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Pentium 4 vs Centrino M

Posted on 2004-03-24
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Here is the scenario.

Working for a large govt dept I get lots of new toys to play with.
Laptops, Desktops etc.

My favourite Toy (so far) has been the Compaq N610 (A Laptop).
Its a P4 1.6GHZ with 256MB Ram.

We haven't had a new laptop for a while but yesterday a new one arrived.
What we got was a Compaq NC8000.
Its a Centrino M 1.4GHZ.
Its much heavier and bulkier than the N610c, but here is the question..............

Which is faster??? (Processing wise)
I mean is this a complex CPU type thing like the AMD XP Athlon's??
Eg: The XP2400 doesn't actually run at 2400mhz but at 2000mhz approx.

The N610c SEEMS faster, but is that because I'm used to it??

When installing stuff (Apps, XP-SP1 etc) on the Centrino is doesn't seem as fast as the Pentium 4.
Or am I wrong?? Is the Pentium 4 ACTUALLY slower?? OR am I right and it is Faster??

Basically I just want someone to explain to me (As a fellow Desktop Support Engineer) what the story is with these 2 CPU's.

Cheers
Rodger
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Question by:asmodeusnz
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10672169
speed wise its a grey area my lat 500 has a slower hz rate (and an M processor) that my Lat800 which is a 2.8 P4(I think) but the 500 runs a LOT faster, also the M processor has a much LOWER battery drain
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10672182
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by:Callandor
ID: 10672190
Well, I'm not a fellow desktop support engineer, but I'll show you the opinion of one - AlbertaBeef: http:Q_20797998.html

Basically, the Centrino is much faster than a P4 1.6, more like a P4 2.4.
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10672220
The bottom line is pentium M processors DO run at a slower clock cycle, but are designed to do MORE in each clock cycle making them faster
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by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10672223
Hmm, not too worried about the battery drain but thats good to know Pete.....
Most of the users don't really use them in the field much, mainly just take them home, plug them in and work from home.
I'm wondering if Compaq (now HP) have stuck this CPU in to save money?? because its slower?? cheaper to make??
Yes/No??
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by:Pete Long
Pete Long earned 120 total points
ID: 10672226
oh and before i forget  - its upside down :)
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by:Pete Long
Pete Long earned 120 total points
ID: 10672277
Im a dell man when it comes to Laptops, and HP when it comes to servers so I cant comment on there corporate direction

But NO i dont think it is slower, I thing if you get Sisoft sandra and benchmark the two the M class processor will beat it, I work on a lot of Laptops so Im looking at it from a more general perspective.
SiSoft Sandra
http://www.sisoftware.net/
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by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10672279
Stop :) Everytime you say that Pete, I fall off my chair laughing, the other staff here are wondering what the hell is going on. :)P

(Don't stop, its exceedingly funny)

And BTW, its because he didn't pull the lever...... hahahahahaha
I'm laughing so hard, I'm actually crying........... my cheeks are hurting from the laughter..........
Got to go, have a cup of tea, calm down and TRY to stop laughing.......... hahahaha
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10672284
:)
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by:Callandor
ID: 10672311
This has GOT to be an inside joke...
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10672351
hehehehe click asmodeusnz's asked questions and look under puzzles and riddles
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by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10672361
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Miscellaneous/Puzzles_Riddles/Q_20880245.html

:) Yes it is Callandor. Here's the link...........:)
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by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10672363
Ok, Downloading Sandra now.....
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by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10672386
Callandor

>Basically, the Centrino is much faster than a P4 1.6, more like a P4 2.4.
Read the 2 links there, based on a PIII core eh...hmm.
It just doesn't SEEM as fast......
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by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10672529
Finished downloading Sandra, however.....

Ok, Stupid question but just in case (preparing to hide behind wall to avoid rotten tomatoes)
Have just had a search of the office and no-one has an N610c laptop. :(
So to do a comparison Would it be Fair (do you think?) to run Sandra on my Evo D500S Desktop which is a P4 1.6 as well.
Are the 2 CPU's the same?? Architecturally/Performance wise in the Laptop and Desktop?? (obviously one is smaller) :)
Or are they completely different design/performance wise???



 
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by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10672539
>Are the 2 CPU's the same?? Architecturally/Performance wise in the Laptop and Desktop?? (obviously one is smaller) :)
>Or are they completely different design/performance wise???

This will be interesting as its something I've never worried/bothered about before....:)
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Callandor earned 130 total points
ID: 10673460
Pentium-M cpus are not the same as Pentium 4 cpus, according to this: http://www.powernotebooks.com/centrino.php  The P4-M's are more powerful than the equivalent clock P4's.  Combine a P4-M with the Intel 855 chipset and wireless and you have a Centrino.
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by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10673991
Thanks Guys.

