Intel Unveils 64-bit Pentium 4 for the Masses
As expected, Intel Corp. revealed Monday its new family of Intel Pentium 4 processors that sport 64-bit capability in addition to power-saving technology and large cache on-die cache memory pool. The new chips drive 64-bit computing into the masses, about 1.5 years since the competing AMD Athlon 64 processors were launched, along with a bit improved performance in certain applications.
Intel Launches New Chips
The new lineup of Intel Pentium 4 central processing units (CPUs) consists of 4 chips – Intel Pentium 4 6xx sequence – for performance-mainstream and high-end computers as well as a new Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition product that runs at 3.73GHz and is designed for extremely fast PCs used by enthusiasts and hobbyists.
The new Intel Pentium 600-series microprocessors are based on the Prescott 2M core that brings 2MB L2 cache and feature Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology, which provides Intel's long-expected 64-bit capability on desktops; Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST) that reduces power consumption of the processors by adjusting their clock-speeds in real-time as well as Execute Disable Bit (EDB) capability that protects certain memory areas from malicious software provided that Windows XP SP2 operating system is used. The whole lineup of Intel Pentium 4 600-series chips currently contains models 630, 640, 650 and 660 that are to be clocked at 3.00GHz, 3.20GHz, 3.40GHz and 3.60GHz respectively. The model 670 is projected to emerge in Q2 2005 and run at 3.80GHz.
The fresh breed of Pentium 4 processors is intended for infrastructure supporting 800MHz Quad Pumped Bus. Intel Pentium 4 processors 630, 640 and 650 are compatible with mainboards sporting Intel’s 04A Platform Compatibility Guide (PGC), e.g., they have Thermal Design Power (TDP) of 84W; Top-of-the-range Intel Pentium 4 processor model 660 complies to 04B PGC, which means that the chip may have TDP of up to 115W, as previously expected.
Performance: Not Always Extreme
“As for the effect the new processor launch had on the CPU market from the performance point of view, I cannot say that the release of the 6XX affected the situation in the processor market. Right now the clock frequency of these processors is lower than that of the top Pentium 4 5XX models, and larger L2 cache can hardly speed them up that much,” said Ilya Gavrichenkov, CPU and platform analyst for X-bit labs in his “Intel Pentium 4 6XX and Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.73GHz CPU Review”.
Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.73GHz with 2MB cache is designed to operate within 1066MHz processor system bus infrastructure. It also supports 64-bit capability. Additional details are not disclosed. As usually, the top-of-the-range Extreme Edition chip costs $999 in 1000 unit quantities.
“As far as the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.37GHz is concerned, it comes to replace Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.46GHz based on Gallatin core. The new processor core, the 2MB of memory moved from the L3 cache to L2 and a significant increase in the core frequency did their job and the new Extreme Edition processor did turn out noticeably faster. But this picture can be observed not at all times. Moreover, in gaming applications where the new Pentium 4 Extreme Edition is targeted for, the new 3.73GHz solution doesn’t outperform its predecessor. 130nm derivative of the good old Northwood core aka Gallatin the old Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.46GHz is based on still proves more efficient in games than Prescott,” Mr. Gavrichenkov noted.
Intel Pentium 4 processors 660, 650, 640 and 630 cost $605, $401, $273 and $224 respectively in quantities from 1000 units.
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