Pentium processors have been a major component in all PCs with the exception of AMD chips, (which is the topic for anther article), since we were able to move from the 486X Chips into the Pentium or 586 chips. We have been in this large family of processors for nearly
seven years now, starting with the Pentium 60 chips on up to/and including Pentium 4D, running at up to 130watts; Xeons up to 165watts; the hottest running chip we have seen to date.
Those of you who have read my missives in the past know I try to keep this plain spoken. So, what is the big difference? Intel kept using the same architecture in the Pentium 4 series while adding more and more transistors to increase the processor speed and add additional L1 and L2 cache, which does one thing... creates HEAT!!! So, we add bigger and bigger CPU coolers, even oil filled monsters. For sometime, my client machine ran a Pentium4D 3ghz chip. Cooling that beast down to around 105 degrees
Fahrenheit involved a Thermaltake i2 copper base cooling fan. It is hard
to believe that now my client runs a Core2 quad core (q9650) 3.0ghz em64t w/12mb cache with a front side bus of
1333mhz. I boosted my system ram from 4Gs at 667mhz up to 8Gs at 1333mhz.
The speed increase is fantastic and the processor now runs at just below
98 degrees Fahrenheit using the same cooling fan.
But, we need to finish out this article by defining the Pentium processors, so
you have a reference if you actually want one. Here goes...
Definition(s) of: Pentium
A family of 32-bit CPU chips from Intel. The term may refer to the chip or to a
PC that uses it. Pentium chips have been the most widely used in the world for
computing. The last of the series were the dual-core Pentium 4 models, and the
Pentium was superseded by the Core in 2006.
The first Pentium chip was introduced in 1993 as the successor to the 486; thus
the Pentium began as the fifth generation of the Intel x86 architecture.
Numerous Pentium models were introduced with increased performance. The Pentium
uses a 64-bit internal bus compared to 32-bits in its 486 predecessor. Note that
Intel's next-generation Itanium chip departed entirely from the Pentium
architecture, while the Core line, which superseded the Pentium, retained the
x86 instruction architecture for compatibility. Following is a brief summary of
Pentium 4 Dual Cores - Introduced in 2005
The Pentium D and Pentium
Processor Extreme Edition were the first dual-core Pentium chips from Intel and
the last of the Pentium line. Although both chips included Intel's 64-bit EM64T
technology (later named "Intel 64"), the Pentium D did not include
Hyper-Threading, but the Extreme Edition did.
Pentium 4 - Introduced in 2000 (1.4-3.4 GHz)
Latest Pentium architecture started out with a 400 MHz system bus and 256KB L2
cache (later increased to 800 MHz and 2MB). The first models contained 42
million transistors, used the 0.18 micron process and came in 423-pin and
478-pin PGA packages. Intel's first Pentium 4 chipset was the 850 and supported
only Rambus memory (RDRAM), but subsequent
chipsets switched to DDR SDRAM.
Celeron - Introduced in 1998 (266 MHz-2.8 GHz)
Less expensive Pentium chips due to smaller L2 caches. First Celerons had no L2
cache, but 128KB on-die cache was added in 1999. Celerons started out with 66
and 100 MHz system buses that migrated to 400 MHz.
Pentium III - 1999-2001 (500 MHz-1.13 GHz)
The Pentium III added 70 additional instructions to the Pentium II. The Pentium
III used a 100 or 133 MHz system bus and either a 512KB L2 cache or a 256KB L2
Advanced Transfer Cache. Depending on the model, it contained from 9.5 to 28
million transistors, used the 0.25 or 0.18 micron process and came in SECC and
Mobile units came in BGA and micro-PGA (µPGA) packages.
Pentium III Xeon - 1999-2001 (500-933 MHz)
Typically used in 2-way to 8-way
servers, Xeon specs were like Pentium III with L2 cache up to 2MB. The Xeon
used the SECC2 and SC330 chip packages.
Pentium II - 1997-1999 (233-450 MHz)
Added MMX multimedia instructions to Pentium Pro and introduced the Single Edge
Connector Cartridge (SECC) for Slot 1. The Pentium II used a 66 or 100 MHz
system bus. Desktop models had 7.5 million transistors, 512KB L2 cache and were
housed in SECC packages. Mobile models had 27.4 million transistors, 256KB L2
cache and were housed in either BGA or Mobile Mini-Cartridge (MMC) packages.
Pentium II Xeon - 1998-1999 (400-450 MHz)
Typically used in high-end and 2-way and 4-way servers, Xeon specs were like
Pentium II with L2 cache from 512KB to 2MB and 100 MHz system bus.
Pentium Pro - 1995-1997 (150-200 MHz)
Typically used in high-end desktops and servers, the Pentium Pro increased
memory from 4GB to 64GB. The Pentium Pro had L2 cache from 512KB to 1MB, used a
60 or 66 MHz system bus, contained from 5.5 to 62 million transistors. It was
made with 0.35 process and housed in a dual cavity PGA package. When introduced,
it was touted as being superior to the Pentium for 32-bit applications.
Pentium MMX - 1997-1999 (233-300 MHz)
Added MMX multimedia instructions to Pentium CPU and increased transistors to
4.5 million. Desktop units used PGA package and 0.35 process while mobile units
used TCP and 0.25 process.
Pentium - 1993-1996 (60-200 MHz)
First Pentium CPU models. The Pentium had an L2 cache from 256KB to 1MB, used a
50, 60 or 66 MHz system bus and contained from 3.1 to 3.3 million transistors
built on 0.6 to 0.35 process. Chips were housed in PGA packages.
Model Memory Gen** Instructions
Pentium 4 4GB NB MMX, SSE, SSE2
P4 Xeon 64GB NB MMX, SSE, SSE2
Celeron 4GB P6 MMX
PIII Xeon 64GB P6 MMX, SSE
Pentium III 4GB P6 MMX, SSE
PII Xeon 64GB P6 MMX
Pentium II 4GB P6 MMX
Pentium Pro 64GB P6
Pentium MMX 4GB P5 MMX
Pentium 4GB P5
** Code name for generation of architecture
NB = NetBurst architecture
MMX added 57 instructions
SSE added 70; SSE2 added 144