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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

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Desktop CPU Guide

Page 6 of 11

Intel Pentium Xeon CPUs

Xeon MP Processor
Pentium 4 Xeons
Large Cache 900 MHz Xeon
Pentium III E Xeons and the i840 Chipset
Pentium III Xeon
Pentium II Xeon
Additional Intel Chipsets

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 RISC-based systems."

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 less cabling.

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 MHz model.
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 own motherboards.

 

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)
Intel PII Xeon

Intel Chipsets

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 motherboard.

 

Intel 440BX Chipset
- Features 100 MHz side bus, 2X AGP, and PC100 SDRAM. (Photo Courtesy Intel Corp.)
Intel 440 BX AGP Chipset

 

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 capabilities.
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 solutions.
<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 capabilities.
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 solutions.

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 a computer.
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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