Intel's New 2.4GHz Pentium 4 Northwood
200MHz more, like a walk in the park

By, Dave Altavilla
April 2, 2002

 
Please take note of our systems specs for both the Intel and AMD test platforms.  Comparable system components were used in each system and a clean install of Windows XP was setup before each run of benchmarks.

HotHardware's Test Systems
Mo' Hotter Mo' Better...

 

Intel Platform:
Pentium 4 Northwood Processors at 2.2GHz and 2.4GHz
Motherboard and RAM Config
Abit TH7-RAID Motherboard - i850 (No RAID used)
256MB of Samsung PC800 RAMBUS RDRAM
Other Hardware and Software:
IBM DTLA307030 30Gig ATA100 7200 RPM Hard Drive
On board AC '97 Sound
Windows XP Professional
DirectX 8.1
GeForce3 Ti 500 Graphics Card
nVidia Detonator 4 reference drivers version 27.50
Intel chipset drivers version 3.20

AMD Platform:
Athlon XP 2100+
Motherboard and RAM Config
Asus A7V266-E (KT266A)
256MB Enhanced Mushkin 2-2-2 DDR-RAM
Other Hardware and Software:
30GB IBM 7200 RPM HD
GeForce 3 Ti 500
On-Board AC '97 Sound
Windows XP Professional
DirectX 8.1
GeForce3 Ti500 Graphics Card
nVidia Detonator 4 reference drivers version 27.50
VIA 4-in-1 version 4.38a chipset drivers


 

Pentium 4 Northwood - 2.4GHz
Clock speed, up and to the right

CPUID and Cache ID - Click images for full viewing
 

 

Here we see Intel's new flagship CPU at 2.4GHz and the "QuadPumped" front side bus at 400MHz. (100MHz QDR).  Feed this bandwidth with a healthy about of RDRAM at 800MHz (400MHz DDR) and Pentium 4 is setup for serious number crunching.  You'll also notice in the Cache ID shot, we have 512K of on chip 8 way set associative cache.  The additional 256K of on chip full speed cache (512K total) that the Northwood core brings to the table, helps reduce average memory access times, thereby increasing overall system performance.

Overclocking The Northwood
We hit 3GHz but not fully stable

Frankly, our friends at Intel are not too keen on the fine art of over-clocking.  However, we don't know of too many of you in our audience who don't do it or haven't at least dabbled in it from time to time.  Let's face it, it's interesting, fun and just too tempting to ignore! 

CPUID @ 2.95GHz and Sandra's Processor Tests @ 3GHz. - Click images for full view

2.95GHz stable
 


   

 


3GHz - Not stable but nice to look at


CPU Test

Multimedia

Memory


 
 

The highest over-clock we were able to achieve with normal air cooling, was 2.95GHz or 123MHz times the new Northwood's 24X FSB multiplier.  We were able to boot into WindowsXP at 3GHz with a 125MHz front side bus but were unable to complete a full round of testing and benchmarking, to prove out decent stablilty.  In any event, we were able to complete Sandra tests at 3GHz, so we decided to post the scores just for fun.  What is most impressive here is the massive bandwidth numbers that Sandra reports in the memory test.  Of course the other CPU test numbers are nothing too get sleepy over either.

SiSoft Sandra Benchmarks
Just for reference

Here are the rest of the Sandra scores, just for reference.  These were taken at the stock 2.4GHz clock speed of the Pentium 4 Northwood processor we tested.

CPU 2.4GHz

Multimedia 2.4GHz
Memory 2.4GHz

The 2.4GHz Northwood reigns supreme here but please note that AMD's highest end CPU is not listed in the reference numbers, nor is the 2.2GHz P4.  Again, these scores are really just for reference, because we realize many of our readers use this "quick and dirty" test for very basic comparisons.

 

The "Real World" Benchmarks