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Desktop CPU Guide
Page 6 of 11
Intel Pentium Xeon CPUs
Xeon MP Processor
March 12, 2002 - At CeBIT 2002, Intel Corporation pushed
the performance of mid-tier and back-end servers to new levels with
the introduction of the Intel® Xeon processor MP at 1.4,
1.5 and 1.6 gigahertz (GHz). The new products are expected to boost
performance by more than 30 percent versus existing multi-processing
systems using the Pentium® III Xeon processor depending
on applications and configurations.
The Intel Xeon processor MP adds an additional level
of one megabyte (MB) or 512 kilobyte (KB) Level 3 cache onto the chip,
and brings Hyper-Threading Technology and the Intel® NetBurst
microarchitecture to the mid-tier and back-end server market segments.
Today's introduction follows the February launch of the Intel Xeon
processors for dual-processing servers and workstations.
"Adding a number of performance-boosting features,
such as three levels of integrated cache will advance the capabilities
of Intel-based, multi-processing servers," said Mike Fister,
senior vice president and general manager of the Intel Enterprise
Platforms Group. "We expect that platforms based on the new Intel
Xeon processor MP will widen the performance lead over proprietary
The new processors extend Intel's performance leadership
as servers utilizing the Pentium III Xeon processor currently hold
the top positions in all transaction processing performance benchmarks
in the world as measured by the Transaction Processing Council. Intel's
Xeon processors power virtually all facets of enterprise computing,
from front-end servers to mid-tier and back-end systems.
New Multi-processing Capabilities
The Intel Xeon processor MP brings a wealth of new
capabilities to enterprise and e-Business servers. These multi-processing
systems add more performance when scaling from two to four processors,
enabling increased headroom for unpredictable workloads and expanding
business needs. Multi-processor systems also enable a simplified environment
and lower costs through reduced administration and footprint, and
The Intel Xeon processor MP also implements a unique
cache architecture specifically designed for the Intel NetBurst microarchitecture.
The new structure offers three levels of integrated cache, including
a 1 MB Level 3 cache in addition to the 256 KB Level 2 cache and eight
KB Level 1 cache. This allows the processor to access frequently used
data even more quickly than before, improving overall system performance,
back-end application performance and decreasing the response time
on many database and customer management applications.
Intel's announcement completes the adoption of Hyper-Threading
Technology for Intel's entire Intel Xeon processor family. This innovation
allows an operating system to view a single physical processor as
if it were two logical processors, significantly increasing server
response time, transactions and workload performance.
Pentium 4 Xeons
On Sept. 25, 2001 Intel Corporation introduced the world's
fastest processor for dual processor, high-performance workstations.
The 2 Gigahertz Intel® Xeon processor, based on the NetBurst
microarchitecture, targets high-performance and mid-range workstation
market segments and is expected to achieve performance increases of
more than 10 percent over existing Intel Xeon processors.
The Intel NetBurst Microarchitecture and Intel 860 Chipset
Intel's Xeon processor family is specially designed
to meet the scalability, availability and manageability needs of the
high-performance workstation market segment. Workstations based on
Intel's new Xeon processors use the Intel NetBurst microarchitecture
to deliver processing power for video, audio, 3-D graphics and the
latest Internet technologies.
The Intel Xeon processor platform is based on the high-performance
Intel® 860 Chipset. This chipset features dual RDRAM memory banks
to complement the Intel Xeon's 400 MHz system bus, which provides
up to 3.2 gigabytes of data per second.
Large Cache 900 MHz Xeon.
On March 21, 2001 Intel Corporation announced it had begun shipments
of its 900 MHz large cache Pentium® III Xeon™ processors.
Featuring 2 Megabytes (MB) of "on-die" level-two (L2) cache, the processors
deliver new levels of performance for high-end, Intel-based server
platforms based on 4 and 8-way multiprocessing systems.
More than a dozen server manufacturers worldwide, including Compaq,
Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, Hewlett Packard, IBM, NEC, and Unisys, are
expected to start shipping platforms using the new processor in the
first half of 2001.
Depending on applications and configurations, the processor's increased
frequency speed combined with its unique cache design boosts overall
system performance up to 20 percent when compared to existing Intel-based
large cache platforms.
Servers, featuring the 700 MHz Pentium III Xeon processors, currently
lead the world in raw performance verses systems based on other proprietary
architectures. These systems hold the top four positions in transaction
processing performance in the world as measured by the Transaction
Processing Performance Council, benchmark C (TPC-C).
