Processor Watch (2003 H2 Update)

New processors in 2003 H2

The CPU processor market in later half of 2003 had clamed down a bit. There are not many new CPU announcement in this period. However, we have seen AMD's race competition against Intel, which has been dominating PC and low-end server markets for years.

  • AMD Athlon series - Athlon FX and Athlon 64 were announced. This report will reveal how the new processors compared to Opteron, as well as to their major rival Intel Pentium 4.
  • Intel Pentium 4 - the benchmark of new 2MB Level 3 Cache 3.2GHz P4XE will show how well it compares to Athlon 64-bit processors as well as Itanium 2

SPECint2000 benchmark

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With the introduction of Athlon 64 and FX series, AMD has been close its gap between Intel regarding to the performance of high-end desktop processor. As shown in above figures, it indicated a head-to-head competition among Itanium, AMD64 and P4 and Xeon, while the integer rating for all fastest processors in the series outpaced P4 3.2GHz.

SPECfp2000 benchmark

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The floating point performance of AMD chips, which has been the weakest in Athlon XP platforms, also substained a similar rating to P4s. The above figures also comfirm the fact that Opteron 148 is faster than FX-51, which in turn faster than Athlon 64 3200+.
Itanium still leads its way in floating point realm, while Power4+ stayed in 2nd. AMD64 processors are chasing very hard at the back, but not too far away from P4XE.

Conclusion

From this report, we are able to notice that Power4+ is aging, its floating point performance is chased by P4/Xeon and AMD64 processors. UltraSparc III is still in turtle speed, it is disappointed that there is still no new benchmark for their new processors from SUN. Itanium 2 is still showing stunning performance, but again its slow adoption rate will be killing it soon. We are fortunate to see that HP has submitted SPECint_rate2000 and SPECfp_rate2000 results to SPEC, where it shows that Itanium is a high scalable processor than all their competitors.