Pentium 4 northwood: Intel Pentium 4 3.0C — Pentium 4 Northwood Single-Core 3.0 GHz Socket 478 Processor — BX80532PG3000D

Intel Pentium 4 2.2GHz and 2.0GHz Northwood Processors Review

Intel’s Pentium 4 2.2GHz. and 2.0AGHz. Processors
«Northwood» Enters The Arena

By, Dave Altavilla
January 7, 2002

Intel and AMD’s perpetual GHz. race continues in the new year, at a fevered pace that is almost more than the sluggish PC Industry can absorb.  Soon new machines from the major OEMs, will line the shelves of various retailers, hoping to lure potential customers with the promise of earth shattering performance and features that no one should live without.  Frankly, with the myriad of choices, flavors and clock speeds available to the consumer, it’s no surprise that the average prospective PC customer now looks at only a few data points on which to base their decision making process.  

Let’s face it, all things being equal, big fast drives, powerful graphics, and crisp displays, there really isn’t much to consider when evaluating a new system or upgrade, with perhaps only two exceptions, «Clock Speed» and «Price Tag».  More GHz. for the dollar, is most likely the strongest selling point for any PC OEM’s marketing strategy.  Now, before you begin to fill up my inbox with flame mail, please realize that I know (you are obviously an intelligent crowd since you are reading the pages of HotHardware) that you understand that this is a complete over-simplification of what really makes a PC perform.  On the other hand, at a certain point, the brute force laws of nature (and physics) tend to take over and one has to admit, that 2.2GHz. just sounds damn fast, no matter how you slice it.  With this in mind, it is easy to see why AMD had to shift gears back to their old «performance rating» strategy. 

At a full 600MHz. behind this new Intel flagship product, a 1.6GHz. Athlon (otherwise know as Athlon XP1900+) may seem a bit meager against the backdrop of Intel’s marketing machine, clocked at 2.2GHz.  Not to mention the fact that an additional 256K (total of 512K) of on die cache has been added to the Pentium 4, to improve latency.  However, as you intelligent (and might we add very good-looking) people know, there’s a lot more to the story of high performance computing than just raw clock cycles.  That’s why you’re here, and we’ll try and provide some insight.  This is a HotHardware test and showcase of the performance of Intel’s new Pentium 4 Northwood Processor at 2 and 2.2GHz.  Let’s see what bleeding edge semiconductor process technology and blistering clock speeds, have done for the Pentium 4 Processor.

Specifications of the Pentium 4 2.2GHz. and 2.0AGHz. Pentium 4 Processors
Smaller die size, more on chip cache and a few more clock cycles to boot

  • Available at speeds ranging from 1. 4GHz. to 2.2 GHz.
  • Based upon Intel?s 0.13 micron manufacturing process
  • 512K on chip, Full Speed L2 Cache
  • Rapid Execution Engine — ALU clocked at 2X frequency of core
  • 128bit Floating Point/Multimedia unit
  • «Hyper Pipelined» Technology for extremely high clock speeds
  • Featuring the Intel «NetBurst» micro-architecture
  • Supported by the Intel® 850 and i845 chipsets
  • Fully compatible with existing Intel Architecture-based software
  • Internet Streaming SIMD Extensions 2
  • Intel® MMX? media enhancement technology
  • Memory cacheability up to 4 GB of addressable memory space and system memory scalability up to 64 GB of physical memory
  • Support for uni-processor designs
  • 1.5V operating voltage range


The all new Northwood Pentium 4 core now runs at a significantly lower power 1. 5V core voltage.  If there is one thing we would like you to take away from this article, it would be the concept of die geometry and how it affects processor power consumption, heat and speed.  Intel’s new .13 micron wafer fab technology allows for significantly smaller die size versus the older .18 process they are using on P4 «classic» Willamette core based devices.  The smaller the die, the less power it consumes in addition to the inherently higher clock speeds that are able to be produced.  Yields for this new P4 core have reached new heights in clock speed, now at 2.2GHz. for the top end processor.  From a power consumption perspective, a 2GHz. «Willy» consumes about 72 watts of power.  The new Northwood core at 2.2GHz. consumes 55 watts.  That’s an impressive 24% power consumption improvement and a perky 10% jump in clock speed, at the same time.  That’s the beauty of die shrinks, you can have your cake and eat it too.  Intel is the only major processor vendor in high volume production with a . 13 micron process.  In addition, the Northwood’s transistor gate length (actual size of a transistor’s switch path, which affects delay through it) is 60 nanometers versus the P3 Tualatin core’s 70 nanometer gate length.  This translates to transistors that switch on and off significantly faster.  The P4’s transistor technology is some of the fastest in the processor industry, at this point in time. 

