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In particular, Intel processors will form three series: 7XX, 5XX and 3XX. Like in case of BMW car marking, 7XX series will be positioned as high-end most expensive solutions for enthusiast users, 5XX will be a mainstream price range, while 3XX will be targeted for the budget segment.

So far the new marking has been applied only to the relatively new processors. The older CPUs based on 0.13micron cores (such as the LGA775 modification of Pentium 4 XE) will continue with the frequency marking until their last day. It is also very interesting that the processor number will also be used only for Mobile and desktop processors. Server processors from the Xeon and Itanium families will still be marked with their clock frequencies, because Intel considers the people working with server and workstation equipment to be experienced enough and not to need any “simpler” CPU marking scheme.

Despite the fact that the new processors will be marked with the so-called “processor number”, it doesn’t at all imply that they will disregard all objective issues that have been taken into account for the older marking. In other words, besides the processor rating number there will also be its frequency, FSB frequency, cache memory size, etc. However, the rating-type of marking will certainly be the No.1 priority. The table below contains the meanings of the Intel’s processor numbers assigned to the already released and upcoming desktop processors.

Brand

Processor number

Core

Clock frequency

FSB frequency

Cache-memory

Intel Technologies

Pentium 4

720

Prescott

3.73 GHz

1066 MHz

2 MB L2

HT

580

Prescott

4.0 GHz

800 MHz

1 MB L2

HT

570

Prescott

3.8 GHz

800 MHz

1 MB L2

HT

560

Prescott

3.6 GHz

800 MHz

1 MB L2

HT

550

Prescott

3.4 GHz

800 MHz

1 MB L2

HT

540

Prescott

3.2 GHz

800 MHz

1 MB L2

HT

530

Prescott

3.0 GHz

800 MHz

1 MB L2

HT

520

Prescott

2.8 GHz

800 MHz

1 MB L2

HT

Celeron D

350

Prescott-256

3.2 GHz

533 MHz

256 KB L2

 

345

Prescott-256

3.06 GHz

533 MHz

256 KB L2

 

340

Prescott-256

2.93 GHz

533 MHz

256 KB L2

 

335

Prescott-256

2.8 GHz

533 MHz

256 KB L2

 

330

Prescott-256

2.66 GHz

533 MHz

256 KB L2

 

325

Prescott-256

2.53 GHz

533 MHz

256 KB L2

 

When you look at the processor numbers and corresponding parameters descriptions, you can see that the new marking can be comparable only within each particular CPU family. It doesn’t make any sense to compare the processors with the same numbers but belonging to different processor families. That is why the CPU will be marked with the brand name and number after it, for instance: Pentium 4 530, or Celeron 335. At the same time if the two CPUs of one family are marked with two different numbers, the one with the bigger number is always better than the one with the smaller number in terms of one or more parameters. However, you shouldn’t base your buying decision on the marking only. Higher rating doesn’t at all mean that the considered CPU would be preferable for any type of tasks.

Note that Intel’s decision to shift to the processor rating marking has been in the air for a long time already. Therefore, today this measure looks pretty logical, I should say. Moreover, we appear to be unwitting accomplices of the fact that CPU clock frequency is no longer the most important thing. The CPU makers use all sorts of other tricks to speed up their babies and to enrich their functionality. You could have noticed that the working frequencies of both: Intel and AMD processors didn’t grow up that greatly during the past year or so. However, it doesn’t at all mean that the systems performance remained on the same level too. The matter is that CPU makers resorted to all sorts of different tricks to increase the performance of their solutions: they increased the FSB frequency, added more cache memory, introduced different technologies like 64bit extensions or Hyper-Threading. Later one this extensive development will continue anew. For example, we should soon see first dual-core processors composed of two processor dies hidden in one and the same package. You should also keep in mind that NetBurst architecture will last for a limited period of time. Next year Intel is going to adapt Pentium M architecture for desktop needs. It will inevitably cause a great reduction of the CPU clock frequencies, and by that time the users should already know very well that frequency is a technical parameter, which is indirectly connected with the actual CPU performance.

 
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