Intel pentium 4 1.8 ghz socket type: Pentium 4 1.8A — Technical City

Pentium 4 1.8A — Technical City

Pentium 4 1.8A


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Intel started Intel Pentium 4 1.8A sales on July 2001. Based on Willamette architecture, this desktop processor is primarily aimed at home systems. It has 1 core and 1 thread, and is based on 180 nm manufacturing technology, with a maximum frequency of 1800 MHz and a locked multiplier.

Compatibility-wise, this is Intel Socket 423 processor with a TDP of 67 Watt and a maximum temperature of 78 °C.

We have no data on Pentium 4 1.8A benchmark results.

General info

Pentium 4 1.8A processor market type (desktop or notebook), architecture, sales start time and pricing.

Place in performance rating not rated
Market segment Desktop processor
Architecture codename Willamette (2000−2001)
Release date July 2001 (21 year ago)
Current price $9.95 of 14999 (Xeon Platinum 9282)

Technical specs

Basic microprocessor parameters such as number of cores, number of threads, base frequency and turbo boost clock, lithography, cache size and multiplier lock state. These parameters can generally indicate CPU performance, but to be more precise you have to review its test results.

Physical cores 1 (Single-Core)
Threads 1
Boost clock speed 1.8 GHz of 5. 5 (Core i9-12900KS)
L1 cache 8 KB of 1536 (EPYC Embedded 3401)
L2 cache 256 KB of 12288 (Core 2 Quad Q9550)
L3 cache 0 KB of 32768 (Ryzen Threadripper 1998)
Chip lithography 180 nm of 5 (Apple M1)
Die size 217 mm2
Maximum case temperature (TCase) 78 °C of 105 (Core i7-5950HQ)
Number of transistors 42 million of 57000 (Apple M1 Max)
64 bit support
Windows 11 compatibility
Unlocked multiplier


Information on Pentium 4 1.8A compatibility with other computer components and devices: motherboard (look for socket type), power supply unit (look for power consumption) etc. Useful when planning a future computer configuration or upgrading an existing one.

Note that power consumption of some processors can well exceed their nominal TDP, even without overclocking. Some can even double their declared thermals given that the motherboard allows to tune the CPU power parameters.

Number of CPUs in a configuration 1 of 8 (Opteron 842)
Socket 423
Thermal design power (TDP) 67 Watt of 400 (Xeon Platinum 9282)

Benchmark performance

Single-core and multi-core benchmark results of Pentium 4 1.8A. Overall benchmark performance is measured in points in 0-100 range, higher is better.

Similar processors

Here is our recommendation of several processors that are more or less close in performance to the one reviewed.

Recommended graphics cards

These graphics cards are most commonly used with Pentium 4 1. 8A according to our statistics.

GeForce FX


Radeon RX
Vega 8


GeForce GTX


User rating

Here is the rating given to the reviewed processor by our users. Let others know your opinion by rating it yourself.

Questions and comments

Here you can ask a question about Pentium 4 1.8A, agree or disagree with our judgements, or report an error or mismatch.

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Buy the Intel Pentium 4 1.80GHz 400MHz Socket 478 CPU Processor SL6S6

General information
Type CPU / Microprocessor
Family Intel Pentium 4
Part number BX80532PC1800D
Frequency (GHz) 1. 8
Bus speed (MHz) 400
Clock multiplier 18
Package type 478-pin FC-PGA2
Socket type Socket 478 (mPGA478B)
Architecture / Microarchitecture / Other
Core stepping C1
Processor core Northwood
Manufacturing technology (micron) 0.13
L2 cache size (KB) 512
Notes on sSpec SL6S6
  • Microprocessors with this S-Spec have multiple VIDs.
More Information
Price View Price Range
Manufacturer Intel
CPU Brand Intel
CPU Series Pentium 4
CPU Model Intel Pentium 4
Number of Cores 1
Socket Type Socket 478
Processor speed 1. 80 GHz
Bus Speed 400 MHz
L2 Cache 512 KB
L3 Cache 0 MB
Cooling Component(s) Included None/Processor Only
Condition Certified Refurbished
Condition Comment Full working order
Warranty 30 Day RTB (Return to Base) Warranty
Important It is your responsibility as a buyer to ensure this is compatible with your hardware or operating system before buying.

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We are so confident in the quality of our work that we stand behind every MicroDream Certified Refurbished product with a 12 Month Warranty as standard and we are able to offer our 30 Day Money Back Guarantee with complete confidence.

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If there is a hardware fault after the first 30 days, you are responsible for safely returning the product to us. We can arrange collection for £19 including VAT. We will pay for the carriage of the replacement or repaired product back to you.

WHO IS COVERED? This warranty is non-transferable and covers only the original end purchaser. An original or copy of a sales invoice is required for warranty service.

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Intel’s Pentium 4 2.

8GHz processor

WE’RE BACK AT IT again. Intel has a new Pentium 4 to release, and we’re going to test it against AMD’s surprising new Athlon XP 2600+ to see which is faster. This time out, Intel is making something of a leap; the fastest Pentium 4 was previously 2.53GHz, but today’s release is the 2.8GHz variant. Almost scary, innit?

Beyond the jump up in clock speeds, there’s not much new to report, but the contest with the Athlon XP 2600+ is compelling. To keep things spicy, we’re using our updated processor test suite, all the latest drivers, and a whole lotta Cajun hot sauce.

Err… overclocking.

Anyhow, read on to find out just how fast this new Pentium 4 really is.

Our centerfold
This puppy looks like a Pentium 4. It looks just as much like a Pentium 4 as most other Pentium 4s. Unless you count Xeons or the old Socket 423 monstrosities. And maybe those new Celerons.

Our Pentium 4 2.8GHz review sample. Confidential! Avert your eyes.

The underbelly of the beast

Like most review samples, it’s hard to tell the clock frequency by looking at the processor itself. We mark them up with a permanent marker after their photo shoots.

Our testing methods
As ever, we did our best to deliver clean benchmark numbers. Tests were run at least twice, and the results were averaged.

