A completely new architecture

Hyper Pipelined Technology

400 MHz system bus

Rapid Execution Engine

Cache memory and other characteristics

Mathematical operations: FPU and SSE2

How is the Pentium 4 physically

The chipset...: and the memory!

Yield (1)

Yield (2): SSE2 and optimizations

Some prices orientativos

Conclusion: version 1.0?

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Juan Herrerķas Rey

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Intel Pentium 4...: version 1.0?



Mathematical operations: FPU and SSE2

We come to the most polemic paragraph of this mike: his treatment of the mathematical paragraph, understanding because of it the renderizados, the games 3D, the compression and decompression of audio and video, the mathematical calculations with complex functions...

To face it, the Pentium 4 has FOUR possibilities: to use the unit of floating comma "of the whole life" (the "FPU"), to use the already classic ones (and almost antiquated) instructions MMX, to use the SSE (Streaming SIMD Extensions, introduced with Pentium III), or the big innovation: the instructions SSE2 (Streaming SIMD Extensions 2, skylight).

These are nda less than 144 new instructions, someone capable of handling calculations of double precision of 128 bits in floating comma (which is something excellent, he trusts in our word). The idea is to reduce the number of necessary operations to realize the tasks.

... But all this scheme has a big problem: the unit FPU of the Pentium 4 seems to be very slow, even worse than that of Pentium III. This might not be very serious, since the SSE2 does the same work in much less time... but the SSE2 can only be used by software specially prepared for it, optimized software.

And skylight, 99,99 % of the current software is not optimized. That's why, if a Pentium 4 is bought to work with his current one 3D Studio Max or Photoshop, it will think that a Pentium III or an Athlon are 10 % to 100 % more rapid. We will return later on this...


How is the Pentium 4 physically

Photo of Intel Pentium 4 - Source:

Very well, you forgive for the technical "roll"; we go now to the physical part, which is more gratifying enough. First of all, the Pentium 4 needs basic badges designed specially for him.

This is logical, since his design is very different from that of Pentium III, interns and externally. The chip in itself comes in format socket and has 423 pines; therefore, his socket is called "Socket 423". But here the surprise comes: according to all the available reports, this format will be replaced with other with more pines (478?) IN LESS THAN ONE YEAR.

Yes, he has read well: if there is bought today a Pentium 4 and the corresponding motherboard, in one year it will meet an incompatible team with the following Pentium 4. One wonders if it is a question of a macabre prank when Intel says that that one is "the surest strategy against the obsoleteness"... or it will be again the marketing department.

Other important characteristics do relation to the nucleus of the chip:

  Pentium III 1 GHz Pentium 4 1,5 GHz Athlon 1,1 GHz
Size nucleus 105 mm2 217 mm2 120 mm2
Million transistors 28,1 55 37
Heat to be removed 33 W 54,7 W 55 W
Scheme of assembly of Intel Pentium 4 - Source:

Since we see in the comparative table, the heat generation has risen very much, being located at a height of "warm" Athlon. This is not an insuperable limitation (at least it it has not been for the Athlon), but it has to stop of cheap solutions and to install a quality fan...

... And in case of the Pentium 4, much more: spendthrift needs a casing, a power supply (both ATX 2.03) and a fan + specifics; apart from for considerations of consumption and stability, because the system of fixation of the system of refrigeration is quite complicated and is anchored by screws to the casing.

In certain way it is understandable, Intel has worked thinking about the future and about the quality (to haggle in "details" is never good), but it is a pity that has not given option to persons who want to use his current boxes (or racks) for servant, many perfectly capable of fighting with this chip.

Finally, a positive detail: the nucleus of the mike is better protected than earlier, thanks to a spendthrift of heat integrated on the same one (that's why it has this metallic aspect).


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