Intel Pentium III and Pentium II
The Pentium III comes in four different versions, the
original Pentium III (450 - 600 MHz), the Pentium III "B"
(533 and 600 MHz) and the Pentium III "E" (500-866,933,
1000, 1100, and 1130 MHz) and the Pentium III at 1200 MHz (0.13 micron).
|Intel Pentium Pentium
(Photo Courtesy Intel Corporation)
The Pentium III fits in a Slot 1 or a Flip Chip (FC-PGA)
If you have a newer Slot 1 motherboard that can produce a CPU core
voltage of 2.0 Volts, then you can probably upgrade to the original
Pentium III (visit your motherboard manufacturer's web site for upgrade
Standard Pentium III Features.
1. The CPU includes 70 new Streaming SIMD Extensions
(SSE), previously called KNI instructions. Intel released speed
tests comparing a 450-MHz Pentium III with a 450-MHz Pentium II running
SSE enabled software. Intel's Pentium III ran Dragon Systems' speech-recognition
software 37 percent faster, Adobe PhotoShop 64 percent faster, and
NetShow video 20 percent faster. Also, a Pentium III test of an SSE
enabled game resulted in twice the frame rate over the same game on
a Pentium II.
So what programs will take advantage of the new SSE instructions?
The good news is that you won't have to sit around waiting for graphics
programs that use the SSE instructions (well, maybe a little while
if you have a favorite). Microsoft's DirectX 6.1 takes advantage of
the SSE instructions and you should see at least a 25% speed improvement
in DirectX 6.1 games and applications. The graphics processing power
of the Pentium III is also used in Internet applications.
2. Probably the most publicized aspect of the chip is that each
CPU will have its own unique embedded security code. The purpose
of the security code is to allow merchants, and others with a need
for secure transactions, a more secure way way of verifying the originator
of a transaction. While privacy advocates think this is just another
ploy to steal someone's identity, most vendors see it as aid to business.
To meet people's concerns, computer manufacturers are turning off
the security ID at the BIOS level, requiring the consumer to activate
the ID in the BIOS setup program.
3. Some things are the same. In applications that did not use
the original Pentium III's new SSE instructions, there was little
difference in speed over the Pentium II - other than that provided
by the faster clock rate of the CPU. (In its original release, the
Pentium III had the same slower half-speed cache as the Pentium II.
Not until the "Coppermine" Pentium IIIs were released in
late October did the Pentium III have the faster, full speed, L2 cache.)
Pentium III Varieties
1. Plain Pentium III (450 - 600 MHz) - Fits in
a Slot 1 motherboard. If you have a newer Slot 1 motherboard that
can produce a CPU core voltage of 2.0 Volts, then you can probably
upgrade to the Pentium III (visit your motherboard manufacturer's
web site for upgrade instructions). This CPU has a 512KB L2 cache
(like the half-speed cache of the Pentium II).
2. Pentium III "B" - On September
27, 1999 Intel released 533 and 600 MHz Pentium IIIs to be used with
the 810E chipset and the 133 MHz front-side bus. These CPUs are now
being referred to as the 533B and 600B to differentiate them from
Pentium IIIs that use the 100 MHz front side bus. They are functionally
the same as earlier Pentium IIIs except that they use the 133 MHz
front side bus.
3. Pentium III "E"
(Coppermine) - On October 25, 1999 Intel Corporation introduced
15 new Pentium(R) III and Pentium(R) III Xeon(TM) processors, all
built using advanced Intel 0.18-micron process technology that enables
"faster processor speeds, new performance enhancing features
and lower power consumption". The new processors feature an Advanced
Transfer Cache that delivers a performance boost of up to 25 percent
when compared to earlier Pentium III processors running at the same
On December 20th, 1999 Intel released the 750 and 800 MHz Pentium
III E processors and on March 8th, 2000 Intel announced it was shipping
the 1 GHz Pentium III E processor in limited quantities. Soon thereafter,
the Pentium III 850 and 866 MHz processors were announced. On May
24th, 2000 Intel began shipping the 933 MHz Pentium III and on July
31, 2000, Intel announced the 1, 1.13, and 1.2 GHz processors.
In total, Pentium III "E" processors have
been produced at the following speeds: 1400, 1200, 1130, 1100, 1000,
933, 866, 850, 800, 750, 733, 700, 667, 650, 600, 550, 533 and 500
MHz. These processors are supported by a variety of chipsets including
the Intel 840 chipset, the Intel 820 chipset, Intel 810, 810E, and
815 integrated chipsets, and Intel 440BX chipset.
Note that the Pentium III at 1200 and 1400 MHz is made in the more
advanced 0.13 micron form factor and has a 512K L2 cache.
On Jan. 8, 2002, Intel Corporation introduced a 1.40 GHz version of
its Intel® Pentium® III server processor with 512 kilobytes of L2
cache. The processor, based on Intel's advanced 0.13-micron process
technology, is ideal for rack-mounted and pedestal front-end application
servers, and the emerging ultra-dense server market segment. It delivers
a balance of performance and power without sacrificing the reliability
and availability that servers require.
4. Pentium III Form Factors. Pentium III processors
at speeds of 500 to 933 MHz, in addition to being available
in S.E.P.P. Slot 1 cartridges, are also available in flip-chip
pin grid array, or FC-PGA package which fits into a PGA370 motherboard
socket. This package utilizes the same 370-pin zero insertion force
socket (PGA370) used by the Intel® Celeron™ processor. This advanced
flip-chip package technology results in a smaller processor package
that enables a new generation of smaller, sleek, high-performance
PCs, with improved ease of use.
Also, Intel continues to expand its low power and BGA (ball grid array)
CPU line which are mostly used in embedded applications and notebooks.
5. Pentium III Designations - To distinguish
between the different desktop Pentium III processors running at the
same speed, Intel has come up with additional letter designations.
E - Indicates a Coppermine Processor with the 256KB internal
L2 full-speed cache, and is based on the enhanced 0.18-micron manufacturing
process. B - indicates a processor designed for a fast, 133MHz
It is also possible to see the two letters combined together, for
example, the 600EB processor means that it is a new Coppermine processor
that uses the 133 MHz system bus, the 600B uses the 133 MHz bus but
isn't a Coppermine CPU, and the plain 600 MHz Pentium III uses the
100 MHz bus and is not a Coppermine CPU.
Intel's previous mainstream chip (fits in a Slot 1 motherboard).
Current versions of the CPU run at speeds of 233 MHz to 450 MHz and
have a 512KB half-speed cache. All Pentium IIs use Intel's MMX multimedia
Pentium IIs that have speeds of 233-300 MHz use the 66 MHz bus, while
Pentium IIs at speeds of 350-450 MHz take advantage of Intel's 100
MHz front side bus. The faster bus speed results in a 2-5% speed increase
depending on the software application over the 66 MHz bus.
Due to the introduction of the Pentium III, it is unlikely we will
see any new and faster Pentium IIs.
Next Intel Celeron Processors