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Pentium 4 And Brookdale Update 115

ravedaddy writes: "With the Pentium 4 in mail order stores now (before Intel's release date), [Sharky Extreme] felt it was time to give an update on the status of Intel's next generation chip as well as a look at some more information on Intel's upcoming SDR and DDR chipsets (Brookdale) for the Pentium 4." Key words: "Don't be foolish and buy now. You can't actually buy a Pentium 4 motherboard yet, so you won't be able to use a Pentium 4 right away, anyway."
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Pentium 4 And Brookdale Update

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  • by Noodles ( 39504 ) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @11:46AM (#637228)
    I've been told performance isn't related to size.
  • As far as I understand it, a smaller die size simply allows you to run the chip at a higher clock speed without it melting. A .13 micron chip running at 1000MHZ will be as fast as a .18 micron chip running at 1000MHz.
  • by BRock97 ( 17460 ) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @12:14PM (#637230) Homepage
    This is not targetted specifically at home users... This is supposed to be the flagship product of Intel...

    I will guarantee, though, that the benchmarks that will be run will not take this into mind. You will see Quake3, Incoming, Winbench, and the like used to see what the processor will do. Great. Fine. Here we have software that is either bound by the bottle neck of the GPU, memory bus, or some other technology that is holding things back. Even those programs you mention will be limited in some way regarding these technologies. Bah, I say.

    Bryan R.
  • I got a good chuckle when I read this:

    "There will be two versions of the Brookdale chipset, an SDR and a DDR version. The SDR version should hit the market in September of 2001. The DDR version should hit in January of 2002, though there is a chance that it will arrive as early as October of 2001."

    Anyone else this Intel would find itself losing a considerably larger market share than it already has if the P4 can't use SDR or DDR for almost a year from its release? I sure do.

  • You need a metal door and floor. Maybe plastic will work, or linoleum. No carpet or wood or tile.

    Put the P4 on the floor where you want the door to stay. Rig up the power supply so it's activated by the door opening enough to contact the P4.

    Now if the door is held in place long enough, the P4 will weld itself to both the door and the floor, making a permanent doorstop.

    This is useful for moving, as you no longer need to use a bulky moving box to keep the door open.

    Any patent lawyers out there want to put this in the right language?

  • I have read several articles in the past few weeks indicating that Apple is considering a move to an Intel-based platform.

    So if you want to pay more for *inferior* hardware now you'll just have to go buy a *Sun* workstation.
  • by slothbait ( 2922 ) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @12:19PM (#637234)
    > Obviously, the pentium 4's performance lags (or will) behind Thunderbirds of similar clock speeds. But this thing is also a .18 die process.

    You are being a bit loose with terms. The Pentium 4 is fabricated with a .18 micron process. This means that an individual gate measures 0.18 micron wide (or is it long? Damn...where's my VLSI text). Now, the smaller you make each individual gate, the more gates you can pack into the same square area of silicon. Or, if you keep the same design with the same number of transistors and "shrink" it to a smaller process, the same part can be manufactured in a smaller die size (square chunk of silicon).

    Cost for semiconductor manufacturing is primarily a factor of silicon area, so reducing the die size is a big cost-savings per part. Also, smaller die sizes increase yields. Defects are inevitable, but with careful fab management, you reduce defects to a certain number per wafer. Each one of those will (likely) ruin a die. But if the dies are smaller, less of the overall wafer's area is lost to that particular defect. Thus, the smaller your die size, the less any given defect will cost you.

    But there's another very important advantage you get from a smaller process. A smaller process generally translates to a higher clock speed. Why? Gate capacitance. Each gate is essentially a capacitor that has to be charged or discharged to switch the gate on->off or off->on. A larger device has a greater capacitance and hence takes a longer time to charge/discharge. So, larger devices take longer to change state, and hence can not be clocked as fast.

    So, in summary, a process-shrink should improve yield for Intel, which means lower cost per part. It should also help their engineers up clock speeds on the component. However, at any *particular* clock speed, performance will not be affected. Heat dissipation / power consumption should be reduced, but otherwise, clock for clock the consumer will not notice a difference between processes.

    ...anyway, that's some of the engineering behind this. In terms of forecasts, I think Intel has been caught with it's pants down. They have an inferior product, and, if the world is sane, AMD will clean their clock in the coming year.

  • Just out of curiosity, when is the Itanium supposed to come out??? According to recruiters, it was supposed to be out by now, and then I heard another year from someone? I thought that they were through the Pentiums????
  • by PD ( 9577 ) <> on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @12:20PM (#637236) Homepage Journal
    I'm not worried about that. My Celery 300A system will be in service until 2002. The motherboard only supports CPU's up to 550 MHZ. When I bought the thing the fastest Celery processor was 433 MHZ.

    I have no high hopes that I will be able to put a 2 GHZ processor in that board, so I guess that it was an evolutionary dead end.

    I have never upgraded the processor on any of my computers without switching the motherboard as well. I just run them too long for that. I typically run a computer for at least 4 years, and my current machine will go for 5 years.

    My next machine will be 1000 times faster than the 386SX that I used from 1990 to 1994, so I expect that it will serve me even longer.

  • Pentium, Flaming wreckage, snafu, big fat mess, why me God?, running scared, clusterf**k, rambus? schmambus!, pentium 4, pentium IV, stopgap, AMD is kicking our ass!, unavailable, expensive, costly, outrageous, lotta money, cha-ching, yield problems, 400 MHz front-side, 4 nuns walk into a bar, smoke, fire, heat, hot, watts, megawatts, gigawatts!, grove

    Thank you.
  • Why must you mock my illiteracy? I thought that in this day and age my handicap would be met with tolerance, but I guess I was wrong. My voice-recognition software reads stuff back to me in this Stephen Hawking voice, and when I've taken my "medicine", I get a little confused as to what he's saying. This one time I thought he was explaining the secrets of quantum physics to me, but I guess I'd just been blathering on at my cat Mincey. Sharkey []
  • Not like Intel is doing the same thing. "Don't buy a good AMD chip now, we have a P4 coming out in the near future. " Look how well that seems to work for the consumers.

