- Review Price: £1820.00
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.
The 17in Viewsonic TFT monitor (review here) adds to the overall feel of a super charged PC kitted out with some of the best bits around. All this does of course add up to something horrendously expensive, but if you’re going to buy the latest and greatest processor, why not make sure that you get a great PC to go with it. But let’s have a quick look at the benchmarks first, just to keep you in suspense a little bit longer before you find out if you can afford this beast of a PC or not.
As with any processor speed bump, benchmark numbers go up, but the question is by how much and whether it will make a difference to the way you use a computer? Those are usually easy questions to answer: not very much and not really. The reason for this is that most computers today are much faster than most users need or ever take advantage of, unless of course you work with heavy 3D applications, video and audio or of course, play the latest 3D games.
The Evesham Evolution 3.4 is however amazingly fast and adds 37 points over the 3.2GHz processor in Sysmark 2002. It is even 28 points faster than the 3.2GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition. This is by far the fastest PC I have ever seen and it blows away anything else that we’ve tested at TrustedReviews to date. Looking at the graphics benchmarks the numbers are even more amazing with a 3DMark 2001 score of 19,416 and 3DMark03 score of 6,669. It does also perform well across the board in both Aquamark and SPECviewperf, but I won’t go into any greater detail about those numbers as the graphs speak for themselves.
So what about the price then? Well, Evesham is asking for a whopping £1,820.08 inc VAT for this monster machine, but you have to take into consideration that you get a lot of hardware for your money. Ultimately it’s the age old situation, if you want cutting edge technology, you’ll have to dig deep to afford it.
Intel’s latest Pentium 4 processor adds a lot of speed, but the price tag is very high. Evesham has built a first rate PC around it that has blown everything we’ve tested so far away without breaking a sweat. The Evolution 3.4 is definitely worth having as long as it doesn’t break your bank account.
To compare these results to a 3.2GHz P4 and 3.2GHz P4 Extreme Edition click here
To compare these results to an Athlon 64 3400+ click here
To compare these results to an Athlon 64 FX51 click here
Score in detail
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