Comparing Today's Modern CPUs To Intel's Socket 478 Celeron & Pentium 4
Written by Michael Larabel in Processors on 8 June 2015. Page 2 of 7. 36 Comments

The testing for this unique article was basically done in three parts, all of which was done in a fully-automated and reproducible manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite and Phoromatic benchmarking software:

- Building on the recent Intel Compute Stick Linux testing with those systems on Ubuntu 15.04 and the Linux 4.1 Git kernel, the Canterwood system was compared to these results that was a selection of all low-power, modern systems.

- The Pentium 4 and Celeron processors on the Abit IC7-MAX3 system were compared to the results from the recent Benchmarks Of 45 Linux Systems From Atoms, Athlons & Phenoms To Xeons. As explained in that earlier article, they are results from 45 of the systems in our daily, automated benchmarking test farm where all of our upstream benchmarking then gets published at With these systems, as they are targeted to different groups for benchmarking of different projects, there is some variation in the distribution/kernel/compiler versions, but they're all up-to-date and should at least provide a rough idea to this old Socket 478 setup running Ubuntu 15.04 with Linux 4.1 -- many of the systems are running that configuration in fact.

- With a few of the systems plus the Socket 478 system, there were extra benchmarks while the Phoronix Test Suite automatically was recording the system power draw (via a WattsUp USB power meter) and then calculating the performance-per-Watt on the benchmark results. The power results are only available for a subset of the systems due to having to repeat the tests due to only having one USB power meter.

All of this data is on the following pages, but as there's a lot of data to go through, here's the brief summary of all the data first:

- To no surprise, the Pentium 4 2.8GHz with HT and the single-core Celeron 2.40GHz were at the bottom of the pack... Even the Atom E3825 Bay Trail, AMD E-350, AMD E-2100, and other very low-power, low-end CPUs/APUs/SoCs were smashing these old NetBurst CPUs.

- In a few tests, the Northwood CPU managed to move beyond last place... In C-Ray and FLAC audio encoding the AMD E Series APUs and Atom E3825 were performing around the speed of the 12+ year old hardware.

- NVIDIA's Tegra K1 quad-core ARMv7 Cortex-A15 SoC generally ran well faster than the old Intel CPUs, but there were some exceptions. The other hardware tested, a CompuLab Utilite with i.MX6 quad-core Cortex-A9 SoC, was generally slower than the Socket 478 CPUs.

- The Intel Compute Stick with Atom Bay Trail-T -- the $150 HDMI PC -- was generally multiple times faster than the old hardware.

- Intel's power efficiency has improved a hell of a lot since the early 2000s.

Well, that's the summary, all of the fine details are on the pages to follow for this once in a decade article. If you appreciate this unique test and our other Linux hardware testing, please consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium and/or making a PayPal tip to support these operations.

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