Say hello Wendy Wafer… Wendy, this is… well, everybody.  While we aren’t exactly sure this nice lady’s name is actually Wendy, we are sure that she is holding several thousand dollars worth of Intel dice.  Since Wendy is probably a highly trained wafer fab process technician, perhaps this is not such an impressive feat for someone like her.  However, what is very impressive is the actual size of the wafer she is holding.  You’re looking at a 12″ Intel test wafer.  This is huge for a semiconductor wafer even for modern technology.  Intel is one of very few chip suppliers that actually has a 12 inch CMOS process moving into production in 2002.   Mainstream .18 and .15 micron processes these days, are typically built on 8″ wafers.

Obviously, this extremely large wafer process allows Intel economies of scale, when it comes to producing P4 chips.  They will be able to produce exponentially more dice per wafer when they move to these new 12″ slabs.  In late Q4 2001, rumors circulated about Intel’s capacity issues with respect to the Pentium 4, with Intel spokesmen stating it was due to better than forecasted demand.  Consider Intel’s new 12″ wafers a formal response to the question of capacity.  With these new wafers on line, our Intel contacts have informed us that they’ll have plenty of capacity moving forward.  Smaller die, and more wafer area are also the keys to profitable chip fabrication and lower costs.  We’ll have to see how this all shakes out on Intel’s balance sheet, as well as price points in the retail sector.

Now that we’ve covered some preliminary architecture and background on Intel’s new flagship CPU, we’ll cover some initial findings of how the all new Northwood behaved in our test-beds of i850 and i845 DDR motherboards.  

Voltage, Heat, Processor ID, Over-Clocking and Preliminary Tests

Old computers second life — PC REBUILDING

Old computers second life © PC Rebuilding
Prima pubblicazione: 19 Maggio 2015, 15:01.20
Ultimo aggiornamento: 1 Giugno 2017, 16:08.12
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Old computers second life
Retro philosophy

Pure passion, passione pura. Ma anche il fascino del vintage e l’emozione del reboot quando i messaggi POST rompono il nero del monitor. Proviamo a seguire l’evoluzione dei sistemi attraverso una linea temporale che spazia dagli anni 80 al nuovo millennio e non solo. Per avere memoria di ciò che furono e sono diventati i sistemi moderni tra cui i nostri amati hand-devices che ci consentono di restare costantemente connessi alla global network. Oggi nuovi mercati si aprono per il «retrocomputing»: pezzi d’epoca prima recuperati in cantina o discarica, vengono battuti a prezzi esagerati nelle aste online. Per i puristi però la filosofia è un’altra: quella del jumper settings, degli appunti e dei manuali non sempre chiari, del testing, del rebuilding di sistemi dismessi. Tutto questo solo per pure passion, passione pura.

Una storia personale

Arriva un momento nella vita in cui è necessario recuperare le proprie cose dalla casa in cui si è vissuti fin da piccoli. Nel mio scatolone dell’hardware c’erano abbastanza componenti che, riassemblate opportunamente, avrebbero ricostituito sistemi forse ancora funzionanti. In effetti, dopo averli rimontati, con grande stupore buona parte di quei computer erano di nuovo in grado di avviarsi correttamente, nonostante l’età di già superiore ai 20 anni. Ma la cosa straordinaria era il fatto che quelli erano i miei computer, dal primissimo 8088 con monitor a fosfori verdi su cui giravano i giochi su floppy da 360Kb, al «glorioso» AMD 386DX40, primo vero computer con disco fisso e monitor a colori, e di seguito il Pentium 75 dell’età universitaria, e via via fino agli Athlon e i Pentium 4 del new millennum. Non solo «ferramenta» dunque, ma sistemi in grado di conservare ed evocare ricordi.

