored higher in the Geekbench 4.0 single-thread test with a score of 424. But its competitor Pentium 4 2.0A is doing much worse — 299.48 points.

Geekbench 3 (32 bit) Multi-threaded benchmark

The Multi-Thread version of the Geekbench 3 benchmark — will allow you to make a strong synthetic test of your assembly and demonstrate how productive your system is.

Geekbench 3 (32 bit) Single-threaded test

Single Core version of the benchmark loads no more than one thread and one CPU core. The Geekbench cross-platform tester is usually used to evaluate the system under Mac, but it works on both Linux and Windows. The basic purpose is a CPU speed test.

Geekbench 2

An old version of the Geekbench 2 benchmark. To date, there are more recent versions: 4v and the fifth. Up to 200 CPU models are presented on our website, which have test results in this benchmark.

X264 HD 4.0 Pass 1

In essence, this is a practical test of processor performance by transcoding HD files to the new H.264 format, the so-called MPEG 4 x264 codec. The number of frames processed per second is the result of the check. This is the most suitable test for multi-threaded CPUs and many cores. This test is faster than Pass 2 because it encodes at a constant rate. The MPEG 4 video processing speed of the Atom Z520 is significantly higher at 6.51 FPS. But the Pentium 4 2.0A coped poorly with the task, its speed was 3.55 FPS.

X264 HD 4.0 Pass 2

This is a slightly different, slower test based on video file compression. The same MPEG4 x264 codec is used, but the processing is already happening at a variable rate. The resulting value is also determined by frames per second. As a result, we get better video quality. It is important to be aware that a very real task is being simulated, and the x264 codec is used in many video encoders. Therefore, the test results really reflect the performance of the system. When measuring the speed of video file compression by the Atom Z520 processor in mpeg4 format, the result was 1.43 Frames / s. Its competitor Pentium 4 2.0A showed a much lower video encoding rate compared to it — 0.8 FPS.

3DMark06 CPU

Benchmark to evaluate the performance of the CPU and video system. Based on DirectX 9.0 by the Finnish team Futuremark. This benchmark is often used by fans of overclocking processors and gamers and overclockers. Processors are tested in two ways: the game AI does pathfinding, and the second test emulates the physics engine using PhysX. The Atom Z520 performed significantly faster in the pathfinding and game physics tests, with a score of 391. The processor Pentium 4 2.0A coped worse with this task with 187.52 points.

3DMark Fire Strike Physics

Almost two hundred CPUs on our website have 3DMark Physics data. This is a test that performs game physics calculations.

WinRAR 4.0

Everyone knows the data archiver. The speed of compression into the RAR format was evaluated; for this, large amounts of randomly generated data were taken. The resulting speed in the process of compression «Kb / s» — this is the result of the test. Checks were made under the control of Windows. Atom Z520 has a clear advantage in WinRAR data compression and packing speed, the file processing result was 179.13 Kb/s. The Pentium 4 2.0A was far behind it, the speed of which did not exceed 102.86 Kb/s.

TrueCrypt AES

This is not exactly a benchmark, but the results of its use can help evaluate the performance of the entire system. The program can run on different operating systems: Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.