Articles: CPU

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However, a global change of the strategy like that will take some time and require certain preparative work to be done, therefore you don’t see that many new CPUs from Intel in the market today. At the same time, the company has to compete with AMD somehow that is why temporary transitional solutions are needed. This year we witnessed the arrival of the dual-core Intel Pentium D CPUs on the Smithfield core built from two dies with NetBurst architecture. These CPUs were Intel’s response to AMD’s dual-core Athlon 64 X2, which won high scores from the review sites as well as from the regular users very quickly. Frankly speaking, we wouldn’t call Smithfield CPUs a successful solution. They inherited all the major drawbacks of the NetBurst based processors, such as high heat dissipation and power consumption, which forced Intel to even drop their clock speeds down to 3.2GHz and lower. As a result, they ran slower than the Athlon 64 X2 competitors, but were still better than nothing.

So, Intel stopped investing time and effort into further development of the NetBurst architecture, but hadn’t yet completely given up the CPUs based on it, at least not until a worthy alternative is ready to go. Therefore, in early 2006 we will see some changes in the situation with the Pentium 4 and Pentium D CPUs. It will have a lot to do with the introduction of the finer 65nm production technology. In other words, in the beginning of 2006 we will see new Pentium 4 and Pentium D processors based on the new semiconductor dies manufactured with new technology process. Note that the new processors, also known as Cedar Mill and Presler, will not enrich the corresponding processor families with any new features. Sine Intel gave up further NetBurst architecture development, it would be strange to expect any innovations from them at this point. In other words, Cedar Mill and Presler are none other but the same Prescott dies but of smaller physical size thanks to finer production technology.

Cedar Mill core

So, there is actually nothing dramatically new about the upcoming Pentium D and Pentium 4, except for the 65nm production technology. This is primarily true for the Pentium 4 Cedar Mill core, as it will not differ from Prescott at all, except for the electrical and thermal parameters. As far as Presler is concerned, these processors will be slightly different from Smithfield from the architectural standpoint. Moreover, the new production technology will allow Intel to slightly speed up the dual-core CPUs due to higher clock frequencies they will support. Therefore, Presler is going to be the main hero of our today’s article.

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