Pentium 4: More speed in the pipeline

Thanks xStainDx...Intel will increase the speed of the chipset on the Pentium 4 in the coming months, a change that will likely boost the performance of top-end PCs.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chipmaker is coming out with a new chipset, code-named Springdale, for Pentium 4 PCs. The chipset runs at 800MHz, substantially faster than the 400MHz and 533MHz chipsets currently available for Pentium 4 computers, according to sources close to the company.

The new chipset will be released with a 3.2GHz version of the Pentium 4, the sources said. Intel could not be reached for comment. Among other tasks, the chipset creates a data path, or system bus, between the processor and a computer's memory. Speeding it up increases both the rate the processor can obtain data and the amount that can be transferred.

The imbalance between processor speeds, which top out at 3GHz, and memory and system buses, which are far slower, has made the system bus look more like a street than a freeway because of the imbalance. Often, processors hum along in idle mode because of a lack of data. Likewise, latency, the time gap between when a chip has requested data and when it arrives, has grown.

"Anything you can do to speed that up will help," said Nathan Brookwood, an analyst at consulting firm Insight 64.

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News source: Neowin BPN Forum

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