Did the Benchmark test by Sandra and sure enough the Pentium M 1.4 beats the P4 1.6 hands down.
Some other useful info is that my Xp2400+ Thrashes them both....:)

Cheers
Rodger
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10675010
ThanQ :)
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by:vuzman
ID: 10754907
Just a comment to clarify things :)

The Pentium 4 is a desktop processor. From this CPU design there have been made 3 different mobile CPUs...:
The Mobile Pentium 4 (high performance, also with hyper-threading), the Pentium 4-M (optimized for notebooks with SpeedStep) and the Mobile Celeron (a cheap version).

The Pentium M is a whole new CPU design (not just optimized for notebooks, designed for notebooks. More performance per colck cycle, and even better power handling with an enhanced version of SpeedStep). The Celeron M is a cheap version of the Pentium M.

Please note a few things here:
There are two (three with the Celeron) versions of P4 mobile CPUs.
The Pentium M (not to be confused with Pentium 4-M) is a completely new design.
The Celeron M and the Mobile Celeron have only the name in common; their design is completely different.

As AMD and Apple have been trying to tell us for years, megahertz and gigahertz are not the best way to compare CPUs. In fact a Pentium M 1.7 GHz outperforms a Pentium 4-M 2.6 GHz (according to Intel).

For a notebook to carry the Centrino tag three conditions must be met: Pentium M CPU (NOT Pentium 4-M as stated by Callandor) a Intel 855 chipset and certain wireless cards. There is no processor with the name Centrino.
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by:Callandor
ID: 10756716
Typo on my part - I started off referring to the Pentium-M, the Pentium-M is in the link I posted, and I typed P4-M - the hands did not obey the mind, sorry about that.
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by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10761125
vuzman, thanks for that.
I'll post a question with "Points for vuzman" as there is some useful info in that post I didn't know about. Cheers

Callandor,
No worries mate, I saw the typo but knew you were talking about the Pentium M so no matter.

Cheers
Rodger
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by:Beachdude67
ID: 10832939
I read up on this when the centrino came out. What Intel did to make up for the low clock speed was to bulk up the onboard cache (which begs t he question of why can't Intel do the same for higher clock processors).

I have played with a few centrino machines in the course of doing what I do (which is being network admin/help desk geek/web developer/blame dept) and, to my eye, there isn't much difference speedwise between the centrino laptops and the P4s.

I suppose like everything else there isn't a single good solution. If I were going to get an all-around all purpose laptop to lug between home and office (that would serve for games, graphics development, etc) I'd get a fat P4 and put up with the few extra pounds. If I were going to get a laptop in addition to my home computer, I'd get a centrino. Ditto if I were out buying for my laptop pool or getting a desktop replacement for an executive who I know doesn't play Quake 3 Arena.
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by:Wakeup
ID: 10834308
Hey one thing to add about the P4/Centrino line.

I just noticed this question now...wished i was there for the initial spat.

But anyway, Vuzman's correct, but he did fail to mention anything about the Centrino.  

The big difference, that makes this processor sooo much faster is the 1mb cache.

They are just finally as of like a month or two ago, started using 1mb cache on P4 Desktop processors.  but the centrino has been using the 1mb cache for a year now.
whereas the desktop processors have been stuck at 512k (till now)
So speed wise, the centrino 1.4 was (ratings wise) was running about as fast as a 2.4 P4.

And gave you battery life that lasted from at minimum 3 hours to 5 or 6 hours depending on the application and use of the notebook.  See what happens is when the centrino is working, or not working or doing certain things, the speed of the processor stepped down or up if needed to save battery life.  If all you were doing was typing a word document, why run a 1.4ghz when you can't type 1.4ghz words per second?
So it will come down to like 200mhz( or wahtever it needed to keep your document open and the program to run it, as well as the environment).  Which gives you MORE BATTERY Life!  But anyway....have fun!

Lata
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by:vuzman
ID: 10847553
On Beachdude67's comment: The increased onboard (L1) cache is far from the only difference, and would in itself not have given the same performance boost in relation to clockspeed as the Pentium M has. There are additional instructions, shorter pipeline etc. The Pentium M has been developed independently, and is a processor family in its own. One reason for not including a lot of L1 cache is that it's very expensive...

