Intel Prescott P4 3.4GHz & Northwood P4 3.4GHz

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Intel Prescott P4 3.4GHz & Northwood P4 3.4GHz - Page 1

Intel Pentium 4 3.4GHz "Prescott"
And Pentium 4 3.4GHz "Northwood"

By, Dave Altavilla
March 22, 2004

Last week AMD launched their latest "enthusiast" class processor, with the unveiling of the Athlon 64 FX-53.  Today, Intel returns the volley with the launch of two 3.4GHz Pentium 4 CPUs based on their Prescott and Northwood cores.  In our FX-53 piece, it was obvious that Intel has some catch-up work on their hands, as AMD's new flagship defiantly manhandled even the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition in more than a few instances of our benchmark suite.  What was perhaps more impressive was the way the FX-53 took the lead position, while maintaining a tepid 43ºC temp under the load of our continuous testing.  In addition it overclocked like nobody's business, clicking up another 250MHz beyond stock clock speeds, which told us the core has bit more headroom behind it, even with AMD's .13 micron technology.  For certain, the performance bar was raised another notch by the introduction of this latest CPU from AMD but it also is targeted at a different market segment perhaps, than the two new Intel processors we'll be looking at today.

For starters, Intel's Pentium 4 Extreme Edition, although significantly more expensive, is more of an appropriate yard stick to compare the Athlon 64 FX-53 against.  The 3.4GHz variant of Intel's 90nm Pentium 4, aka Prescott, is priced about $300 less, more in line with the Athlon 64 3400+.  Regardless, Intel plans to ramp the clock speed of their new 90nm built P4 to compete across the board, so it's hard to say where the end of the line will be for the Extreme Edition, code named "Gallatin", flavor of Intel's P4.  The moral of the story is, we may be pitting Prescott based P4s against Athlon 64 FX processors in the near future, but for now there are very distinct brandings and price points for the myriad of P4 core types on the market today.  Prescott is a much more approachable "mainstream" product, at least from a cost perspective, versus either the Athlon 64 FX or the Pentium 4 EE.

And while we're at it, why not throw in another speed bin for our good friend Northwood?  Today, we're bringing you a horse race of sorts, with Intel's 3.4GHz Pentium 4 processor line-up, Prescott, Gallatin and Northwood, against the top Athlons, 64 and 64 FX, that AMD has to offer.

Specifications of the Intel Pentium 4 Processor (Prescott)
Larger caches, optimized branch prediction, deeper pipeline and a 90nm process
  • Clock speeds starting at 3.4GHz, 3.2GHz,  3GHz, and 2.8GHz
  • New .09 micron "Strained SI" manufacturing process
  • Improved Hyperthreading Technology
  • 1MB on chip, Full Speed L2 Cache
  • Increased 16KB L1 Data Cache
  • Streaming SIMD Extensions - SSE2 and 13 new SSE3 Instructions
  • 31 stage "Hyper Pipelined" Technology for extremely high clock speeds
  • 800MHz "Quad Pumped" Front Side Bus
  • Rapid Execution Engine - ALU clocked at 2X frequency of core
  • 128bit Floating Point/Multimedia unit
  • Intel "NetBurst" micro-architecture
  • Supported by the Intel® i875P and i865G chipsets, with Hyperthreading support
  • Intel® MMX? media enhancement technology
  • Memory cacheability up to 4 GB of addressable memory space and system memory scalability up to 64 GB of physical memory
  • 1.25 - 1.4V operating voltage range
  • 89 - 103 Watts TPD (Thermal Design Power)

Pentium 4 Prescott

478 Pin mPGA Package


Specifications of the Intel Pentium 4 3.4GHz Processor (Northwood)
Increased Core Clock Speed in .13 micron technology
  • Clock speeds of 3.4GHz
  • .13 micron manufacturing process
  • Hyperthreading Technology
  • 512kB on chip, Full Speed L2 Cache
  • 8KB L1 Data Cache
  • Streaming SIMD Extensions - SSE2 Only
  • 20 stage "Hyper Pipelined" Technology
  • 800MHz "Quad Pumped" Front Side Bus
  • Rapid Execution Engine - ALU clocked at 2X frequency of core
  • 128bit Floating Point/Multimedia unit
  • Intel "NetBurst" micro-architecture
  • Supported by the Intel® i875P and i865G chipsets, with Hyperthreading support
  • Intel® MMX? media enhancement technology
  • Memory cacheability up to 4 GB of addressable memory space and system memory scalability up to 64 GB of physical memory
  • 1.525 - 1.6V operating voltage range
  • 89 Watts TPD (Thermal Design Power)

Pentium 4 Northwood

478 Pin mPGA Package


If you've read through our debut Prescott article back in February, two words say it all for both of these new processors, "speed bump".  We invite you to brush up on Prescott's architecture a bit with our February article, as Intel has made significant changes and enhancements to its P4 core architecture.  Beyond that, what is a little surprising is that Intel's Northwood core has also ramped beyond our initial expectations to 3.4GHz, allowing it to take position next to its brethren Prescott and Gallatin (P4EE) cores, in terms of top end clock speed.

Thermals And A Bit Of Overclocking

Tags:  Intel, Pre, NOR, 4G, GHz, P4, 4GHz, RT

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