Pentium E2160 and Pentium E2140: Closer Look
The first question that comes to mind when we look at the new Pentium processors on Core micro-architecture is about the differences between them and their Core 2 Duo brothers. Especially since Core 2 Duo product line has CPUs with 1067MHz as well as 800MHz system bus, and with different L2 cache sizes of 4MB and 2MB. According to the product positioning, the new Pentium E2000 series should be cheaper and slower than the youngest Core 2 Duo CPUs, but feature the same micro-architecture and dual-core design.
“Worsening” the specs of the existing Core 2 Duo processors is not an original tactical approach of Intel marketing specialists. The key peculiarity of Intel Pentium E2000 processors is even smaller L2 cache of only 1MB. And of course, these processors are intended to work with 800MHz bus that has become one of the main attributes of an inexpensive computer system these days.
Today the Pentium E2000 processor family consists only of two models: Pentium E2160 and Pentium E2140 with 1.8GHz and 1.6GHz respective clock speeds. In other words, only the top model in the new family works at the same frequency as the youngest Core 2 Duo processors. The youngest model in the new family deserves the title of the lowest-frequency dual-core CPU.
I would like to stress that Intel doesn’t regard the launch of their Pentium E2000 processor family as a temporary measure. This family will keep evolving and by the end of August Intel is planning to add another model to it: Pentium E2180 with 2.0GHz frequency. And according to the global company roadmaps, the new Pentium processors should strengthen their positions in the lower market segment so significantly that their share in the overall processor shipments should reach 25% by the end of the year. In other words, Pentium E2000 should become even more popular than Celeron processors in the Budget segment.
As for the technical details about the new Pentium E2000 processors, Intel didn’t have to do any engineering work to launch these solutions. At this time they are based on the same L2 core stepping that we have already seen before in Core 2 Duo processors with 2MB L2 cache. So, Pentium E2000 is physically similar to Core 2 Duo E4000 series with half of L2 cache disabled.
Therefore, the detailed specification list of the new Pentium E2000 will not surprise you, I guess:
Enhanced Halt State (C1E) Technology
Enhanced Intel Speedstep
Execute Disable Bit
Intel Thermal Monitor 2
Intel Virtualization Technology
All specs except clock frequencies and L2 cache memory size are identical to those of Core 2 Duo processors on Allendale core with L2 stepping. Therefore, the new Pentium E2000 processors, unlike the budget Celeron, feature the complete set of Demand Based Switching technologies including Enhanced Intel Speedstep, although no Virtualization Technology support.
The CPU-Z utility produced an expected report for our Pentium E2160 and Pentium E2140 processors:
The screenshots are not the only thing proving that these processors feature L2 core stepping. The electronic components soldered to the bottom of the CPU chip also indicate the same.
The bottom side of Pentium E2000 is absolutely identical to that of Core 2 Duo E4000 processor series on Allendale core with L2 cache cut down in half.
So, the newcomers stand out only thanks to their marking.
Note that Pentium E2000 processors are marked as Pentium Dual-Core. At this time Intel is also offering a few mobile CPUs with similar characteristics under the same brand name, however, we will not dwell on them today.