Our test systems were configured like so:

Athlon XP Pentium 4 DDR Pentium 4 RDRAM
Processor AMD Athlon XP 2000+ 1.67GHz
AMD Athlon XP 2200+ 1.8GHz
AMD Athlon XP 2600+ 2.13GHz
Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz
Intel Pentium 4 2. 53GHz
Pentium 4 2.8GHz
Intel Pentium 4 2.53GHz
Pentium 4 2.8GHz
Front-side bus 266MHz (133MHz double-pumped) 533MHz (133MHz quad-pumped) 533MHz (133MHz quad-pumped)
Motherboard Epox 8K3A+ Abit SR7-8X Asus P4T533C
Chipset VIA KT333 SiS 648 Intel 850E
North bridge VT8367 648 82850E MCH
South bridge VT8233A 963 82801BA ICh3
Chipset drivers VIA 4-in-1
4. 42v(a)
SiS AGP 1.10 Intel Application Accelerator 6.22
Memory size 512MB (1 DIMM) 512MB (1 DIMM) 512MB (4 RIMMs)
Memory type Corsair XMS3000 PC2700 DDR SDRAM Corsair XMS3000 PC2700 DDR SDRAM Samsung PC1066 Rambus DRAM
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4600 128MB (Detonator XP 30.82 video drivers)
Sound Creative SoundBlaster Live!
Storage Maxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X 7200RPM ATA/100 hard drive
OS Microsoft Windows XP Professional
OS updates None

I want to give a big thanks to Corsair for providing us with DDR333 memory for our testing. If you’re looking to tweak out your system to the max and maybe overclock it a little, Corsair’s RAM is definitely worth considering. Using it makes life easier for us as we’re dealing with brand-new chipsets and pre-production motherboards, because we don’t have to worry so much about stability and compatibility. The stuff flat works.

The test systems’ Windows desktops were set at 1024×768 in 32-bit color at an 85Hz screen refresh rate. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled for all tests.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

  • Cachemem 2.6
  • SiSoft Sandra Standard 2002 SP1
  • Compiled binary of C Linpack port from Ace’s Hardware
  • ZD Media Business Winstone 2001 1.0.3
  • ZD Media Content Creation Winstone 2002 1.0.1
  • POV-Ray for Windows version 3.5
  • Sphinx 3.3
  • ScienceMark 1.0
  • LAME 3.92
  • Xmpeg 4.5 with DivX Video 5.02
  • MadOnion 3DMark 2001 SE Build 330
  • Codecreatures Benchmark Pro
  • Comanche 4 demo benchmark
  • Quake III Arena v1. 31
  • Serious Sam SE v1.07
  • SPECviewperf 7.0

All the tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.

Benchmark results

Memory performance
We’ll start out with a page full of useless benchmarks that don’t tell us much about the real-world performance of these processors, just because I enjoy it. These memory tests will give you some perspective on how memory subsystems differ between the P4 and Athlon XP, and they will help explain some of the performance differences that will show up in our application benchmarks later on.

Sandra’s tests wring out something close to the peak possible memory throughput on most systems.

You can see the three classes of systems here quite clearly. The Pentium 4 systems with RDRAM have the most memory throughput, followed by the DDR333-equipped P4 systems. The Athlon XP rigs are limited to about 2.1GB/s of throughput by their 266MHz front-side bus, despite the fact they have DDR333 memory. Cachemem measures both read speeds and write speeds, and it’s not so aggressive with buffering and SIMD instructions as Sandra.

The RDRAM systems again have the most bandwidth, but notice that the Pentium 4 DDR system is slower than the Athlon XP at writing to memory. That’s an unexpected reversal of fortunes. Still, the Pentium 4 systems are much faster exchanging data with memory, overall, than the Athlon XP. The Pentium 4 2.8GHz is especially adept at memory writes with PC1066 RDRAM.

The tables are turned when it comes to memory access latency. The Athlon is out in front here, and the RDRAM-equipped Pentium 4 systems are especially slow. Still, “slow” is a relative term here, and RDRAM’s access times are only a little higher than DDR’s. Then again, PC1066 RDRAM isn’t easy to find, and we haven’t even included DDR400 memory in this test. If you’d like to see how DDR400 memory matches up against RDRAM, go here. Our final memory test is Linpack, which illustrates visually the hierarchy of memory types and speeds from L1 cache through main memory.

At 2.8GHz, the Pentium 4 peaks out just as fast as the Athlon XP, but it does so with larger data sets. The Pentium 4’s larger L2 cache and faster front-side bus give it the advantage from about 100K data sets onward.

Business Winstone

The Athlon XP led by a mile in Business Winstone last time out, but the Pentium 4 2.8GHz narrows the gap considerably. Still, AMD hangs on to the lead. Content Creation Winstone

Content Creation Winstone is the Pentium 4’s domain—so much so, in fact, that we have expressed reservations about the stated changes in test methodology between CC Winstone 2001 and 2002. Those reservations remain, but we’ll present the results and let you decide what to make of them. Obviously, the Pentium 4 is especially good at the type of things CC Winstone 2002 is testing, and the P4 scales well with clock speed increases.

LAME MP3 encoding
We used LAME 3.92 to encode a 101MB 16-bit, 44KHz audio file into a high-quality, variable-bit-rate MP3. The exact command-line options we used were:

lame -v -b 128 -q 1 file.wav file.mp3

Here are the results…

An extra 266MHz is all the Pentium 4 needed to surpass the Athlon XP here. This audio file is ten minutes and six seconds long, so these processors are encoding the file many times faster than real time. DivX video encoding
Xmpeg can encode video files using the popular DivX format, which produces very high quality video in relatively small amounts of space. For this test, we took a 279MB video file, encoded in MPEG2 format at DVD quality, and converted it to a 37MB DivX file. We used the “fastest” setting on the DivX encoder, and we turned off audio processing. Otherwise, all settings were left at their defaults.

Xmpeg supports all the various x86 SIMD instruction sets, including MMX, 3DNow!, SSE, SSE2—even different flavors of 3DNow!, like 3DNow! Enhanced. Most importantly, perhaps, Xmpeg makes good use of the Pentium 4’s SSE2 instruction set, which offers potentially higher performance than the SSE or 3DNow! instructions supported by the Athlon XP.

The P4’s superior memory bandwidth and SSE2 instructions both come into play here to varying degrees, and the result is a very clear-cut victory for the Pentium 4 systems. Notice that the RDRAM-based Pentium 4 system at 2.53GHz is faster than the 2.8GHz/DDR combo.

