Pentium d review: The Pentium D: Intel’s Dual Core Silver Bullet Previewed

The Pentium D: Intel’s Dual Core Silver Bullet Previewed

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Welcome to the most anticipated new CPU development since the crossing of the Gigahertz barrier! Due to thermal dissipation issues, processors can no longer be given substantial clock speed improvements. This has led to many months of performance stagnation. Finally, Intel has come up with the latest concept in increasing performance levels, by integrating two or more processor cores into one chip. With this development, significant gains in performance seem to be within reach once again.

As many of you know from dual processor machines, the mere presence of two CPUs does not automatically double performance. After setting up a system with suitable components, the operating system needs to distribute tasks to all available processor resources. To take advantage of multiple CPUs, modern software should be designed to use multiple execution threads, which encapsulate program fragments into snippets that can run independently. Windows XP’s scheduler then allocates threads to the different CPUs, optimizing load balance and leading to better responsiveness of the whole system.

Back in the autumn of 2002, Intel demonstrated this principle with Hyper Threading (HT) technology . HT enables the Pentium 4 3.06+ GHz and all FSB800/1066 versions to process two threads at a time. Although this feature only raises single-program performance levels in certain ideal situations, it leaves the system much more responsive to user input by allowing background tasks to run on the second logical unit. Thanks to HT, it is pretty rare to experience the unwanted scenario of having a frozen system working flat-out at 100% CPU load.

Future Pentium processors are meant to benefit from Intel supporting thread-level software optimizations. Where a Pentium with HT and parallelized code processing shows small performance gains, a dual core processor with two fully-featured processor units should finally enable a noticeable performance boost. This seems to be a vision to dream of, particularly if one takes into account the rather low entry-level price of $240 for the 2.8 GHz Pentium D 820.

We were given the opportunity to take a close look at, and run benchmarks on, an Intel prototype system. It was based on the 955X chipset and teamed up with the Pentium Processor Extreme Edition. Note that Intel press representative Christian Anderka placed high emphasis on the prototype-status of the test system, as the technology launch remains some time in the Q2 time frame.

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Conclusion : Intel Pentium D 960 Processor Review


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  • Page 1 of 10 — The Blue Camp’s Dual-Core SalvoPage 2 of 10 — Test Setup & BenchmarksPage 3 of 10 — Results — SYSmark 2004Page 4 of 10 — Results — SPECCPU 2000 v1. 2Page 5 of 10 — Results — Lightwave 3D 7.5Page 6 of 10 — Results — Futuremark PCMark05Page 7 of 10 — Results — Cinebench 2003 & XMpeg 4.5Page 8 of 10 — Results — Futuremark 3DMark03, 3DMark05 and 3DMark06Page 9 of 10 — Results — Unreal Tournament 2004 and AquaMark3Page 10 of 10 — Conclusion

    Page 10 of 10 — Conclusion

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We have to admit, the silent debut of the Intel Pentium D 960 was actually a very welcomed move. More so because the US$560 processor is a healthy match for the US$1,000 Pentium 955 Extreme Edition processor in many test scenarios. We’ll even go as far as to say that the Pentium D 960 has made the Pentium 955 XE obsolete as we don’t see any real premium standing for it that’s worth twice the cost of the newcomer. Of course Intel preachers with great spending power still have the Pentium 965 XE to turn to, so all grounds have been covered.

If you have a good look at Intel’s Pentium D performance versus AMD’s Athlon 64 X2, you would realize that Intel actually has a much wider offering despite the fact that both series have five processor models. The difference is that Intel’s dual-core processors come as far more affordable and has the entire price/performance range spectrum covered whereas AMD’s dual-core processors focus more towards the higher-end range and are consequently priced higher as well. Therefore, the mainstream dual-core processors from both parties aren’t exactly comparable and cater to different groups completely. It is thus imperative that you identify what sort of tasks your prospective system would engage and at what budget is it all acceptable and then choose the right processor for the task. Each of them have their own strengths as can be seen from our testing, but if you would want our opinion as the better all-round processor for the general consumer, we would pick the AMD Athlon 64 X2. However, if you require the responsiveness of the dual-core system on the more affordable side of things, Intel’s Pentium D lineup is the most obvious choice and it isn’t all that bad. In fact, it makes a great chip for highly compute intensive tasks as portrayed in SPECCPU and other tests.

Focusing on the higher performance dual-core processor solutions, the new Intel Pentium D 960 is both a hit and a miss. While it is Intel’s best Pentium D processor, it couldn’t outpace AMD’s best mainstream dual-core processor and more often than not, it was found suitable to contest AMD’s Athlon 64 4600+ rather than the 4800+ model in both performance and price. Still, rendering and gaming performance are two crucial areas where its competitor manages to best almost the entire gamut of Intel Pentium D processors. Likewise, the blue camp’s strengths lie in compute intensive processing that relay heavily on floating –point operations, manipulating huge data sets thanks to its large L2 cache and video encoding.