On Wakeup's comment: I do believe I mentioned the Centrino ;-) and I do believe you have misunderstood something. As I mentioned in my previous post there is no processor named Centrino. Centrino is a name for the technology that includes the Pentium M processor, the Intel 855 chipset and certain Intel wireless cards. The processor is named Pentium M not Centrino.
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by:Wakeup
ID: 10848208
Well....you are right...but Centrino in General has taken the title away from the Pentium M.  Do a search on Google for "Centrino Processor".  And see what all comes up...Many big sites, refer to the technology as Centrino processor.  But yer right.  It's just easier to understand and comprehend than the Pentium M.  cuz people get that mistaken for the P4 M.  Etc.
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by:Hovhannes
ID: 10852962
there are lots of factors on how fast a computer is. not just the cpu. how much memory. speed of hard drive and installed aplications just to name a few. but clock for clock the centrino is faster than a P4
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by:sinacetiner
ID: 11396011
when designing a cpu some criterias must take into consideration. Some cpu's work at floating point operations as well but in some operations it cannot show same performance. You make some operations that doesnt work on centrino well but be sure it is a good processor also I use centrino 1.3. I think people must set aside this mhz madness. biggest mhz isnt the best thing. I think the best way for comparing processor you must use a detailed benchmark program.
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by:goblin072
ID: 11598834
The Pentium M is what Intel should have came out with instead of the P4.  The p4s pipeline is so long that it does not start struting its stuff until 2.2 Ghz and beyond.   If you remember p4s started at like 1.4ghz, long pipe and weak math processor, a poor combo.   Intel managed to improve performance by just cranking up the clock speed.  In designing the pentium M they actually used their heads a bit more.

The pentium-M is a great chip, pound for pound err mhz for mhz one of the best cpus around.

Here is some information that is much better than TOMs Hardware on the chip.  

http://www.anandtech.com/mobile/showdoc.html?i=1800
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by:ericcode
ID: 11785146
You can't measure the speed of a CPU with just MHz or GHz. That only refers to how fast the CPU controller Clock is. Some Pentiums (from I to IV) would do 2 calculations per cycle and some would do 5 or more. Also there are the number of data channels to consider. Intel has had a problem with there marketing and is now trying to break the MHz measureing table. AMD has, that is why its a AMD 1600+ and it doesn't do 1600MHz. So MHz are useless. What can you measure it in?
Flip-Flops. Or Flops per second. A flip flop is a simple transister circut that can store 1 bit of information 1 or 0. So it is the ability to turn your Ram and Cache memory from 1s to 0s and Vicea Verca.
Now this isn't  %100 percent table either. Cause this doesn't take into account the floating point calculations. (Thats any calculation that isn't integers 3.23 is not and integer.  5 and 2 are, no decimal points) cause some floating point units are faster than others. But most Speed test programs have a script of complex calculations and all the computers that take them calculate the same questions so it is a fair race. BeWare of downloading Computer speed test programs cause many are fake trojan horses or worst. Go with a common one.
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by:MDaukas
ID: 11989775
On Intels website they have a matrix comparing Pentium 4 to their M sries processors.
The Pentium M line starts at 1.4 and ends at 1.8.  A Pentium M 1.8 is like a Pentium 4 2.6.
However the power usage (and heat output) is much much lower.
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by:BedfordTim
ID: 12277821
My company has its own test suite for measuring processor performance, which agreed with Sisoft and Intel, as reported above, for jobs taking 10ms or longer.
However for smaller jobs requiring a few ms processing the Pentium M was much dramatically slower. We assume that this is caused by the processor dropping to a lower speed to save power in between jobs. This effect may enhance the differences in the supporting hardware, and the applications being used.

The main test of speed for many users is how fast it starts and in that case it seems the processor is not a big factor. My Dell 510m (Pentium M 1.5) starts in 10s whereas my previous Acer 803 (Pentium M 1.6) took almost twice as long despite having the same chipset and a faster processor.

The wonderful thing about the Pentium-M is battery life. They definitely do deliver and I can now work for 9 hours with a second battery in place :o)
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by:MDaukas
ID: 12278255
O.K.  The Centrino goes like this:

They run 1.4 - 1.7GHZ
According to Intel  a 1.7 is like a Pentium 4 2.6.
On Intels website they have a cross correlation matrix.
I believe a 1.4 pentium M is equivalent to a 1.8GHZ pentium 4.  Again the M uses much less power.
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by:simply_junior
ID: 12742950


Pentium 4 is much faster than Intek Celeron.
However there are now new generations of celeron processors which perfroms very well just like P4. There are now celeron 2.26 Ghz which is very  fast.

_))))
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by:NatSharp
ID: 14547771
There is more to a processor than just its Speed. This is commonly known as the Mhz Myth.
And yes the Pentium M is faster.
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