Since a couple of years Intel is dominating the mobile market. Portables based on the Centrino platform are very popular. The core of the platform is the Pentium Mobile, Pentium M in short. Intel desktop processor reached higher and higher clock speeds, close to 4GHz but their performance didn’t scale as hoped and now heat production and high power consumption are holding Netburst technology, which drives the desktop Pentium 4, back from advancing. A small Intel team in Israel has been working hard the past few years, they ignored the Netburst technology, went back to the original Pentium 3 design and worked their way up to the Pentium M series, which is regarded as one of the best operations per clock/power consumption designs for the public. So today we compare their latest incarnation: the Core Duo, how does it compare to the Pentium M.
The first Pentium M had the codename “Banias”. With a power consumption of somewhere near 30 watt and 1 mb level 2 cache it was a cool, literally speaking, and fast cpu. A Banias clocked at around 1,5 GHz was capable of equaling the performance of a 2Ghz+ Pentium 4 ! Evolution brought us new technologies for baking chips and this was the beginning of the new Pentium M. The “Dothan” core baked at 90nm was capable of reaching higher clock speeds and had 2Mb L2 cache. Latest models also have a 533 MHz FSB instead of the 400MHz that was used on the previous Pentium Mobiles.
The use of these chips was limited to laptops. Laptops didn’t have dual channel memory configurations in the beginning and tend to have weaker vga cards. Fortunately some manufacturers saw the chips’ potential and they created products which allowed these laptops CPU to be used in a desktop configuration. Although these new motherboards had quite a bit of overclocking potential, there high price made them not very desirable. Still one could build a silent powerhouse
thanks to the lower heat output from the CPU.
Than Asus released their CT-479 converter which allowed you to plug in a mobile S479 CPU into one of their overclock friendly motherboards; so now, powered with fast motherboard chipsets and dual channel memory, the Pentium M became a popular enthusiast choice for crazy overclocking experiments:In house extreme overclocking article 1.
In house extreme overclocking article 2.
The restriction of the CT-479 converter which only works in S478 motherboards prevented this platform from braking through, as Intel had launched their S775 CPUs and accompanying chipsets.
With Intel latest manufacturing revision the chips have become even smaller and the Pentium M needed a successor build at 65nm. Intel Core Duo and Core Sole entered the scene, codenamed Yonah this chip comes with 2Mb L2 cache and received a FSB boost to 667Mhz. Clocks speeds range from 1.6 to 2.2Ghz.
The Yonah further reduces power consumption and the Core Duo packs is essential a dual CPU. While the Yonah’s prime market is notebooks, motherboard manufacturers have played short on the ball and released a desktop platforms which accepts the new CPU.
Time for a head to head comparison then, old vs new, Yonah vs Banias, Core vs Pentium M. Is the Yonah better? And by how much? Read on to find out.
Let’s take a closer look at our test platforms ->