Pentium 4 3.06GHz Processor With Hyperthreading

Pentium 4 3.06GHz Processor With Hyperthreading - Page 1


Intel's Pentium 4 3.06GHz Processor
Intel breaks 3GHz barrier and  introduces Hyperthreading to the mainstream

By, Dave Altavilla
and Chris Angelini
November 14, 2002

It was only two short months ago that we gave you our hands on experiences with Intel's last flagship processor for the PC, the 2.8GHz Pentium 4.  As we neared what seemed to be an almost mythical clock speed of 3GHz, we paused to wonder for a moment, whether or not the average user could take advantage of the power of a Pentium 4 at this clock speed or the future Athlon XP3000+, for that matter.  Again, that pause we had was only for a moment and we snapped back to reality with a hearty Neanderthal grunt... arr arr!!!  More power!  That's not to say however, that the target audience for this class of processing power, is a bunch of power hungry gear-heads like the HotHardware.Com Tech Editorial Staff.  On the contrary, there are many mainstream environments and applications, that can obviously benefit greatly from the type of leading edge processor technology that Intel is bringing to the market on what seems like more often than a quarterly basis.

In actuality, the convergence of high quality audio, video and data streams into today's modern Desktop environment, calls for ever increasing amounts of horsepower.  In many cases, the quality of end user experience is directly proportional to the processing power under the hood of the average Home or Corporate PC.  Additionally, more often then not, processing demands on the host CPU, are being made from multiple applications at any given time.  Whether it be Multimedia processing along with simultaneous end user sessions of email, desktop publishing or spreadsheet analysis, the host CPU is typically servicing multiple requests on its resources. 

Specifications of the Pentium 4 3.06GHz Processor
Hyperthreading and just a few more MHz

  • Clock Speed 3.06GHz
  • 533MHz "Quad Pumped" Front Side Bus
  • Hyperthreading Technology for increased performance in Multi-tasking and Multi-threaded applications
  • .13 micron manufacturing process
  • 512K on chip, Full Speed L2 Cache
  • Rapid Execution Engine - ALU clocked at 2X frequency of core
  • 128bit Floating Point/Multimedia unit
  • "Hyper Pipelined" Technology for extremely high clock speeds
  • Intel "NetBurst" micro-architecture
  • Supported by the Intel® 850 and i845 chipsets, with Hyperthreading support in i845E/PE/GE/GV/G and i850E chipsets.
  • 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 physical memory
  • Support for uni-processor designs
  • 1.525V operating voltage range

Theory and realities of Intel's Hyperthreading:

This brings us to the latest Intel innovation that has been unveiled for the Desktop market, along with the launch of the 3.06GHz Pentium 4, "Hyperthreading".  Hyperthreading is an Intel invention for their processor cores that allows the CPU to present the Operating System with two "virtual" CPUs, each with its own set of resources.  This new technology allows multiple processing threads to run in parallel on a single chip.  Think of it as a "virtual SMP" (Symmetric Multi-Processing)  technology of sorts, only performed all on one processor.


Pentium 4 with Hyperthreading - Two separate architectural states represented for two paths to processor resources

Requirements for the HT enabled system:

  • The upcoming Intel Pentium 4 processor at 3.06 GHz or higher
  • An Intel® chipset that supports HT Technology
  • System BIOS that supports HT Technology and has it enabled
  • An operating system that includes optimizations for HT Technology

Task Manager
With HT


It should be noted that currently, the only OS that supports Hyperthreading, is Microsoft Windows XP.  Even Windows 2000 or NT, are not officially supported for this technology.  Additionally, Intel recommends a clean installation of WinXP, when migrating from a non HT enabled system, so that XP can install its multi-processor kernel properly.  We performed clean installations in our testing but were able to prove out that, WinXP will detect the new virtual CPU upon boot up and after a reboot, Task Manager will report the two virtual processors in the control panel.  Additional testing proved that we were also realizing the benefits of Hyperthreading but more on this later. In the Task Manager shot above, we were running an MPEG to DIVX conversion on the test system.  As you can see, both CPUs were getting worked fairly hard.

More on HT, Test System Setup, Sandra and Overclocking

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