Quake III Arena
We’re using a new demo for our Q3A timedemo tests. This one is a recorded demo from a fairly recent CPL match. As far as I know, it’s not copyrighted, so if you want to try it yourself, you can download it here.

As always, the Pentium 4 takes Quake III Arena. Notice again that the 2.53GHz RDRAM setup outruns the 2.8GHz/DDR333 combination; this test is big on memory bandwidth. Codecreatures Benchmark Pro

These results don’t mean too much to me. The Athlon XP 2200+ was scoring over 30 fps with the previous set of NVIDIA video drivers, and the scores themselves are only separated by tenths of a frame per second, for the most part. Still, the new Pentium 4 leads the pack once more. 3DMark 2001 SE

The P4 extends its lead here, approaching the oddly compelling 13,000 mark. Serious Sam SE

With the help of PC1066 RDRAM, the P4 2.8GHz just surpasses the Athlon XP 2600+. With DDR333, the Pentium 4 would have to settle for second place. Comanche 4

I used to think this test was limited primarily by video card performance, but that isn’t the case. The P4 2.8GHz pushes scores to new heights. You see see how the Pentium 4’s faster front-side bus, SSE2 extensions, and overall design help it dominate our set of 3D gaming tests. The Athlon XP is no slouch, but for games and graphics, there’s nothing quite like a system with a fast bus and the ability to use it well.

The new rev of viewperf measures performance in a range of CAD and workstation-class graphics apps.

The P4 2.8GHz is at the top in every test, from Pro/ENGINEER to Lightscape to Unigraphics, with the exception of Data Explorer (the dx-07 test). Data Explorer is a scientific data visualization tool, and the Athlon XP runs away with that one. Otherwise, it’s all Pentium 4.

Speech recognition
Sphinx is a high-quality speech recognition routine that needs the latest computer hardware to run at speeds close to real-time processing. We use two different versions, built with two different compilers, in an attempt to ensure we’re getting the best possible performance.

There are two goals with Sphinx. The first is to run it faster than real time, so real-time speech recognition is possible. The second, more ambitious goal is to run it at about 0.8 times real time, where additional CPU overhead is available for other sorts of processing, enabling Sphinx-driven real-time applications.

Here’s an example of faster processors enabling something that really wasn’t possible before: real-time speech recognition applications using the Sphinx 3.x engine. The Athlon XP, with its slower bus, just can’t cut it here. POV-Ray 3D rendering

The Athlon XP owns POV-Ray rendering. However, the move to 2.8GHz puts the Pentium 4 within shouting distance of the Athlon XP. We are considering adding POV-Ray’s new benchmark function to our tests next time out; the benchmark promises to stress more features of the POV-Ray rendering engine.


Sciencemark offers a familiar series of results. The Athlon XP wins resoundingly in the overall score and in several of the sub-tests, but not in Primordia, which requires lots of memory bandwidth and tends to favor the Pentium 4.

Now comes the part where we turn up the juice and see what these chips can really do. The P4 2.8GHz utterly defeated our Asus P4T533-C motherboard; it ran stable at its default voltage up to the Asus’s limit of a 150MHz front-side bus. That’s 3150MHz on a 600MHz quad-pumped bus. Whoa. I used only air cooling in the form of a Thermaltake Volcano P4 cooler—nothing special. To keep the system stable, I set the RDRAM to run at PC800 speeds before I overclocked the bus, which worked like a charm. I hoped the P4 would go even higher on our Abit SR7-8X board, but it wouldn’t even hit 3150MHz at stock voltage on that board. Even with some extra voltage, the system couldn’t complete a benchmark run at 3150MHz on the SR7-8X.

So I whipped out another P4 board, the Intel 845G-based Abit BG7. The BG7 would hit 3150MHz at the P4’s default voltage, but it wouldn’t stay stable at much over 3.2GHz, even with higher voltages. So I just stuck with the Asus board, which is a tad faster anyway thanks to its RDRAM. I have a feeling that with the right motherboard and a little more coaxing, this chip would run well above 3.2GHz.

For the Athlon XP, I used a TaiSol cooler, but I replaced its wimpy fan with a more powerful 40CFM Antec unit. That’s a little more oomph than the 30CFM fan on the P4 cooler, so factor that in to your impressions. With this cooling config, the Athlon XP hit 2. 43GHz on a 304MHz bus with 1.9V of juice, and I was able to run 3DMark at that speed. However, I had to crank it down a notch to 2.4GHz on a 300MHz bus to get the processor to finish a POV-Ray render.

With that said, here are the results of our overclocked tests.

The Athlon XP leapfrogs over all of the Pentium 4s except the 2.8GHz model with RDRAM, and the 3.15GHz Pentium 4 nearly hits the 13,000 mark. Now for some more traditional number crunching. Any overclocked CPU that can make it through this test twice is running pretty stable.

Both processors scale very well in POV-Ray as clock speeds rise. Based on what we’re seeing here, I’d say you can expect a few more articles like this one about new processor speed grades in the coming months. Of course, if you want to do some overclocking, I’d recommend buying one of the lower speed grades of these processors instead of the very fastest AMD or Intel is willing to sell. You’re likely to have better luck overclocking something a little slower.

After a brief stint with a divided title, the Pentium 4 recaptures the undisputed heavyweight title once again. Yes, the Athlon XP was fastest in a few tests, but overall, the result is clear: the Pentium 4 2.8GHz is the new performance king. Truth be told, the Pentium 4 2.8GHz chip arrived in Damage Labs well before AMD’s Athlon XP 2600+ did. We were kind of expecting Intel to bury AMD with the 2.8GHz launch, but AMD surprised us with its 2600+. AMD’s timing couldn’t have been better, because they managed to get their 2600+ chip launched in time to capture a share of the performance lead away from the Pentium 4 2.53GHz. Intel has the lead again, but for a brief time, AMD could claim performance leadership.


The thing is, it looks like the Pentium 4 2.8GHz hit the market in volume before the Athlon XP 2600+. As we go to press, I see only one 2600+ listed on Pricewatch, and there are already quite a few listings for the Pentium 4 2. 8GHz. I expect the availability picture on pre-built PCs available from manufacturers using these processors will be similar.