In the end, if you add up the tangible (non-performance oriented) processor features as discussed early in the article such as AMD’s Cool ‘n’ Quiet promoting quieter operation and conserving power in addition to the processor’s own lower power envelop, the Athlon 64 X2 still has the wining edge to appeal towards most consumers, unless of course one has specific needs where the Pentium D lineup’s forte is most pronounced. The lack of functioning EIST support, high power draw and nosier cooler operation in warm tropical environments are real dampeners for the Pentium D 900 series in our opinion. Hopefully, Intel’s next strike coming in the third quarter of this year would solve all these concerns and help it compete even more aggressively than ever before.

  • Page 1 of 10 — The Blue Camp’s Dual-Core SalvoPage 2 of 10 — Test Setup & BenchmarksPage 3 of 10 — Results — SYSmark 2004Page 4 of 10 — Results — SPECCPU 2000 v1.2Page 5 of 10 — Results — Lightwave 3D 7.5Page 6 of 10 — Results — Futuremark PCMark05Page 7 of 10 — Results — Cinebench 2003 & XMpeg 4.5Page 8 of 10 — Results — Futuremark 3DMark03, 3DMark05 and 3DMark06Page 9 of 10 — Results — Unreal Tournament 2004 and AquaMark3Page 10 of 10 — Conclusion

    Page 10 of 10 — Conclusion

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Review of the Intel Pentium D 915 processor: characteristics, tests in benchmarks

The Pentium D 915 processor was released by Intel, release date: July 2006. The processor is designed for desktop computers and is built on the Presler architecture.

The processor is locked for overclocking. The total number of cores is 2. The maximum clock frequency of the processor is 2.8 GHz. The maximum temperature is 63.4°C. Technological process — 65 nm. Cache size: L1 — 28 KB, L2 — 4096 KB.

Supported memory type: DDR1, DDR2, DDR3.

Supported socket type: PLGA775. The maximum number of processors in the configuration is 2. Power consumption (TDP): 95 Watt.


Single thread mark
Top1 CPU
This CPU
CPU mark
Top1 CPU
This CPU
Geekbench 4
Single Core
Top1 CPU
This CPU
Geekbench 4
Top1 CPU
This CPU
Name Meaning
PassMark — Single thread mark 515
PassMark — CPU mark 430
Geekbench 4 — Single Core 179
Geekbench 4 — Multi-Core 307


July 2006

Architecture name Presler
Issue date
Place in the ranking 2978
Processor Number 915
Series Legacy Intel® Pentium® Processor
Status Discontinued
Applicability Desktop
Support 64 bit
Base frequency 2. 80 GHz
Bus Speed ​​ 800 MHz FSB
Crystal area 162 mm2
Level 1 cache 28KB
Level 2 cache 4096KB
Process 65nm
Maximum core temperature 63.4°C
Maximum frequency 2.8 GHz
Number of cores 2
Number of transistors 376 million
Permissible core voltage 1. 200V-1.3375V
Supported memory types DDR1, DDR2, DDR3
Low Halogen Options Available
Maximum number of processors in configuration 2
Package Size 37.5mm x 37.5mm
Sockets supported PLGA775
Power consumption (TDP) 95 Watt
Execute Disable Bit (EDB)
Intel® Trusted Execution Technology (TXT)
Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology
Parity FSB
Idle States
Intel 64
Intel® AES New Instructions
Intel® Demand Based Switching
Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology
Intel® Turbo Boost Technology
Physical Address Extensions (PAE) 32-bit
Thermal Monitoring
Intel® Virtualization Technology (VT-x)
Intel® Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d)


Select processor

Processor comparison

Intel Pentium D 915 vs other processors

Pentium D 915


Pentium III 1400

Pentium D915


Athlon XP 2500+

Pentium D 915


Sempron 3400+

Pentium D915


Core 2 Duo E6550

Pentium D 915


Atom 230

Pentium D915


Phenom II X4 955 BE

Intel Pentium D 3.


processor specifications

Intel began selling the Pentium D 3.20GHz on October 1, 2008. This is a processor for laptops, it has 2 cores and 2 threads, the processor is made according to the 65 nm process technology.

TDP 35W.


General information

Release date
Fourth quarter 2008
Market price
for laptops
Intel Pentium Dual Core
65 nm
Crystal size
143 mm²
Number of transistors
291 million
Processor capacity
64 bit

Frequencies and performance

Clock speed
3200 MHz
Maximum frequency
2000 MHz
Number of cores
Number of threads
Level 2 cache
1024 KB


Bus speed
667 MHz


Heat dissipation
35 W
Windows 11 9 support0440



Cinebench R10 Multi Core




Comparison with other processors

Processor 1:

Processor 2:

Video reviews and tests

Assembly on intel pentium D 930.