Chapter I: What This Article Is About and Why We Decided to Write It
It has been known for a long time that there are three things a man can watch for ever and ever: running water, burning fire and working people :) While we don’t dare deny the first two statements, for the IT article readers the third “universal truth” can be transferred into the following: we can endlessly argue whether Pentium 4 is a “good” or a “bad” CPU.
It is true, there are very few processor architectures in the world, which have caused as much of a discussion, as NetBurst micro-architecture, which is represented by the Intel Pentium 4 processors. These are the CPUs everybody have heard of today. The arguments about the advantages and drawbacks of this micro-architecture are still in full swing nowadays for multiple reasons: the architecture was revealed at a difficult moment for Intel, for the first time the performance of mass processors depended a lot on the optimizations for each specific architecture, the end-users appeared direct participants of the “megahertz race” for the first time also. And later on this race resulted into the decision to completely give up the frequency as a universal and adequate performance index.
All these factors have definitely affected the arguments. We in our turn also got carried away by the flow of these discussions: each of us has written at least one 1-mile long post in the forums, trying to prove his point. But the great variety of diverse opinions indicated evidently that not everything is smooth and clear in the description of the new micro-architecture. So, all of us decided to put an end to this endless argument and find out what the Intel Pentium 4 processor actually is.
Now let me introduce the team of people hidden behind this mysterious “we”. Maybe some of you will recall the articles devoted to AMD Athlon 64 (Opteron) processor micro-architecture, which were written by the same team of people we would like to once again introduce to you today. Please meet (in alphabetical order):
- Ilya Gavrichenkov aka Gavric
- Jan Keruchenko aka C@t
- Vadim Levchenko aka VLev
- Andrey Lykov aka ISA_user
- Igor Pavlov aka lkj
- Sergey Romanov aka GReY
- Ilya Vaitsman aka Stranger_NN
- Malich Yury aka Yury_Malich
- Sergey Zagursky aka McZag
This way, the entire discussion promised to be (and finally turned out) really exciting. And the results of this discussion have been summed up for you by the “dedicated typist” Victor Kartunov aka matik. This is the easiest way of all to make him do something for the best of the human kind :)
I would only like to add now that while we were working on the materials for this article we once again were very sincerely amazed at the sophisticated imagination of the engineers and developers. So, Welcome into Intel Pentium 4!