Intel is introducing a few other Pentium 4 speed grades today, as well. The P4 2.66GHz will ride on a 533MHz bus, while 2.5 and 2.6GHz variants will be available for systems with a 400MHz bus. We didn’t even test a system with a 400MHz bus today, because there’s no good reason to buy a 400MHz-bus Pentium 4 unless you’re upgrading an existing system. To see what difference the bus speed increase makes, go read this article.

The P4 2.8GHz will cost a heathly $508, while the 2.66GHz version will list at $408. Here’s the big news: the 2.53GHz version will drop deep into the sweet spot at $243, almost fifty bucks below the Athlon XP 2600+.

You’ve gotta love competition.

Expect prices on slower Pentium 4s to fall in line below that.

Although the performance lead has ping-ponged back and forth between AMD and Intel for some time now, AMD has long led the market in value. You just couldn’t beat the Athlon XP for price-performance. With this price cut, Intel is wielding a price-performance ratio on the P4 2.53GHz very close to AMD’s. And that changes the game more than MHz alone can do.

Intel Pentium 4 1.8GHz: One step closer

by Anand Lal Shimpion July 2, 2001 4:12 AM EST

  • Posted in
  • CPUs



IndexThe Intel Pentium 4: Now available in 6 flavors!Hot at 1.8GHz?Introducing 4-Layer Pentium 4 MotherboardsThe CompetitionThe TestContent Creation/Office PerformanceContent Creation/Office Productivity Performance (continued)IT/Constant Computing Performance3D Rendering & Animation Performance3D Gaming PerformanceFinal Words

It becomes increasingly more difficult to compete when what you’re up against
is cheaper, faster and being touted by most of the press as the only solution
that makes sense.   On the flip side of the coin, things can get pretty tough
when your chief competitor has the marketing muscle, dollars and trust in their
brand name to convince over 70% of the market that they are still the right

This is the predicament that both AMD and Intel happen to find themselves in. 
They each have a different set of issues to deal with and in a sense, are both
fighting an uphill battle for control in the x86 microprocessor space. 

AMD’s solution is one that has been promising since it’s introduction.  The
Athlon processor not only outperforms everything Intel can offer in almost all
situations, but the Athlon is also selling for extremely low prices.  The flagship
Athlon 1.4GHz processor can be found for under $180 while Intel’s Pentium 4
1.7GHz processor will set you back over $300.  The only problem AMD has really
had with acceptance of their Athlon processor is platform reliability and it
appears as if NVIDIA may be the one to solve that issue very soon.  

The Pentium 4 processor has been Intel’s answer to the very successful Athlon. 
Although capable to run at very high clock speeds, the processor’s NetBurst
architecture has not even been slightly tapped by currently available clock
frequencies.  The unfortunate result of this is that the real world performance
of today’s Pentium 4 systems is below that of what AMD can offer.  When you
combine lower performance with a higher price, you can easily see why AMD has
picked up a lot of market share recently.

On the right track

In the conclusion of our first Pentium 4 review from last year we stated that
two requirements must be fulfilled in order for the Pentium 4 to succeed.  Although
we’ve made these two points time and time again, they bear repeating today:

1)      The clock speed of the Pentium 4 must ramp
up significantly higher than what it is at today; and

2)      Software optimizations for the Pentium 4’s
NetBurst architecture must be present in commonly used applications and games. 2 die manufactured on a 0.18-micron process. 

The watermark behind the Pentium 4 die is a US dime just to give
you an idea of how big the core is.

The problem with a die this large is that it is quite costly to produce.  Not
only that but the larger your die size, the greater the chance is for a defect
to occur at the manufacturing stage that would render the die useless.  There
honestly isn’t much that can be done about this right now.  Intel does have
some of the most advanced manufacturing facilities on the planet so their Pentium
4 yields should be as high as possible, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t
still governed by the same laws of manufacturing that all semiconductor companies
must deal with. 

Help is on the way, as Intel will be making a transition to a 0.13-micron process
which should cut the Pentium 4’s die size in half.  While this alone will decrease
manufacturing costs and increase yields, we believe that Intel will use some
of the die savings to increase the L2 cache size of the processor to 512KB which
will improve performance somewhat.  

There isn’t much more Intel can do about improving software optimizations that
they already haven’t done.  Intel’s compilers are readily available and can
offer relatively impressive performance enhancements for current code on Pentium
4 platforms. 

We know what Intel has to do in order to remain competitive, and you better
believe that Intel does as well.  They have some other tricks up their sleeves
that will be revealed next year but for now there’s not much that they can do
other than to stick to their processor release schedule and milk the most out
of their 0.18-micron process.

Today Intel turns the clock speed knob up another notch with their release
of the first 1.8GHz Pentium 4 processor.  Priced at $562 in 1,000 unit quantities
to distributors, the decision between a Pentium 4 1.8GHz and an Athlon 1.4GHz
processor priced at $174 isn’t a very difficult one from a cost standpoint;
but what about performance?  At 1. 7GHz three months ago, the Pentium 4 was starting
to get competitive with the Athlon, does another 100MHz really mean that much

The Intel Pentium 4: Now available in 6 flavors!
IndexThe Intel Pentium 4: Now available in 6 flavors!Hot at 1.8GHz?Introducing 4-Layer Pentium 4 MotherboardsThe CompetitionThe TestContent Creation/Office PerformanceContent Creation/Office Productivity Performance (continued)IT/Constant Computing Performance3D Rendering & Animation Performance3D Gaming PerformanceFinal Words



Review: Intel Pentium 4 1.8GHz [‘Northwood’ core] — CPU


Recently I took a look at Intel’s quickest 0.18u processor and we commented that Intel were moving to 0.13u soon with the new Northwood processors. In the time that’s passed Intel have come up with the goods as promised and here we are today with a closer look at the new chip.

At the time of the 2GHz ‘Willamette’ review the ‘Northwood’ had just become available in 2.0GHz and 2.2GHz forms and the 2.2 sat proudly at the top of the tree in Intel’s grand scheme of things. That’s still the case today with the 2.4GHz processor on the 0.13u process being Intel’s most powerful consumer offering.

What’s changed since then is that the new 0.13 micron processors have also become available at slower speeds in volume, specifically 1.6 and 1.8, and it’s the 1.8GHz processor that I’ll be looking at today.

