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Intel Pentium 4 560 Intel Pentium 4 560: We got our hands on Intel's latest flagship and compare it to a number of CPUs.  
Date: September 15, 2004
Manufacturer:
Written By:
Price:
 

On June 19, 2004, Intel released the latest Pentium 4 platform. Also known as Socket-T, the new Land Grid Array 775 (LGA775), this new platform replaces the previous Socket-478.

The LGA775 is based on the Prescott core with the 90nm fabrication process and SSE3. Pictured above is the , which speeds along at 3.6GHz. As with all LGA775 processors, it runs at 800FSB, and packs in 1MB of L2 cache. It is slightly larger than the Socket-478 that many of us are accustomed to. This is due to the increased pin count, or should I say a lack thereof?

The bottom of the CPU illustrates the biggest visual change from the previous Pentium 4 CPUs. Gone are the pins, and replaced by contacts. Where are the pins now? As we've seen, these pins have been moved to the motherboard socket itself. The CPU itself is quite robust, but the platform as a whole is going to have some problems. In the past, a bent CPU pin could sometimes be corrected and straightened out. Because the motherboard's sockets had holes, as long as you can properly insert the CPU, chances are you'll be good to go.

With the pins on the motherboard now, you'll have to take some care in placing the CPU into the socket. It doesn't take much to bend a pin out of place and it'll be very difficult to fix if it happens as even a slight bend will render the system inoperable.

The provided heatsink is much larger than previous Intel coolers, and features aluminum fins surrounding a copper core. The fan itself is rated for a maximum of 5000rpm, but when the CPU is idle or under light load, it slows down to very acceptable noise levels.

Overclocking

Serious overclocking of the LGA775 is not going to be easy depending on the motherboard you have. With the new Grantsdale and Alderwood chipsets, Intel implemented a scheme where the chipsets verify of the CPU is running at its rated speed, and if not, it stops the boot process. I doubt any of the big motherboard manufacturers will actually activate this protection though, as from what we've seen, boards from ASUS, ABIT and MSI do not.

Of course, your success will also vary depending on the speed of the CPU, the cooling and your luck on getting an overclocking friendly chip. We've seen some good FSB OCs from the LGA775 2.8GHz, but less so with the faster chips.

The best overclocks we've seen used water cooling as well, but at the moment, at least for most consumers, LGA775 brackets for your favorite water blocks are still in development. We're still waiting for the new kit to arrive, so if you currently have a water cooling setup, one option is to lean your PC on its side, and use thermal paste to secure the water block. The dig is unless you plan on leaving your PC in that position for an extended period, it's not something we'd recommend. We still have not seen what I would define as extreme air cooling yet, so Intel's stock (or approved) cooler will be one of your few options, which is what we used for our tests.

On the ASUS P5AD2, we needed to disable the "Turbo" setting, and reduce our memory timings to the default 4-4-4-12 in order for us to reach a 226FSB with an 18x multiplier.

We did get as high as 229FSB, but the system was extremely unstable during our tests, and after a few reboots, the system would not POST at all, regardless of our voltage settings. Our test board is capable of 236FSB using air cooling, but that would require lowering our multiplier to 14X, which would actually end up running the CPU lower than its rated speed.

Test Setup

ASUS P5AD2 Premium: Intel P4 560, 2 x 512MB Corsair TWINX PC5400 Pro, ASUS AX600XT, 120GB Seagate SATA 7200rpm, Windows XP SP1, ATI Catalyst 4.8.

Albatron PX875P: Intel Pentium 4 2.4C, 2 x 512MB Corsair TWINX PC3200 XL, AIW Radeon 9600 XT, 120GB Seagate SATA 7200rpm, Windows XP SP1, ATI Catalyst 4.8.

MSI K8T Neo-FIS2R: Athlon 64 3200+ (10x200: 2GHz), 2 x 512MB Corsair TWINX PC3200 XL, AIW Radeon 9600 XT, 120GB Seagate SATA 7200rpm, Windows XP SP1, ATI Catalyst 4.8, VIA Hyperion 4in1 drivers 4.51.

Other than the obvious CPU and motherboard differences, the ram and video cards are also different. All the setups were tweaked to run as optimal as possible. Ideally, we would have liked to have a clock-for-clock showdown, but the other processors were incapable of reaching the same clock speed as the P4 560.

All our benchmarks were run on a 32-bit version of Windows XP, five times total with the average displayed in this review, except in the case of SiSoft Sandra where we took the final score and dropped the first two.

SiSoft Sandra 2004

Although a synthetic benchmark, it's a popular one, freely available if you wish to make comparison benchmarks. We will be testing the CPU, MMX, and memory speeds, using the 32-bit 2004 version.

CPU
MMX
Memory

CPU Arithmetic Benchmark

 
Whetstone iSSE2
Dhrystone ALU
P4 560 @ 3.6GHz
7493
9605
P4 2.4C @ 2.4GHz
5434
7611
A64 3200+ @ 2GHz
4134
8678

CPU Multimedia Benchmark

 
Integer iSSE2
Floating-Point iSSE2
P4 560 @ 3.6GHz
25559
34180
P4 2.4C @ 2.4GHz
18789
27543
A64 3200+ @ 2GHz
18765
20564

Both CPU benchmarks are in the P4 560's favour, trouncing both of the other processors by quite a margin. It's rather obvious that sheer clock speed is going to play a role in the benchmarks today. Is it going to be the deciding factor? Stay tuned.

ZD Business Winstone 2004

The ZD Winstone suite is a script that runs a series of actions and calculates a final score that measures a PC's overall performance.

 
Score (Higher is better)
P4 560 @ 3.6GHz
23.1
P4 2.4C @ 2.4GHz
21.6
A64 3200+ @ 2GHz
23.5

The results are quite close here, which is a much different story than our SiSoft tests. The Athlon 64 takes this one barely, but it does show that despite a 1.6GHz clock disadvantage, the A64 is very efficient in keeping data moving through the pipes.

Sysmark 2004 Office Productivity

Sysmark 2004 is BAPCo's latest revision of the mainstream office productivity and Internet content creation benchmark used to characterize the performance of the business client. It uses a number of real-world applications and runs them through a series of tests. We tested with the office, content creation and web benchmarks.

 
Score (Higher is better)
P4 560 @ 3.6GHz
186
P4 2.4C @ 2.4GHz
137
A64 3200+ @ 2GHz
171

Sysmark 2004 Content Creation

 
Score (Higher is better)
P4 560 @ 3.6GHz
213
P4 2.4C @ 2.4GHz
142
A64 3200+ @ 2GHz
183

WebMark 2004

 
Score (Higher is better)
P4 560 @ 3.6GHz
146
P4 2.4C @ 2.4GHz
101
A64 3200+ @ 2GHz
107

The P4 560 and Athlon 64 take the gold and silver respectively. Again, the 400MHz clock speed advantage of the Pentium 4C is not enough for it to overtake the Athlon 64. However, multiply that by four, and the A64 has a hard time keeping up with the P4 560.

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