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Intel Pentium 4 2.0Aghz Review Posted by Mike @4:34 P.M. on 8/26/02

Hey everyone, welcome to Overclockers' Hardware's first review. This will be a brief overview of the Intel Pentium 4 2.0a ghz processor, with some AMD comparisons.

Although by now the Intel Pentium 4 2.0a ghz isn't quite top of the line, it's still quite a good processor. The Pentium 4 2.0ghz processor actually comes in two styles. Although you may not know, the processor comes in a version with a level 2 cache of 256 kb (along with P4s running at 1.4ghz up to 1.9). The only place i now see these older models is in most brand name computers, which haven't made the switch over yet(however I have seen a few 2.0a's). Soon after release of the P4 2.0 ghz processor Intel decided to switch over to a 512kb level 2 cache, and use 0.13 micron technology . They then released the 2.0a, which used the .13 micron technology and had a 512kb L2 cache.

The p4 2.0a processor has a 400 mhz system bus (100 mhz quad-pumped). This allows 3.2 GB/sec data in and out of the processor. This is quite a huge leap from the Pentiums 3's 1.06 GB/sec data transfer. This is also one of the things that Intel has going for it, over AMD. Amd is still running a 133 mhz ( 133mhz x2... so really 266 mhz) front side bus. Recently Amd rumors are circulating about raising a the fsb to 166 (really 333) mhz. However, Intel currently has their fsb running at 533 mhz.

Enough with the background. Let's get on with what you people really came to see. Benchmarking scores. Because of the high multiplier (20x) the P42.0a isn't the best overclocker (no where near the 1.6 ghz, which often overclocks to 2.12ghz on default voltage. And with a voltage mod and some very very good cooling it can come close to hitting 3 ghz, it ain't easy though, and the high fsb makes things extremely fast). However it does overclock fairly decently. With stock voltage (1.5 volts) mine goes up to 2.2 ghz. And just by adding .1 volts, hitting 2.3+ ghz is easy. Since I've wrote this I've been able to hit 2.4 ghz. It is a bit of a chore, but can be done with 1.625 or 1.65 volts.

Update: This chip has a lot of potential in overclocking, most can hit 2.667ghz with a fsb of 133 without much of a problem. In my case the problem seems to be my motherboard and ram combination. Apparantly the two cannot keep the voltage of the core where it should be. Actually it ranges by about .125, which causes instability, or prevents me from booting up.

The Test System
Intel Pentium 4 2.0a
Asus P4S333 (Bios 1.07 Beta)
PC2100 DDR (running at 306 mhz, slowest timings)
Stock Cpu cooler, one intake/one output on case
Room Temp is 68 degrees F

The Test
Unforunately we do not have the resources to compare this processor against others of it's type. So we will be comparing it to itself overclocked and also what scores the AMD processor will get us.

The Results

It seems in this case, that although the p4 didn't overclock by too much, it did gain a substaintual amount of performance, where it did beat out the athlon in some aspects. Also, the temperatures were virtually the same before and after it was overclocked, this is a very cool running processor, even with the Intel HSF. However, many people may prefer the Athlon 2000+, which does performs better than the P4 2.0a (in some situatations, i.e. pure fpu instances), and is cheaper. The Pentium 4 2.0a ghz processor sells for around $200, white the athlon 2000+ goes for $130-$150.

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