A couple of sites are pushing the 1.6A as the processor of choice from Intel due to price, low multiplier (remember, multipliers are fixed on Intel consumer CPU’s) and their ability to overclock VERY well.

We’re a big fan of the 1.8 around these parts however with myself and a few good friends getting used to running and overclocking these new processors on a variety of motherboards.

We took a close look at the underlying architecture for the Pentium 4 in the 2GHz Willamette review so if you want to brush up on your core knowledge then take a look here, specifically the section on Netburst. You could also do a lot worse than hit somewhere like Anandtech if you want to make sure you have all bases covered.

So what’s changed other than the move to the 0.13 micron die process with these new CPU’s? The most obvious change is the move to 512kb of cache memory which brings with it a few key benefits. We saw in the previous review that with the long pipeline in the Pentium 4, being able to keep it busy for as long as possible is where the speed gains are to be found.

If you think of the extra cache memory as a bigger buffer between the CPU and main memory then you can see why it helps to keep the later stages of the pipe busy where the 256kb version would maybe have some difficulty.

Intel have speculated that when running existing code, only around 33% of the execution units are in use at any one time with the other two thirds of the CPU sitting idle. That’s a lot of untapped power so the extra cache helps keep the pipe busier and in use more often.

Also, as always with a die shrink, the core voltage needed for proper operation drops, in this case from 1. 75V to a max Vcore of 1.5V (more on this later).

Onto the performance.


As usual when we take a look at CPU performance we’ll be running Sandra, POVRay, 3DMark and also for a decent test of CPU speed, Quake3. We don’t usually look at Q3 in our CPU reviews but we’ll have a quick look today.

We’ll check out overclocked performance too on the same graphs to keep things nice and compact and save you reading gargantuan amounts of repeated information.

As always, a look at the test platform.

  • DFI NB70-SC Intel i845-D Socket 478 Motherboard
  • Intel 1.8Ghz ‘A’ Northwood Processor (512kb, 1.5V)
  • 1 x 256Mb Crucial PC2100 CAS2.5 DDR module (CAS2 selected)
  • Gainward Ti550 GeForce3 Ti500 64Mb
  • Adaptec 39160 PCI SCSI Dual Channel U160 controller
  • 2 x 73Gb Seagate Cheetah U160 10,000rpm SCSI disks
  • Plextor 12/10/32S SCSI CDRW
  • Pioneer 6x Slot-load SCSI DVD
  • Creative Labs Soundblaster Audigy Player (SB0090 version)
  • Windows XP Professional Build 2600. xpclient.010817-1148
  • DetonatorXP 22.40 NVIDIA drivers
  • POVRay v3.1g.msvc.unofficial-win32 dated 28 August 2001
  • 3DMark 2001 Professional
  • SiSoftware Sandra v2002.1.8.59

So, first up, SiSoftware Sandra, specifically the CPU Arithmetic and CPU Multimedia Benchmarks.

CPU Arithmetic Benchmark @ 1.8GHz (18 x 100)

CPU Multimedia Benchmark @ 1.8GHz (18 x 100)

Nothing incredibly exciting here except to note that on the i845D the Northwood runs as expected. On to the overclocked numbers. Remembering that the DFI NB70 has no facility for increasing the core voltage on the CPU makes the overclock we obtained all the more exciting.

At default voltage, the CPU managed to make it into Windows at 2358Mhz at 131MHz FSB. However the maximum stable speed that would run all our benchmarks was a slightly lower 128MHz FSB which gave us 2304MHz. 2.3GHz or 500MHz over stock speed without a voltage increase is very impressive. Here’s the Sandra results at that speed.

CPU Arithmetic Benchmark @ 2.3GHz (18 x 128)

CPU Multimedia Benchmark @ 2.3GHz (18 x 128)

Here we can see the processor forge a decent lead over all the reference processors in Sandra in the 2 benchmarks. The XP2000 and 2.2Ghz Northwood are noticably absent from the list and in the multimedia benchmark the XP2000 would take the lead back with it’s incredibly strong FPU but the little 1.8 does very well when overclocked and performance is very nice indeed.

As we move on to the POVRay tests it will be interesting to see if the extra 256kb of L2 cache on the Northwoods has any bearing on the render time since it doesn’t affect Sandra’s results.

First off, the results for the P3 and P4 binaries when running at 1.8GHz.

POVRay P3 and P4 Binaries @ 1.8GHz (18 x 100)

The execution time for the render doesn’t get any faster on the Northwood compared to a 1.8Ghz Willamette processor. The POVRay working set would appear to fit nicely into the smaller cache of the Willamette CPU’s so the increase in cache size provides no gain. This is to be expected when the application being run is happy in the smaller cache size.

As we increase speed to 2.3GHz we should see an impressive speedup and the quickest CPU results we’ve ever seen at Hexus should be provided by the P4 binary and 2.3Ghz combination.

POVRay P3 and P4 binaries @ 2.3GHz (18 x 100)

As we increase the clock speed by 500Mhz, the P3 binary result at 2.3GHz approaches the result for the P4 binary at 1.8GHz. The fact that it doesn’t quite beat the 1.8GHz P4 binary result shows you the impressive results you get from optimising for the processor. A 500Mhz increase in clock speed is still not enough to catch the optimised version. The P4 binary result at 2.3GHz is simply the quickest we’ve yet seen at Hexus and beats all Athlon XP generated results on the P3 binary (remember the AXP can’t run the P4 binary at all) that we’ve seen.

Finally, we’ll check out 3DMark and Quake3 performance on the CPU. Quake3 loves running on the Pentium 4 processor so we should see some impressive results. A few people have noticed that our Q3 scores are a fair bit lower than other scores you might see around the web and that’s down to 2 things. Firstly, I always set all the rendering options within Quake3 to their maximum, most punishing values so that the system has the most work to do. Secondly the demo we run isn’t the Demo001 demo that most other sites use. We use the Four demo that’s in the latest point release for our testing.

First off, 3DMark. It’s a fair test of an entire system with some tests relying more on the CPU speed for their performance, some rely on memory bandwidth for more frames per second and some rely on pure GPU performance. Remember that my 3DMark results are generated by running the test 3 times and discarding the upper and lower score, leaving the middle one for our published results.

