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Question about Pentium 4


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Posted

Hi everyone.  I am looking for a pretty basic computer for my mother to replace her aging Dell (Windows XP)...

 

I'm not looking to spend a lot, somewhere in the $ 300 range, as she will largely use it for e-mail and basic computing.

 

But in looking at laptops, I found this one here:

 

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/satellite-15-6-laptop-6gb-memory-500gb-hard-drive/1689182.p?id=1219060352357&skuId=1689182&st=categoryid$abcat0502000&cp=1&lp=2

 

So my question for everyone is, does anyone have any experience with Windows 8 running on Pentium 4?  I haven't had a machine with a Pentium 4 in ages, and I realize it's outdated at this point, but I'm not sure how Windows 8 runs on it and if this would be good.  With a 64 Bit OS and 6 GB of RAM, I figured it should be fairly decent.

 

And I've had great luck with Toshiba products from a reliability standpoint, so am leaning towards that brand.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks Again,

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Posted

the current gen pentium series is basically the same as the i3s without the threading

so all in all they're just fine for basic tasks like you have planned

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Posted

Isn't a Pentium 4, its just a pentium.

 

I have gateway with 'intel inside'/pentium 1000 processor. It has 2GB less ram and no USB3 for an idea (does have gigabit ethernet port however, even though spec says it shouldn't). Its the cheapest of the lot ($40 off at walmart for a total of $288), and works beautifully playing 1080p BluRay video over HDMI with 5.1 surround. I have a feeling though, if windows ever bit the dust the drivers would be a challenge to locate/reinstall. Make a backup.

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Posted

Yeah that's not a Pentium 4 at all. Intel stopped making those in 2005/6. It's a cut down Ivy bridge Core i3, branded as Pentium. Good enough for email and web browsing and other light usage.

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Posted

It is basically the same as the Toshiba model I bought last week for $230 -- C55-A5300. See: http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Pentium-2020M-vs-Intel-Celeron-1037U

 

Win8 will run perfectly fine on it. The biggest issue with that laptop and most laptops is that they come with a 5600rpm drive. Those are pretty much crap. Toshiba did have some sort of disk caching to memory thing built in on the vanilla copy of Windows that came on the laptop to help with that though. I never tested it out because I dropped an SSD in the day I got it. It has been fantastic ever sense.

 

To be perfectly fair, Windows 8 runs great even on really old Core 2 laptops if you put an SSD in them. Your bottleneck is rarely the CPU or memory, it it is almost always disk access times under normal workloads. It is worth noting that browsers do cache a crapton of things to disks so you'll bottleneck with web browsing also.

 

I'm a firm believer that buying high-end cores tends to be an exercise in futility these days. Subjectively speaking, my horribly under-powered Celeron runs as a good as my desktop i7 2600k which is in the top 10 of the common desktop CPUS (excluding Xeons and such). And that is really the most important thing to consider -- if you can't tell the difference than you are better spent spending your money elsewhere and are not really doing CPU intensive workloads in the first place. I work in high performance computing which is about pushing the last ounce of performance out of a machine. I've worked with all types of architectures with cores ranging in the thousands, and I can tell you, it is not trivial to utilize your cores effectively even on n<16 core machines. In 99% of workloads you are bottle-necked on memory or disk accesses because those are slow pipes and you have a limited amount of bandwidth. In most cases cpu(s) tend to not be the bottleneck for performance (sure there are some cases like transcoding but these aren't really all that common).

 

Another way to look at it is like this -- throwing 4 cores at a situation that isn't effectively utilizing 2 cores isn't going to improve performance if all of the cores are idling waiting on data in memory or on disk. Moreover, throwing high clock speeds at a situation where you are waiting on data from memory means that you simply spending more time idling and gain little performance benefits.

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Posted

Hi everyone.  I am looking for a pretty basic computer for my mother to replace her aging Dell (Windows XP)...

 

I'm not looking to spend a lot, somewhere in the $ 300 range, as she will largely use it for e-mail and basic computing.

