Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955 & 975X Express Chipset: 65nm is Here

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Intel has been relatively quiet over the last eight months or so, since the initial release of the dual-core Pentium Extreme Edition 840 processor back in early April of this year. The company has released an entire line of dual-core 'Pentium D' processors since then, and have also introduced a number of new core logic chipsets as well, including the recently released 975X Express chipset.  However, they've been content to have the 3.2GHz Pentium Extreme Edition 840 as their flagship desktop processor for quite some time.

Courtesy of its dual Hyper-Threading enabled execution cores, the 3.2GHz Pentium Extreme Edition 840 was a high performing CPU in many multi-threaded applications, but it was clearly outperformed by AMD's high-end Athlon 64 X2 processors, especially in gaming scenarios where the processor's second core wasn't fully utilized. With today's official introduction of the Pentium Extreme Edition 955 processor though, Intel aims to close the performance gap between its flagship processor and AMD's. The new Pentium Extreme Edition 955 improves upon the older Pentium Extreme Edition 840 in virtually every meaningful way. The 955XE is clocked higher, 3.46GHz vs. 3.2GHz, it features double the amount of L2 cache, 4MB vs. 2MB, and it has a faster front side bus as well, 1066MHz vs. 800MHz. The Pentium Extreme Edition 955 is also manufactured using Intel's new 65nm process, which lowers the processor's power requirements and makes them less expensive for Intel to produce. On the surface, the new Pentium Extreme Edition 955 has a lot going for it. What do you say we fire it up, and see how it performs against the best AMD has to offer?  We thought you'd like that.

Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955
Specifications & Features
·_3.46GHz Dual Core Processor
·_1066MHz "Quad-Pumped" frontside bus
·_.065-micron manufacturing process
·_Hyper-Threading Technology
·_4MB on-chip, full-speed L2 cache - 2MB for each core
·_Intel EM64T Extensions - 64-bit computing
·_Execute Disable Bit - For enhanced security
·_Streaming SIMD Extensions - SSE2, SSE3
·_Supported by the Intel i975X Express chipset
·_LGA775 Packaging - Land Grid Array

·_1.20 - 1.33V operating voltage range
·_130 watts TPD (Thermal Design Power)
·_Die Size: Approximately 140mm2
·_Approximately 376M Transistors

Presler / Cedar Mill Die

There are a number of products related to the brand new Pentium Extreme Edition 955 that we've evaluated over the past year or so here at HotHardware. To fully understand some of the technologies at work on the Pentium Extreme Edition platform, we suggest taking a look at few of these recent articles for detailed explanations of some of the features common to Intel's legacy products and the 955XE processor and 975X Express chipset:

Pentium D 820 & i945G/P Chipset Evaluation
Pentium Extreme Edition 840 Preview
Pentium 6xx Series & 3.73GHz Pentium Extreme Edition Review

We outline Intel's AMT (Active Management Technology) and IVT (Intel Virtualization Technology), among other things, in our Pentium D 820 7 i945G/P evaluation, and cover more features of Intel's dual-core processors in our Pentium Extreme Edition 840 preview. And in the Pentium 6xx series & 3.73GHz Pentium Extreme Edition review, we detail some of the features common to the Prescott 2M and Presler / Cedar Mill execution cores.

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