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Intelís Pentium 2200A/2000A MHz
AMDís Athlon XP2000+


Itís a big day today for the two processor giants; both are introducing their latest and fastest weapons against each other. Both companies are participating in the same race and are driving for the same prize; they are racing to deliver the fastest and most powerful x86 processor.

Our AMD Athlon XP2000+ sample didnít make it in time in the lab for the testing which will unfortunately focus this review mostly into Intelís latest flagship, although the XP2000 was late arriving, we will have a full indepth review as soon as possible

The new face of the Pentium 4: Northwood

Today Intel publicly introduced their latest and fastest 2200MHz and 2000MHz processors; these two new parts are based on Intelís new Northwood core and are therefore called 2200A and 2000A. Notice the addition of the A at the end; this refers to the processor being based on Northwood. To some this will bring back memories of the first celerons with the famous (infamous?) 300A, and the pentium III which used the 'E' and 'B' to denote 133mhz fsb and the .18mu coppermine cores. Pentium 4 processors based on the Northwood core are built on the latest 0.13 micron fabrication process using copper interconnects.

Core
Number of transistors
L2 Cache
Die Size
Pentium 4 2200A
Northwood
55 M
512K
146mm2
Pentium 4 2000
Willamette
42 M
256K
217mm2
Athlon XP 2000+
Palomino
37.5 M
256K
128mm2

The Northwood is manufactured using 300mm wide silicon disks compared to the 200mm wide disks used for the Willamette core. This new manufacturing process gives the wafer more than half the space of the Willamette's wafer surface and in result doubles the number of processor dies. In addition, Intel can now produce up to 300% more processors from the same wafer because of smaller conducting tracks of the 0.13 process.

The transition to the 0.13 process has several benefits on the present and future of Intel's flagship, one important being the lower power consumption. The Northwood runs at 1.5V compared to Willamette's which runs on 1.75V, the lower voltage operation will allow the Northwood core to consume less power and in result run cooler.

Another major enhancement on the Northwood is the level two cache memory bump; it doubles from the original 256K on the
Willamette to 512K on the Northwood core. Both Northwood and Willamette uses the same 8-way associative L2 Cache. The extra L2 memory is definitely a welcome addition which should boost in average an extra 5 Ė 10% of performance in most tasks.

New Micro Architecture "NetBurst"

NetBurst is the name for Intel's new microprocessor architecture. In order to maintain the stability in the fast growing processor market, every 3 - 4 years Intelís develops totally new microprocessor architecture. The last architecture Intel released was the P6 Micro Architecture, first introduced with the Pentium Pro back in 1995.

The P6 architecture was a great design until we reached the 1GHz mark at which point this design was pushing its limits on reaching higher peaks. You might remember the famous Pentium III 1.13GHz recall that took place last August. The reason behind this was simple, Intel pushed the P6 design to far and stability problems immediately began.

In November 2000, Intel officially launched their newest Architecture named NetBurst; this was introduced with the launch of the Pentium 4 processor, the first ever IA-32 processor to take advantage of it. NetBurst includes the fallowing innovations.


















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