Articles: CPU

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We can argue endlessly whether dual-core and quad-core processors are so badly needed these days. Objective analysis suggests that far not all contemporary applications support multi-threading, so the both arguing parties – the parallelism adherents as well as opponents – have indisputable arguments at their disposal. In the end, the need for CPUs with multiple computational cores should be determined in each particular case individually, basing on the actual application field for the computer system in question.

However, you should understand that if the clock frequencies of the single-core CPUs were twice as high as the clock frequencies of the dual-core CPUs, then there would be no hard choice to face. It is evident that in this case a single-core processor will be able to deliver at least the same performance level as its dual-core counterpart. However, the entire multi-core approach has actually emerged because it was no longer possible to increase the processor performance by simply raising the clock speed. So, there is no need to argue whether the future lies with multi-core processors: it is an evident fact. However, the CPU developers have been so enthusiastic about introducing their dual-core solutions into the market that they got down to forcing the logical evolutionary transition too hard. For example, Intel is saying that by the end of this year there will be only 5-10% of single-core processors left among the overall CPU shipments. And the saddest thing is that all these will be budget CPUs. So, high-end and mainstream system users can now only choose between dual-core and quad-core processors.

You can see Intel’s attitude to single-core solutions from the way they have been introducing Core micro-architecture. CPUs based on this micro-architecture have been shipping to the market for almost a year already, however there are no single-core processors based on it just yet. The first single-core solutions on new micro-architecture are due to come out only in June. These will be new Celeron 4XX processors. And although Intel was initially planning to also release mainstream single-core Core based processor family aka Pentium E1XXX, they have later transformed this idea into the promising Pentium E2XXX dual-core family.

So, it looks like Celeron 4XX is the last bastion of the single-core processors in Intel’s camp. So our today’s article will be devoted solely to these new processors, and has every chance to become a “single-core memorial” in the end. However, I decided to write this article not because “simplicity in everything” is my motto and I wanted to praise the advantages of single-core architecture. The thing is that I was lucky enough to get my hands on an engineering sample of the promising Celeron 4XX processor. And since Xbit Labs has been known for offering indepth previews of the new processor technologies, we just couldn’t leave this great opportunity unnoticed.

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