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


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


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.


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.