Retrocomputing e non solo

Gran parte di noi avrà almeno una volta cliccato sul mandrino di Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis per aprire una porta segreta o innescare qualche altro ingegnoso meccanismo di quel fantastico gioco. Oppure avrà guidato la giovanissima Lara Croft nelle peripezie del primo Tomb Raider gioco rivelazione che con un 3Dfx mostrava paesaggi e scenari eccezionali. Per gli amanti dello spara-spara Doom e Quake erano i responsabili di notti da incubo con mostri dilaniati e sotterranei terrificanti. E una miriade di altri giochi anche minori ma godibili, dai 2D side-scrolling ai cartoon con enigmi, tra i quali sempre della Lucas, Monkey Island o Full-Throttle. Requisiti minimi e molto ingegno: la grafica così così veniva compensata da trame avvincenti e soluzioni geniali. E’ innegabile però che la maggiore disponibilità di risorse ha aperto incredibili business per il gaming.

Rebuilding di sistemi obsoleti con tips&tricks e applicazione pratica di intuizioni e suggerimenti sparsi nei forum. CPU e motherboard history, components e retrogaming, benchmark e speedtest. Focus sulle rarità e particolare interesse per gli «adapter», strani oggetti hardware che consentivano l’adeguamento funzionale low-cost quando la tecnologia correva troppo in fretta. Tutte le fonti di ispirazione (e gli strumenti utilizzati) nella sezione Webography.

comparison with the predecessor and assessment of prospects

The problem of optimal selection of computer components, unfortunately, does not have a clear mathematical solution: there are too many factors. Usually, this method is used: a price list is taken, extreme positions are thrown out of it (total crap and too steep), and from the remaining ones, a product is selected with the largest increase in trademark recognition and quantitative swelling of pseudo-technical characteristics for price increase. The decision is not the worst, let’s not even pay attention to the fact that 256 MB of memory onboard the GeForce2 MX is a bit too much. Let’s think better about this: why do we need a new processor at all?

Indeed, why? No, there are, of course, tasks that even an N-GHz Pentium M will load in the highest registers, but they are terribly far from the people, and the dances of blue-orange men in your information display devices are not designed for their solvers. No, there is still a difference even when working in Word, it’s just harder and harder to measure it it’s not for nothing that each new generation of benchmarks gives the final result in points an order of magnitude lower, which means there is room to grow, and there are 10 users, 5 points strain much more than 1050.

Games Yes, there are still games, as always, but here everything is too neglected. Intel vainly demonstrates 3D demos at presentations, calculated and shown by the forces of the central processor alone. It is much more likely that some next GeForce, which has already practically integrated the sound, will at the same time calculate the physics in the game, and they will agree with the hard drive: they will organize a new protocol for direct access to graphics memory, and why then they will need a processor with system memory these remnants of the past, erroneously considered the engine of progress?

And the poor, useless processors will keep shrinking and accelerating until one (beautiful?) day they scatter a handful of photons. Well, to this day, however, is still far away. For now, let’s see what the new Pentium 4 will please us with — you look, and the light will shine

The new Pentium 4 «Northwood» core

To begin with, the hero himself and his predecessor:

Intel Pentium 4 «Northwood», 2.2 GHz , Socket 478

Intel Pentium 4 «Willamette», 2 GHz, Socket 478

Pay attention to the bottom line of the marking: the numbers «512» at the end just indicate the only architectural difference between the new processor and the old one — 512 KB L2 cache instead of 256 KB. However, the implementation of this difference became possible only due to the transition of Intel factories to 0.13-micron production technology using copper connections. As a result, a 200 mm wafer can hold twice as many dies as a 0.18 micron wafer. (In the future, with the transition to 300 mm wafers, this number will increase by another 2.5 times.) Well, the result of the new technical process will obviously be a higher permissible frequency of processors and lower heat dissipation (49.8W TDP for the 2.2GHz version of Northwood versus 75W for the 2GHz Willamette). It is curious to note that the processor on the new core contains 55 million transistors (the area is 146 mm 2 ), of which about 40% (the Willamette has 42 million transistors, and only the L2 volume has changed) falls on the cache not bad?!