Intel's high-end Xeon processor family is specially designed to meet
the scalability, availability and manageability needs of the server
market segment. The 100 MHz system bus, faster clock speeds and larger
cache configurations provide headroom for computation and I/O-intensive
workloads. The 2 MB Advanced Transfer Cache memory with Advanced System
Buffering increases the width of the data pathway to the processors
and reduces cache latencies.
The processors are built using the SC330 cartridge, which enables
server manufacturers to use existing server platform components for
a faster time to market. On-cartridge voltage management and manageability
features provide increased system reliability along with remote monitoring
and system diagnostic capabilities.
Pentium III E Xeons and
the i840 Chipset. (1GHz, 933 MHz, 866 MHz, 800 MHz, 733 MHz, 667
MHz, and 600 MHz).
On October 25, 1999 Intel announced new Coppermine Pentium III E Xeons
at 600, 667, and 733 MHz for 2-way workstations and servers. Workstations
based on these processors and the new Intel 840 Chipset offer enhanced
systems features and capabilities including the 133 MHz system bus,
64-bit PCI support, graphics support for AGP 2x/4x, and dual Direct
RDRAM memory channels with up to 2 GB of memory support. Volume prices
range from $826 for the 733 MHz Pentium III Xeon to $505 for the 600
On 12 January, Intel released the 800 MHz Pentium III Xeon with 256KB
of Advanced Transfer Cache memory with Advanced System Buffering,
which boost performance by placing a full-speed level-two cache memory
directly on the processor die and increasing the width of the data
pathway to the processor. The Pentium III Xeon processor at 800 MHz
is available now in SECC2 packaging.
On May 22, 2000 Intel announced the 700 MHz Pentium III E Xeon with
1 and 2 MB of L2 cache for 4 and 8 way multiprocessing. And on August
22, 2000, Intel announced that the Pentium III Xeon would be released
at speeds up to 1 GHz.
Pentium III Xeon
- (500 and 550 MHz). - Released on 17 March, the new CPU fits in existing
Slot 2 motherboards. The CPU was initially shipped at a speed of 500
MHz with L2 cache (running at a speed of 500 MHz) in sizes of 512KB,
1MB, or 2MB. A 550 MHz processor with 512KB of L2 cache (running at
a speed of 500 MHz) was released on April 7.
Intel released three new 550 MHz Pentium III Xeon CPUs on 23 August.
Cache speed was increased up to 550 MHz, and 550 MHz CPUs are shipping
with L2 cache sizes of 512KB, 1 MB, and 2 MB.
What's New? The new processor incorporates Intel's
Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE) for improved multimedia performance
and it also incorporates the processor ID feature. In addition, several
manageability features have been added including a thermal sensor,
error checking and correction (ECC) of the data signals for all L2
cache bus and system bus transactions, and a Processor Information
ROM (P.I. ROM) containing information about the specific processor
in which it resides <used for identifying the manufactured speed
of the CPU among other things>.
Profusion 8-way chipset - On August 23, 2000
Intel officially released its Profusion chipset which allows up to
8 Pentium III Xeons to be used on one motherboard. Per Intel, "8-way
Profusion architecture-based servers feature a pair of processor mezzanine
boards, with four Pentium III Xeon processors per board. There is
also a cache coherency board and an I/O carrier that provides 4 PB64
PCI bridges and as many as 10 Hot Plug 64-bit PCI slots. A mid-plane
board provides board and power connections, while one or two memory
carriers provide room for a total of 32 PC100 DIMMs (16 per board),
supporting 128MB to 32GB of RAM."
The 550 MHz Xeons are designed to be used with this chipset.
Intel 8 way server motherboard "bug" discovered.
A "bug" was discovered which manifests itself in the Pentium
III Xeon 550 MHz processor when communicating with an Intel "Saber"
motherboard. Compaq's ProLiant 8000 and ProLiant 8500 servers are
unaffected by the Intel "bug", as Compaq manufacturers its
Pentium II Xeon. The Pentium
II Xeon (fits in a Slot 2 motherboard) was developed by Intel to replace
the Pentium Pro. The chip is designed to be multitasked (2 or more used
on the same motherboard). The Xeon is very similar to the standard Pentium
II except that its L2 cache runs at full processor speed vs. the half-speed
L2 cache in the Pentium II. The faster cache is supposed to give 10-15%
performance improvement when the processor is heavily tasked.
