The Pentium 4 has come a long way since its introduction in the Fall of 2000. It went from being a laughable performer, to a CPU embraced by the community. Today Intel is extending the Pentium 4 family with the third major revision of the chip – codenamed Prescott.

Back when Prescott was nothing more than a curious block on Intel’s roadmap, we assumed that history would repeat itself: Intel would move to a smaller, 90nm process, double the cache and increase clock speeds. Intel has always historically behaved this way, they did so with the Pentium III and its iterations, and they did so with the first revisions of the Pentium 4. What we got with Prescott was much more than we bargained for.

Intel did move to a 90nm process, but at the same time didn’t produce a vastly cooler chip. Intel did double the cache, but also increased access latencies – a side effect we did not have with Northwood. Intel also moved to Prescott in order to increase clock speeds, however none of those speeds are available at launch (we’re still no faster than Northwood at 3.2GHz) and Intel did so at the expense of lengthening the pipeline; the Prescott’s basic Integer pipeline is now 31 stages long, up from the already lengthy 20 stages of Northwood. With Prescott, many more changes were made under the hood, including new instructions, some technology borrowed from the Pentium M and a number of algorithmic changes that affect how the CPU works internally.

If you thought that Prescott was just going to be smaller, faster, better – well, you were wrong. But at the same time, if you view it as longer, slower, worse – you’re not exactly on target either. Intel has deposited a nice mixed bag of technology on our doorsteps today, and it’s going to take a lot to figure out which side is up.

Let’s get to it.

Pipelining: 101


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  • Chadder007 - Monday, February 02, 2004 - link

    I can't imagine how HOT that sucker will be when up to 5ghz!!!! 150oC??? LOL
    For the heat issues alone, im thinking about going AMD in my next rig.
  • CRAMITPAL - Monday, February 02, 2004 - link

    Ace's Hardware summed it up well: Prescott is a DOG, or to be exact a HOT DOG ! See the picture in the review of the dog warming it's toes next to the Prescott powered PC. Talk about one sad CPU piece of crap...

    Here is the FLAME THROWER reality check:

    "Currently there is no reason to upgrade to Prescott, as the gaming performance is more or less ok, but many applications report pretty poor results. On top of that, the new Intel CPU gets hot very quickly and requires a well ventilated case. The Athlon 64 3200+ is not always the clear winner in games compared to 3.2 GHz Prescott, but the 3400+ will have little trouble beating the 3.4 GHz Prescott in most benchmarks. Prescott will have to scale incredibly quickly to outperform the Athlon 64, because the latter scales excellently with clockspeed, and we definitely prefer Cool'n'Quiet over Hot'n Prescott! "

    As shown this FLAME THROWER don't scale well, especially when it runs 15-20C hotter than an equal speed Northwood. Intel really fugged up this time. Ya gotta love seeing the Satan eat shit and choke! When every hardware review site on the planet, including THG's tells ya Prescott is a piece of crap, then you might as well resign to reality. DENIAL is futile!

    Dell will be selling FLAME THROWING PC Heaters to any gullible sheep foolish enough to buy a Prescott. A fool and his money are soon parted !
  • AnonymouseUser - Monday, February 02, 2004 - link

    "Ummmm yea, kinda reminds me of cooking an egg on an Athlon XP"

    Yeah, kinda, except the Prescott can do the same work in about half the time. Sounds like something they should advertise that as a feature...
  • Stlr22 - Monday, February 02, 2004 - link

    What happened to CRAM's post???
  • INTC - Monday, February 02, 2004 - link

    #43 cliffa3 -

    It doesn't look good for P4G8X with either the 2.8/533 or the 800 MHz FSB flavors.
  • mkruer - Monday, February 02, 2004 - link

    For those who missed it, X-bit gave a temperature comparison, for the all the chip.

    Processor; Idle, Burn
    Pentium 4 (Prescott) 3.2GHz; 45oC, 61oC
    Pentium 4 (Northwood) 3.2GHz; 30oC, 48oC
    Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.2GHz; 32oC, 51oC

    This does not bode well for Intel unless they are going to make water cooling a standard.

    But this Quote sums it up nicely IMHO “I am scared to imagine what happens to Prescott when we close the system case…”

  • lmonds - Monday, February 02, 2004 - link

    what??? no talk about heat on this chip? Come on anand this is vital info about prescott. Other sites are reporting temps up around 80c with the stock cooler. I understand that as it gets faster in mhz it will be a better performing chip but what kinda heat are we looking at at 4ghz? No way is a 80c chip going in any of my boxes. If keeping an intel badge on the front of my case means i have to have a delta fan in my box then you can forget about it. Reply
  • Stlr22 - Monday, February 02, 2004 - link

    :D Reply
  • Captante - Monday, February 02, 2004 - link

    Stlr22 ....Re post # 31 Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaha!!!!
    That one had me cracking up for 5 minutes!
    It is good to laugh!!! :-)
  • Stlr22 - Monday, February 02, 2004 - link

    Moreless a Prescott.... Reply

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