Intel wants you to love pricey Rambus memory, largely because its upcoming Pentium 4 processor will require the technology.

But the chip maker's own tests show today's Pentium III systems that use less-expensive PC-133 SDRAM memory often outperform comparable RDRAM-based systems.

Intel recently posted benchmark results that show systems using Intel's new 815E chip set with PC-133 SDRAM generally score better than systems with Intel's 820 chip set using PC-800 RDRAM.

Despite these results, Intel executives still claim RDRAM is superior.

A system with the 820 chip set and RDRAM is the best choice for performance-hungry PC users, says Dan Francisco, Intel spokesperson.

Plus, RDRAM offers more headroom than PC-133 SDRAM for future high-end applications such as streaming media, he says.

Future applications notwithstanding, Intel's own test results seem to show little value in RDRAM.