Pairing the 1.8 with a DX8 class GPU shows an impressive turn of speed. 7500+ in WindowsXP at default CPU and GPU clocks is quite impressive and shows that we’ll have good 1024×768 speed out of the box, the most common gaming resolution for most. The CPU and FSB clock boosts give us another 700 points effectively for free. The system would loop 3DMark 24/7 at the overclocked speed despite the lack of voltage.

Remember that memory clocks at 128MHz FSB were 128MHz due to the memory module being unable to run at FSB x 1.33 because we couldn’t increase memory voltage. Given a suitable stick of memory, the score would have increased another 2 or 3 hundred points, simply due to the increased memory bandwidth available.

Finally we can take a quick look at Quake3 on the CPU. We don’t usually look at Quake3 performance in our CPU reviews but the 2.3GHz pumps out some impressive figures that are nice to look at.

Looking at the graph, the results work their way down through the following resolutions: 1600×1200, 1280×1024, 1024×768. We can see that even at 1600×1200 the P4 runs Q3 incredibly well, even at 1.8GHz. Sub 100fps just doesn’t happen on the P4 anymore, even at high res, given a decent graphics card.

The extra 500Mhz gives us more than 20% more speed at 1024×768 and free speed is something we can’t argue with. The high multiplier and relatively low FSB increase still keeps the rest of the system relatively unstressed which is a bonus. 24/7 running at 128MHz on an i845D board is easy and the free speed is excellent. Memory voltage adjustment is really needed for optimimum performance however. Running the memory at sub PC2100 speeds (effectively unclocking it) isn’t the best thing to do. Remember to source a decent stick of memory for running at 1.33 x FSB on the i845D!

Performance Conclusion

It’s a shame that the Hexus CPU tests don’t really illustrate the performance increase that is possible due to the extra cache size. We’ll endeavour to change that in the future with some Linpack analysis and apps that illustrate the change. Look for that when we take a look at our next CPU.

As for the performance we can witness from our tests, it’s obvious that the free performance from the overclock is impressive. What endears me to overclocking the P4 is that the high multiplier doesn’t mean you overstress the rest of the system. Combined with the new Northwood’s propensity for overclocking without a voltage change and the result is a lot of fun.

Coming from tweaking AMD systems for the past year, the P4 is a breath of fresh air and enjoyable again.

The processor overclocked very well. It’s worth talking about CPU voltage here to clear up a few things people have noticed when moving to Intel from AND systems. Intel’s VRM spec for the P4 (the VRM governs CPU voltage) states that the CPU is booted with a Vmax voltage. This is the maximum voltage to be fed to the CPU to boot it properly and run at the designed speed.

On the majority of P4 motherboards out there, setting a CPU voltage in the BIOS is actually providing the Vmax voltage for the VRM and won’t be the constant running voltage of the CPU. Consequently, looking in the BIOS hardware monitoring or using a program like MBM will show a lower voltage than the Vmax value you set. It’s worth noting that this is correct behaviour and that your system isn’t faulty (like some have suggested).

On AMD systems, the voltage you set in the BIOS or via jumpers is usually the monitored voltage you get. This is down to slight changes in VRM specs between AMD and Intel systems and is just another side effect that tweakers will have to get used to when moving back and forth between systems.

This relates to this review because the reported voltage throughout the testing was a reported 1.44V. This is below the Vmax value the CPU needs and is a perfectly valid voltage for running the Northwood CPU’s. The VRM constantly adjusts running voltage as needed up to Vmax to keep the CPU running properly, maybe increasing voltage slightly under high load or reducing if the CPU is in one of it’s idle states.

Overall, performance was very acceptable and it ran all of our tests without hassle or slowdown and it currently resides in my system as I type this. Not quite the top x86 performer that money can buy but not slow either and the overclocking was excellent.


The move to 0.13 micron along with all the benefits including reduced cost, reduced power consumption, reduced heat and the overclocking possibilities make the Northwood a very attractive proposition at the moment. The cheaper CPU’s are excellent overclockers and the cost per unit is quite low for an Intel CPU although the 2.2 is still very costly.

Overall performance was high, cost is low for an Intel processor in the midrange and it was a pleasure testing it. It’ll stay in my machine for quite a while I think, displacing AMD for the time being.

Building the “Ultimate year 2000” Socket 423 RDRAM Pentium 4 System, Were they Really that Slow?

Mention of the Pentium 4 is commonly met with disgust from a certain portion of techies, the Pentium III was a far superior CPU they will tell you. Tech reviews from the time seem to affirm this and the early Pentium 4’s looked to be outperformed by both AMD’s Athlon XP chips and the older Intel Pentium 3 but how bad really was the early Pentium 4?

Its actually not that uncommon for a new CPU architecture to be outdone by the last models of the previous generation. There are several examples of this in the history of CPU development. For instance the AMD 386DX-40 was faster then the early 486’s and late 486 chips like the AMD 133mhz 5×86 (a 486 in all but name) easily outshines the original Pentiums. Why then is there such distaste for the first generation of “Willamette” core Pentium 4 CPUs? When Intel developed the Pentium 4 they used a new architecture called NetBurst which differed from the P6 architecture of the Pentium II and III before it. Many felt Intel would of done better to continue to evolve the P6 architecture and that NetBurst was good for gaining higher mhz numbers (which consumers paid attention to) but not giving better performance relative to those numbers. Once the Northwood cores hit the market in 2ghz+ speeds performance of the Pentium 4 became quite good but I believe most of the hate for the Pentium 4 is centered around those early Socket 423 Willamette core P4’s and these are what I wanted to test. Were the Willamette Pentiums 4s as bad as they say?

Before we start the article proper though I want to make a point very clear. This article is ONLY focusing on the Willamette based Pentium 4 as it operated with high end era correct parts within the end of 2000 and into 2001. It is not meant to represent the overall Pentium 4 line such as later Northwood, Prescott ect… chip revisions. It is also not meant to represent the full potential of the 1.5ghz Willamette CPU, as in using overpowered GPU’s and drivers from much later time periods as not to bottleneck the CPU. One example of this would be taking the machine below and installing a Geforce 6 or 7, a GPU released far after the 1.5ghz Willamette and then seeing how it performs. Also please keep in mind software optimized for the Pentium 4 and thus taking advantage of SSE2 instructions was not widely available in 2000/2001 which is the time period we are looking at for this build.

