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Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840

Today we are going to introduce to you the first dual-core Intel processor belonging to the high-end category: Pentium Extreme Edition 840. Unlike the Pentium D processor family, the Extreme Edition solution has already been announced officially and such companied as Alienware, Dell and Velocity Micro already offer systems built on it. As for the mainstream dual-core Pentium D CPUs, they will be announced on May 26, and we will devote an individual article to them on that day.

Speaking about Pentium Extreme Edition 840, we would like to list its formal specifications first:

Pentium Extreme Edition 840

Frequency

3.20 GHz

Package

775-pin PLGA

Vcore

1.25V-1.388V

Bus frequency

800 MHz

Typical heat dissipation

130W

Core stepping

A0

Max. typical package temperature

69.8°C

L2 cache size

1MB + 1MB

Production technology

90 nm

Hyper-Threading Technology

Yes

Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology (EM64T)

Yes

Execute Disable Bit Feature (NX)

Yes

Pentium Extreme Edition 840 looks just like its single-core counterparts:

CPU-Z diagnostic utility reports the following about Pentium Extreme Edition 840:

I would like to say a few words about the compatibility of Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840 with the mainboards. As Intel promised, this CPU will work only in a few mainboards, which are still pretty rare nowadays based on NVIDIA nForce4 SLI (Intel Edition) and Intel 955X. However, our experience shows that Pentium Extreme Edition 840 not only refuses to work in the mainboards based on older chipsets, but also may not start in a few mainboards on the two above listed chipsets because of the BIOS issues or electrical layout incompatibility. For example, the MSI P4N Diamond mainboard on NVIDIA nForce4 SLI (Intel Edition) proved completely unable to work with the new dual-core Intel processor. However, ASUS P5ND2-SLI Deluxe didn’t reveal any issues when working with this CPU, so we decided to use this particular mainboard for our testing session this time.

When you assemble a system for the Pentium Extreme Edition 840, you should pay special attention to the power requirements. Of course, the mainboard should have a quality CPU voltage regulator, however, the system should also be equipped with a powerful PSU, because Smithfield based processors consumer significantly more power than the regular CPUs.

In fact, the data we obtained when measuring the processor power consumption under high workload with the help of a special S&M 1.6.0 utility are given on the diagram below:

As you can see, Pentium Extreme Edition 840 is the “winner” in terms of the amount of consumed power. The funny thing is that this CPU is even more power-hungry than the tope Athlon 64 X2: the difference is almost twofold (86%, to be more exact). Remember that at the same time the working frequency of the new Pentium Extreme Edition 840 processor is reduced to 3.2GHz, while Athlon 64 X2 4800+ works at 2.4GHz, just like all the top Athlon 64 processor models.

 
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