Can Coppermine compete?
That's the question isn't it? Intel doesn't have to worry about AMD for now, but Intel needs to retake the speed throne before AMD is able to fix the small compatibility problems and gain market acceptance. Intel's new Coppermine technology will allow the semiconductor manufacturer to produce faster P3 processors that will hopefully keep them in the race with AMD.
Intel isn't relying solely on Coppermine to bring performance on par with the Athlon. The new 820 and 840 motherboards are also very important. In our Coppermine preview we tested our chip on a normal 810e motherboard with normal SDRAM, and the scores weren't all that impressive. Then again, the 810e chipset wasn't exactly designed for performance.
This time we managed to procure a real Coppermine setup. No, we didn't get some sissy single processor system. We got our hands on a dual Coppermine P3 733 (engineering samples) system with PC800 Rambus memory and an 840 motherboard. Check the ID pics. Read on to find out more about what's new with Coppermine and how the dual system performed in our benchmarks.