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Build It: A Liquid-Cooled P4 System @ ExtremeTech
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Old 21st May 2004, 09:14   #1
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Default Build It: A Liquid-Cooled P4 System @ ExtremeTech

As we can see from the software 3D rendering tests, the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition can perform quite well against the competition, given the right application mix. However, that mix of applications doesn't extend to gaming.

That's not to say that the P4EE is a poor gaming platform it performs pretty darned well. However, the Athlon 64 FX 53 is simply in another class entirely when it comes to running games. In the near future, we'll be exploring the performance of upcoming, DirectX 9 generation games, to see if AMD's commanding lead shifts but that's unlikely at best.

The wild card here is multitasking performance. All of our game testing was performed on "clean" systems, with no substantial background tasks running. If you're like us, though, you probably have a fairly busy system tray. It's difficult to quantify, but the P4 running games in an environment that includes busy background tasks running could eat into AMD's lead. For example, we know of gamers what will play massively multiplayer online games in a window, while running other tasks at the same time. MMORPG's lend themselves to this behavior, due to frequently waiting for other party members or monster respawns.

The bottom line is that, as a standalone gaming system, our liquid cooled Pentium 4 Extreme Edition rig certainly performs well, but simply can't keep up with the an Athlon 64 FX-53 system, identically configured. But where a system can't really be dedicated to a single application, the P4 may still be a viable choice. Whether that's worth $350 more is between you and your wallet.
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