Select any two CPUs for comparison
VS

Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Athlon XP 1700+ Pentium 4 2.66GHz
Red Dead Redemption 2 3672% 3467%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2697% 2544%
Cyberpunk 2077 3105% 2930%
Halo: Reach 1458% 1373%
Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order 4067% 3839%
Detroit: Become Human 3127% 2951%
Borderlands 3 3672% 3467%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 4003% 3779%
Resident Evil 3 Remake 3426% 3233%
FIFA 20 2599% 2452%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Pentium 4 2.66GHz is marginally better than the AMD Athlon XP 1700+ when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

The Pentium 4 2.66GHz was released less than a year after the Athlon XP 1700+, and so they are likely to have similar levels of support, and similarly optimized performance when running the latest games.

Both CPUs exhibit very poor performance, so rather than upgrading from one to the other you should consider looking at more powerful CPUs. Neither of these will be able to run the latest games in any playable way.

The Athlon XP 1700+ and the Pentium 4 2.66GHz both have 1 cores, and so are quite likely to struggle with the latest games, or at least bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them. With a decent accompanying GPU, the Athlon XP 1700+ and the Pentium 4 2.66GHz may still be able to run slightly older games fairly effectively.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Athlon XP 1700+ and Pentium 4 2.66GHz are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the Pentium 4 2.66GHz has a 1.2 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. In this case, however, the difference is probably a good indicator that the is superior.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The Pentium 4 2.66GHz has a 256 KB bigger L2 cache than the Athlon XP 1700+, but neither of the CPUs have L3 caches, so the Pentium 4 2.66GHz wins out in this area with its larger L2 cache.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.

The Athlon XP 1700+ has a 2 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Pentium 4 2.66GHz. However, the Pentium 4 2.66GHz was created with a 50 nm smaller manufacturing technology. Overall, by taking both into account, the Pentium 4 2.66GHz is likely the CPU with the lower heat production and power requirements, by quite a wide margin.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenamePalomino (Model 6)Northwood
MoBo SocketSocket 462/Socket ASocket 478/Socket N
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date09 Oct 200125 Aug 2002
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores1vs1
Clock Speed1.46 GHzvs2.66 GHz
Turbo Frequency-vs-
Max TDP64 Wvs66 W
Lithography180 nmvs130 nm
Bit Width-vs-
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size128 KBvs8 KB
L2 Cache Size256 KBvs512 KB
L3 Cache Size-vs-
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

Graphicsnono

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewThe Athlon made its debut on June 23, 1999. Athlon is the ancient Greek word for Champion/trophy of the games.
Athlon is the brand name applied to a series of x86-compatible microprocessors designed and manufactured by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). The original Athlon (now called Athlon Classic) was the first seventh-generation x86 processor and retained the initial performance lead it had over Intel's competing processors for a significant period of time. The original Athlon also had the distinction of being the first desktop processor to reach speeds of one gigahertz (GHz). AMD has continued using the Athlon name with the Athlon 64, an eighth-generation processor featuring x86-64 (later renamed AMD64) architecture, and the Athlon II.
The Pentium 4 brand refers to Intel's line of single-core desktop and laptop central processing units (CPUs) introduced on November 20, 2000 and shipped through August 8, 2008. They had the 7th-generation x86 microarchitecture, called NetBurst, which was the company's first all-new design since introduction of P6 microarchitecture of the Pentium Pro CPUs in 1995. NetBurst differed from the preceding P6 (Pentium III, II, etc.) by featuring a very deep instruction pipeline to achieve very high clock speeds (up to 3.8 GHz) limited only by TDPs reaching up to 115 W in 3.4 GHz ?3.8 GHz Prescott and Prescotts 2M cores . In 2004, the initial 32-bit x86 instruction set of the Pentium 4 microprocessors was extended by the 64-bit x86-64 set.

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