CPU Upgrade: 2.8GB Prescott or Northwood???

Cooling Processors quietly

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CPU Upgrade: 2.8GB Prescott or Northwood???

Post by spqr753 » Mon May 31, 2004 9:40 am

OK, I am upgrading my processor from a 1.8 to a 2.8. I am trying to decide between the prescott and the northwood. any opinions? i do a small bit of gaming and video editing, but usually it more web surfing & other 'non-intensive' uses. i guess i like the idea of 1mb L2, but i dunno if that will translate to real performance differences. any thoughts? some tell me that the prescott runs very hot, other say its just a few degrees.

i will be mounting it on a p4p800, and probably cooling with a zalman 7000Cu.

thanks once again!

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Post by Nowhere_man » Mon May 31, 2004 10:00 am


I've got a Prescott/Zalman 7000Cu and it's slower than the comparable Northwood while runrunning much hotter and some older motherboards are not compatible, voltage wise, with them. I had to re-flash my MSI PT880 bios to get the dam thing to run stable and it's a new motherboard!

Prescott is not a good choice for a quiet/silent machine.

Have you noticed the Prescott prices dropping while Northwood prices aren't?

It's because they suck.

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Post by spqr753 » Mon May 31, 2004 10:06 am

i am using a p4800, which 'says' it can accept the new prescott processors. but i am sure it will be a different story if i try to install one. any view on whether and when the 1mb L2 cache makes a difference?

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Post by Bluefront » Mon May 31, 2004 10:43 am

I had the opportunity to have two similar computers going at once, a Northwood 3.2, and a Prescott 2.8. Used them side-by-side for a few weeks......the Sandra benchmarks were almost the same. Doing similar applications gave me the impression the Prescott was faster. No real way to prove it though.

In the same case, with similar fan speeds, the prescott runs +8C hotter across the board. None-the-less, I kept the prescott, and like it. Unless your MB specifically states support for the prescott, you will have at the very least, to update the BIOS. Some newer boards may not support Prescott chips at all.

FWIW....apparently there are some new chipsets coming, that will give the Prescott a big advantage. ATI/Asus boards are one example.

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Post by NightWatcher » Thu Jun 03, 2004 7:47 am


I am about to begin collecting components for a new and, hopefully quieter rig, and I have been debating the Prescott vs. Northwood problem myself. I am especially concerned about adequately cooling a Prescott while maintaining a low noise level. I've noticed the prices falling on the Prescotts, and wondered if they were worth it. I do a good bit of gaming as well as the normal E-mail/surfing stuff and some office apps.

I was debating between a 3.0 Ghz P4C or a 3.0Ghz P4E, but the heat problem bugs me--I see mixed reviews the Prescotts so I am leary. If I chose either one, does anyone have any suggestions for a CPU cooler?
Would appreciate any opinions/ advice. Please no AMD64 suggestions though--hehe--64 bit computing is a ways off yet.

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Post by spqr753 » Thu Jun 03, 2004 7:51 am

FYI, i went with the northwood. everyone i spoke with said its hard to cool the prescotts. someone with a set up very much like mine said they had an 8C jump with a prescott. if you care about quiet, i dont know that the performance difference is worth it. and i'd even question if there is ANY performance difference....a lot of reviews (tom's hardware has one) seems to say there isnt any performance difference between the northwood & prescott.

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Post by shathal » Thu Jun 03, 2004 10:25 am

I'm always a little dubious about "old-ish" boards that claim to support new (shrunk) CPU's.

Die-shrinks usually bring tightened VRM-specs with them, tightened to such a degree that most "older" mobo's don't do them - because manufacturers went for a "will do" VRM-component rather than "will do and then some".

Just a word of caution... have seen to many bad experiences around people to let more people get "hurt"...
[i][color=blue]D875PBZ, 3.4 GHz Prescott + TR XP-120 w/ 120 mm AF, AccoustiCase C6607 Black, 2x 250 GB S-ATA HD's, 2x 120 mm Evercool Aluminium fans[/color][/i]

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Post by MikeC » Thu Jun 03, 2004 10:34 am

Recently compared a 2.8 NW vs a 2.8 Prescott. Swapping them back and for on the same system I was building for a friend, at max CPUBurn load, I saw ~20W in AC power difference. Something like 124 vs 144W, but I don't recall exaclty. His Prescott, bought by accident but he decided to keep it for the 1mb cache.

Not sure that I experienced any difference in performance in Windows, not enough time to really compare, but NONE of the testing by any of the OC sites show any difference below 3.2GHz. Their take is that Prescott lets Intel go to higher clock but until NW is running out of speed, it beats the Prescott for efficiency and at least matches it for performance.
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