I frequently read about how the Pentium III easily stomped the Willamette based Pentium 4 CPUs in performance and I wanted to test this myself. To this end I decided to build the ultimate year 2000 Pentium 4 machine. The Pentium 4 did come out in late 2000 but probably wasn’t readily available to consumers until 2001 but I thought it would be fun create a year 2000 specific machine using the best parts that money could buy at the time. I’d like to think maybe it could of been a very expensive high end Christmas present assembled in December of 2000.

For a case I just went with a beige white case that I felt was very representative of the time. I kept things pretty simple with bay drives and limited my build to a pretty standard 1.44mb floppy drive as well as a DVD drive manufactured in 1999. At this point CD-ROM drives would of still been very common but I went with DVD since that would of been the high end and they were widely available in 2000. I believe this drive is a x12 speed but x16 speed drives were available. For a hard drive I’m using a ATA-100 40gb Quantum Fireball AS drive from early 2000.

Motherboard – Obviously the star of this build is going to be the socket 423 motherboard. Socket 423 was the original socket for the Pentium 4 and was a very short lived socket type only being in production a very short time before the Pentium 4 moved on to socket 478. Because of this, socket 423 boards tend to be pretty hard to find these days and can command a high price on the internet. Socket 423 supported the 1.3ghz to 2.0ghz Willamette based Pentium 4s. Intel quickly realized this socket was not adequate for higher clocked CPU’s so it was ditched fairly quickly for socket 478.

The motherboard I choose was the Legend QDI Plantinix 4x board largely on the bases of its availability to me to purchase and its unconventional look with RAM placement. The QDI Plantinix motherboard features RIMM slots for RDRAM (will get to that shortly) as well as an AGP x4 slot and an Intel 850 chipset.

1 ) Usually I mark the PSU connector as an afterthought but socket 423 is actually a bit picky about its power supplies. Socket 423 boards along with a standard 20 pin and 4 pin ATX +12 volt connector requires a supply with a 6 pin AUX power connector. It kind of looks like one half of an old AT power connector and plugs in next to the 20 pin connector.

This connector is necessary to properly power the socket 423 board and CPU. It’s not a very common connector to find on power supplies but I had the most luck searching under “Pentium 4 PSU” in eBay searches. These power supplies will all be fairly old at this point like mine and I had to go through 2 supplies to get a working unit. I failed to find an adapter to add an AUX connection to a more modern supply but they may exist.

2 ) CPU – Socket 423 supported all the Willamette CPUs which were produced in speeds of 1.3ghz to 2ghz. In 2000 only two Pentium 4s were available, the 1.4ghz and 1.5ghz version. The slowest 1.3ghz CPU interestingly was not released until very early January 2001. Originally I used a 1.3ghz CPU as seen in the image below just to see how slow the slowest P4 actually was but later decided to upgrade to the 1.5ghz model after discovering the performance difference in games was only 1-3 FPS in most cases and to make a truer year 2000 machine.

Except for the 200mhz speed difference and indication of clock speed on the chip the 1.3ghz CPU shown above and the 1.5ghz CPU installed on my motherboard look exactly the same. All Willamette P4s have 256kb of full speed  L2 cache on die which is the same as most of the Pentium III CPUs (exceptions being some of the Tualatin models and the early slot 1 Pentium III’s which had 512kb of half speed L2 cache). Later the L2 cache would be bumped up to 512kb on the Northwoods and even higher on later model P4 chips.

Socket 423 CPUs are rather large coming in a little bigger then a Coppermine Pentium III and much bigger then the later Northwood P4 as seen below

(CPU’s from left to right, Coppermine Pentium III, Willamette Pentium 4, Northwood Pentium 4)

3 ) RAM – Most socket 423 boards also used an unusual and (in the realm of consumer PC motherboards) short lived RAM type known as RDRAM or Rambus DRAM. RDRAM was expected to be the next PC memory standard replacing SDRAM  but was eventually beaten by DDR memory. In the days of the early Pentium 4 though Intel had licensed the use of RDRAM with its chipsets so RIMM slots (Rambus in-line Memory Module) showed up on many socket 423 boards. Also to note is that even though RDRAM is primarily associated with early Pentium 4 motherboards it can also be found on a few Pentium III PC’s such as the Dell Dimension XPS B733r.

RDRAM was both very expensive and ran quite hot. It was so pricey that Intel had to subsidies it and include it with certain motherboards. It also required a heat spreader be attached due to the heat it produced. It was found that the relatively small performance increase in some areas did not justify the cost and RDRAM was quickly replaced in the coming years by DDR which in general was faster, cheaper and ran cooler.

The Legend QDI Plantinix 4x board supports up to 2GB of RDRAM but since I’m going to be running Windows 98se I’m only going to a max of 512mb via four PC800 128mb sticks.

The Legend QDI Plantinix 4x has one of the most unusual RAM slot orientations I’ve seen in a post 1980’s motherboard with two slots being in a typical close side by side configuration close to the CPU and another slot spaced further away with a fourth slot being completely perpendicular to the other three. I’m not sure why they went with this setup other then maybe as a space saving feature. This board is also very picky about RAM as well as placement and sizes. RDRAM requires it be installed in sets of two and any unused slots require a “CRIMM” or dummy RAM be inserted as a terminator.

4 ) CNR Slot – CNR or Communications and Networking Riser was another Pentium 4 era slot that was quickly phased out of personnel computers. It was primarily intended for networking and audio cards.

5) IDE – Two ATA-100 IDE connectors for connecting IDE devices (two devices each) like hard drives and CD/DVD ROM drives.

6) Floppy – standard floppy drive connector.

Now for my sound and video card selections for the top of the line in 2000.

Sound – For a sound card I went with the Creative Sound Blaster Live! which was sort of the default sound card of the time.

The card I have installed in the Value version manufactured in 2000 but other then lacking an extended I/O connector and having color coded ports as opposed to gold is identical to the regular version. The Live! cards also supported EAX (Environmental Audio Extensions) 1.0 and 2.0 which many games of the time supported. An Aureal based card would of been another sound option but I feel the Live! cards are a little more compatible feature wise and more representative of 2000.

Video – Finally we have the graphics card. This was actually a very easy decision as the top dog of 2000 was easily the Geforce 2 Ultra.

The AGP x4 Geforce 2 Ultra was pretty much unanimously sighted as the most powerful graphics card of 2000 and in some circumstances even proved faster then the initial Geforce 3 card that preceded it. The Ultra came with 32mb of video memory and was clocked higher then the base model GF2 GTS and GF2 Pro beating out both of the competing Voodoo 5500 and Radeon DDR cards.

One thing to note is that finding a Geforce 2 Ultra can sometimes be a challenge since they can be sought after but also because certain other Geforce cards can almost look identical.

So with that out of the way lets look at some benchmarks to see if the Willamette Pentium 4 really does drag this beast of a year 2000 machine down. To compare I wanted to use a fairly contemporary machine so I choose my Dell Dimension 4100 from 2001 as the competition. This PC will be running the exact same video and sound card as the Pentium 4 PC. The CPU I have installed is a 1ghz Coppermine Pentium III released in 2000 and also using the old P6 CPU architecture.

Both machines are also using the same video drivers (version 45.23) as well as Power Strip 2.78 in order to disable Vsync. Driver version 45.23 are later drivers from around 2003 but unfortunately drivers from 2000 were giving me direct x errors and to be honest I didn’t feel like dealing with it. differences should be minor. Both machines are also running Windows 98se and using 512MB of RAM. I am also using “Optimal default” BIOS settings on both machines and have double checked to make sure L1 and L2 cache is enabled.

*UPDATE 2/7/18*

As I discovered my previous tests skewed the results in the Pentium 3’s favor I have redone all tests. Previous tests were done WITHOUT updated Chipset drivers (from 2000/2001) which greatly effected performance of the Pentium 4 therefore I have decided to rewrite the majority of the following section with the updated data. Chipset drivers ver. 3.20.1008 were installed on both the Pentium 4 and 3 boards for all of the following tests.

First test is with SisSoft 99 to benchmark both the SDRAM in the Pentium 3 machine and the RDRAM in the Pentium 4 PC.

Pentium 3 SDRAM – CPU = 296, FPU = 328

Pentium 4 RDRAM – CPU = 993, FPU = 219

Now SisSoft 99 is a little confusing on how it benchmarks the memory and it seperates it into a CPU and FPU score but the RDRAM clearly has a bandwidth advantage here as its “CPU” score is about triple that of the SDRAM in the P3

The next test I wanted to run was just a few synthetic benchmarks just to get a feel of the two systems. The benchmarks I ran were 3DMark 2000 and 20001se. All tests were run at a resolution of 1024 x 768 with 32 bit color. This was a high but reasonable resolution for the time.

Initial Benchmarks put the Pentium 4 ahead with a slight lead in 3D Mark 2000 and with a slightly larger lead in 3D Mark 2001se. Not looking good for the Pentium 3 so far.

Lastly I wanted to run some gaming benchmarks as I feel they give a better idea of performance so I ran seven different game benchmarks multiple times on each machine to get a average. I ran all these at 1024 x 768 with 32 bit color. I also used 3d acceleration where I could since these tests were of the systems as a whole and not just the CPU. With this in mind I also performed all benchmarks with sound enabled where the option existed. All results were rounded to the nearest whole number.

In three of the seven games the Pentium 4 beats the Pentium 3 if only just barely in some cases. In the more demanding Comanche 4 and Serious Sam: First Encounter we basically have a tie due to margin of error. Both of the older Quake games also results in a dead even tie.

When run at a lower resolution of 640 x 480 the Pentium 4 did pull ahead more so in several of the tests.

Keep in mind results may vary depending on the motherboard used. Now in truth the Willamette based Pentium 4’s may not deserve the hate they tend to get. In my experience the chips have been fairly stable and do run basic tasks just fine. They also when paired with a powerful graphics card of the time like the Geforce 2 tend to run games of the early 2000’s just fine on moderate settings or even high settings and resolutions depending on the game. The Pentium III on the other hand just tends to do tasks a little worse. Though results may be quite improved with Tualatin based Pentium III’s with double the L2 cache and 400mhz more clock speed then my 1ghz Coppermine CPU.

One important thing that is worth noting about the early Pentium 4’s is that software in the early 2000’s had yet to take advantage of the P4’s SSE2 instructions and thus in the early days of the 2000’s software was not optimized for the Pentium 4 CPU. There is also the matter of controversy of the time around Intel fudging the benchmark results to favor the Pentium 4 over the Athlon and Pentium III which eventually led to a class action lawsuit though these admittedly underhanded doings did not seem to involve game benchmarks. In the end though there is a reason Intel quickly abandoned socket 423.

Other games tested were GTA III, Halo and Far Cry. GTA III ran at a pretty consistent 30+ FPS when resolution was brought down to 800 x 600 x 32. Far Cry ran more or less fine at 1024 x 768 on medium settings at around 30 FPS with dips in the mid to low 20’s when several enemies were on screen or there was a large explosion. Turning the Resolution down to 800 x 600 x 32 gave better results with FPS hitting as high as the 90’s at points and rarely dipping into the mid 20’s when a lot was going on. Halo seemed to be playable at 1024 x 768 with medium settings but suffered lower FPS rates but at 800 x 600 with textures and particle effects set on high it was perfectly playable. Quake III even at 1024 x 768 x 32 pulled a consistent 90+ FPS. A more powerful graphics card will obviously improve results but is out of the scope of a “year 2000 build”.

Despite the results favoring the Pentium 4 you were likely better off either sticking to your Pentium III or going the AMD route with the Athlon XP especially considering the high price of the early P4s. I also would of felt pretty burned when Intel dropped socket 423 for socket 478 after only a year give or take leaving socket 423 owners with not much of an upgrade path. I don’t feel the Pentium 4 really became competitive until the later Northwood cores started clocking over 2ghz and especially with the 2.5ghz hyperthreading models. There IS a noticeable performance boost over the 1ghz P3 but it’s not quite as much as I would expect from 500mhz more clock speed and a brand new CPU architecture and I think this is what let most people down. It’s not that the Pentium 4 was slower overall then a similarly equipped Pentium 3 build (if your PC was properly optimized) but that it wasn’t that much faster, at least not enough to justify the costs. I’d certainly be interested in how much difference a 2ghz Willamette makes against the Pentium III or even an early Northwood against a 1ghz Pentium III but that’s a matter for another article.