The Coppermine Confusion

There are entirely too many different Intel CPUs on the market. That is as plainly as it can be put, and for someone looking to purchase a new CPU, seeing the overwhelming number of Pentium IIIs on the market can be very intimidating. In an effort to help clear up any confusion, let's take a look at all the different Pentium IIIs on the market today:

Pentium III 450/500/550

These four CPUs are based on the original Pentium III core, which carried the code name Katmai. The Katmai core features the 70 Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE) and the Processor Serial Number that drew so much attention upon its conception.

They feature 512KB of L2 cache, located on the Slot-1 processor card, operating at ½ the core clock frequency. They operate on a 100MHz FSB and run at a 2.0v core voltage. The Katmai core is manufactured on a 0.25-micron fabrication process, features approximately 9.5 million transistors, and measures in at 128 mm^2.

Pentium III 600

The Pentium III 600 is from the same family as the 450 - 550MHz parts, the only difference is that it runs at a 2.05v core voltage setting.

Pentium III 533/600B

These two CPUs were released into 2H of 1999 and are still based on the Katmai core. The only difference is that they are 133MHz FSB CPUs, meaning they have lower clock multipliers and are intended for use on 133MHz FSB platforms (i.e. 820, 840, Apollo Pro 133A, etc…). As with the Pentium III 600, the 600B runs at 2.05v. The 533 runs at the standard 2.0v.

Pentium III 500E/550E

While all of the aforementioned CPUs are Slot-1 processors, the Pentium III 500E/550E are both Socket-370 processors. These two chips are based on the new Coppermine core that was just introduced in October 1999.

The Coppermine core is manufactured on a 0.18-micron process that allows for the die to shrink down to 106 mm^2 from 128 mm^2 while providing enough room for a full 256KB of L2 cache on the die itself thus removing the need for a processor card to house the L2 cache. The Coppermine core contains other performance enhancements in addition to the full speed on-die 256KB L2 cache which you can learn about in our review of the Pentium III "Coppermine."

Both of these CPUs run on the 100MHz FSB and feature a 1.60v core voltage requirement.
Pentium III 533EB/600EB/667/733/800

Like the Pentium III 500E/55E, these five CPUs are all based on the 0.18-micron Coppermine core and thus feature a full speed on-die 256KB L2 Cache. The only differences are that they run at 1.65v and are available in Slot-1 versions only. They run at a 133MHz FSB.

Pentium III 600E/650/700/750

These four are all based on the 0.18-micron Coppermine core like the Pentium III 500E/550E. The only differences are that they run at 1.65v and are available in Slot-1 versions only. Unlike the previous five, these run at a 100MHz FSB and will therefore work on some BX boards.

Index The Test

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now