Intel launches Northwood

Monstrous Pentium 4 2.2GHz battles with AMD's top chip

Source - press release

Intel has officially announced its new Pentium 4 revision, codenamed Northwood. It's smaller, faster but is certainly not cheap. At 2.2GHz (with lower and higher speed models on the drawing board), the chip scales as high as 2.6GHz using standard overclocking techniques. Northwood is also the first Pentium 4 to be manufactured using 0.13-micron fabrication techniques, with copper interconnects. Intel has been able to increase the chip's Level 2 cache (which should help) while reducing overall processor size by over 30 percent. The reviews have been flooding in as usual, many comparing Northwood at 2.2GHz to the Athlon XP 2000+. Here's a good feature at The Tech Report. The verdict seems to be that they both perform about the same, but that Northwood is a good bit more expensive, which makes it less economically viable, even if you can now twin it with DDR memory at a lower cost than RAMBUS. At the end of their press release, Intel hastened to add that this release means the Pentium 4 2GHz model is now at an all-time low! We're not sure we'd like to pay $342 per chip for a tray of 1000 units though. In practice there has been little price variance, with Bolton-based Scan (whose list is usually up to date), simply giving Northwood its own astronomical price category. AMD's tactic for dealing with Intel's high speed, high performance chip is to stress the price versus performance benefits of Athlon XP, and that a lower processor speed (and even a PR estimate that falls short of reality) don't necessarily point to an inferior processor. AMD has to try and educate the market to capitalize on its position, whereas Intel has the luxury of sitting around polishing its roadmap. Related Feature - Bits to Buy 2002

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Tom Bramwell

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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