CPU Price Shootout: Intel P4 640 vs AMD A64 3500+

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When websites compare products from different companies, they tend to mainly focus only on the bottom line performance and not the financial to performance aspect of the products. However, when consumers look to purchase a new component, whether it be an upgrade or for a new system, they look at it from a price to performance point of view rather than simply which is the best overall. With that in mind I’ve decided to compare a couple of mid-market processors installed in similarly priced systems to see what you can expect performance wise out of the two. 

Back in late Febuary Nate did a comprehensive write up on Intel’s 6XX series processors. Today, we’ll take a closer look at Intel’s 640 processor, their 3.2GHz offering, and compare it to AMD’s similarly priced Winchester 3500+ processor, which I reviewed back in November.

When Intel updated the Prescott line late last year with the 5XX series, most people were disappointed. Though the 5XX series processors overclocked as well as their predecessors, the second generation Prescott CPU did not support 64 bit processing, nor did it address the thermal issues that troubled the initial Prescott release just over a year ago.

Recently, everyone’s attention has been focused on the “Dual Core Wars” as both Intel and AMD race to release their offerings to the enthusiast market. In the meantime, Intel has quietly released their 6XX series processor. Featuring 64 bit processing, better thermal properties, 2MB of onboard L2 cache, along with Intel’s patented “SpeedStep Technology” the 6XX series seems to finally deliver what many of us expected with Prescott’s intial release back in Febuaury of 2004.

Does the 6XX series really show the Prescott’s true potential? Is it a worthwhile upgrade for those already using a 5XX series processor? Are Prescott’s thermal issues finally behind it? And finally, how does Intel’s newest desktop processor stack up against AMD’s midrange CPU? 

Intel Pentium 4 660 Processor

Model 640 w/ H.T. AMD Athlon 64
Core Prescott Winchester
Operating Frequency 3.2GHz 2.2GHz
FSB 800MHz Integrated
Cache  L1/12K+16K; L2/2MB L1/64K+64K; L2/ 512KB
Voltage 1.4V 1.4V
Process 90nm 90 nm
Socket LGA 775 Socket 939
Multimedia Instruction MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3 MMX, SSE, SSE2, 3DNOW!, 3DNOW!+

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