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The ending of one year and the start of another always brings a host of new computer products and components. Today is an extra special day however as Intel is launching a range of new processors including the eagerly awaited Prescott core Pentium 4. But there is also a new 3.4GHz version of the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition as well as the standard 3.4GHz Pentium 4 processor.
The release of so many new processors in one day makes it very stressful for your average IT journalist that has to write about them all. As you hopefully have noticed we have another review up covering the Prescott so this one will concentrate on the 3.4GHz Pentium 4. Evesham Technology got a system in to us in the eleventh hour and we ran our standard benchmarks on it to give you the low down on Intel’s fastest processor to date.
Technically there are no changes to the 3.4GHz Pentium 4 compared to its predecessors at lower clock speeds and it’s still based on the Northwood core. This makes it tough to talk about any great new features or added value, especially when it’s quite the opposite by being a faster, more expensive product. But this is how it goes in the fast lane and it won’t stop any time soon. There is of course the horrendously expensive Extreme Edition of the 3.4GHz Pentium 4 out there as well, but we haven’t managed to lay our hands on one quit yet and to be honest, I doubt too many people have pockets deep enough to buy one.
The Evesham Evolution 3.4 comes in Evesham’s standard black and silver case which I personally think looks very stylish, although it might be too flash for some. This time around Evesham has fitted a rear 120mm fan in the case as well as a blue 80mm fan in the front which gives the system a nice blue glow in the dark. But enough about the case, lets get down to the nitty-gritty bits inside.
The motherboard comes from Intel and is based on the i875 chipset which is the top of the range chipset from Intel. To this, Evesham has added the 3.4GHz Pentium 4 as well as a very healthy 1GB of PC3200 DDR memory. With this as a base it’s not hard to guess that this will be a blisteringly fast PC but Evesham has pulled out all the stops and added two 160GB Maxtor S-ATA hard drives in a RAID-0 configuration which boosts the performance even further.
On top of this there is a 16-speed DVD-ROM drive and an LG DVD Multi drive (review here) which offers support for all DVD formats currently available. There is no skimping on the graphics side of the PC either with a Radeon 9800XT graphics card in attendance. Sound is provided by a Creative Audigy 2 ZS with support for 7.1-channel surround as well as a set of Creative Inspire T7700 7.1 speakers. There’s also onboard Gigabit networking and a standard 56k V90 modem fitted.