Northwood 2.2 GHz running at 2 GHz

Willamette 2 GHz

478 were already designed for new processors, their current VRM supports such a direct one, so in the worst case, you will have to reflash the BIOS of the board. It remains to be mentioned that the processor with a frequency of 2 GHz will be the last in the Willamette line, while the Northwood line will start with a 2 GHz one, so to distinguish between extreme copies, Intel again has to resort to the “A” index: the younger Northwood will be officially called the Intel Pentium 4 2 A GHz.

Performance Study

Test Bench:

  • Intel Pentium 4 «Willamette», 2 GHz, Socket 478
  • Intel Pentium 4 «Northwood», 2.2 GHz, Socket 478
  • Motherboard (Intel 850)
  • 2×128 MB PC800 RDRAM RIMM Samsung
  • ASUS 8200 GeForce3
  • IBM IC35L040AVER07-0, 7200 rpm, 2 MB cache, 40 GB
  • ASUS 060 CD-ROM0002 Software:

    • Windows 2000 Professional SP2
    • NVIDIA Detonator v22.50 (Vsync=Off)
    • RazorLame 1.1.4 + Lame v3.89 codec
    • VirtualDub 1.4.7 + DivX v4.02 codec
    • WinZip 8.0
    • WinAce 2.11
    • eTestingLabs Content Creation Winstone 2001
    • eTestingLabs Business Winstone 2001
    • BAPCo & MadOnion SYSmark 2001 Internet Content Creation
    • BAPCo & MadOnion SYSmark 2001 Office Productivity

      Secondly, the existing Willamette 2 GHz was bus overclocked to 2. 2 GHz (110 MHz x 20). This allows us to clarify the «academic» question, which is better: more cache or a faster bus, as well as to make some estimates for the future, because it’s no secret that soon the Pentium 4 bus frequency (though already Northwood) will increase to 133 MHz (533 MHz Quad -Pumped).

      We also note that those who wish to compare the performance of the new processor market flagship from Intel with the current fastest model from AMD can compare the results of today’s testing with the results of comparing Willamette 2 GHz and Athlon XP 1900+. As soon as AMD announces its 2000+ model, we will definitely face Northwood in a fair fight.

      Test results:

      MP3 encoding with Lame, as we have seen many times, is not too sensitive to memory bandwidth. In this test, we can observe some (3-4%) gain from the increased cache size in Northwood and good (~10%) scalability of the test in terms of processor frequency. The effect of tire acceleration seems to be there, but the absolute difference in the readings is too small, let’s wait to draw conclusions.

      Here, even before the actual results of testing the processor, the benefit from using the new version of the DivX codec, optimized for SSE2, attracts attention. 30-40%! Even comments are superfluous here!

      As for the comparison of processors on the old and new cores, we can note several interesting points. Northwood gains 7-9% of the advantage due to a «clean» increase in frequency by 10%, but the advantage of the bus-accelerated Willamette is more significant: 10-15%. Northwood’s increased cache has some, not too significant, effect, and this effect is offset by an increase in the bus frequency (which overclocks, among other things, the L2 cache). By the way, pay attention to the fact that when SSE2 is enabled, the difference manifests itself more clearly in all cases: when the processor frequency is increased, when the bus is accelerated, and when the cache size is doubled.

      The results of WinZip resemble the results of MP3 encoding both in absolute numbers and in the nature of the dependence. Again, we note that a difference of a couple of seconds does not make it possible to draw far-reaching conclusions.

      And the results of WinAce, as expected, resemble the results of MPEG4 encoding both tests aggressively work with memory, but when archiving WinAce, the dictionary is frequently accessed, which provides a larger (up to 8%) gain, other things being equal to the processor on the Northwood core . Obviously, if the entire 4-MB dictionary could be pushed into the cache, the speedup would be quite significant. In terms of processor frequency, the test does not scale very well, here the speed of working with memory has a greater influence.

      The picture in both “semi-synthetic” tests is generally similar, the only oddity is that at a frequency of 2.2 GHz, the “honest” Northwood outperforms the bus-accelerated Willamette more than at a frequency of 2 GHz under equal conditions.

      The description of the scenes used for 3DStudio MAX can be found in our introduction to testing professional video cards, and the processor comparison result we are interested in now is as follows: regardless of the complexity of the scene calculation by the processor and the complexity of drawing the scene by the graphics accelerator, the nature of the calculations is the same and accelerates calculation of all scenes is the same. In numbers, it looks like this: by ~9% with an increase in the frequency of the processor, by ~ 3% due to a larger cache, the bus acceleration has almost no effect on the result. As you can see, this test, which we have repeatedly emphasized, is purely computational, and it scales exactly according to the processor frequency, slightly depending on the memory speed and other factors.

