Desktop CPU Guide Index

1. Desktop CPU Index

2. CPU Speed Comparison

3. Intel Desktop CPUs - Pentium 4

4. Intel Pentium III and II

5. Intel Celeron

6. Intel Pentium Xeon CPUs

7. Intel Hyper-Threading Technology

8. AMD Desktop CPUs

9. Apple and Cyrix CPUs

10. Desktop CPU Buying Advice

11. CPU Links




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Desktop CPU Guide

Page 7 of 11

Intel Hyper-Threading Technology

What is Hyper-Threading Technology?

Hyper-Threading technology is a process that allows an Intel Pentium 4 CPU to be viewed by the operating systems as two processors. Hyper-Threading technology allows one processor to work on two separate operations at the same time rather than one at a time.

A software program can be compiled to have two instructions processed at the same time (as is done for dual processor systems) and runs faster using hyper-threading technology. Intel also promises speed gains when two separate programs run at the same time in a multitasking environment.

What speed gains are possible?

Intel says background applications such as continuous virus scanning, encryption, or compression can be run simultaneously without loss of responsiveness.
For example, compressing an Outlook folder while running WinZip saw a 35 percent performance boost with HT Technology enabled. Adobe Photoshop can run 21 percent faster while running a McAfee virus scan.

What are the requirements for using Hyper-Threading technology?

1. A Pentium 4 or Xeon CPU with speeds from 1.40 GHz to 3.06 GHz.

2. Windows XP Home or Professional (future Linux support is promised).

3. A Pentium 4 Intel chipset that supports hyper-threading from the 845, 850, or 875 chipset families. Or a Xeon chipset from the E7 chipset family.

4. A BIOS that supports hyper-threading, with the hyper-threading option turned on.

Which chipsets support Hyper-Threading for the Pentium 4?

On Oct. 7, 2002 Intel Corporation delivered four new desktop chipsets that support Hyper-Threading; the enhanced Intel® 850E chipset, and the new Intel 845GE, 845PE and 845GV chipsets.

"We're very proud of these new chipsets," said Louis Burns, vice president and general manager of Intel's Desktop Platforms Group. "Not only will they dramatically enrich a PC user's experience today; they also provide the platform foundation for our upcoming HT Technology, which can deliver up to 25 percent more performance for many mainstream consumer and business applications."

The enhanced Intel 850E chipset now supports dual-channel PC 1066 RDRAM memory, delivering the highest-performing Pentium 4 processor-based platforms, which allow consumers to enjoy a richer PC experience with broadband audio and video content, games, music, photos, and movies.

The Intel 845GE chipset includes an increased 266 MHz graphics clock speed for its Intel® Extreme Graphics engine, a fast 533 MHz or 400 MHz system bus, and - for the first time in volume - DDR333 main memory support. These new features provide new levels of integrated graphics performance, delivering a better graphics experience for everyday PC users.

The Intel 845PE chipset, combined with the Intel Pentium 4 processor, delivers the advantages of DDR333 memory and AGP4x support for a flexible and high-end discrete graphics solution.

The new Intel 845GV chipset offers DDR266 main memory capability and 533 MHz or 400 MHz system bus, providing support for a range of Pentium 4 and Celeron® processor frequencies.

The new 845 chipsets utilize high-speed system buses to maximize throughput capabilities of the Pentium 4 processor.

The chipsets include six integrated, Hi-Speed Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 ports, enabling high-bandwidth connectivity across a variety of peripherals to allow for fast downloads of digital music, photos and video files with up to 40 times more bandwidth than USB 1.1. PCs equipped with Hi-Speed USB 2.0 capabilities are easier to use and expand, allowing users to quickly and easily add peripherals to PCs. The new 845 chipsets also come with enhanced AC' 97 audio implementation with dual independent DMA audio engines for improved sound quality and new audio usage models.

On April 14, 2003, Intel Corporation announced the 875P chipset.

Per Intel,"The chipset introduces two significant platform innovations: Intel Performance Acceleration Technology (PAT) and Communications Streaming Architecture (CSA).
"PAT speeds data flow between the processor and system memory to increase performance. The 875P chipset also offers a dedicated networking bus based on Intel's new Communications Streaming Architecture. CSA, in conjunction with the new Intel® PRO/1000 CT Desktop Connection gigabit Ethernet controller, doubles the networking bandwidth possible with today's PCI bus based solutions.

Additionally, the 875P chipset includes a high-performance AGP8X graphics interface for an advanced graphics experience, integrated Hi-Speed USB 2.0* and Serial ATA, and dual independent DMA audio engines enabling a user to make a PC phone call while playing digital music streams. The new 875P chipset offers built-in RAID capabilities utilizing the latest Serial ATA interface for accelerated disk I/O. Error Correction Code is supported for users that demand memory data reliability and integrity.

The Pentium 4 processor with Hyper-Threading Technology operating at 3 GHz can now have an 800 MHz system bus instead of 533 MHz, the previous highest speed bus.
The new 800 MHz bus can transmit information within the PC up to 50 percent faster than the previous version. With Hyper-Threading (HT) Technology, users can perform multiple complex tasks with greater responsiveness from their PCs.

Designed specifically to support the Intel Pentium 4 processor with HT Technology, the Intel 875P chipset, formerly codenamed Canterwood, supports dual-channel DDR400 MHz system memory, providing exceptional performance across a full range of multimedia and 3-D intensive applications.

Additional technical information on these and other chipsets is available at http://developer.intel.com/design/chipsets.

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