    Make something idiot-proof and the world will make a better idiot.
  • by phook ( 252472 ) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @01:05PM (#637240)
    Hey 1.4Ghz means that the buttons on Java GUIs will go up and down almost in *real-time*. Wow. those wierdos [] in the Java development camp will be dancing in the air!
  • I mean, if they can't get the thing to 5+ gigahertz speeds, will it be very effective at all in the consumer marketplace?

    What planet do you live on? Because on mine, most people are getting by quite nicely with 200 to 500 MHz processors. Some get by with a lot less.

    I HOPE that the P-4 wasn't designed with 5GHz speeds in mind, solely because it'd (probably) have to be so optimized for those speeds that such meager speeds as 1.5 GHz would suffer as a result.

    Yeah, Moore's law exists. But that shouldn't make us suppose that a chip that might not reach 5 GHz comfortably is dead in the water.
  • Got any references to those articles?
  • I sold my P3 700e...cause for what I do a 700MHz CPU is way overkill. I'm running a Pentium 233 now and hardly see a difference between it and the P3 700E I once owned. Granted I don't play games anymore and I don't need that type of horsepower for the apps I run.
    Its all a numbers game and consumerism rolled into one. Do you really need a GHz system as a home user or office worker...more than likely you don't. Show me an app or even a game that requires even a P3 500.
    I can imagine the initial price of a P4 1.4GHz CPU in Canada, atleast a $1.00 a MHz and for that price I could buy a PS2 and 14 games to go with it....and the PS2 kills a PCs graphics to boot (no pun intended) especially on a 27" TV with 800 lines of rez.

    NT4 Workstation, all you linux lubbers:
    D:\>uptime \\Agamemnon has been up for: 45 day(s), 7 hour(s), 9 minute(s), 49 second(s)
  • "First of all, I was wondering if maybe Intel could some up with some more creative chip names then just using stupid least with AMD you have Duron and thunderbird and has Xeon and Pentium 1,2,3,4."

    Actually, Intel's simplistic naming scheme makes sense with the national market in mind. Joe Consumer sees computer with "P4" and immediately knows that it is faster than the one with a "P3" since 4 > 3. Next to those, he sees a "Thunderbird", "Duron", and an "Athlon". Those sound fast and powerful, but you never know. However, he knows for sure that a P3 is fast, and the P4 must be faster. Better safe than sorry, and he buys the P4 system.

    The problem with cool names (and I love cool names) is that they tell you nothing about the product and thus provide no way to remember what name corresponds to what level of performance.

    So while simple numbers are boring, they aid the consumer. Cool names, while catchy, don't necessarily help, and may confuse.

    D. Fischer
  • I had the distinct privelage to see the, then named, itanium (now being dubbed the P4, don't ask me why) at the spring comdex in chicago last year. This chip was amazing, i believe the MS (yeah, MS) rep said it was running at 1.5 GHz, which at the time was amazing, seeing as the fastes pIII was about 800MHz at the time. The whole arcitecture is changed, and I mean drastically, the whole motherboard itself is now in two main pieces, the bottom half sliding out to allow easy access to memory, fans etc... And this processor is something else, just wait...


  • One of the main reasons that the Pentium 4 is so damned slow is because
    a: it is no longer using the p6 core which has shorter pipelines, etc.
    and B: its is entirely RISC based. compilers and programs right now are optomized for CISC (altho cisc is hard to optomize for)
    intel has also just finished for on their .13u cpu's (tulatin, etc) and the p4 will be a lot nicer after a core downsizing. (less heat dissipation, more effeciency, etc)
    we should see speeds of around 3ghz with the p4 eventually. and it will be faster when programs are more optomized for RISC. im presonally waiting for the mustang, which should scale almost as high itself, and will stil be much faster mhz per mhz. plus the point to point multi-processing will be nicer than smp to put a system together.

  • It is such a narrow-minded suggestion that more CPU power is not needed. You've apparently never written a "slow" program or used "bloatware" that runs slower than you'd like.

    Each step in processing power increases the possibilities of what a program can do and decreases the development time of that program (less time spent in optimization). Also look at how it affects programming languages used and how it decreases development time.

    ...or perhaps you'd like to go back to the day when everything was written in assembly?

  • by David Gould ( 4938 ) <> on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @03:56PM (#637248) Homepage

    First of all, I am a software guy and I took only as many hardware classes as were required, so consider most of the following to be phrased in the form of a question (as in "Does this make any sense at all?"). That said:

    It seems the speed of light must be becoming a significant factor here. At 1 GHz, light in a vacuum will only propagate about 30 cm during a clock cycle (3*10^8 m/s / 10^9 cycles/s = 3*10^-1 m/cycle), and at 5 GHz that drops to 6 cm. I don't know the speed of electrical impulses in silicon, but even if it's not much less, that means a signal can't be doing too many laps back and forth across the chip (up and down the data path, etc.), i.e., you're working in a time scale where you can see the clock pulses rippling across the chip. Then no matter how fast the gates themselves are switching, the number of them that the signal can go through is limited by the time it takes for it to travel the total distance.

    When the speed-of-light propagation time from one end of the chip to the other is a measurably large percentage of the clock period, that would seem to make for some incredibly funky new design problems, due to clock events having occurred in one place but not another, signals that take different paths not reaching the same place at the same time, etc. Or if you just wait for everything to catch up between steps, that would cut down the number of steps per cycle even more. This would be another reason why smaller feature size allows higher clock rates for the same design: it reduces the distance the signals have to travel.