      Things are more interesting with SPECviewperf, primarily due to the variety of subtest dependencies shown. AWadvs-04 does not bring any surprises, steadily resting the scene rendering speed on the speed of the video accelerator. But DX-06 It would seem nothing strange: system performance increases slightly when moving from 2 to 2.2 GHz; if at the same time the tire accelerates it grows more strongly. Only bad luck: there is a very noticeable negative effect from «extra» cache. Surprisingly, but true: increasing the cache size in this test significantly reduces the speed of the exchange with memory. At the moment we have no clear explanations, it remains only to state: if you have devoted your life to working with IBM Data Explorer Northwood is not for you.

      The current testing allows us to identify the difference between these two tests, which usually show similar results dependencies. In DRV-07, as you can clearly see, the system almost does not get a performance boost from a simple increase in the processor frequency, while the bus frequency (most likely, the memory-AGP connection) has a decent effect on the result. But that 8% gain is nothing compared to the 30% gain of the 512K L2 Northwood over the 256K L2 Willamette. Let’s postpone consideration of this artifact for a while and turn our attention to Light-04. The picture is really similar to the previous one, only without Northwood’s mysterious take-off, and in its absence, the overclocked AGP bus of Willamette 2.2 GHz brings it to the lead in full accordance with the data of our past tests: the performance of the video accelerator first of all.

      Yeah, and that takeoff again! Well, now, relying on the same experience, we can say with sufficient confidence: the reason is RDRAM. We have repeatedly noted that Expendable is a game with a rather «chaotic» algorithm, which «crashes» the long Pentium 4 pipeline and, as you can see, greatly strains the latency RDRAM with its «memory jumps». Northwood’s increased cache significantly smooths out this effect, and the result is obvious. However, it should be taken into account that if, for example, DDR SDRAM was used, this artifact would manifest itself less noticeably, so only Expendable fans (if there are still any left the test has been asking for a dump for a long time) and Rambus will be able to experience the magical acceleration. simultaneously. It is also worth noting that overclocking the bus in this test, unlike SPECviewperf, speeds up not the video accelerator (you can’t speed up something that doesn’t exist), but the processor-memory link.

      All more or less modern toys demonstrate the same picture: Northwood has a 5% advantage due to the larger cache, which smooths out to 1-2% when the Willamette bus is overclocked. All this, of course, is true only for those tests and resolutions where the overall system performance depends on the processor.


      Summing up, the first step is to determine the position from which Northwood will be evaluated. Fortunately, today we are not on the verge of some kind of revolutionary turn, which inevitably entails a change in the chipset and type of system memory. There is a smooth evolutionary process in which we are assigned only the role of an observer, and Intel will do the rest. So let’s relax and enjoy.

      Fortunately, there are reasons to be satisfied. The new processor has only one advantage over the old one, but it really works and brings very good dividends. On one side of the scale, however, we have a penny superiority in encoding with DivX v4.02 and a negative gain in DX-06, but on the other hand, we have an improvement in work with RDRAM reaching up to 30%. On average, the scales show + 5-8%. And this is considering that in purely processor tasks there can be more (and why else do you take the top model?).

      However, let me remind you once again that it is not very interesting or smart to directly compare the new and old cores: they will not intersect in the Pentium 4 line anyway (more precisely, they will intersect only once, and the comparative indicators are in front of your eyes), so there is no choice will not be. You can only put a notch in your memory: Intel did not disappoint, the new processor is no worse than the old one.

      But what about the prospects? They also appear in a rosy light: in tests for the interaction of the processor and memory, a 10-15% gain is obtained for a 10% bus acceleration. We will not take into account the advantage in graphics-oriented applications, since the AGP and PCI frequencies of boards with a future 133 MHz processor will obviously be “normal”, but Pentium 4 and DDR266 synchronously operating at 133 MHz this is very enticing and very «efficient» as the Willamette 2.2 GHz would suggest.

      It remains only to understand: why do you need a new processor?

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