Intel Pentium D dual-core desktop CPU

Pentium 4 670, too


Review Today, Intel's officially released Pentium CPUs that offer both high clock speeds and dual-core loveliness, although you won't get both in one package. The Pentium 4 660, which is a 3.6GHz 'Prescott' chip with 2MB of L2 cache, will now be play second fiddle to the Pentium 4 670. All the same internals; just 200MHz faster and, obviously, more expensive. On the other hand, the near-£700 3.2GHz HyperThreading-capable Pentium Extreme Edition 840 gets a little brother. The Pentium D 820 runs in at 2.8GHz, is dual-core, but does not support HyperThreading. The end result is a dualie that comes in at a more palatable £200 or so. Which is better: high clock speed and HT (the 670) or relatively low MHz and two cores (the 830)? Are either of them worth it?

Pentium D 820The 500-series P4s carried 1MB of L2 cache, an area of on-chip memory that stores data for the thread currently being executed. Running at full core speed, accesses to L2 cache are orders of magnitude faster than getting data from the system memory. Generally-speaking, the larger the cache, the better, though after a point adding more makes increasingly little difference. Gaming, in particular, sees a boost with larger on-chip caches. The Pentium 4 670 has 2MB of L2. Adding an extra 1MB of cache pushes up the 600-series' transistor count to around 169m, around 35m more than a 500-series part. The cost is inevitably passed on to the consumer. A Pentium 4 560J weighs in at around £270. The equivalently clocked 660 hits the wallet for £380.

The P4 670

All 600-series P4s support what Intel terms C1E Halt State. Put simply, with an appropriate OS and motherboard BIOS to activate it, C1E drops the CPU's multiplier and voltage to lower levels when a HLT (halt) command is issued. It makes implicit sense; why run at full speed and voltage when the system is just ticking over? Once an application demands CPU power, the voltage and multiplier are raised back to performance levels. There's also Enhanced SpeedStep (EIST), which is similar to C1E, and Thermal Monitoring 2, which intelligently reduces clock speed and voltage if the CPU begins to overheat.

The 600-series also benefit from Intel's AMD-like 64-bit extensions that allow the CPUs to run 64-bit operatings systems and applications. Windows XP 64-bit has already shipped and drivers are slowly but surely getter better. NX Bit, when implemented, stops code from being run in certain areas. It looks great on paper, but the majority of naughty viruses use more creative ways of execution.

The 670 is still stuck on a 200MHz frontside bus. It's strange that Intel chipsets have supported a 266MHz FSB for some time now and DDR 2 SDRAM is hitting the 400MHz mark with ease, yet all P4 processors barring Extreme Editions run at 200MHz. A 3.73GHz (14 x 266MHz FSB) model would have been appreciated.

The 670 has a TDP of around 115W. Cooled by an Intel reference copper-bottomed design, the processor hit 66°C running. It's one toasty CPU.

Next page: The PD 820

Other stories you might like

  • How ICE became a $2.8b domestic surveillance agency
    Your US tax dollars at work

    The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has spent about $2.8 billion over the past 14 years on a massive surveillance "dragnet" that uses big data and facial-recognition technology to secretly spy on most Americans, according to a report from Georgetown Law's Center on Privacy and Technology.

    The research took two years and included "hundreds" of Freedom of Information Act requests, along with reviews of ICE's contracting and procurement records. It details how ICE surveillance spending jumped from about $71 million annually in 2008 to about $388 million per year as of 2021. The network it has purchased with this $2.8 billion means that "ICE now operates as a domestic surveillance agency" and its methods cross "legal and ethical lines," the report concludes.

    ICE did not respond to The Register's request for comment.

    Continue reading
  • Fully automated AI networks less than 5 years away, reckons Juniper CEO
    You robot kids, get off my LAN

    AI will completely automate the network within five years, Juniper CEO Rami Rahim boasted during the company’s Global Summit this week.

    “I truly believe that just as there is this need today for a self-driving automobile, the future is around a self-driving network where humans literally have to do nothing,” he said. “It's probably weird for people to hear the CEO of a networking company say that… but that's exactly what we should be wishing for.”

    Rahim believes AI-driven automation is the latest phase in computer networking’s evolution, which began with the rise of TCP/IP and the internet, was accelerated by faster and more efficient silicon, and then made manageable by advances in software.

    Continue reading
  • Pictured: Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way
    We speak to scientists involved in historic first snap – and no, this isn't the M87*

    Astronomers have captured a clear image of the gigantic supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy for the first time.

    Sagittarius A*, or Sgr A* for short, is 27,000 light-years from Earth. Scientists knew for a while there was a mysterious object in the constellation of Sagittarius emitting strong radio waves, though it wasn't really discovered until the 1970s. Although astronomers managed to characterize some of the object's properties, experts weren't quite sure what exactly they were looking at.

    Years later, in 2020, the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to a pair of scientists, who mathematically proved the object must be a supermassive black hole. Now, their work has been experimentally verified in the form of the first-ever snap of Sgr A*, captured by more than 300 researchers working across 80 institutions in the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration. 

    Continue reading
  • Shopping for malware: $260 gets you a password stealer. $90 for a crypto-miner...
    We take a look at low, low subscription prices – not that we want to give anyone any ideas

    A Tor-hidden website dubbed the Eternity Project is offering a toolkit of malware, including ransomware, worms, and – coming soon – distributed denial-of-service programs, at low prices.

    According to researchers at cyber-intelligence outfit Cyble, the Eternity site's operators also have a channel on Telegram, where they provide videos detailing features and functions of the Windows malware. Once bought, it's up to the buyer how victims' computers are infected; we'll leave that to your imagination.

    The Telegram channel has about 500 subscribers, Team Cyble documented this week. Once someone decides to purchase of one or more of Eternity's malware components, they have the option to customize the final binary executable for whatever crimes they want to commit.

    Continue reading
  • Ukrainian crook jailed in US for selling thousands of stolen login credentials
    Touting info on 6,700 compromised systems will get you four years behind bars

    A Ukrainian man has been sentenced to four years in a US federal prison for selling on a dark-web marketplace stolen login credentials for more than 6,700 compromised servers.

    Glib Oleksandr Ivanov-Tolpintsev, 28, was arrested by Polish authorities in Korczowa, Poland, on October 3, 2020, and extradited to America. He pleaded guilty on February 22, and was sentenced on Thursday in a Florida federal district court. The court also ordered Ivanov-Tolpintsev, of Chernivtsi, Ukraine, to forfeit his ill-gotten gains of $82,648 from the credential theft scheme.

    The prosecution's documents [PDF] detail an unnamed, dark-web marketplace on which usernames and passwords along with personal data, including more than 330,000 dates of birth and social security numbers belonging to US residents, were bought and sold illegally.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022