released it's 2GHz and 2.2GHz Northwood Pentium 4
were here to show you the finer points of increased on
chip cache sizes and a few more MHz to play with. At
that point in time, did you ever think that a mere three
months later, we would be back to show you Intel's flagship
take another 200 steps in the right direction? Well,
to be honest, we've been in possession of the 2.4GHz variety
of the Pentium 4 Northwood for about a month now. So
in all truth, Intel was yielding these chips even quicker
than at a quarterly cycle rate. We're not sure what's
more impressive about the Pentium 4, the fact that it is
easily the fastest processor clock speed in existent or
perhaps the fact the Intel is just getting warmed up with
this chip. To think the Pentium 4 was introduced only
about a year and a half ago and we are already getting close
to double it's initially released clock speed. Pentium
II and Pentium III processors, were Intel's mainstream CPUs
for how many years? Headroom? Oh Yes, one would
say Intel has some headroom and legroom with this processor.
Intel's "Hyper Pipelined" architecture was built for speed,
for years to come.
the flip side, Intel's top end clock speed processors are
always a little hard on the wallet, when they are first
introduced. AMD's Athlon with its fantastic
cost/performance ratio is hard to beat. As we have
come to realize, in this economy, folks tend to look a
little deeper beyond the clock speed. So, the
questions are how much faster is this new 2.4GHz drag racer
from Intel and will it compete dollar for dollar, versus
it's rival Athlon counterpart? Let's have a look.
Specifications of the Pentium 4 2.4GHz. Pentium 4
Climbing the frequency
curve to 3GHz - It won't be long...
- Available at speeds ranging from 1.4GHz. to 2.4 GHz
- Based upon Intel?s 0.13 micron
- Now built on 300mm wafers for
2X die out per wafer and lower cost
- 512K on chip, Full Speed L2
- Rapid Execution Engine - ALU clocked at 2X frequency
- 128bit Floating Point/Multimedia unit
- "Hyper Pipelined" Technology for extremely high
- Featuring the Intel "NetBurst" micro-architecture
- Supported by the Intel® 850 and i845 chipsets
- Fully compatible with existing Intel
- Internet Streaming SIMD Extensions 2
- Intel® MMX? media enhancement technology
- Memory cacheability up to 4 GB of addressable memory
space and system memory scalability up to 64 GB of
- Support for uni-processor designs
- 1.5V operating voltage range
older 200mm wafer
(courtesy, Intel Corp.)
of the jungle -
Let's talk physics for a
moment. Don't get sleepy-eyed on us either.
Perhaps this is a bit of a history lesson as well.
Alright, so maybe history isn't your bag either.
Well then, we'll pass out the Red Bull and Mountain Dew
smoothies and keep moving here. Way back when in
the mid 1960s, a gentleman by the name of Gordon Moore,
then working as a Director of R&D for Fairchild
Semiconductor, came out with his famous quote to the
press. Moore stated that he expected transistor
density per Integrated Circuit to double every 18 - 24
months. Today, Mr. Moore's prediction is
affectionately referred to now as "Moore's Law".
As you may be aware, ol' Gordon was right on with his
prediction as well.
Let's take a quick peek
at Intel's history with PC processor technology and the
number of transistors they have squeezed into each die
over the years.
It seems as if Gordon
Moore's vision, as the co-founder of Intel Corp in 1968,
was not too far from the mark. The new Northwood
core Pentium 4 processors have 55 million transistors.
So it seems, that Intel is showing no sign of slowing
down versus Moore's Law, anytime soon.
We should also note that
along with these higher performance processors, with all
those millions of transistors, the engineers at Intel
have been working to drive cost down. Intel's new
.13 micron manufacturing processes combined with their
new 300mm wafer production capability, affords Intel the
ability to produce 5 times the number of P4 dice per
wafer, versus the older .18 micron 200mm Willamette
wafers. We'll simplify that equation for you with
one word, "cost". More dice per wafer equals lower
costs in the reseller channel.
That's enough talk about
the Pentium 4 Northwood processor. Let's walk the
Processor ID, Over-Clocking and