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New Pentium 4 6XX and Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.73GHz CPUs

Well, today, on February 20, 2005 Intel officially announced new Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.73GHz processor and Pentium 4 6XX series processors. All these CPUs are based on one and the same processor core aka Prescott 2M, which major distinguishing feature is larger L2 cache memory of 2MB. All the other specs of this core including the 90nm strained silicon production technology are similar to those of the predecessor, Prescott, which has been used in the Pentium 4 5XX processors for a long time now.

You can even see how similar the two cores are from the side-by-side pictures of Prescott and Prescott 2M:


Prescott 2M

Pentium 4 6XX processor family includes a few models today working at frequencies ranging from 3.0GHz to 3.6GHz. All these CPUs, just like their predecessors, use 800MHz Quad Pumped Bus. The slowest model is marked as 630, the 3.2GHz model – as 640, the 3.4GHz model – as 650, and the 3.6GHz model – as 660. I have to note that the frequency of the top processor from the 600-family, that of Pentium 4 660, is smaller than the frequency of the top Pentium 4 processor on the regular Prescott core, Pentium 4 570, which works at 3.8GHz. However, Pentium 4 6XX still boasts a number of advantages compared to its younger brothers.

First of all, Pentium 4 6XX processor family support Enhanced Memory 64 Technology (EM64T) – 64-bit extensions of x86 architecture, which are analogous to AMD64 extensions. Due to this fact all Pentium 4 6XX processors are compatible with Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, which we have already discussed in detail in our earlier article called Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Preview: AMD64 and Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology. The compatibility with this OS provided Pentium 4 6XX processors with the whole number of advantages, which we so far have seen only by AMD Athlon 64 CPUs. Among those I would first of all like to point out simultaneous compliance with 32-bit and 64-bit applications and support of over 4GB of RAM.

The second advantage of the new Pentium 4 6XX processors is the support of Enhanced Intel SpeedStep technology (EIST). This technology is fully identical to a mechanism implemented in Intel mobile processors, which now allows Pentium 4 6XX processors to reduce their clock frequency when no high performance is required. This technology allows to significantly reduce the heat dissipation and power consumption during work.

Moreover, all Pentium 4 6XX processors support Execute Disable Bit technology (XD bit), which was first introduced in Pentium 4 5XXJ when Intel released their 3.8GHz model marked as 570J.

This way, even though Pentium 4 6XX processors work at lower clock frequencies than the predecessors, they are still much more functional than their predecessors, Pentium 4 5XX CPU.

I would also like to remind you that Intel decided to give up the release of Prescott based processors with the clock frequencies of 4GHz and up. This is also true for the CPUs based on the Prescott 2M core. In other words, Pentium 4 570 working at 3.8GHz will remain the top model in the Pentium 4 5XX family based on Prescott core. As far as the Pentium 4 6XX processor family is concerned, the top model as of today is the CPU marked as 660 and working at 3.6GHz core clock.

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