    David Gould

  • For the stylish "Intel Inside" sticker.

    Intel inside, idiot outside.
    And this sticker is not a trademark label but a warning sign

    The heat problems are impossible to avoid. To make chips run faster, the circuits must be shorter and gates closer together. Tighter wiring, more heat.

    Yep, that's why the new PPC 7450 only draws 6 to 7 watts at 700 Mhz..
    If you compare on terms of price/processing power Intel makes the most expensive processors on the market.
    Second problem is their high power usage.
  • Also, interconnect capasitance get more significance over gate capacitance as chips become more complex and gates smaller.
  • Search on zdnet, they put one up a few days ago.

    I submitted the story to slashdot, but the powers that be rejected it.

  • It's not my fault the moderator modded my post up. I agree with you that it was not worthy of a graduate thesis, but that doesn't mean that my opinion is invalid. The whole purpose of a discussion forum is not solely to get the opinions of the best, but also to get the more mundane opinions. I was adding my voice to the mundane crowd. I refused to use a posting bonus because I kept that in mind. I stand by my position that I, someone already at the Karma Cap, am not Karma Whoring.
  • That's probably right in academia, where MOSIS is actually used, but don't even think about saying that in the real world where using integer multiples of lambda will not have enough resolution. Let me guess. You're a junior, right?
  • But requiring a redesign of the case so the heat sink can mount through the board to the backplate? That's excessive in my opinion... Many of the other manufacturers don't have chips with such a high clock, but these other chips seem to have a better overall design and don't need to be overdriven like the poor ol' x86 line...

    "Titanic was 3hr and 17min long. They could have lost 3hr and 17min from that."
  • If you could get a Corvette engine, but no Corvette, could you still go 90 miles per hour?
  • I should preface these comments by noting that they were created on an Itanium machine running Linux.

    Yes, the Itanium release has been delayed many times but if you think about it it is understandable. Unlike the PIV the Itanium is a completely new architecture, not just a bigger and faster version of a current CPU. We've had to create completely new software generation tools, port OS's & applications, debug errata's in the silicon ... The astonishing thing is that we have anything working at all, not that it's late.

    McKinley on the other hand will be more like a PIV release, it is basically a bigger & faster Itanium. I would expect that the McKinley project will adhere to its schedules much better.

    We've had something like 4 different beta releases of TurboLinux for the IA64. Linux will be ready for Itanium as soon as Intel decides to start selling them, which should be soon. I don't see any chance that McKinley will come out before Itanium.

    Don Dugger
    VA Linux Systems

  • Of course that kind of "being optimized" applies. Additionally, a 10GHz chip better have a hell of a lot more bus bandwidth than a 1 GHz chip. You said something along the lines of "I hope the P4 isn't optimized for 5Ghz because then it wouldn't work efficiently at 2GHz." The P4 is optimized for high clock-speed in general. It takes the 20 stage pipeline just to reach 2GHz and the chip is capable of reaching 5-8 GHz or so. That's about the same range as the 60Mhz Pentiums reaching 233 or the 233MHz PII's reaching 1000Mhz (with the PIII) I thought you were implying that clocking a chip meant for 5Ghz at 2Ghz (given the same architure) would somehow decreased the performance more drastically than the decrease in clock speed would account for. My mistake if I underestimated you.
  • Your comparison is quite flawed. I can purchase a Corvette (if I only had $30,000+ to spend) and drive it at 65 or 70 depending upon the state _right now_. There are no motherboards available for the P4 right now. That would be like my buying a new 'Vette and leaving it parked in the garage for several months while Chevrolet designs an engine for it. It still looks shiny and new, but I can't do too much with it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Yes there is: Montana.
  • Well it seems to me that whereas the latest Intel offering is a large, bloated, energy consuming pile of whatever, it still will command some degree of market share due to the number of SMP offerings out there. If anyone can tell me where I can find a Dual or SMP Athlon board, email me immediately.

    Whereas the Pentium IV has NO motherboard support and Rambus vs DDR, the race is now on to see who can produce a good SMP motherboard first. The frontier really is in multiprocessor now, not just the clock speed of CPU0.

    I mean, all toaster jokes aside, is this finally when we start to realise that we either gotta start going RISC, or start looking at other options (photonics?) rather than silicon?
  • by Mordac the Preventer ( 36096 ) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @12:29PM (#637261) Homepage
    I heard that the reason Palm went from the Palm III to the Palm V was because the number 4 is extremely unlucky in Oriental cultures.
    Maybe Intel know this and are releasing this as a sacrificial processor before they release the Pentium 5
  • i haven't heard one industry expert (expert mind you, not pcmagazine/ziff davis moron) who thinks the p4 will even sell more than the pentium pro did. the p4 is the worst-designed intel chip ever, purely designed by marketers. reward innovation. don't buy intel right now.
  • Yup in most north Asian (Oriental is like saying Negro BTW) the word for number 4 and the word for death sound the same. hehehe pretty good one.
  • The AMD codenames stick because they are good codenames. Who wants a CPU named after some lame horse or river? Anyway, it's not the AMD marketing people who use the codenames... if you look at they say "athlon with performance enhancing cache" not thunderbird. It's the fan sites that make the codenames stick.

