Pentium D - a series of dual-core processors: review, specifications, reviews
The Pentium D series chips were the first processors for desktop systems that included 2 compute modules on a single silicon chip. It was this performance that allowed them to increase their speed in tasks that required the presence of several physical cores. It is about a series of these innovative CPUs that will be discussed in this article.
History of appearance
At the beginning of 2005, a very problematic situation developed in the world of processor solutions: a further increase in the clock frequency was no longer possible, but it was still necessary to increase performance. Therefore, it was necessary to make certain changes to the existing organization of personal computers, the essence of which was reduced to the fact that 2 computational modules had already started to be made on a single chip. When executing single-threaded applications, performance remained at the same level.But in the case of the launch of software code that has already been optimized for 2 cores, this arrangement made it possible to obtain a significant increase in speed, which in some cases could reach 30-40 percent. The first such chip was the Pentium D processor. Essentially, there was no great novelty in the semiconductor crystals of this product, for the reason that these were well-known Pentium 4 code processing modules. Only in the last core there was only one, then here in the “Pentium D” there were already two of them.
Niche processors of this family
The first Pentium D was positioned by Intel as affordable flagship solutions with a high level of performance. In addition, as was noted earlier, these processor devices had 2 cores on the same silicon substrate. One step lower in the Intel product segment at that time was Pentium 4 with support for NT. They had one physical block and two logical ones. That is, the program code could handle such solutions in 2 streams. As a result, within the LGA775 platform, they provided an average level of performance. The processors of the Celeron series were aimed at the niche of office systems.Modest technical characteristics did not allow to use them in any other areas.
What was included in the delivery list?
In the two lists of configuration it was possible to meet the CPU of the Pentium D series from Intel. One of them is advanced and is called VOX. The manufacturing company included the following in it:
Brand cardboard box.
Transparent plastic case for safe transportation of the processor unit.
The cooling system developed by Intel. It included an air cooler and a special modification of thermal paste, which contributed to improved heat removal from the CPU.
Quick guide to use in paper form.
Sticker with the processor family logo.
The most optimal delivery option was suitable for using the CPU in nominal mode. If it was planned to “overclock” the processor, then the TRAIL grade already looked preferable. It was almost completely identical to the delivery list for the VOX. The only difference was the absence of a cooling system. In this case, it was necessary to purchase separately.As a rule, the TRAIL configuration was purchased by computer enthusiasts, who then equipped their PCs with an advanced cooling system. This allowed us to overclock the computer and increase its speed.
CPU socket. Architectural features
Any chip of the Pentium D line should have been installed into the LGA775 socket. Their characteristics indicated that not all motherboards of this platform supported such CPUs. Therefore, when assembling a new computing system, it is imperative to check the list of supported processor models and find the “Pentium D” in it. The same procedure must be done in the case of upgrading a personal computer. As noted earlier, the 2 cores of the ordinary Pentium 4 crystals were part of the Pentium D. The temperature increased significantly due to this arrangement of the substrate. In order to eliminate the overheating of the semiconductor base of the CPU, the Intel company was forced to significantly reduce the nominal values of clock frequencies. As a result, the performance in single-threaded tasks has not significantly decreased, but in the program code optimized for 2 threads, the performance has increased.
The first generation "Pentium D"
Intel Pentium D was introduced for the first time in May 2005. The code name for this family is Smithfield. These CPUs were manufactured using the 90 nm technology, their thermal package was declared at the level of 130 W. The younger model with the 805 index had a clock frequency of 2.66 GHz, while the data bus on the motherboard functioned at 533 MHz. All other chips had a system bus frequency of 800 MHz. And both the first and second generation. The most productive CPU model was marked with the index 840. Its operating frequency was equal to 3.2 GHz. The cache of the first level was 64 Kb, and the second - 2 clusters of 1 Mb each. The number of transistors in this case was equal to 230 million, and the area of the crystal was 206 mm2.
The second revision of this generation of chips
A year later, an updated generation of this chip family was released. The first innovation was the process technology. Now, semiconductor crystals were manufactured using 65 nm technology. This allowed to reduce the crystal area to 140 mm.2. But at the same time, the thermal packet of the CPU did not change and remained equal to 130 W. The second important update is the increase in clock frequency. Its minimum value was set by the manufacturer at around 2.8 GHz for chips index 915. In this case, there were 3 flagships.Pentium D 945 and 950 functioned at a frequency of 3.4 GHz, and 960 - 3.6 GHz. Another important innovation is to increase the cache in the second level by 2 times - up to 2 clusters of 2 MB each. It was through a combination of these several factors that Intel managed to achieve an increase in productivity, which in percentage terms could reach 20 percent.
At the time of the start of sales, the cost of such chips was in the range from 70 to 110 dollars. Given the positioning and capabilities of such a price tag was fully justified. Now, a lot of time has passed since the start of sales, but you can still find such processors on sale. Only their prices have decreased significantly and are in the range of 30 to 50 dollars. For example, Pentium D 945 now costs 3800 rubles. Taking into account the fact that the main niche of such CPUs is office systems, then this approach to pricing is entirely justified. In this case, the rest of the components in such a personal computer will cost much less. Therefore, the “Pentium D” is a worthy option for building low-cost, low-cost PCs.
Certain cons were inherent in Pentium D chips.Reviews identified the following of them:
Low clock frequencies.
High degree of heating.
Decreased performance when performing a single-threaded task.
But the advantages of these chips were:
Low cost in comparison with competing solutions of the AMD company of the Athlon X2 series.
The possibility of improving performance by overclocking the chip. In the latter case, the PC was necessarily equipped with a high-quality cooling system and a powerful power supply.
Improved performance when performing tasks in two streams.
The relevance of chips today
Anyway, Intel Pentium D was released 10 years ago. At that time, he belonged to the processor level products and allowed to solve any problems. Since then, the assortment of Intel processor devices has been changed several times. The technological process, as well as the architecture of a semiconductor crystal, has changed dramatically. As a result, today the use of such processors is justified only in office computers. The speed requirements in this case are minimal, and the cost should be democratic. In all other cases, an upgrade and a transition to a new computing platform is required.
An important basis for the further development of computer technology was laid by the Pentium D chips. Such an arrangement of processor solutions found its ubiquitous solution, and now even the most budget solutions of this class include 2 computing modules. The manufacturers went further and integrated 4, 6, 8, and even 10 computing units into one crystal, and this made it possible to significantly increase PC performance. The next stage was the integration of the integrated graphics card and the north bridge of the system logic set onto the CPU chip. The latest innovation was the transfer of a set of system logic under the cover of the processor and the south bridge. And at the source of all this, the Pentium D chip also stood.