..:: Pentium Extreme Edition 955 ::..
The Extreme Edition 955, based off of the “Presler” core features the 1066MHz FSB Intel stole away with the Extreme Edition 840, as well as an additional 1MB of L2 cache for each core. This brings up to a total of 4MB of L2 cache for the Extreme Edition 955. We also have the Hyper-Threading support allowing for four threads to be handled at the same time, as well as the implementation of Intel’s Virtualization Technology, EM64T, and finally the Execute Disable Bit. On the outside, the Extreme Edition 955 looks just like any other run of the mill LGA775 Pentium 4 processor. To power the Extreme Edition 955, we have Intel’s i975X motherboard, the D975XBK. We’ll be covering this chipset / board combo in more detail in the coming weeks.
..:: Dual Core : Is It For Me? ::..
Although the dual core processors have been out on the market for a little while now, our initial stance still holds as it did with their original debut. The average computer user, and even some of the high performance crowd, likely wouldn’t see much, if any, benefit from switching over to a dual core processor at time being. Given that the bulk of software out there now is only single-threaded, the dual core option would blow out the window and be ineffective. The performance under these applications will look just like a regular Pentium 4 running at a similar or lower clock. This isn’t to say, however, that others wouldn’t reap a wealth of benefit from a dual core solution.
Software that is multi-threaded, such as CAD, DV Editing, and a few Gaming applications would see a nice performance boost from the two execution cores. We’re even seeing more and more patches becoming available that offer up multi-threading and multi-core support in recently released games, such as Quake IV. These patches are allowing for some solid performance gains for both Intel and AMD based dual core processors.
If you’re in the field of DV or CAD, then these processors could provide a cheaper upgrade from current multi-processor systems. The strength of dual cores in a single-threaded environment lies with multi-tasking. Dual core setups will allow for a far more responsive system in a multi-tasking environment. If you’re not one to fall into either of these categories, then odds are you can do with a single core processor for now, or at least until more software patches bring support for dual cores to your fingertips.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s see what results we find when we pit three of Intel’s top processors against each other. We’re talking the Pentium D 820, Extreme Edition 840, and of course the Extreme Edition 955. These results should give us an accurate impression of processor vs. processor performance on an identical platform, that of the i975X chipset. Enough talk; let’s see what this processor can do.