Intel Pentium 4 6XX Sequence and 3.73GHz Extreme Edition Processors - HotHardware

Intel Pentium 4 6XX Sequence and 3.73GHz Extreme Edition Processors

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It's no secret that Intel has occassionally been playing a bit of catchup this year in the desktop and workstation processor arena.  AMD's Athlon 64 releases have recently positioned the company in the lead from a general performance standpoint.  Additionally, the Athlon 64 was the first processor to market with 64-bit extensions and processing capabilities, although there really hasn't been much if any impact in consumer or business usage models for the new architecture because there are scarce few 64-bit applications available, much less a mainstream 64-bit OS.  Of course that's something Intel will be quick to point out as an "I told you so," but you've got to hand it to AMD for blazing a trail. You could easily argue that Intel has been blazing a trail of its own for a while now in multithreaded computing with the release of the Pentium 4 architecture's Hyper-Threading technology, which will evolve once again later this year as multicore CPUs are brought to market by both camps.

Regardless, while AMD seemingly has been riding relatively high over the past 12 months, from a mindshare standpoint, Intel has been rather quietly advancing the Pentium 4 architecture such that today, the company many refer to as "Chipzilla" is bringing to bear significant innovations as well as a solid beefing-up of its current mainstream and enthusiast CPUs. Today marks the debut of an entire new lineup of processors from Intel with the company's 6XX Sequence Pentium 4, as well as a new addition to the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition family. These new Pentium 4 cores offer both architectural enhancements and new features including new Intel innovations such as EM64T extensions for 64-bit computing, "SpeedStep" power-savings technology, and new security improvements with Intel's "Execute Disable Bit" feature. 

Here's a run down of what's under the hood of these new P4s, as well as what is in store for you in the pages ahead as we run these new chips through their paces. 

Intel Pentium 4 6XX Sequence Processors
Prescott flush with cache
  • Pentium 4 6XX Sequence Processor
  • Clock speeds:
    P4 660 - 3.6GHz

    P4 650 -
    3.4GHz
    P4 640 -
    3.2GHz
    P4 630 -
    3GHz
  • 800MHz "Quad-Pumped" frontside bus
  • 0.09-micron manufacturing process
  • Hyper-Threading Technology
  • 2MB on-chip, full-speed L2 cache
  • Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Power Savings technology "EIST"
  • Intel EM64T Extensions - 64-bit computing
  • Execute Disable Bit - For enhanced security
  • 16KB L1 Data Cache
  • Streaming SIMD Extensions - SSE2, SSE3
  • 31-stage "Hyper Pipelined" Technology for higher clock speeds
  • Rapid Execution Engine - ALU clocked at 2X frequency of core
  • 128-bit Floating Point/Multimedia unit
  • Intel "NetBurst" micro-architecture
  • Supported by the Intel i925XE and i915 chipsets, with Hyper-Threading
  • Intel MMX media enhancement technology
  • Memory cacheability up to 256 terabytes of addressable memory in 64-bit mode and 4GB in 32-bit mode
  • 1.25 - 1.4V operating voltage range
  • LGA775 Packaging - Land Grid Array
  • 84 - 115 watts TPD (Thermal Design Power) 






Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.73GHz Processor
Prescott on steriods
  • Pentium 4 Extreme Edition Processor
  • Clock speed: 3.73GHz
  • 1066MHz "Quad-Pumped" frontside bus
  • 0.09-micron manufacturing process
  • Hyper-Threading Technology
  • 2MB on-chip, fullspeed L2 cache
  • Intel EM64T Extensions - 64-bit computing
  • Execute Disable Bit - For enhanced security
  • 16KB L1 Data Cache
  • Streaming SIMD Extensions - SSE2, SSE3
  • 31-stage "Hyper Pipelined" Technology
  • Rapid Execution Engine - ALU clocked at 2X frequency of core
  • 128-bit Floating Point/Multimedia unit
  • Intel "NetBurst" micro-architecture
  • Supported by the Intel i925XE and i915 chipsets, with Hyper-Threading
  • Intel MMX media enhancement technology
  • Memory cacheability up to 256 terabytes of addressable memory in 64-bit mode and 4GB in 32-bit mode
  • 1.25 - 1.4V operating voltage range
  • LGA775 Packaging - Land Grid Array
  • 115 watts TPD (Thermal Design Power)

 







Both of these new processors are based on what is known as Intel's Prescott 2M core for the Pentium 4. They have very deep 31-stage pipelines, which means they can hit impressively high clock speeds but somewhat at the expense of longer latencies on branch execution misses because the core must reissue back through that long pipeline. In addition, both of these CPUs have the beefed-up 2MB L2 caches on board, which should assist significantly in keeping that pipeline full with data from this local on-chip high-speed memory rather than going off chip to significantly slower system memory. 

As noted earlier, there are also a few new features that these Prescott 2M cores bring to market for the P4, namely Intel EM64T 64-bit extensions, EIST or Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (6XX sequence CPUs only at the moment), and the Execute Disable Bit, all of which we'll dig into next.

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