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# What is the equivalent Pentium 4 M (Centrino) speed of a Athalon 3000+ XP chip?

Posted on 2006-05-05
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What is the equivalent Pentium 4 M (Centrino) speed of a Athalon 3000+ XP chip? My Computer/Properties (i.e System Properties) says it is 797 Mhz which seems slow for a two year old HP laptop (I do not have the HP model number). Note this is not my laptop, I fix PCs for a living. Do not reply asking me to run ANY test on this laptop. You MUST reply based ONLY on what is here. I am returning again to work on this PC Saturday 3 PM EST and can not supply any more information before then.

Also I know that the relationship of an Athalon and a Pentium 4 M chip is not as simple as ONE speed ratio number. Nonetheless I need SOME IDEA of the ratio. If you want to list TWO (at most) ratios for two different activities then do that but do NOT answer that the question can not be answered. Also this laptop is NOT used for gaming, just things like email, web-site access, some watching videos streamed or downloaded from the internet, and MS Word. The owner is a student just graduated from college and starting his first job. Also some digital camera stuff (but not Adobe Photoshop).

Also note that Pentium 4 M (Mobile) (Intel Centrino to be exact) chips used in many laptops are listed in System Properties with TWO speeds always and one speed is 1/2 the speed of the other

So what I need to know is what is the equivalent P4 M speed of that Athalon chip. Because (to take an example) the equivalent P4 speed for a Celeron chip is LESS than the stated spec for the Celeron. In other words the speed of a chip and the equivalent speed of a P4 chip can be quite different and I only have a sense of the TRUE speed of a chip (and hence the PC) on the P4 speed scale. For any other chip I need to know the P4 equivalent.

BTW the memory is 512 MB so that is NOT the speed problem, given that no gaming is being done.

Also I need to know what is the relationship between the two System Propert speeds (one is 1/2 the other) for a P4 M chip as this PC is a laptop and again laptops with P4 M chips have two speeds in System Properties. Please note that this is a completely separate question from the equivalence question. Because if the 797 Mhz (see 1st paragraph above) were the lower of the two equivalent P4 M speeds then the higher would be 1.6 Ghz which is not so bad, do you get the point !!

In Summary I need the equivalent TWO SPEEDS for a P4 M chip OR the higher of the two, not the lower.

REASON for question: Laptop is slow accessing the internet despite being on a 6 Mbs Comcast Cable modem (and having 512 MB of memory). I need to know if it is because it has a slow CPU chip or other causes (spyware etc). It may also be slow at everything (example MS Word) but unfortunately I did not check in any detail non-internet activities. My impression was it was ONLY slow at internet access which would imply Spyware/Virus problems.

Please do not include ANYTHING in your reply about how to find out if the laptop has Spyware/Virus's on it. I am a Security expert and am quite qualified to do that by myself (and have already removed some spyware etc from this laptop). PLEASE just reply to the CPU chip speed question and nothing else.

Mike
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Question by:mgross333

LVL 69

Expert Comment

I am surprised that you are taking such a hard stance on insisting that no give you any information other than what you asked for, because it is clear that you have some misunderstandings about these computer parts:

1) A Pentium 4M is NOT a Centrino - a Pentium-M is the actual processor used in a Centrino system, and a Centrino system is composed of the Pentium-M cpu, supporting Intel chipset, and an Intel wireless device.  You can read more about the differences here: http://www.cpuid.com/reviews/PentiumM/index.php

2) The reason there are two speeds listed is because those cpus are capable of SpeedStep, which throttles the cpu down when not being used to conserve power.  If you ran a program like Prime95 on it, it would force the cpu to run at full speed, which is the top number.  The lower number is the throttled down power-saving number.

In the link I provided, it gives an equivalence of "With these results, we can assume that the 1,6GHz version of the Pentium M would be very near a 3,06GHz Pentium 4, that is today the fastest available CPU."  Other tests performed were more conservative, putting it closer to a Pentium 4 2.66: http://www.anandtech.com/mobile/showdoc.aspx?i=1800&p=14.  So depending on who you believe, a Pentium-M 1.6 (which is probably what you have) is equivalent to a Pentium4 2.66 up to a Pentium4 3.0, which is about equivalent to an AthlonXP 3000+.
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Author Comment

Callandor,

Thanks for explaining the two speed specs of the P4 M chip.

> Pentium4 3.0, which is about equivalent to an AthlonXP 3000+.

I have serious doubts about that statement and THAT equivalence is the main thing I am asking about.  And why is that? Did you notice that I said
"My Computer/Properties (i.e System Properties) says it is 797 Mhz". Now 797 Mhz is a LOOOOONG way from 3.0 GHZ and that is the entire point of my post. I mean if the Athalon chip was REALLY equivalent to a 797 Mhz Pentium Anything chip that is a very slow chip by current standards and WOULD explain (rather than spyware) why this laptop is slow.

Callandor, you seem to be tacking on at the end of your post what is the thing I want to know AND the phrasing in that last sentence makes it unclear to me what you are saying too. Are you saying that the Athlon 3000+ XP chip is roughtly equivalent to a Pentium-M 1.6 or a Pentium 2.66 or a Pentium4 3.0?? Because all three of those are in that last sentence and I can't quite figure out which is which relative to the Athalon.

