Intel Pentium 4 processor families

Intel Pentium 4 is a family of high-performance microprocessors that succeeded Pentium III family. Pentium 4 CPUs are based on new NetBurst micro-architecture, which differed significantly from P6 micro-architecture used in Pentium II/Pentium III microprocessors. As an overall CPU performance is proportional to its frequency and its efficiency, to achieve better performance levels many micro-architectures, including P6, strike a delicate balance between faster CPU frequencies and improved efficiency. The NetBurst microarchitecture used different approach - it attempted to improve performance primarily by increasing CPU frequency, often at at the expense of efficiency. One of key elements in this approach was "Hyper-Pipelined Technology" - 20-stage pipeline (not counting decoder stages), that was significantly longer than in previous generation of Pentium processors. While longer pipelines are less efficient than shorter ones, they allow CPU core to reach higher frequencies, and thus increase CPU performance. To improve efficiency of very deep pipeline the Pentium 4 processors included new features: Trace Execution Cache, Enhanced Branch prediction, and Quad Data Rate bus. Intel Pentium 4 CPUs also included 144 new SIMD instructions called SSE2. Because the first generation of Pentium 4 processors, based on Willamette core, proved to be performing not significantly faster, and sometimes slower than the fastest Pentium III microprocessors, Intel added more efficiency improvements to subsequent Pentium 4 core generations - larger size of level 2 cache, faster FSB frequency, SSE3 instruction set, and Hyper-Threading technology. Other features, that were eventually added to the family, are 64-bit instruction set, and Virtualization technology.

First Pentium 4 microprocessors, based on Willamette and Northwood cores, as well as some Prescott processors, were referenced by their speed. To differentiate between Pentium 4 CPUs running at the same frequency, but having different features, Intel used one letter suffix, appended to CPU frequency:

  • A - Northwood microprocessors with 512 KB L2 cache (for frequencies 2 GHz and lower), or Prescott CPUs with 1 MB L2 cache (for frequencies higher than 2 GHz).
  • B - processors with 533 MHz FSB frequency.
  • C - processors featuring Hyper-Threading technology and 800 MHz FSB.
  • E - Prescott CPUs with 1 MB L2 cache.

Later generations of Pentium 4 CPUs, starting from Prescott core, were assigned processor numbers that uniquely identified processor frequency and features. Please see Intel desktop processor numbers page for more information.

"Pentium 4" brand was used only for high-performance single-core desktop and mobile microprocessors. Server-class CPUs, that were built on NetBurst microarchitecture, were branded Xeon and Xeon MP. Low-cost NeBurst microprocessors were manufactured under "Celeron" brand. Dual-core NetBurst-based microprocessors were branded Pentium D.

All Pentium 4s were manufactured in three types of packages - 423-pin PGA package for socket 423 motherboards, 478-pin micro-PGA package that worked in socket 478 motherboards, and pin-less 775-land LGA package that required socket 775 motherboards. Socket 478 package was used by both desktop and mobile microprocessors, while two other packages were designed for desktop systems only.

For averaged performance of Pentium 4 processors please see Intel Pentium 4 multi-threading and single-threading performance pages.

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List of Pentium_4 families

Intel Pentium 4 - 80528PC1.XG0K


Early engineering sample of Pentium 4. This processor was manufactured in second half of May of 2000 - one month before Intel announced Pentium 4 brand name and six months before the Pentium 4 family was officially launched. The processor is not marked with specific speed, the part number specifies speed as 1.X GHz.

Picture of: Intel Pentium 4 - 80528PC1.XG0K

Intel Pentium 4 2.4 GHz - RK80532PC056512 / BX80532PC2400D

Next Pentium 4 core - Northwood - was a die shrink of Willamette core. Based on 0.13 micron technology, Northwood microprocessors had lower voltage, and, as a result, lower power consumption than Willamette CPUs. The size of level 2 (L2) cache in this core was increased to 512 KB, besides that there were no major changes in microprocessor microarchitecture. Bigger L2 cache gave Northwood processors 5% - 20% speed boost over Willamette processors. Front-side bus frequency in first Northwood microprocessors didn't change. Over time the bus frequency was increased to 533 MHz, and finally to 800 MHz.