 

But in looking at laptops, I found this one here:

 

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/satellite-15-6-laptop-6gb-memory-500gb-hard-drive/1689182.p?id=1219060352357&skuId=1689182&st=categoryid$abcat0502000&cp=1&lp=2

 

So my question for everyone is, does anyone have any experience with Windows 8 running on Pentium 4?  I haven't had a machine with a Pentium 4 in ages, and I realize it's outdated at this point, but I'm not sure how Windows 8 runs on it and if this would be good.  With a 64 Bit OS and 6 GB of RAM, I figured it should be fairly decent.

 

And I've had great luck with Toshiba products from a reliability standpoint, so am leaning towards that brand.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks Again,

 

I'd stay away from pentium 4. you can get current gen systems on the cheap. even a chromebook would suffice for mom at about $249. less then your budget

 

oops less..https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/#foreveryone-promo-ac-c720

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Posted

Windows 8 doesn't support some older processors. I found a Intel Celeron and Athlon XP processors incompatible. During the setup of Windows 8 it will give a error message.

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Posted

i don't think Windows 8 runs on Pentium 4, at least not the Willamette as it lacks NX; only latter Prescott and even then the experience you will get won't be a good one because of performance issues. Also slow disks and memories (and high memory latency and few pipelines) won't get you nowhere.

 

edit: just saw that laptop. the processor ain't that bad as it performs closely like an i3 (in synthetic tests, don't forget this) but the bottleneck is going to be that very slow disk: change it asap for much better results.

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Posted

i don't think Windows 8 runs on Pentium 4, at least not the Willamette as it lacks NX; only latter Prescott and even then the experience you will get won't be a good one because of performance issues. Also slow disks and memories (and high memory latency and few pipelines) won't get you nowhere.

 

edit: just saw that laptop. the processor ain't that bad as it performs closely like an i3 (in synthetic tests, don't forget this) but the bottleneck is going to be that very slow disk: change it asap for much better results.

 

I heard Pentium 4's had heat issues too.. many moons ago

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Posted

I heard Pentium 4's had heat issues too.. many moons ago

 

heh for some reason it was called Presc(h)ott.

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Posted

I was using Windows 8 on a Dell E310 with a Pentium 4 HT for a month or two, a year or so ago and it was pretty peppy running on it. 

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A Pentium 4 HT 650 64bit is compatible with Win8 but its not compatible with Win8.1. They added additional requirements in 8.1. So if you want to stick with WIn8 then there are still 650s for sale around the internet.. And pretty much any aftermarket cooler will keep it cool enough.

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Posted

I was using Windows 8 on a Dell E310 with a Pentium 4 HT for a month or two, a year or so ago and it was pretty peppy running on it. 

 

that's because that Dell had a late gen P4 (HT) and i doubt it wasn't upgraded (the original Dell E310 just had 80GB of HDD and 512MB of RAM).

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Posted

that's because that Dell had a late gen P4 (HT) and i doubt it wasn't upgraded (the original Dell E310 just had 80GB of HDD and 512MB of RAM).

My now sold Dell E310 was upgraded to 2 GBs of ram, GeForce 8400gs PCI  It wasn't too bad of a PC. 

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Guys, this isn't a pentium 4 or a P4 based celeron. Intel marketing reuses those terms every blue moon to mean different things at different times. As such, the terms are rather meaningless other than to denote that the processor is lower end than an core i3. It is an Ivy-bridge based processor. I.e. it is a 3rd generation core processor.

 

EDIT: And just to be clear, that chromebook referenced in this thread with the 2955U processor is worse than the laptop he is looking at in terms of performance: http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/446/Intel_Mobile_Celeron_Dual-Core_2955U_vs_Intel_Pentium_Dual-Core_Mobile_2020M.html

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Posted

Did you consider a tablet ?

