Tim Wilkens' ScienceMark gives an idea of how scientific applications will perform on the various platforms. Here the 2.40GHz Pentium 4 doesn't scale quite as well as in the streaming media benchmarks, turning in results about twice as fast as the 800MHz Pentium III on average. With the exception of Primordia, these benchmarks rely very little on the memory bus (even less with the Northwood's 512KB L2), so the faster RDRAM doesn't play much of a role. AMD's Athlon has traditionally fared better in this benchmark -- those of you seeking the best scientific performance may want to check into an Athlon instead.
We wanted to ascertain how much of a role the processor played in speeding up bootup times, so we measured how long it took Windows XP Professional to boot on our test platforms. We measured the OS loading time only, and ignored the BIOS/hardware initialization.
To be honest, we were expecting a bit more of a difference than that, but the numbers don't lie. If you want faster bootup times, increasing the amount of system memory, and upgrading to a faster hard disk (possibly IDE RAID of SCSI) are probably the best bets.
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