Sysmark 2000 under Windows 98
This benchmark discussion starts with a big bang. Only a heavily overclocked Pentium 4 at 1728 MHz is able to surpass AMD's 'older' Athlon with SDRAM and 100 MHz FSB. The 'newer' Athlon with DDR-SDRAM and 133 MHz FSB is simply untouchable in this benchmark right now. Even Pentium III is able to leave both official Pentium 4 models at 1.4 and 1.5 GHz behind!
Whatever it may be, Pentium 4 can't handle current office software very well. One of the reasons may be its small 8 KB L1 data cache, but that's certainly not all. In some way I've got to say that Intel has guts releasing a processor they call 'the world's best performing microprocessor' although Intel is well aware of the fact that one of the major standard benchmarks shows this processor in a pretty bad light.
What does this result mean to us? Not much really. Office applications haven't been a challenge to any of the processors that were released within the last 12 months. When you are using your office suite the computer is waiting for you rather than vice versa. From this point of view it shouldn't really bother us that Pentium 4 doesn't perform well in this kind of application. However, you may wonder if a product that cannot beat its older, cheaper and slower clocked competitor in this benchmark is worth your hard earned money.