    Anyway, I can't wait till AMD releases the 6Ghz Viper
  • Um, NVIDIA is a relativly small company but you'd never know it from their release dates. They don't own any manufacturing capability, they only became a player in the last two years or so (after the TNT). ATI still sells more chips than them. Microsoft only releases its products every two or three years. Office has gone through 3 releases in 5 years (95,97,2000) NT4 took more than three years to get to 2000, and in the last 7 years, MS has only shipped 3 releases of Visual Studio (4.x, 5.x, 6.0) They don't release often at all. Your comment has some merit, but your totally of base on why MS brings out inferior products. MS pumps out crap because there is nobody to challenge them. Notice how after Linux came out, Win2K came together startlingly well. Aside from Microsoft, there are only a few companies that use their monopolies to turn out crappy product. ATI for example. Intel in general DOESN'T turn out crappy products. I have no idea why people have a beef with Intel, because in general their products kick ass. I think the major reason you've been seeing problems out of Intel lately is because their in an unusual position. They are not used to being in the position where their solutions aren't the fastest. Remember, Intel might be a monopoly, but only because they had industry leading performance. They don't anymore and I think they're stumbling in trying to adjust to the role of not having the freedom to decide their own release cycles.
  • by jbischof ( 139557 ) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @12:31PM (#637266) Journal
    You arent really supposed to buy one now.
    Because of several reasons

    1)The chipset is quite large and it will be migrated down to the .13micron soon.
    2)It potentially will reach speeds of 4Ghz, just wait for them to get it up to 1.8-2.0 and watch AMD fumble the ball. The P4 at 1.4 is only about as fast as a P3 at 1.1 anyway.
    3)The Price obviously
    4)Like the article said it doesnt support most memory types now, so when it does it will drastically improve performance. Why, because memory speed is the primary limiter for processor performance. Why do you think Intel tried to do that whole Rambus thing??? If you have fast memory it helps your processer out a lot.

    Personally Im going to wait for someone to make a mobo that supports the 64bit Itanium, or two of them! then run BeOs -drool-.
  • In fact bought a corvette engine and put it in a chevelle. It does 90+.
  • And when are SMP-ites like you going to realize that the only way people will shift to RISC, non-silicon, or SMP is when CISC, silicon, and uni-proc ABSOLUTELY CANNOT WORK ANOTHER DAY. Every time pundits say, "oh, silicon is dead," or "oh, everybody's going to go SMP," or "x86 cannot go on," some clever dude figures out a way to keep with the status quo (x86-64). So I think you'll be surprised than in the year 2010, we'll using 70GHz non-smp .01 micron silcon Pentium VI's.
  • There's a very lightly mod'd corvette LS1 in the Firebird and Camaro.

    sorry, had to feed a troll =)
  • Speaking as a professional VLSI engineer, .18 microns refers to a gate length. The longer this is, the more resistance there is in a FET; this brings us to the traditional viewpoint of how to speed up FETs by making them smaller-- higher current. Capacitance is becoming a large factor, but it's the current that has been the largest in the past.
  • Athlon and Duron are gay names. I liked K7 and K7-Consumer better. More dignified and all that. (I would have settled for SpitFire too, but Duron?)
  • I've already hit the karma cap, I have no need to pad my ego. If I had thought I had something wonderfully insightful to say, I would have used the posting bonus. Since I considered my comment to be thoughtful, yet not groundbreaking, I didn't abuse the posting bonus, letting the moderators decide if my message was worth promotion, or simply another voice of agreement. There's nothing inherently wrong with agreement, it just doesn't get modded up. Who are you to be talking about karma whoring?
  • Who needs a PIV when you can get a PIII 1GHz for for about $460. And with the prices dropping [] about $20 a week, hey, its gonna be worth it to get one (or two) by the time the PIV is even officially released.

  • Performance is not linear.

    Comp Org 101

    Wasting cycles

    When you increase the clock speed you also need to increase the rate it receives data. The P4 is optimized for higher clock speeds than 2 GHz. You can expect this chip to reach near 10 GHz. This is due to the 20-stage pipeline. Without a 20 stage pipeline it will be sitting there wasting cycles.

    Cache misses - too big a pipeline

    You have a 20-stage pipeline and you have a cache miss. The whole pipeline must be dumped when there is a miss. The bigger your pipeline the bigger your odds of a miss. The CPU must go to memory to get data since the pipeline is wrong. It may have to go to L1, L2, main memory, etc.

    Slow clock - smaller pipeline - less performance hit

    So, if you have a slower clocked CPU you make the pipeline smaller since its need for data isn't as bad as a CPU that is clocked at 5 GHz. This makes it easier to design, puts less emphasis on brach prediction, and makes it less costly.

    Not Linear

    The CPU's performance is not directly related to clock speed. It is definitely not linear. There is an elbow at the end of the graph. The beginning of the P4 graph will not be linear either, start out slow. Performance will not be in direct relation to GHz.

    History Repeats Itself

    Doesn't anyone remember when the Pentium classic came out? 486s were running circles around it. The Pentium 233 MMX is faster than a Pentium 2 233 with 16-bit code.

    So you know: Pentium classic has a 5-stage pipeline, P2 & P3 has 10 stages, P4 has 20 stages. Athlons have 10 and new Athlons have 12.

  • How is this so? The Crusoe is designed to be a low power, low heat processor. The P4 is a power hungry, high heat chip.

    Yes, a P4 will be faster than Crusoe, but it will also require much more cooling and much higher power consumption.
  • Ok, so you can get the chip now, I've even seen it on pricewatch, but you can't get the motherboard. Now Intel can blame the lack of PIV systems on a lack of supporting hardware and hope the average consumer doesn't realize that it's Intel's fault that there isn't a chipset that can handle the "power" on this new chip.
  • The Pentium-IV is no more RISC-ish than the Pentium Pro / Pentium II / Pentium III chips were.

