Intel Prescott

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In August 2003 Intel released the Prescott Prescott CPU core. Simply put, the Prescott core takes Intel’s Netburst architechure to the next level and reworks the current Northwood core. However, the changes are quite a bit more extensive than that. It will make the following major improvements over the Northwood core:
  • 90 nanometer process (versus 130 nanometer in the Northwood)
  • A larger L2 Cache (1024 kB versus 512 kB)
  • A larger L1 Data Cache (16 kB versus 8 kB)
  • Lower clock skew (7 ps versus 22 ps) allowing for higher clock speeds
  • 13 new instructions
  • Improved Hyperthreading technology
  • Improved pre-fetch
  • Improved branch prediction
  • Improved Integer Multiply latency
  • Improved power management
  • Additional Write Combining buffers
In addition, the following major architechural changes have been made:
  • Larger 16k microOp trace cache (up from 12k microOp)
  • Cycle fetch and retire four instructions per clock (up from 3 IPC)
  • Completely reworked floating point unit, turning dataflow 90 degrees sideways and intertwining the parts of the FPU
  • Two Rapid Execution Engines (ALUs), up from one in the Northwood
  • Very likely a very high speed L3 cache bus
  • Level 1 D Cache and Execution Trace Cache running at double clock speed
  • Registers running at double clock speed
  • Double the size of the Register file
It will also likely be called the “Pentium 5” due to its major architechural changes and the fact that it will require a Socket T for its 775 pinless Land Grid Array package, in addition to all of the radical changes made elsewhere. Expect the Prescott to be faster per clock by about 60%-70% or possibly even 100%-150% in certain applications. In other words: It will be running at initially 3.2 GHz with IPCs in line with Motorola’s G4 processor. Yes, this will be far more IPCs than the Athlon XP and will come in line with the Athlon 64, but will have a 1 GHz advantage over said processor. The bus speed will be initially 800 MHz, and later the 65 nanometer process Tejas chip will come packing a 1066 MHz bus, followed by a 1200 MHz bus. The sucessor to Tejas will begin to incorporate IA-64 on the die and will likely be enabled on its sucessor, and the chips will be running at over 10 GHz by that time.

All of this information has come out in various tech news locations and I’ve just put it together here.

In addition, there is some question as to what Intel will advertise its clock speed to be.  Given that in a “3 GHz” processor based on the Prescott core the ALU, L1 D cache and Execution Trace Cache, Registers, will run at double clock speed or 6 GHz, it could be considred an 6 GHz CPU with half clock on-die L2 cache and a half clock floating point unit.  We shall see, however.
Hehe, sorry I’ve been away. It’s her fault, I swearI’ll post the full skinny on prescott in another forum because it’ll be quite lengthy (and come back and link it). However, the short version is it will debut at 3.2 GHz by current clock reckoning (maybe 6.4 … read the other thread when I link it) on an 800 MHz FSB using dual channel DDR400 RAM on the i865 and i875 chipset. If you’re looking for supreme performance, you’ll go i875. It will also be launched as the Pentium 5. It will use a new Socket T, but it should be compatible with old coolers (either S423 or S478, not sure which yet).

Onto current stuff, there are four chipsets on the market currently whorth their stuff: the i845E, the i850E, the iE7205 and the Serverworks GC-SL.  All are from Intel except the last one.  For an Intel system, get an Intel or Serverworks chipset every time … it’ll save you alot of headaches later.


Each of these chipset has different featuresets, and I’ll try and list them here
  • E7205
    • Dual Channel DDR200/DDR266 up to 4 GB memory support at 3.2/4.2 GB/s
    • 400/533 MHz bus support
    • AGP 8X
    • One 32 bit 33 MHz PCI bus
    • Targeted at the ultra high peformance workstation market
  • i850E
    • Dual Channel PC800/PC1066 RDRAM up to 2 GB memory support at 3.2/4.2 GB/s
    • 400/533 MHz bus support
    • AGP 4X
    • One 32 bit 33 MHz PCI bus
    • Targeted at the high performance multimedia workstation market
  • i845E
    • Single Channel DDR266/DDR333 up to 1 GB memory support at 2.1/2.7 GB/s
    • 400/533 MHz bus support
    • AGP 4X
    • One 32 bit 33 MHz PCI bus
    • Targeted at desktops
  • Serverworks GC-SL
    • Single Channel DDR200/DDR266 up to 4 GB memory support at 1.6/2.1 GB/s
    • 400/533 MHz bus support
    • No AGP
    • Two PCI-X busses and one 32 bit 33 MHz PCI bus
    • Targeted at servers and audio editing workstations
For my analysis: if it’s to be the ultimate gaming rig, the 850E or E7205 chipsets are your best bet.  For a home server, the Serverworks GC-SL.  For a desktop or lighter gaming rig, the i845E.
Let me know if you have any other q’s.

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