Why Intel's iCOMP?
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Why Intel's iCOMP?
Dual G4 Benchmarks?
iMac DV Benchmarks?
Private Benchmark Analysis?
Xeon cache performance?
Pentium-III 800B & 900?
Dual Pentiums & Win98SE?
What CPU features measured?
Gigaflops & Alpha Processors?
Benchmark score changes?
Benchmark test conditions?
Benchmarks for fun?
Explanation of CPU scores
May I use the iCOMP figures?
Integer/floating point?
Where do they come from?


Dear CPU Scorekeeper

I'm confused as to why you only use an Intel benchmarking utility to score all the CPU's. On occasion, I find it misleading.

According to your site, the 1.2GHz Celeron beats out the 1GHz Athlon 4 and the 1.1GHz Duron. This confuses me because, according to Tom's Hardware's comparison of the 1.2GHz Celeron and the 1.1GHz Duron (which your site has a link to), the Duron comes out on top of the Celeron.

I have noticed other situations similar to this, such as Tech Report (again linked from your site), which shows the 1.4GHz Athlon edging past the 1.8GHz P4. While this is a much subtler example due to the small gap between the two, on your site it still shows a contradiction.

So, why use an Intel-designed benchmark? Why not a third party benchmark utility?

- - Matt, October 2001

See the questionCPU Scorekeeper Responds

Intel's iCOMP Index is not a benchmarking utility, but a scoring system based on a suite of benchmarks. The iCOMP Index has long history, developed by Intel first for their i386 processors, then extended through their i486, Pentium, Pentium MMX, Pentium Pro, Celeron,  Pentium II, and Pentium III CPU lines. During this period, Intel wisely saw the value of educating its customers about the performance differences among its various processor families, and the iCOMP Index did this very well.

When AMD and other processor manufacturers began to make significant inroads into the CPU market with x86-compatible chips, The CPU Scorecard was started to provide relatively consistent speed comparisons between Intel's processors and everybody else's. The iCOMP Index was chosen as the standard scoring system because it was familiar to PC buyers and had a proven testing history behind it.

The CPU scores we provide are not directly derived from the same suite of benchmark utilities used by Intel to produce their iCOMP Index scores. The scores are merely placed on the same relative scale, based on comparative tests published by the various processor manufacturers and other reputable sources. While the iCOMP Index was designed by Intel, the benchmark utilities used to derive the scores are entirely provided by third-party entities.

There are two things to be aware of when comparing iCOMP Index scores:

  1. Each score is an overall indicator, representing a combination of integer, floating-point, 3D, multimedia, and internet performance. Depending on your application (office software, gaming, audio/video editing, etc.), some processors may perform slightly better or worse than their iCOMP score might suggest.
  2. As further testing information is compiled from various system comparisons using different memory configurations, benchmark utility versions, and incremental manufacturing improvements to the processors themselves, the derived scores may change slightly from time to time. Due to what may be small differences in performance, one processor can rank ahead of another at one point, and yet be ranked lower later on when new comparison tests are compiled.

In the specific benchmark tests referenced in your question, you will notice that one processor did not consistently perform better than its competitor in all the published tests. Our iCOMP Index-based scores should only be taken to represent a particular CPU's performance in a majority of computing tasks.

Note that, while this speed index is an important factor in helping decide which is the faster processor and computer for you, other system configuration options (memory speed, motherboard chipset, graphics card, hard drive, etc.) can also significantly influence real-world performance. Your results, therefore, may vary.

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The CPU Scorecard assumes no risk or liability for damage or loss due to the use of the information or advice provided here. All responses are based on the best available information at the time of writing. However, users of this information who wish to apply it to their computer situations do so at their own risk.
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