Im searching for some answers... you mac heads always seem to know you whats up...


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 12, 2001
First off, I would like to appologize for posting a question on a rumors site. Second, I would like to appologize for it being pc related. Please dont delete this, you mac users are great when it comes to answering questions. You seem to look at things differently.

Now for the question:
Does a larger L2 cache(512) provide superior performance to a smaller L2 cache(256) that is full pipe?

This is evidently a p4northwood vs athlonXPpalomino type of question. I have never found an unbiased answer that hasnt digressed into an annecdote of sorts... hopefully some of you can help with the basic premise.

Is there an objective way of determining this? Granted both might excel at independent tasks, the question is in regards to audio production. Does anyone know where I might go from here?

Thanks for the time guys.
I really want to buy a mac, but I cant buy a top of the line mac for 3k(canadian). Unfortunately, the bottom line in my case is money.


macrumors 68020
Sep 18, 2001
Denver, CO
Unfortunately, this is one of those very complex problems where the answer is just, "it depends," and the only way you're going to get any useful answers is through experimentation. You're just not going to be able to account for enough possible factors to build up a general theoretical answer. Depends heavily on the profile of the code you're going to be running through it, and "audio production" isn't quite specific enough.

If you're talking audio encoding, I certainly can't say for sure, but I would guess that to be, generally, a very linear, repetitive process with few pipe flushes, which I think would suggest that the full-pipe cache wouldn't give any particular advantage. After that, it becomes a question of whether the necessary instructions will all fit into the 256K cache. If so, then the cache for the most part ceases to be a factor in comparison.

But really, the only way you're going to know is to set up a test and compare them for yourself.


macrumors newbie
Sep 3, 2001

the much less expencive athlons as far as i know can run alot more audio effects(simultaneously) than any P4!

I know a guy that has compared audio app performance, and the athlons are superior!

the tasks Athlon really kicks butt in are too rarely tested.

a taste:
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