Since the smallest part of my collection is connected to the s478 platform, i decided to gear up in terms of central processing units. At first I wanted to build a good baseline of availability in my retro storage to further fill the collection with top extreme series models which where a new family option created with the birth of 130nm production process and Xeon Gallatin core. Pentium 4 was a very important period in Intel`s history and gave a foundation for the first consumer dual core CPU the Pentium D. It has gone through very extended evolution in many terms, base frequency, bus frequency, hyper threading, production process shrink and many more. You have to remember that Cedar Mill (65nm) internal lithography of the last Pentium 4 CPU was almost three times smaller than the original Willamette (180nm) core. Considering current Intel problems of transition from 14nm to 10nm the evolution of P4 seems like a huge leap. Of course, we can not forget that the farther you go the less you know and we can not compare those two production processes. Breaking another nm barrier is definitively far more challenging than it was before, but on the other hand we have AMD CPU`s with 7nm right around the corner. Not to drift to far away from the main topic, let`s go back to my recent purchase. Long awaited shipping from china finally arrived. Let`s take a look.
First up is the old, faithful Willamette (180nm) representative directly connected to The Underdog socket 423 platform described here. I have the socket 423 equivalent with 2.0 GHz speed, so i decided to go with the slower model which was available from the same seller. This is 1.8 GHz SL5VJ Pentium 4 core with 400 MHz FSB and 256 KB of L2 cache. Year of first availability is 2001. Look at the old school laser graving of the name ! Classic 😉
Next up is the fastest 400 MHz FSB CPU from the next core version of the Family 15 called Northwood or Model 2. Year 2002 brought us Pentium 4 SL7EY with a 2.8 GHz single core CPU and doubled L2 cache compared to previous generation.
But 2002 and new Family 15 Model 2 Nortwood generation brought us not only the upgraded base clock frequencies or L2 cache size. New Brookdale chipset got us upgraded FSB speed which was at the time at whooping 533 MHz or later 800 MHz 😀 Above you can see SL6QB Pentium 4 with 533 MHz FSB and 512 KB L2 cache which is the top single thread P4 from the Nortwood generation. Why single thread ? 😉
Because end of the 2002 brought us Hyper Threading. Technology used up to this day. Basically it makes PC see two virtual CPU`s but working in fact on a single core. Above you can see SL6PG Pentium 4 HT wit 3.06 GHz core speed. It is not the fastest Nortwood HT CPU but it is the fastest 533 MHz FSB CPU and also a top CPU of the year 2002 😉 From the following year the performance crown will be held by Pentium 4 Extreme Edition which is now extremely hard to find and of course very expensive to buy just like in the release days. The reason for this is the fact that there where only two s478 Extreme Edition CPU`s. The 2003 SL7AA 3.2 GHz model and 2004 SL7CH 3.4 GHz model both featuring 800 MHz FSB and 2 MB L3 cache ! But worry not, the hunt is on ! 😀
Next up we have the fastest Northwood HT CPU, the SL793 Pentium 4 HT from 2004. It features the top of the food chain evolution of 130nm Nortwood lithography with 3.4 GHz serious speed and 800 MHz FSB. It was the last Pentium 4 HT before the time P4 family received it`s infamous Prescott overheating reputation.
Last but not least is the final civilian s478 Pentium 4 HT CPU from Prescott family with 90nm lithography. This is the SL7PP featuring 800MHz FSB and 1024 KB L2 cache which is again two times more than the predecessors. There where faster 3.6 GHz and 3.8 Ghz models but only dedicated for the brand new LGA Socket T better known as the Socket 775. You can say many things about Prescott generation, but you can not forget the fact that final 4.0 GHz model was cancelled due to unmanageable overheating problems. Almost all of them were addressed in the final Pentium 4 family – s775 65nm Cedar Mill. Unfortunately up to that time P4 had such a bad press, that it left the market with very bad reputation. Nevertheless we should not forget where all of this started and appreciate all the high tech upgrades and development of this CPU brought to us – users. All in all, very first member (Pentium 4 1.5 – year 2000) of this fascinating adventure featured single thread of a 1500 Mhz, 256 KB L2 cache and 400 MHz FSB using a PGA 423 pin socket. The very last one (Pentium Extreme Edition 965 – year 2006) was a four threaded 3730 MHz monster with 2048 KB L2 cache and 1066 MHz FSB working on a LGA 775 pin socket. If you serve yourself a moment of reflection, you will definitively see that it is a very long way to go even for such a big company as Intel 😉