Intel introduced two new motherboard chipsets for the
Xeon processor, the 440 GX for the workstation environment, and the
450 NX for the server environment. Intel has currently released five
versions of the Xeon chip; 400MHz with 512K or 1MB L2 cache, and 450
MHz with 512K, 1MB or 2MB L2 cache. Manufacturing improvements allowed
the 450 NX chipset to allow for 4 Xeons to be used in one system.
|Intel Pentium II Xeon
(Photo Courtesy of Intel Corporation)
Celeron Chipsets - Intel made three Celeron specific chipsets
(the chipset determines the kind and amount of usable RAM, AGP port
speed, bus speeds, type of CPU, etc.) prior to release of the Whitney
chipset in June 1999: the older EX (AGP support), 440ZX66 (new, but
very similar to the EX), and the 440ZX (important because it enables
the 100 MHz front side bus with the Celeron).
BX Chipset - The previous "ruling" desktop chipset.
Its features include the 100 MHz front-side bus, 2X AGP, and PC100
SDRAM. The chipset supports Celerons, Pentium IIs, and Pentium IIIs.
Apparently, it will even run the new Coppermine Pentium IIIs. If you
want to run PC133 or PC100 DRAM with a Pentium III then get a BX chipset
|Intel 440BX Chipset
- Features 100 MHz side bus, 2X AGP, and PC100 SDRAM. (Photo
Courtesy Intel Corp.)
Whitney (810) chipset Intel released its Whitney
(810) chipset with integrated graphics in June, however, several "bugs"
in the chipset (since corrected) made its availability limited. This
Celeron chipset integrates an Intel i752 graphics chip (see 810E discussion
next paragraph), and also supports software-based audio, DVD, and modem
technologies. Also, the Whitney chipset will not support the 100 MHz
front side bus nor will it support ISA add-in cards (PCI only). The
user/manufacturer will be able to add 4 MB of graphics memory to increase
graphics speed an estimated 30%.
810 E - The Intel 810E chipset was released on
27 September. It offers low-cost PCs a 66, 100, or 133-MHz front side
bus. Both the 810 and 810E chipsets have integrated video via a derivative
of the i752, Intel's next-generation Portola graphics core. The i752
features 2D/3D processing and has a 250 MHz RAMDAC. It is supposedly
twice as fast as the i740 in 3D and has a peak speed of 300 triangles
per second. Unlike the Whitney 810, the 810E is designed to be used
with Celerons or Pentium IIIs.
The Intel 810E Chipset uses PC100 SDRAM for main memory, up to 512 MB,
and supports ATA 66 hard drives. Unlike the Whitney chipset, the 810E
has no separate graphics memory for its integrated graphics controller.
Rather, it has a Graphics/Memory Controller Hub that is used to supply
memory for the system and the graphics adapter. Another feature of the
Graphics/Memory Controller Hub is a random number generator which enables
stronger encryption, digital signing and security protocols.
<While the Whitney chipset (and the 810E) will cut costs for system
vendors, it will cost the consumer in the long run. The video chip cannot
be removed and sold or put in another computer when upgrading. There
has also been speculation that some vendors might eliminate the video
slot entirely to reduce costs and motherboard size.>
Intel Introduces New Intel 815 and Intel 815E Chipsets;
Support PC133 SDRAM Memory. Intel Corporation today introduced two
new chipsets for Intel(R) Pentium(R) III processor-based PCs targeted
at the mainstream desktop market segment.
The Intel(R) 815 and Intel(R) 815E Chipsets, based on Intel's revolutionary
Hub Architecture, provide integrated graphics functionality with the
ability to upgrade via an external graphics card for either AGP 4x or
AGP 2x graphics capabilities. Both chipsets also feature support for
PC133 and PC100 SDRAM memory.
Additionally, like the recently announced Intel(R) 820E Chipset, the
Intel 815E Chipset features a new I/O Controller Hub (ICH2) for greater
system performance and flexibility. The ICH2 provides an additional
Universal Serial Bus (USB) controller, a Local Area Network (LAN) Connect
Interface, dual Ultra ATA/100 controllers and up to six-channel audio
With two USB controllers, the ICH2 offers 24 Mbps of bandwidth across
four ports, supporting Intel's push for a true "Ease of Use PC." Feature
integration also includes dual Ultra ATA/100 controllers to support
the fastest integrated device electronics (IDE) transfer rates available
and added performance using Intel's storage driver. The ICH2 has an
enhanced AC'97 interface supporting full surround-sound for Dolby(a)
Digital audio found on DVD and simultaneously supports a soft modem
connection. To meet the networking needs for e-home or e-Business, the
ICH2 has a LAN Connect Interface (LCI) supporting multiple network connectivity
<Editor's note: Newer BX motherboards that have a 133 MHz front side
bus setting are capable of running Coppermine Pentium IIIs with PC133
SDRAM. Remember that the BX chipset does not support ATA 66 hard drive
speeds or 4X AGP. Intel's Camino 820 chipset has these features but
only uses Rambus DRAM>
The Camino (820) chipset was released on November
15th. The Camino chipset was to be released around 25 September, however,
a "memory bit error" was found in the Rambus management portion
of the chipset. It supports 100 and 133 MHz front side bus speeds. This
chipset also support ATA 66 hard drives, Rambus DRAM, and 4X AGP video.
