CPU: AMD Athlon XP 2600+ vs Intel Pentium 4 2.53GHz :: Introduction

09-09-2002 · Category: Hardware - Processors

By Doc Overclock

Another quarter has passed meaning another battle between the two most prominent players in the silicon power war. AMD and Intel are once again vying for domination of the desktop market and your hard earned cash. In our forums section this is the most heated subject amongst the hardcore enthusiasts, as everyone seems to be of strong opinion of which they like best and why.

AMD has confused the market by going in a different direction than Intel to determine performance values. Historically CPU performance has been based almost solely on the processors clock speed but AMD has thrown a new twist into the mix. AMD has started to compare and name their CPUs to the actual performance value and seem to be almost leaving the true clock speed out as a factor altogether.

I hear it almost every time I am out consulting a job, someone will say is that AMD 2100+ a 2.1GHz CPU or a 1.53Ghz CPU with a complete blank stare on their face. This time we see AMD coming at us with a new .13 Micron solution called the 2600+ (actual clock speed 2.13GHz). AMD has slated this chip to be the killer of the Intel 2.53GHz P4, which is the current affordable high end CPU that dominates the market.

Another thing that is important in the overall picture is the platform itself, which includes the motherboard chipset, the memory capability, and the system drivers. Intel is and always has been a solid chipset developer making platforms that have usually been stable and when modified on after market boards seem to perform very well. Overclocking by increasing the FSB has been the favorite diet of the Intel enthusiast.

AMD has not had the greatest history when it comes to developing chipsets but with VIA in their corner they have had a reliable partner who is very aggressive in their R&D and implementation. This has been a big help in keeping AMD in the big game and with VIA usually on the technological edge also has helped them earn the respect of the enthusiasts and gaming community equally. AMD is the underdog and everybody likes the fact that they give the Intel giant a little well needed competition.

Until AMD released the XP line, they offered chips that could be modified by altering the L1 bridges located on the top of the CPU. Since the XP line was introduced enthusiasts are faced with a much more difficult task of connecting these bridges which allow the processors clock speed to be changed allowing both FSB and clock speed overclocking. Intel has always had locked chips and has been known to take a stance in the past of not condoning overclocking. We take these two chips in a head to head battle to see which one is truly the performance king. Follow along and let the testing begin.