Could you please make a CLEAR statement as to WHAT Pentium (and perferablly Pentium-M) chip the Athalon is roughly comparible with. Also please list the Pentium chip with its maximum speed in Ghz. i.e is a Pentium-M 1.6 a 1.6 Ghz chip or a 3.2 Ghz chip? It is the Ghz rating of the equivalent Pentium 4 chip that I want, not the name.

Regards,
Mike
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

I believe that the machine is operating in power-saving mode, which is why it says 797MHz.  In full mode, it should say twice that - 1600MHz (1.6GHz).  At full mode, it is equivalent to at least a Pentium4 2.66.  It may even be as fast as a Pentium4 3.0, depending on the benchmark you run, and that is as exact as anyone can get when it comes to comparisons.  An AthlonXP 3000+ is equivalent to a Pentium4 3.0 in most areas, except video and audio encoding.  This is why an outright statement of equivalence is not possible - it depends on the benchmark being run.
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Author Comment

Callandor,

Thanks for the clarification.

The PC seems slow; is there a way to FORCE IT out of power saving mode (PERMANENTLY TURN OFF power saving mode) so it will run faster?

No video anything is being done here and if it were being done it would be video decoding (ie playing a video) not encoding (at least as I understand the terms).

Mike
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Author Comment

Callandor,

Something is wrong here. Hp says the chip runs at 1600 Mhz like you but that is not true. My Computer properties and msinfo32 both say 797 Mhz when it is plugged in and 398 Mhz when it is not plugged in so the 797 is the real max speed, not twice 797 or 1600 as you claim.

This PC is slow because it has a slow chip.

Mike
0

LVL 69

Expert Comment

Then there is something else wrong: the Pentium-M cpus don't come in a version that runs that slow.  Perhaps the Front Side Bus got changed to half the correct value?  Try loading default values in the BIOS.
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Author Comment

Callandor,

Please look at http://forums.amd.com/index.php?showtopic=41827  . Isn't this the exact problem and a solution? It is the exact same brand of laptop and same exact chip and every mentioned speed is exactly the same as what I get to all 3 digits. Exactly my problem.

I emailed this link (directions in the last post) to my customer as he has flown off and will never see me again. He will probably never tell me if it works (if he even trys to follow the directions).

But this fix obviously worked for at least ONE person, the person who wrote the l**LAST** post at the bottom.

(1) Callandor, what is your opinion of this fix? Do you think it will work or not?

(2) Also, what do you mean by loading default vaules in BIOS/ Please be more specific as to how to do that.
Also, specify WHICH BIOS value needs to be changed (at least in general terms).  Loading default values may wipe out a desired change previously made.

I also told my customer that if it fails, to call HP as he is still covered by an extended warranty. Because that 398 Mhz speed (1/4 of the 1600 MHZ spec) looks odd to me under ANY circumstances yet it is mentioned in the 3rd post at the link too. (i.e I am not the only one seeing this).

Mike
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

I think the proposed solution might solve this problem.  It would seem the cpu is being "locked" into the lower speed by the faulty ACPI driver, so forcing the profile to always run at full power is not enough.

Most BIOS'es that I have seen has an option to load default values, in case you mess up an entry and don't know how to set it back.  The Front Side Bus is the BIOS value of interest, but the laptop may not have an option to change it.  I don't think general users ever change things in the BIOS, as that is a place they would have no reason to go into.

I think the ACPI driver fix is the way to cure this problem.
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Author Comment

LucF,

I apologize for the delay in closing this out.

Please see my last post above. And the link. Note in the 2nd to last paragraph of the last post at the link, the word "Our". This means the poster works for AMD. This means his post is correct AND furthermore the entire sequence of posts at the link matches my situation, expecially where the 3rd post at the link mentions a speed of 398 MHz, which I also saw when I removed the power adaptor (different sequence of events but I saw exactly that speed). This is MY sitatuation exactly. The chip model mentioned at the first post at the link is EXACTLY my chip model.

With all due respect, Callandor did NOT provide THIS solution or A SOLUTION that got the speed up. He did throw some light on why Mobile chips have two speed ratings but he did not provide a solution. Hence I can not assign points.

Can you please close this with no points assigned unless Callandor objects.

Regards,
Mike
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

Mike,

A Moderator will follow up in about four days and will read your objection. It will be up to him to decide if you get your points refunded or not.
As I have some experience in this topic area I can assure you the information Callandor gave you is correct information, maybe just not exactly suiting the hardware used in your configuration but certainly not wrong information. This is the reason I recommended the points to be awarded.

LucF
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

I have no problem with the question being closed without points awarded.  In the end, Mike provided the link that spelled out the solution, and this is a valuable piece of information for future searches.  I would note that the question as phrased seemed to be asking "What is the equivalent Pentium 4 M (Centrino) speed of a Athalon 3000+ XP chip?", and I answered that, but solving the speed lock problem was the real question, and I feel Mike provided a good service with that link.
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Accepted Solution

PAQed with points refunded (500)

CetusMOD
Community Support Moderator
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