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EDIT: And just to be clear, that chromebook referenced in this thread with the 2955U processor is worse than the laptop he is looking at in terms of performance: http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/446/Intel_Mobile_Celeron_Dual-Core_2955U_vs_Intel_Pentium_Dual-Core_Mobile_2020M.html

 

It's also less expensive. I have yet to use windows 8 on a cheap netbook but Windows XP and 7 were both nightmare on those machines. The power of the cpu is not really what bottleneck those low cost netbooks it's the 5400rpm HD most of them come with. Takes age to boot and start to do anything with those.

 

The one he linked comes with a 5400 rpm HD so no matter how powerful the cpu will be it will be extremely slow in some use cases. 5400 rpm HDs are a pain in the ***.

 

A tablet will come with flash memory and will be noticeably faster. If she only needs it to check mails and such then i would personally advice a tablet if he can fin one for around 300$.

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It's also less expensive. I have yet to use windows 8 on a cheap netbook but Windows XP and 7 were both nightmare on those machines. The power of the cpu is not really what bottleneck those low cost netbooks it's the 5400rpm HD most of them come with. Takes age to boot and do anything with those.

 

The one he linked comes with a 5400 rpm HD so no matter how powerful the cpu will be it will be extremely slow. 5400 rpm HDs are a pain in the ***.

 

A tablet will come with flash memory and will be noticeably faster. If she only needs it to check mails and such then i would personally advice a tablet if he can fin one for around 300$.

 

Yup, I already ranted as much in a long post further up on this thread. CPU is perfectly fine, drive is not. I will point out though that this isn't an atom processor and has out of order execution which puts it in a different ballpark from atoms (note: that I am purposely ignoring the new atom's which do have out of order execution since I haven't looked at benchmarks on how they perform). The one saving grace this laptop has (or atleast mine had) is that it can do caching of hdd content in memory. I never really tested it out before replacing the crappy drive with an ssd though.

 

I think the summation he should go away with here is basically that the CPU doesn't matter all that much and that he either needs to shell out for an SSD with the cheap laptop or buy something with flash memory already in it. It is too bad that he missed the deal for the C55-A5300 because that was $230 from best buy which would have left enough room to shell out for an ssd and still be really cheap.

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Guys, this isn't a pentium 4 or a P4 based celeron. Intel marketing reuses those terms every blue moon to mean different things at different times. As such, the terms are rather meaningless other than to denote that the processor is lower end than an core i3. It is an Ivy-bridge based processor. I.e. it is a 3rd generation core processor.

 

EDIT: And just to be clear, that chromebook referenced in this thread with the 2955U processor is worse than the laptop he is looking at in terms of performance: http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/446/Intel_Mobile_Celeron_Dual-Core_2955U_vs_Intel_Pentium_Dual-Core_Mobile_2020M.html

 

Yeah i know, Intel should get a proper name for the low perf cpus instead of using the well know brand Pentium. So i guess the OP questions are more than answered.

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Posted

Thanks everyone for your help.  I'm sorry for the confusion if it's not a Pentium 4.  The display at Best Buy said that it was, and I was honestly surprised that the Pentium 4 was still around, but figured it must have been a revision or something. 

 

But I really appreciate the correct information, that will help me out a lot.

 

It is basically the same as the Toshiba model I bought last week for $230 -- C55-A5300. See: http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Pentium-2020M-vs-Intel-Celeron-1037U

 

Win8 will run perfectly fine on it. The biggest issue with that laptop and most laptops is that they come with a 5600rpm drive. Those are pretty much crap. Toshiba did have some sort of disk caching to memory thing built in on the vanilla copy of Windows that came on the laptop to help with that though. I never tested it out because I dropped an SSD in the day I got it. It has been fantastic ever sense.

 

To be perfectly fair, Windows 8 runs great even on really old Core 2 laptops if you put an SSD in them. Your bottleneck is rarely the CPU or memory, it it is almost always disk access times under normal workloads. It is worth noting that browsers do cache a crapton of things to disks so you'll bottleneck with web browsing also.

