Articles: CPU

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Intel Pentium

Unlike AMD, Intel has long introduced 45nm production process for almost all their CPUs. The only exception here are probably the only budget Celeron processors. As for the Pentium processors that we are primarily interested in today, all members of this CPU family with E5000 model numbers are based on 45nm Wolfdale-2M core that is created from fully-functional Wolfdale core used in Core 2 Duo CPUs by disabling part of its cache-memory.

As a result, dual-core processors that will compete against Athlon X2 family (at least in terms of pricing) feature 2MB of L2 cache memory, which is only one-third of what fully-functional Wolfdale processors have. However, this is far not the only parameter that has become worse when they turned Core 2 Duo into a three times cheaper processor. E5000 Pentium series use slower 800MHz FSB and work at lower clock frequencies than Core 2 Duo.

As a result, the main specifications of Pentium E5400 CPU that tops the E5000 series look as follows on the screenshot from the diagnostic CPU-Z utility:

Speaking of Pentium processor family we would like to stress two peculiarities that most buyers often forget about. First, unlike all other LGA775 45nm Core cores, the CPUs from this model lineup do not support SSE4.1 instructions. I would like to remind you that this set consists of 47 instructions and is used by several contemporary video codecs. However, you shouldn’t be too upset about it, at least since Athlon X2 also doesn’t support these instructions.

The second and more serious drawback of Pentium processors is the absence of virtualization technology support. Although it used not to matter that much for home users before, now things may change to completely the opposite. The thing is that the upcoming Windows 7 operating system will use virtualization technology for Windows XP emulation mode. Since the CPU doesn’t support this technology, it would be impossible to launch a virtual machine with an outdated but yet very widely spread operating system in the new OS.

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