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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

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Desktop CPU Guide

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Intel Pentium III and Pentium II

Pentium III
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 III
(Photo Courtesy Intel Corporation)

Intel Pentium PIII

The Pentium III fits in a Slot 1 or a Flip Chip (FC-PGA) 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 original Pentium III (visit your motherboard manufacturer's web site for upgrade instructions).

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 clock speed.

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 system bus.
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.

Pentium II

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 instruction set.
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.


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