    Modern AMD and Intel chips both implement RISC-style cores with x86 translators on the front end. So, the instruction set has not changed. Changing to a program-visible RISC instruction set would mean losing support for legacy applications (read: everything) and starting over. x86 could be implemented in a compatibility mode (as is being done in IA-64, Intel's new architecture that was supposed to have replaced x86 by now), but it almost certainly take a performance hit.

    There are probably some nuances to the Pentium IV that compilers could take into account for small speed ups, but they won't make a dramatic difference. Compiler support is really not the problem with this part.

    The *real* problem is that, in a purely marketing-motivated effort to inflate clock speeds, Intel designed the Pentium IV with a suicidally long instruction pipeline. This allows them to jack the GHz rating up up up, but it does *not* result in greater performance. The reason? When you get into extremely long pipelines, branch mispredictions start eating your lunch. Sure you have an extremely high theoretical performance, and if you could keep the pipeline full of instructions (that is: all of the processor busy at once), you would be flying like a bat out of hell. But you *can't* do that. You will mispredict periodically, and everytime that happens, you have to flush the pipeline and start over. The longer the pipeline, the bigger a hit this is. This part will realize drastically less of it's theoretical performance than the Pentium III or Athlon parts.

    So the Pentium IV is destined to sell in a GHz rating far above the comparable AMD offerings. Yet, it's actual performance will be pitiful stacked up clock-for-clock with AMD parts or with the Pentium III. Intel knows this, but they also know that the average consumer buys a computer based *solely* on that magical GHz rating, never understanding the other factors that contribute to actual performance.

    I sure hope their is a consumer backlash when people start figuring out that their Pentium IV's aren't as fast as they think they should be. This move on Intel's is quite deceptive.

  • I don't see any mobos specifically designed for the P4 around. Will it run on a PPGA PIII supported mobo? (Sorry if I sound ignorant here, but what the Hell am I supposed to run one on?)Sharkey []
  • Terrible heat problems, case redesigns potentially required, slower memory design, no motherboard available...

    Can ANYONE give me a reason to even think about buying an Intel processor anymore?

    "Titanic was 3hr and 17min long. They could have lost 3hr and 17min from that."
  • Itanium (code named "Merced") is the first implementation of Intel's new architecture dubbed IA-64. IA-64 is the long-awaited replacement for the geriatric x86 architecture. Intel developed this new architecture jointly with HP. (actually, truth told, what is now IA-64 was originally HP's internal project to replace their PA-RISC architecture. Intel hopped on board sometime later)

    Itanium has been in development for quite a while, but has been delayed time and time again. The project has hit all sorts of roadblocks, one of the most fundamental of which has been the lack of efficient compilers. The IA-64 is radically different than x86 chips or even RISC-style chips. Architecturally, it is a VLIW (Very Long Instruction Word)-style processor. This type of architecture simplifies the construction of wide superscalar designs (that is, processors that are capable of issuing multiple instructions in a single cycle). It has good theoretical performance, but is considerably more dependent on compiler technology than more traditional designs.

    Very few processors have been designed in this style, and the corresponding compiler technology is still rather primitive. This, along with internal problems at Intel have greatly delayed the first implementation.

    Infact, the part was supposed to be out right now. Obviously it isn't, and Intel, realizing it wasn't going to have Itanium in time to compete with suddenly-relevent AMD's K8 product, panicked and had to put Itanium on the backburner to piece together another x86 to have something to pit against AMD. Hence, the Pentium IV was designed. Intel wanted to be beyond x86 processors by now, but the delays in design of Itanium forced them to squeeze out one more x86 to feed the market.

    Comically, the second generation of IA-64 (code named McKinley) is being designed at HP and has been progressing quite nicely. So much so, that some people fear McKinley will actually beat the older project, Itanium, out the door. With this as a possibility, the question of whether Itanium won't be scrapped altogether arises.

  • Yes, and the P4 is designed to go into machine rooms where speed and execution power are important.

    The Crusoe was designed to go into laptops...a completely different realm.
  • You are being a bit loose with terms. The Pentium 4 is fabricated with a .18 micron process. This means that an individual gate measures 0.18 micron wide (or is it long? Damn...where's my VLSI text). Now, the smaller you make each individual gate, the more gates you can pack into the same square area of silicon.

    Process generally refers to smallest feature size, e.g. "lambda." Given this, the smallest a gate can be is 2*lamba on a side (i.e. wide and long), i.e. 0.36um.
    For more info, check out this link [].

  • I appreciate the informativeness, becuase it was really... BUt I only see one problem, the merced was the codename for the pentium 3, early on... I only know this (not to be a smartass) is because I work for a corporation the sells hardware software (i love saying that) to intel, and I get the inside scoop, most of the time... But, thanks anyways =]

  • A lot of the problems with intel started with the processor serial number fiasco, there were some other questionable bussiness practices that intel did though... like patenting the bus for the PII and refusing to lisence it (the backed up when anti-trust lawyer started going after them).
    But you also can't forget some of the employee problems [] the're having.
  • Why would we want to mention Beowulf?
  • by Spazntwich ( 208070 ) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @11:39AM (#637286)
    Could someone explain something to me?

    Obviously, the pentium 4's performance lags (or will) behind Thunderbirds of similar clock speeds. But this thing is also a .18 die process.

    When Intel moves to the .13 micron process, I know their power consumption will decrease, but will their performance increase at all? I mean, if they can't get the thing to 5+ gigahertz speeds, will it be very effective at all in the consumer marketplace?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @11:39AM (#637287)
    No motherboards are available? Oh no, I'll have to postpone my multimedia strategy. I wanted to empower the internet users by utilizing an ubiquitous 3D paradigm. Looks like you'll have to settle with the "old" internet until I have a P4.

    Who's grepping my arse?

