Andrew Pollack's Blog

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The new chips are here! The new chips are here!

By Andrew Pollack on 05/26/2005 at 09:09 PM EDT

    Do you need to go faster? For only $1,150 at ZipZoomFly (one of my favorite haunts) they're now offering the newest Intel P4. If you remember what I wrote earlier about why Hyperthreading rocks, you'll understand why I love this new toy.....

    Intel Pentium 4 Processor 840 3.2GHz Extreme Edition, 800MHz FSB, Socket 775, 2x1MB Cache w/Fan and Heatsink, 2x1MB Cache, 90nm, Dual-Core

    This is Intel's current monster. This is a single chip, and fits in your normal (if expensive) socket 775 slot. Motherboards to support this slot run a couple of hundred bucks and are easily available. Once you plug this baby in, Windows XP will see it as 4 -- count them 1,2,3,4 -- 3.2 GHZ 32bit processors. They're like a PAIR of 3.2ghz P4 with HT processors. Performance roughly similar to what you'd see running at 12.8ghz, only with much less thread contention.

    I think I'll wait six months for the price to come into the $500 range, then upgrade the servers.

    Its not all roses though -- a single chip architecture does means even more processor threads trying to get access to the memory, disk, and video subsystems. The next generation of improvements must really focus on improving that. I've been reading about alot of great work being done on asynchronous (non-clocked) circuits which could be faster, lower heat, and lower power -- particularly good for a system bus. We'll see where that goes by next year I guess.


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