 

I'm a firm believer that buying high-end cores tends to be an exercise in futility these days. Subjectively speaking, my horribly under-powered Celeron runs as a good as my desktop i7 2600k which is in the top 10 of the common desktop CPUS (excluding Xeons and such). And that is really the most important thing to consider -- if you can't tell the difference than you are better spent spending your money elsewhere and are not really doing CPU intensive workloads in the first place. I work in high performance computing which is about pushing the last ounce of performance out of a machine. I've worked with all types of architectures with cores ranging in the thousands, and I can tell you, it is not trivial to utilize your cores effectively even on n<16 core machines. In 99% of workloads you are bottle-necked on memory or disk accesses because those are slow pipes and you have a limited amount of bandwidth. In most cases cpu(s) tend to not be the bottleneck for performance (sure there are some cases like transcoding but these aren't really all that common).

 

Another way to look at it is like this -- throwing 4 cores at a situation that isn't effectively utilizing 2 cores isn't going to improve performance if all of the cores are idling waiting on data in memory or on disk. Moreover, throwing high clock speeds at a situation where you are waiting on data from memory means that you simply spending more time idling and gain little performance benefits.

And this I absolutely agree with.  My current laptop has an i7 and it's quite good, but it came with a 5400 RPM hard drive and I have not yet had the opportunity to replace it (It's on the list).  That is most definitely where my slow down occurs.

 

However when I was looking at laptops, I had a hard time finding a faster hard drive.  Everything had a 5400 in it.  I thought that odd, because I remembered a number of years ago when I got my Vista machine that pretty much everything I looked at had a 7200 in it...  So, that I found rather frustrating, and I don't know why that would be...

 

But thanks everyone for all of your help, I really appreciate it.  :)

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Thanks everyone for your help.  I'm sorry for the confusion if it's not a Pentium 4.  The display at Best Buy said that it was, and I was honestly surprised that the Pentium 4 was still around, but figured it must have been a revision or something. 

 

But I really appreciate the correct information, that will help me out a lot.

 

And this I absolutely agree with.  My current laptop has an i7 and it's quite good, but it came with a 5400 RPM hard drive and I have not yet had the opportunity to replace it (It's on the list).  That is most definitely where my slow down occurs.

 

However when I was looking at laptops, I had a hard time finding a faster hard drive.  Everything had a 5400 in it.  I thought that odd, because I remembered a number of years ago when I got my Vista machine that pretty much everything I looked at had a 7200 in it...  So, that I found rather frustrating, and I don't know why that would be...

 

But thanks everyone for all of your help, I really appreciate it.  :)

 

Over the years many of companies either were bought out or sold the hdd portion of their businesses off. There are only a few manufactures left (seagate, western digital, and toshiba afaik). On top of that seagate stated they would stop manufactoring 7200rpm laptop drives earlier this year. I think this was primarily motivated by the fact that it was either people who didn't care about the drive speed or who wanted an ssd. There was probably just not really a market for it anymore.

 

See this article for a list of hdd manufacturers (at the bottom they list the still currently existing ones):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_defunct_hard_disk_manufacturers

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^not only that but the current aggressive low price tag that most laptops have, there are some components that had to be sacrified so the price could be low; unfortunately the HDD got the low straw.

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Posted

just for reference, my outdated laptop has a Core i3 (Nehalem) at 1.2GHz (overclocks to 1.6GHz.) It's just fine for basic surfing and whatnot, but you can definitely feel the sluggishness - even w/ an SSD.

 

That being said, that Pentium in question should be just fine for basic tasks.

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just for reference, my outdated laptop has a Core i3 (Nehalem) at 1.2GHz (overclocks to 1.6GHz.) It's just fine for basic surfing and whatnot, but you can definitely feel the sluggishness - even w/ an SSD.

 

That being said, that Pentium in question should be just fine for basic tasks.

 

I'm skeptical that the cpu is the issue there unless you are doing computationally intensive tasks. I keep pointing out on this forum that you are not going to notice performance improvements if you aren't doing computationally intensive tasks (which is not what most casual home users do).

 

Before last week I had been running a low-end core 2 with an SSD for years which had vertically no issues in performance other than for GPU intensive tasks. The only reason I bought a new laptop was simply because it had begun to overheat.

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