  • How old are you? Are you new to computers? What chip release from any company hasn't been exactly the same? Hardware technology has always outrun software speed needs. Games are always behind the latest hardware for one simple reason: why would you write software to run on hardware no one yet has? That's like selling a railroad car in a country with no railroad tracks. It's simple economics. If you've ever, ever, ever bought a computer, you know that the best value for the buck is to purchase a model that's at least a little older than the very latest. When P IIIs came out, P IIs sold like crazy because they were more than sufficient for most people and prices dropped. There's certainly nothing out of the ordinary here. All initial releases of first generation chips by Intel cost over $1K.
  • "but my question is where is the software to really demonstrate the power of this chip?"

    • Microsoft Windows NT Server
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
    • Microsoft Exchange
    • Raydream
    • Autodesk 3d Studio
    • any advanced modelling problem
    • Large, LARGE UNIX servers for Intenret purposes and data access
    • etc...

    This is not targetted specifically at home users... This is supposed to be the flagship product of Intel...

    "Titanic was 3hr and 17min long. They could have lost 3hr and 17min from that."
  • by fjordboy ( 169716 ) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @11:58AM (#637290) Homepage
    First of all, I was wondering if maybe Intel could some up with some more creative chip names then just using stupid least with AMD you have Duron and thunderbird and has Xeon and Pentium 1,2,3,4.

    Second of all, who would want a Pentium 4? Besides the stupid kid in my computer class who saw it in a will require a 454 gram heat sink...that is a full pound of steenkin aluminum (or whatever metal they use) A brand new mobo design is needed, and a new case with supports for the processor and the heatsink! Unless they sell a conversion kit with it....

    Third of all, they are using .18 die would make more sense to me to center new products around .13 or something a little smaller...

    also..I heard some talk (rumors..not necessarily true) that a new powersupply is needed as well. This new Pentium 4 chip is full of heat, sucks up the wattage, and requires redesigned cases and mobos. Unless they are faster than 5 Ghz...i think I will stick with my AMD processor, thank you very much. It has a much smaller price tag, and better performance if you ask me.....
    anyways...that is my opinion....

  • Intel is banking on the P4 for the high performance desktop market. Most people just dont realize that intel also has memory market share(intel flash memory), networking market share, server/server processor market share, low cost and low power market share (strong arm/xscale). But I hope the number 4 doesnt hurt them offshore, that would be really detrimental.
  • True, but.... 386 came out, requiring new motherboard requiring new case... 486 came out, requiring new motherboard and some new cases... Pentium comes out, new motherboard, new case... PII, new motherboard, some new cases... Even if you only change the dimensions and mounting locations of the motherboard, you need a new case design. I don't think it's that big a deal. Heat must build as circuitry is made smaller. I guess the best way, and probably the cheapest for manufacturers, to help reduce the heat is to basically expose the heat sink to the air outside the computer. New, drastic changes in technology are being worked out before we hit the limits of Moore's law.
  • Well, I stayed with the same AT design from the 386 through the end of the single voltage pentium (the 200 non mmx) and didn't have to change case or power supply. I know several people who have AT form factor Pentuim 2 and 3 boards. I understood going to ATX, AT had been around for 15 years and they had finally learned what they thought they needed for a new case, and most of us bought them. Hell, even Compaq went and put their Athlons in ATX cases with ATX motherboards instead of their normal proprietary stuff. I don't like changing every couple of years, I like my case.

    "Titanic was 3hr and 17min long. They could have lost 3hr and 17min from that."
  • The Americans fall for this more than the Europeans do.
    AMD sales in Europe have been increasing _hugely_ over tha last year or so. Intels have stayed nearly flat. And given that the whole market has grown, "flat" means "down"...

    (Last 4 processors bought, Ath800, Ath550, Axp21164, K6-3...)

  • That's like selling a railroad car in a country with no railroad tracks.

    Um, no, it's more like selling high-powered jets to natives and all they can do with it (since they don't have the training and can't afford the fuel) is push them at eachother as they 'charge' the field. But that would never happen now would it?

    Woops, never mind.

    Slow moving marsupials and the women that love them
  • At first I thought this was a fake, but the more I think about it, the more sense it makes.

    Taco probably does this all the time. That would explain why the intelligent posts get marked down so often and here lately the trolls and just plain idiotic morons get marked up. God, and we all wonder why the moderation system sucks donkey balls!

    Slow moving marsupials and the women that love them
  • WRONG! There is NOT a "lot of software that goes like that..." In fact, the only reason you'd buy a PIII to run content creation apps is because Photoshop has SSE and Athlon doesn't. 3D Studio DOES run on Athlons, according to AMD's press release:

    "AMD Athlon processor outperform comparably configured Pentium III processor-based systems on a long list of high-end commercial, workstation ... These cutting-edge applications include Adobe's Photoshop 5.0 and PhotoDeluxe 3.0, Autodesk's AutoCAD 2000 and 3D Studio MAX, Dragon Systems' Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech recognition software, Microsoft's Windows Media Encoder, Ligos' LSX-MPEG Encoder, LizardTech's MrSID Publisher for image compression, Geometrix's 3Scan 3D modeling software, and id Software's Quake II."
    ( here [])
  • Why is it the bigger the corporation, the faster they have to put out their products. I mean, why doesn't the smaller companies have a problem putting out a decent product? Do companies like Microsoft view their strangle hold on the industry as justification to bring out inferior products. From now on, I'm buying for warrenty and customer satisfaction.
  • Actually, 3D modeling is entirely processor limited. It is fairly light on the memory bandwidth, and final rendering doesn't use the graphics proc (anyway, 3D modling tends to use geometry *MUCH* more than games do. If you ever look at Pro level OpenGL accelerators, their fill-rate sucks, their geometry engines.) Also, P4 will bust out some serious bandwidth. I don't know how P4 will do on server apps given the pipeline, but for 3D and media processing (which tend to have few branches to miss) will absolutely SCREAM on a P4.
  • March, 2001.
  • Well, at least both the upcoming v2.2.18-kernel and the somewhat more distant v2.4.0-kernel will support the Pentium IV, eventhough GCC might not yet optimise for it. The Pentium IV is such a heat-source that using rep; nop on spinlocks is a requirement to avoid thermal throttling...

