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Intel Explain the Pentium 4

Why the chip we have is merely a shadow of its former design

Those of you with technical minds will have been absolutely mind-boggled by the Pentium 4 over the last few weeks - the chip design is so irregular that it's throwing current benchmark suites all over the place and making it very hard for them to keep up accurately. And as if this were not enough, Intel have now explained that the original Pentium 4 design was even more lavish! Originally, it seems, the Pentium 4 was going to feature a full megabyte of L3 cache, as well as two separate floating point units, giving the chip a single slow ALU and two faster ALUs to help keep up. But on the 0.18micron fabrication process this was simply not feasible, from both a financial and a practical point of view. They got to the point where power consumption and size were so high that the powers that be leant over and said, look here, it may only be as big as the Pentium Pro core. It's not known whether the Pentium 4 will grow to include these features, but logic dictates that in the same way that the Pentium II and III grew with each new stepping, so will the Pentium 4.

Source - The Register

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Tom Bramwell

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Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.

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