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The Intel Pentium III FC-PGA 933MHz

Technology continues to grow at an exponential rate with new products coming out on the market every day. These products can be specialized hardware or even software, though hardware probably gets the most attention in the media. Generally, when we speak of computer hardware, we think of the main components and what generally comes to mind is the central processing unit (CPU). A processor is the logic circuitry that responds to and processes the basic instructions that drive a computer. The term processor has generally replaced the term CPU (central processing unit). The processor in a personal computer or that is embedded in small devices is often called a microprocessor

The processor
  • 242-pin Slot-1 GTL
  • CPU interface running at 133MHz
  • 256-bit Advanced Transfer Cache
  • 256KB on-die L2 cache running at core speed
  • 1.65v core voltage
  • Advanced System Buffering
  • 0.18-micron Coppermine core


(+,-) $700USD

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A microprocessor is also sometimes called a logic chip. It is the "engine" that goes into motion when you turn your computer on. A microprocessor is designed to perform arithmetic and logic operations that make use of small number-holding areas called registers. Typical microprocessor operations include adding, subtracting, comparing two numbers, and fetching numbers from one area to another.

Intel introduced the Pentium III on the 26th of February 1999. It was released with the core name KATMAI and was built on the 0.25-Micron process. On that day, they claimed that they introduced the fastest processor on the market for the personal computer. Their first products in this line were released at 450Mhz and 500Mhz, which was followed by the 550Mhz a month later. Since the earlier Pentium II chips were also built on the 0.25-micron process what distinguished the Katmai was a set of 70 new multimedia instructions, known as ‘SSE’ (streaming SIMD extensions). With these new features Intel chose to re-baptize the Pentium II to Pentium III.

A flashback

In October 1998 at the Microprocessor Forum in San Jose, California, the first presentation of Athlon was made and some very interesting information was revealed. Probably the biggest one was the 200Mhz bus speed that the Athlon was slated to run on. Many were already wondering, and giving their personal theories online, on the upcoming processor.

Then in 1999 AMD released the long-awaited Athlon CPU. The Katmai core had problems following the Athlon, and even the "B" revision of the Pentium III Katmai couldn’t catch up with the Athlon. This was probably Intel’s scariest moment. But they never gave up, as we say, competition helps! A few weeks later, Intel finally released the long awaited Coppermine core, which was supposed to ship in September 1999, but was delayed by a few months which comes to the 25th October 1999. This was the first Intel CPU running on a .18 micron process and having over 29 million transistors, and Intel finally had something to compete with the Athlon, even without running it on the delayed i820 - i840 Chipsets. The Pentium III processors, based on the Coppermine core, became a strong performer to the Athlon with benchmark scores to prove it.

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