Northwood microprocessors were manufactured in 478-pin micro FC-PGA package (shown on the picture).

Picture of: Intel Pentium 4 2.4 GHz - RK80532PC056512 / BX80532PC2400D

Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHz - RK80546PG0801M (BX80546PG3000E)

More than just a die shrink of the previous Northwood core, Prescott core was revamped with the goal of reaching higher frequencies and further increasing processor performance. To achieve higher frequencies the processor pipeline was increased to 31 stages. To improve processors performance the sizes of level 1 data cache and level 2 cache were increased, and different parts of the core were optimized - branch prediction enhanced, execution time of a few instructions reduced, data pre-fetching improved, etc. Support for new SSE instructions was added to all Prescott-based Pentium 4 CPUs. More recent Prescott processors also supported EM64T (64-bit technology), Execute disable bit and Virtualization features.

Picture of: Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHz - RK80546PG0801M (BX80546PG3000E)

Cedar Mill, the last single-core Pentium 4 core, was built on 0.065 micron technology. Micro-architecture of this core didn't change from previous Prescott core, therefore performance-wise they are as fast as Prescott CPUs. The only advantage of Cedar Mill processors over Prescott processors is their lower power consumption. For instance, Pentium 4 Cedar Mill 3.6 GHz has 30 Watt lower Thermal Design Power (TDP) than Pentium 4 Prescott 3.6 GHz.

Pentium 4 Cedar Mill microprocessors were manufactured only in 775-land FC-LGA (socket 775) package.
Started as a direct competitor to Athlon 64 FX family, Pentium 4 Extreme Edition family comprises of the best performing Pentium 4 microprocessors. Being socket-compatible with microprocessors from other Pentium 4 families, Extreme Edition CPUs incorporated such features as very large level 3 cache or increased Front-Side Bus frequency to achieve somewhat better performance than comparably clocked Pentium 4 processors. Small increase in CPU performance came at a hefty price - official price of all newly introduced Extreme Edition processors was $999 a piece. Pentium 4 EE family was ultimately replaced by a family of dual-core processors branded as "Pentium Extreme Edition".
Intel Mobile Pentium 4-M 2.2 GHz - RH80532GC049512 (BXM80532GC2200D)

The first Pentium 4 family of mobile microprocessors was Pentium 4-M. All processors in this family had 0.13 micron Northwood core, 400 Mhz effective Front Side Bus (100 MHz quad-pumped bus) and 512 KB level 2 cache. Intel Pentium 4-M microprocessors had lower core voltage and lower thermal design power than desktop Northwood CPUs. Mobile Pentium 4-Ms also included speed-step technology and Deeper Sleep mode. The microprocessors were manufactured in 478-pin micro-PGA package without integrated heatsink. Mobile Pentium 4-M processor family was replaced by mobile Pentium 4 family.

Picture of: Intel Mobile Pentium 4-M 2.2 GHz - RH80532GC049512 (BXM80532GC2200D)

Intel Mobile Pentium 4 518 2.8 GHz - RK80546HE0721M

Mobile Pentium 4 was the last generation of mobile microprocessors with NetBurst microarchitecure. The mobile microprocessors were based on two Intel Pentium 4 cores - Northwood and Prescott. The processors had either 512 KB (Northwood core) or 1 MB (Prescott core) level 2 cache, and 533 MHz Front side Bus. Some Northwood mobile CPUs and all Prescott processors included Hyper-Threading technology. Although these processors had the same power-saving features of Pentium 4-M microprocessors, power consumption of these CPUs was significantly higher than the one of Mobile Pentium 4-M processors. In fact, the power consumption of Prescott-based mobile Pentium 4 was so high, that it hardly could be considered a "mobile" processor.

Picture of: Intel Mobile Pentium 4 518 2.8 GHz - RK80546HE0721M

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Type:
32, 64-bit microprocessor
Introduction:
2000
Technology (micron):
0.065 - 0.18
Frequency (GHz):
1.2 - 3.8
L3 cache size (MB):
0, 2
Sockets:
Socket 423
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