Like kids in a candy store, we set out to see just what the
Northwood was made of, in terms of its system level behavior
and general characteristics. What would this new
.13 micron part, with additional on chip cache, do when we
powered up? Let's have a look.
Northwood - Vital Signs
Less is more...
Let's first have
a look at what CPUID tells us about the 2.2GHz. chip, since
it is the star of our show. We'll also be testing
out the 2.0AGHz. version as well, in the following pages.
As an aside, Intel has chosen the "A" call out designation
for the 2GHz. chip, to signify it is Northwood core
based versus legacy Willamette technology.
CPUID and Cache ID - Click images for full viewing
You'll note here that we indeed
have a 2.2GHz. Pentium 4 with 512K of full speed on chip
cache. CPUID also reports the P4's onboard L1, Trace,
Instruction and Data Cache, 32K in total. The 512K L2
cache is 8 way set associative, which means each of the
internal memory sectors or "sets" on the cache can map
to 8, 64 byte cache lines. This provides higher cache
hit rates. 8 Way Set Associative Cache implementations
have been around since the P3 Coppermine chips, only now we
have 2X the amount of cache at 512K.
In terms of voltage and
temperature, here's what the Northwoods are running at.
These readings were taken at the
2.2GHz. speed, from the
on board health monitoring chip that is on our test-bed Abit
motherboard. It isn't as accurate as a reading from a
thermistor probe but this should still give you a baseline.
As you can see, the Northwood core at this speed is running
at a slightly lower temp than
the 2GHz. Willamette we tested back in August.
With a modest 200MHz. speed increase, it was nice to see
approximately a 3C drop in temperature.
We can almost taste 3GHz.
We might as well jump in feet
first on this and just let it rip. We took the 2.2GHz.
Northwood test chip we have here in the lab (a full retail
version) and dropped it into an Asus P4B266 i845DDR
motherboard. This board allows for only a modest
voltage increase to 1.7V over the default 1.5V core voltage.
We then had to work with the fairly high 22X multiplier on
the 2.2G Northwood and drove the front side bus speed up as
high as it would handle things and still perform with good
stability. Here are the results.
CPUID and Sandra's Processor
@ 2.6GHz. - Click images for full view
Not too long ago, the average
X86 CPU was clocking in at a few hundred MHz. Remember
the Celeron 300A and how the enthusiast crowd couldn't get
enough of the chip over-clocked at 450-500MHz.? Well,
it certainly is amazing to see that these days, we are
realizing a 400MHz. over-clock gain. It is amazing to
think that not long ago 400MHz. was the average total speed
of the processor and now we are realizing over-clock
differentials alone that high. At 2.6GHz. the
Northwood leaves everything in the dust in this quick Sandra
Let's move out to more detailed