<Apparently there also was a problem with this chipset running SDRAM.
Intel is supposedly redesigning this chipset to support SDRAM.>
Direct RDRAM memory provides the memory bandwidth necessary to obtain
optimal performance from the fastest Intel Pentium III processors, delivering
1.6 GB/sec of maximum theoretical memory bandwidth -- twice the peak
memory bandwidth of 100 MHz SDRAM systems. Additionally, when used in
conjunction with the Intel Pentium III processor and Direct RDRAM memory,
AGP 4x technology delivers the next level of 3-D graphics performance
by allowing graphics controllers to access main memory at more than
1 GB/sec -- twice that of previous AGP platforms.
The Intel 820 Chipset delivers Intel(R) Accelerated Hub Architecture
that is offered in all Intel 800 series chipsets. This revolutionary
chipset architecture provides twice the bandwidth of the PCI bus at
266 MB/sec and consists of a Memory Controller Hub, an I/O Controller
Hub and a Firmware Hub.
The Memory Controller Hub provides a high-performance interface for
the central processing unit, memory and the accelerated graphics port
and supports single or dual processors with up to 1 GB of memory. The
I/O Controller Hub forms a direct connection from the Memory Controller
Hub to the integrated AC97 controller, the ATA66 drive controller, dual
USB ports and PCI add-in cards.
The I/O Controller Hub also includes an Alert on LAN(1) feature that
allows a non-booting system to send a status update to the network administrator
even when the microprocessor is not present. The Firmware Hub stores
system and video BIOS and features the Intel(R) Random Number Generator.
Intel's Random Number Generator provides hardware that generates truly
random numbers through the use of thermal noise to enable stronger encryption,
digital signing and security protocols.
820E Chipset for Intel Pentium III Processor-based
Performance PCs. On June 6, 2000 Intel Corporation introduced a
chipset for Intel(R) Pentium(R) III processor-based PCs targeted at
the performance desktop market segment.
The Intel(R) 820E Chipset features a new I/O Controller Hub (ICH2) for
greater system performance and flexibility. The Intel 820E Chipset uses
the same RDRAM Memory Controller Hub (MCH) found on the original Intel(R)
820 Chipset introduced in November, and the ICH2 provides an additional
Universal Serial Bus controller, a Local Area Network (LAN) Connect
Interface, dual Ultra ATA/100 controllers and up to six-channel audio
With two USB controllers, the ICH2 offers 24 Mbps of bandwidth across
four ports, supporting Intel's push for Ease of Use of the PC.
Feature integration also includes dual Ultra ATA/100 controllers to
support the fastest integrated device electronics (IDE) transfer rates
available and added performance using Intel's storage driver.
To meet the needs for e-home use, the ICH2 has an enhanced AC'97 interface
supporting full surround-sound for Dolby(a) Digital audio found on DVD
and simultaneously supports a soft modem connection.
To meet the networking needs for e-home or e-Business, the ICH2 has
a LAN Connect Interface (LCI) supporting multiple network connectivity
i840 Chipset - A server/workstation chipset which
supports the 133 MHz system bus, 64-bit PCI, AGP 2x/4x, and dual Direct
RDRAM memory channels with up to 2 GB of memory. Motherboards using
this chipset are pricey and out of the typical consumer's spending range.
810E2 - The Intel 810E2 Chipset brings new Intel
technology innovations to value PCs, including an advanced I/O controller,
support for ATA-100 Ultra DMA hard drives, and new USB controllers to
support four "plug-and-play" ports for system attachments and other
consumer items. Chipsets serve to intelligently route information within
Intel also announced two new desktop boards for OEMs that support the
Intel 810E2 Chipset, the microATX D810E2CA3 and FlexATX Intel Desktop
Board D810E2CB. The boards support both Pentium(R) III and Celeron processors,
and systems based on the products are expected later in Q1'01.
Enhanced Intel® 850E chipset and the new Intel
845GE, 845PE and 845GV chipsets. All of these chipsets will support
Intel's groundbreaking Hyper-Threading (HT) Technology**, which enables
software programs to run as though there are two processors available
with only one processor physically in place. HT Technology will be introduced
later this year on desktop PCs with the Intel Pentium® 4 processor
at 3.06 GHz.
"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.
Other Intel Chipsets - Are discussed in different
parts of this article.
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