Intel Pentium 4 3.0C GHz

Aron Schatz
December 1, 2003
Intel Pentium 4 3.0C GHz
With faster and faster CPUs about, you can get a great deal on the second best CPU on the market. Let's see what this 3GHZ CPU can do.
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Remember the days when you had a choice between a 50MHz 486 or a "double pumped" 66MHz variant? The premium that came with top of line CPUs was pretty high, but if you remember those days, you'll also remember that a PC under two grand was unheard of. Today when you walk into a computer store, you immediately find prices well under $1000, even $500 if you look hard enough. This cost doesn't sacrifice performance either, you aren't going to get a crappy last generation cheap POS for the low end, we've really come a long way. I've long been a fan of AMD, but recently, Intel has been my CPU of choice for two reasons. Let's dive right into the P4 3.0C GHz.



Here is the orange and blue Intel box. Strange how the new gaming site sort of took that theme... <a href="">See</a>?

<B>The Stuff</B>:


The CPU, heatsink, and some warranty and paper work.

<B>The CPU</B>:


I'm so damn proud of the above pic of the CPU. Check it out. This is the CPU you'll be getting when you get the retail box version of the 3.0GHz C. You'll clearly see on the CPU that it is a 3GHZ with 512K of cache and running at 800MHz front side bus (which is actually 200 MHz quad pumped). I won't be bothering you with the boring technical details of the CPU, as I'm sure you already know them from reading other sites.

The CPU comes with a new type of technology called Hyper Threading. I'm sure you know what it is, but let me give you a refresher course. Do you remember the old days with the Abit BP6 when you could stick some Celeron CPUs into a dual CPU board? Yeah, it is kind of like that. This HT enabled core has two logical CPU cores built onto one physical CPU. If you know about how computing works, then you know that the CPU waits for an instruction to finish before executing the next. This is true for the x86 type CPUs in general because they are using a CISC based instruction set (Complex instruction, as opposed to RISC which is basically a load and store type instruction set). This means that the CPU is idling on some instructions while waiting for the memory or other things to return data. What the HT enabled chip does is allow the CPU to use the unused resources of the chip at the same time. You essentially get a dual CPU for the price of one. If you happen to run XP or Linux, you'll be able to take advantage of this feature with no problems. With Windows 2000, it'll detect two CPUs, but the OS will think they are two physical CPUs, so if you happen to get a dual channel Xeon P4 system that has Hyperthreading, you won't be using Win2K Pro, it'll detect four CPUs. Doh! Anyway, with one CPU, no problems! Let's move on.

Wait, I've got more to say about the CPU. The first thing I like about the P4 is the fact that the Front Side Bus speed (this is the speed at which the CPU talks to the memory and the AGP subsystem) is faster than the AMD side (all you AMD fanboys, send flames <a href="">here</a>Wink. What the funny part is, is that there are no 800 MHz type system RAM modules for sale. We need to employ tricks to get that speed. This is where the new chipsets come in. The Springdale and Canterwood chipsets all support dual channel DDR operating at 400MHz (each channel) to form an 800MHz bus. I think we are done with the CPU side of things.

<B>The Heatsink</B>:


I've bought 3 Intel P4 CPUs, from the 1.6A to the 2.4C and now the 3.0C. This is the best Intel heatsink to date. With a copper block on the bottom of it, and a good thermal pad, this is also one of the best stock heatsinks I have seen. I removed the pad with some lighter fluid and then wiped the remains off and then put some silver pasty on it.

<center>Heatsink 2</center>

The second thing that I really like about the Intel brand of chips is the heatsink. I'm not talking about the way it cools, I'm talking about the way it goes on the CPU. drop it in, click it in place and then tighten it! It is as simple as that. AMD could really learn from that instead of using the stupid mounting clips. By the way, the P4 has good thermal management. Try running a P4 without a heatsink. Sure the computer will crash, but the CPU will be fine. I know, it happened to a customer in the shop here.
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Test System:

I wanted to test this CPU from a purely upgrading stand point. I had a 2.4C GHz previously in my system, so I figured to test it again that as I was upgrading that. Overclocking will come in the next article.

Abit IS7-E (The E means CHEAP!)
512MB Crucial PC3200
Radeon 9500 Pro
And a bunch of other standard stuff that really doesn't matter in the long run (you know what I mean).

Everything was run at 640x480 at the lowest possible detail setting to test the CPU and not the graphics card. In all benchmarks, red denotes the 3GHz while the gray denotes the 2.4GHz.

<center>3DMark 2K1</center>

First up is the always popular 3D Mark 2001 330. All the games were run at the low detail settings. This is a DirectX 8 benchmark. As you can see, the extra 600 MHz of CPU is a big help in the older generation of DirectX.

<center>3DMark 2K3</center>

And the 'current' generation 3D Mark 2003. The CPUs are identical pretty much except for some tests.

<center>PC Mark 2K2</center>

PC Mark shows the difference that a new CPU makes. Faster and better (well, so they say...)


The workstation benchmark using OpenGL. SPEC is a industry standard benchmark utilizing many programs that many designers and engineers use. We can see that a CPU plays a big role in the intense calculations needed.

<center>Sandra Arithmetic</center>

From a purely CPU standpoint, of course it is going to be better.

<center>Sandra Multimedia</center>

Yeah, again, the same thing happens.

We can conclude that a faster CPU is... faster. What a surprise!


I purchased a bundle for retail employees that contained the CPU, motherboard and XP OEM. By the way, anyone want to buy XP Pro? Anyway, you can purchase the 3.0C for <a href="">about $280</a>. I would consider this a buy if you have a CPU that doesn't have the 800MHz FSB already. The problem is, you can buy a 2.4C and overclock it to 3GHz speeds with ease. I was doing this, and I'm sure over 70% of people that bought 2.4Cs are doing it also. It is up to you if you want to spend the extra money and not worry about overclocking, and some will be happy doing it.


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