  • Why does everyone assume that everyone runs the same thing? Run whatever suits you. If you crunch code all day long, then a lot of RAM and an older proc is probably ideal. If you run spreadsheets and productivity, then a fast harddrive and an older proc is great. If you're like me and need programming, 3D modling, and gaming, then getting the fastest proc (maybe a bin or two down, 1.1GHz instead of 1.2 since 1.1 is very fairly priced) and a fast harddrive with a lot of RAM is really the only option.
  • Sadly, some of us continue to need to work with x86....

    I agree totally with you.
  • Heavy Metal FAKK 2.
    3D Studio MAX.
    Photoshop 6.
    Halo (up and coming)
    Deus Ex
    Quake III + Unreal Tournament (for maximum enjoyment)
    Black & White

    Hmm, did I just mention all the cool new games?
  • oh wait, it's already q4 2000... my bad.
  • Umm, performance is linier to clockspeed. You can underclock a 1.2Ghz Athlon to 200Mhz and it will function exactly like a 200Mhz Athlon is supposed to. And P4 WAS designed with 5GHz speeds in mind. If .18micron takes P4 up to 2Ghz, then 4-5GHz should be quite possible with .13micron.
  • I have a PIII 550 on an ASUS P2B-B AT motherboard in an AT case, before that I had a P2 300 in it.

    It seems to be the last upgrade I can do with AT as 550 is the fastest I can set the professor at without overclocking it.

    My other machine is an Athlon T/bird 750 and I don't reckon there are any AT motherboards for that and anyways it was about time to change.

    I have put the P2 as a server in another AT case, a big tower case which I have had for 7 years and it still is fine.

  • Whoa... There is no way you are going to drive a trace that goes end to end on the die. Not if you hope to maintain that kind of clockspeeds. (You can be certan that this does not use an early-alpha style single clock node).

    Interconnect capasitance will kill your speed long before you run into serious transmissionline effects (yet).

    You do however mention a very real problem in the last paragraph. Which isn't so much related to propagation speed as RC delays and buffer delays. What you descrbe is called clock skew and is a very serious consideration for any designer of clocked systems (and has been so for a long while).

    These days we have less parametres of skew to worry about since we generally use TSPC type logic (True single phase clock). Which means we only distribute one clock signal (compare that to NORA with 2(4) signals (4 if you don't rely on local clock inverters) or up to 4(8) for four phase logic). With TSPC we are only concerned with distribution skew. And as you mention: multipath problems are the worst here. With a very straight pipe we usually just send the clock in the opposite direction of the data, and thus no problem.
  • Actually, the Netbeans Java IDE [] is nice and snappy on my 900MHz Athlon (256megs RAM, 7200RPM IDE drive, Win2K SP1), unlike the old P2-400 (256megs RAM, Maxtor 6gig IDE, NT4 SP6a) at work. *Huge* diff. Y'gotta get one. Hopefully Dell will come to their senses and start selling Athlons by the time the three year lease on the work machine is up; if not, I may have to strongarm the Powers That Be to let me custom-build my own box (heh heh heh)...
  • Sorry, but read the reviewws. The 1.5 Ghz P4 loses to 1.1 and 1.2 Athlon in most benchmarks. (This was without the DDR, and with the P4 using Rambust). With DDR, the P4 gets burried. Sorry, but since Andy Grove semi-retired, these guys can't get it right.
  • First of all, I was wondering if maybe Intel could some up with some more creative chip names then just using stupid least with AMD you have Duron and thunderbird and has Xeon and Pentium 1,2,3,4.

    Do you know how much money Intel has put into making the Pentium brand name an every-day word? I ask my sister what a Pentium is, she knows. I ask her what an AMD Thunderbird is, she has no idea. If Intel suddenly switched brand names, they would lose a big edge the Pentium always had.

    Never underestimate the power of a name.

  • "Don't be foolish and buy now. You can't actually buy a Pentium 4 motherboard yet, so you won't be able to use a Pentium 4 right away, anyway."

    The P4 could make the Guiness Book fairly easily...
    The Worlds Most Expensive Paperweight

  • by king_ ( 143380 )
    For $1k+ for these suckers they better make me breakfast and do my laundry if i can pop em in a mobo yet!
  • by atrowe ( 209484 ) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @11:42AM (#637314)
    Intel Press Release:

    We are proud to announce that the first one million Pentium 4's sold will come with a drip tray and an endorsement by George Foreman free of charge.

  • Yeah, but with the switch to coppermine/133Mhz FSB and fc-pga, knowing what you are buying in a PIII has gotten silly, as many companies on pricewatch don't specify ((FC-PGA|Slot 1) || (Coppermine|Katami)) on tehir price list, so you've got to dig through their site, generating ad revenue for them.

  • I really love it when people restate the article in hopes of gaining karma.

    You stupid tit.

  • by FeeDBaCK ( 42286 ) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @11:43AM (#637317) Homepage
    Only one reason... SMP. Of course, once AMD releases the 760MP, they will most likely steal Intel's thunder here, too. The Xeons won't have much of a competitor for a while, unless AMD allows for more than dual CPU configurations with the 760MP. The P4 doesn't even support SMP with the i850 chipset, so it is obvious that Intel has made a mistake here by shooting to overtake AMD in the "I got a higher megahertz than you" pissing contest. The P4 may well be better than AMD's offerings for a *little* while, but AMD will soon be wiping the floor with them.

