Pentium 4 2.8Ghz or 3.06Ghz?

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Thread Starter
Sep 11, 2001
Would there be any considerable Power difference between a P4 2.8Ghz and a 3.06Ghz? (Percentage-wise)?
Surely the difference couldn't justify a €250/$250 difference?
Im about to build a new machine and am hung up on which to buy.
Dec 23, 2002
There is not enough difference speed wise to spend the extra money in my opinion, unless you are programming in .net or something huge. I would say save the money and buy more memory which is what makes a pc fast.
Apr 12, 2002
there's no way i would spend the extra 250 for the 3.06

like gustac said, i would spend the money on more ram. 250 will be you a good DDR stick.

if you do a lot of graphics, rendering, etc. etc. then who knows, the 3.06 may be better for you

Nov 15, 2000
explanation from TechTV
Intel's 3.06-GHz Pentium 4 and Hyper-Threading

Forget breaking the gigahertz barrier. We want to know what Hyper-Threading Technology will do for us.

By Patrick Norton

The processor wars are far from over, but it can't be a happy day at AMD headquarters, because Intel just broke the 3-GHz barrier. On one hand, that's no big deal. The new processor offers the usual nominal (read "small") increases in our benchmark tests when compared to the 2.8-MHz Pentium 4. On the other hand, breaking a gigahertz barrier is usually hyped through the ceiling. But we're not interested in jumping on the hype train.

No, the big story for us is that Intel has put Hyper-Threading Technology in its new 3.06-GHz Pentium 4. Hyper-Threading Technology is a slick little idea. It makes a single processor emulate a symetric multiprocessor (SMP) machine, making it a virtual dual-processor system.

Think that's a silly idea? It's not if you're one of the millions of folks who have more than one application open at once -- as when you burn an MP3 while downloading from the Web, search a database while clicking through a browser window, or -- here's a stressful one -- play "Unreal Tournament 2003" while ripping some digital audio.

Defining Hyper-Threading Technology

Lawson, our Labs maven who ran the benchmarks for this story, put together this list of what the new processor can do:

* Enables the processor to execute two series (or threads) of instructions at the same time, thus increasing performance and system responsiveness.
* Adds less than 5 percent to the relative chip size and maximum power requirements, but provides performance benefits much greater than that.
* Multireads and multitasks.

o Multireading -- Apps are tuned to take advantage of HT technology (example: Photoshop).
o Multitasking -- Having more than one app running at the same time. This requires the OS to be optimized for such activity.


You're heard Leo explain that a dual-processor system requires both application support and OS support to take full advantage of the multiple processors. But if the OS supports dual (or more) processors, even nonthreaded apps will benefit from the power of the multiple processors.

We'll have some benchmarks up here for you real soon to see just how well Hyper-Threading Technology boosts performance. In the meantime, let's look at these stats.

Here's what Hyper-Threading (HT) Technology requires:

* A 3.06-GHz P4 or faster.
* An Intel chipset that supports HT technology.
* System BIOS support for HT.
* An operating system that's optimized for HT. The OS options given are Windows XP Home and Professional. Apparently multiprocessor support (Windows NT, Linux, and so on) is not enough. Intel suggests that some Linux distros may support HT, but it doesn't offer a list.
* Since the 3.06-GHz P4 consumes a whopping 81.8 watts of power, you'll have to make sure you've got a serious power supply.

Will it be worth it?

The 3.06-GHz Pentium 4 will cost $637 each in lots of 1,000. That isn't cheap: The 2.8-GHz Pentium 4 sells for as little as $390 online, while AMD's XP 2700+ sells for as little as $355 (if you can find one). Hyper-Threading Technology's benefits, or lack thereof, will likely vary hugely depending on what applications you run. We've heard that Intel claims it can boost performance by up to 25 percent, but we doubt most folks will see or feel benefits that dramatic. All in all, Hyper-Threading Technology is a good thing, but we can't wait to benchmark it against an Athlon MP system, just to see how it stacks up to a real dual-processor system.

Originally posted November 14, 2002


Thread Starter
Sep 11, 2001
Thanks to all who replyed,
I knew about Hyper-Threading, but wasn't sure of the performance increase. Would it make much of a difference for games, as that is what the machine will be used for?

I will be attaching the cpu to an ASUS P4T533 RAID motherboard, which supports hyper-threading, with 512MB 1066mhz RDRAM.
I can't actually afford the 3.06Ghz, but can the 2.8Ghz. How long would it take for the 3.06Ghz to drop to the price of the 2.8Ghz? or is it worth waiting? I plan to overclock the processor anyway, so would the 2.8Ghz overclocked to say, 3.3Ghz/3.4Ghz, out perform the 3.06Ghz with Hyper-threading?
A lot of questions, i know! Thanks!


Retired Moderator
Oct 19, 2002
I think I'd wait for the next generation before I even considered the benefits of hyper-threading. You also have to realize that you're reading Intel's PR dept. hype on it, not real world test results. A few months back, I did my processor selection, and I ended up with a P4-2.4g-533, it was by far the best bang for the buck. I'm quite sure that for anything I do, I can't tell the difference between this one and the 3.06, and I have that $500 in my pocket! :D
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