If you've been paying attention over the last few months, you've no doubt noticed that AMD's latest Athlon 64s trounce Intel's newest Pentium 4s almost across the board. That's a real shame considering that Intel's 900-series chipsets bring so much to the table, including PCI Express, advanced Serial ATA and RAID features, and high-definition audio. There could be hope for Intel fanboys, though. Since the Pentium 4 500 line stretches from 2.8 to 3.6GHz, lower speed grades may have considerable overclocking headroom just waiting to be exploited.
How much headroom? Our friends at TechReport got an extra 770MHz out of a Pentium 4 520 2.8GHz, which is quite comfortable running at 3.57GHz with stock air cooling-not bad for a chip that costs less than $160. Could a little help from the overclocking fairy make the Pentium 4 520 2.8GHz a formidable contender against the Athlon 64?
As a side note, after going through the article, notice that low resolutions were used to test gaming performance which emphasize CPU/Memory subsystem performance but do not give a realistic picture of performance improvement under normal gameplay conditions.