    This comes as a great loss to all of us whom have come to know and love Intel over the past many years. They have just made too many mistakes recently, which will take Chipzilla a long time to recover from completely.
  • by torpor ( 458 ) <ibisum@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @12:01PM (#637318) Homepage Journal
    I'm sick and tired of trying to keep up with the advances in this technology, only to find out that there's always some glitch or gotcha that gets 'figured out' in the next generation of components.

    Frankly, I don't give a crap about mHZ ratings or benchmarks any more. From now on I'm going to base my component-buying decisions on whether or not the company is *honest* about the problems with its product lines, and whether or not they fix them, standardize on ways to do things that won't isolate existing customers when newer revisions become available, etc.

    Right now I have an AMD 750 CPU in my main development system which runs just great. It's not the fastest computer I've ever used, but it is *plenty* fast, and I probably won't need to upgrade it for at least another year (hopefully).

    I also have a Mac G4, which, for as much as I've despised Apple for Mac OS9.0, is a really, really terrific architecture. Sure, it's not a dual-proc machine, but it is *fast*, and it's *EASY* to upgrade.

    Being a long-time computer geek, I've come to appreciate this simplicity of Apple gear more and more - to the point where the x86 way of life is really just too frustrating. Give me Mac OX X on a fast and well-designed G4, sitting in an *available* (i.e. non vaporware mobo) architecture, with sufficient RAM bandwidth and i/o options (Firewire rocks serious ass), and I'm happy.

    From now on, Intel are the last CPU mfr's on my list to pay attention to... I'm so tired of being fed a turd while being told it's chocolate.
  • "If you could get a Corvette engine, but no Corvette, could you still go 90 miles per hour?"

    Let's see here... I'll just bolt that sucker on to my bicycle, get a few universal joints, some duct tape...

    damn... the frame broke...

    "Titanic was 3hr and 17min long. They could have lost 3hr and 17min from that."
  • Makes a handy Easy Bake oven []

    BTW: is taken by some squatters. The bastards.

  • You are wrong about the P4... it's not targetted to the server market. It's targetted to the high-end desktop and workstation market. Itanium is thier server product, as it's thier new 64-bit architecture.

    The P4 is going to fail for one reason: RAMBUS. They are contractually forbidden to make a DDR-SDRAM chipset for it. DDR-SDRAM is cheap, and faster than RAMBUS.

    "Evil beware: I'm armed to the teeth and packing a hampster!"
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I believe it's Transmeta's lies that are going to do them in. They claim their chips will only use 50% as much battery in laptops extending the life out to a day. Since CPU's only use 25% of the power I'm sure even the trolls can see how this is impossible. At IBM we have not been able to reproduce thier claimed results and Transmeta refuses to show their data proving it.
  • You asked me to name apps that need the power and I did ;) If you're a 3D developer, 1GHz is really useful. As for the games, yea, they'll run pretty well at 500Mhz, but for optimum playability, you need at least 800MHz with a GF2 (which is actually quite affordable if you're upgrading, especially for Athlons.) It just depends on what you use.
  • I disagree. Slashdot is "News for Nerds," not discussion for nerds. It usually happens that a good story will generate interesting discussion, but not always. I think that this is certainly a newsworthy story, and it is after all a story, not a "topic" as one comment called it. There are plenty of other things to discuss, and the obsessive-compulsive posters shouldn't get in a huff when a given story happens to produce less than 200 comments.
  • by Anne Marie ( 239347 ) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @10:28PM (#637337)
    Why do you think Intel tried to do that whole Rambus thing

    Intel's commitment to Rambus was foremost a financial move, and only secondarily a technical one. Going with Rambus allowed Intel to raise prices on commodity parts and drive up margins (which can only get so much thinner before they bleed) through forced incompatibility. Rambus also gave Intel warrants on Rambus stock, essentially making Intel a part owner and turning the operation into an in-house decision (not to mention Rambus's patent/legal exploits of late).

    The fact that the technical side of things has finally caught up with them doesn't make it any less deplorable.
  • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @11:45AM (#637338)
    what tomshardware has to say about this turkey.

    Yep, you can't get a motherboard for it yet, since it is incompatable with any existing mobo, and worse, will be incompatible with any other FUTURE mobo. It's a dead end. An evolutionary abortion.

    Rather than a revolutionary new package to compete with AMD it's something pushed out the door long before its gestation period is up, rudely stamped, deformed, unfinished, sent into this breathing world scarce half made up, and that so lamely and unfashionable that dogs bark at it as it halts by them.

    Oh, sorry.

    Look, Intel screwed the pooch with the whole Rambus fiasco and not figuring that AMD would EVER be real competition. Now they are behind and scrambling. The P4 is a stopgap measure to get SOMETHING out the door that they can call new and great.It also complies with the already repudiated Rambus contract that they are trying like mad to get out of. They plan to dump the whole thing as soon as they can and cease all support for it.

    I don't blame them either.

    Wait for the Pentium Squared.

  • by BRock97 ( 17460 ) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @11:46AM (#637340) Homepage
    Why would anyone want one of these chips? Looking at Pricewatch [], the chips are going for nearly $1k! Meanwhile, you have a great Thunderbird going for $480'ish. Currently, the low end systems for most games are still running PII 266 with a good Voodoo2! With a combo of Athlon/PIII and a good GPU from Nvidia, you will have a system that runs the latest software at the greatest of speeds. I am sure that Intel will release a great benchmark tool that will demonstrate why we need it, but my question is where is the software to really demonstrate the power of this chip?

    Bryan R.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus