Intel’s Newest, and Last, Desktop PIII Processor

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It is interesting how times change. Instead of using an Intel CPU as the baseline, I now found myself using an AMD Athlon as the baseline. Since I was using a 1.2GHz upper end CPU it seemed appropriate to compare the Pentium 3 to an Athlon of the same speed. For the Athlon test I used a new Soyo K7V Dragon with the VIA KT266 chipset, 256MB of PC2100 DDR memory and an Athlon 1.2GHz CPU (T-Bird core). All the rest of the components were the same as the Intel setup, and the Dragon’s integrated sound was also enabled. As usual all tests were run at least 3 times, and the highest score was used unless the program averaged them. Any results that varied more than 3% (6% for the Winbench test) were discarded and the series were run again. So, lets see how the Pentium does at 1.2GHz and with its slightly revised core:

Pretty darn close, though a very slight advantage to the Athlon. Not enough, however, to even really comment about. The difference is only 0.6% in the Business test and 2.4% in the Content Creation, both well within the margin of variance of the test.

Interesting. The overall score is just about a tie, while in the individual office and content creation tests the Pentium 3 and Athlon trade places for the top honors. Just as with the Winstone tests, both are in reality equal in performance.

Not much difference in the CPUmark test, but these days this isn’t really that important of a test. The following test is, however…

The Athlon does outperform the Pentium 3 in both tests by about 7% in both of them. But it doesn’t seem to be reflected in the ‘realworld’ tests that were run also.

Again, in this benchmark the Athlon does seem to show an advantage – especially in the High-End test at almost 12%.

It seems we are seeing a trend here. In 3 D Graphics the Athlon again has the advantage, but at less than 3%, so I would not put too much weight behind it. Looks like a lot on the scale though, doesn’t it?

I could show a few more graphs, but the results would follow the trend shown above: The AMD Athlon and Intel Pentium 3, when using the same CPU speed and latest cores, perform just about the same. Any difference is so minimal it’s either within the margin of variance of the test or so small that you’d never notice it other in bragging rights.

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