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Conclusion

In this article we discussed the major features and characteristics of the new Pentium 4 core also known under the Prescott codename. Although this core is based on Intel’s NetBurst architecture, we still see a lot of changes compared with Prescott’s predecessor, Northwood. The detailed analysis of these changes and improvements showed that all of them were first of all aimed at increasing the clock frequency potential of the Pentium 4 processor family. According to the available information, Prescott should be able to grow as high as 4.5GHz.

Although there are a lot of innovations introduced in the Prescott core, which should theoretically increase the performance of the new CPU, such as larger L1 data cache and L2 cache, the processors on this core are very unlikely to make a significant breakthrough in processor performance compared with the previous processors on NetBurst architecture. The thing is that they provided Prescott with a 1.5 times longer execution pipeline in order to increase the clock frequency potential. That is why all the innovations improving the processor performance now serve to make up for the negative influence of the longer execution pipeline. Besides, the increased cache-memory size caused a significant growth of the latencies of both caches, which can also slow down the processor in certain tasks.

Among the positive changes introduced to the new Prescott core, we should definitely mention improved branch prediction unit, improved data prefetcher and faster processing of some integer operations. Moreover, the 13 new instructions should also contribute to easy programming and more optimized work of the software developed for Prescott.

In conclusion I would only like to add that the greatest consumer drawback of the new Prescott core, which has nothing to do with its architecture, is a significantly higher heat dissipation compared with the previous solutions. It will push the mainboard makers to developing new platforms for this CPU and new cooling solutions for Prescott based processors faster than 3.4GHz.

Here I would like to end our introduction to Prescott architecture. In a little while we will continue our investigation of the new core peculiarities. And now I would like to invite our readers to check out the next article devoted to the actual performance of the new and older solutions from Intel and AMD in a great lot of various applications.

 
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