A+ Certification / Beginners

Pentium 4

The Pentium 4 processor runs at between 2 GHz and 4 GHz. The Pentium processor has 20K of L1 cache and 512K of L2 cache. The processor is shipped as a 423-pin or 478-pin PGA package, which means that the chip will be placed in Socket 423 or Socket 478.

The Pentium 4 processor gets a huge performance benefit by being able to perform four data transfers in one clock cycle along the front side bus (FSB). The FSB is the bus that connects the processor to system memory.

Itanium and Itanium II

Intel created its first 64-bit processor in the Itanium and Itanium II processors. Because they were designed as 64-bit processors, you will be able to run 32- bit code on them, such as most copies of Windows and Office applications, but you will not be leveraging the 64-bit architecture by running 32-bit code. Special 64-bit editions of Windows can run on the Itanium processor, which enables you to take advantage of the 64-bit architecture. To learn more about the 64-bit editions of Windows, check out www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/64bit.

The original Itanium processor used a special packaging known as the Pin Array Cartridge (PAC), which uses 418 pins, while the Itanium II was packaged in Organic Land Grid Array (OLGA) - which is a variation of the PGA, but the chip is located on a processor card (a circuit board that holds the processor). The OLGA fits into Socket 611.

The Itanium processor runs at around 1 GHz and contains a large block of cache memory: 32K of L1 cache, 96K of L2 cache, and 2MB or 4MB of L3 cache. The L3 cache is an additional block of cache memory located in the chip packaging.

Moving from 32-bit processors and applications to 64-bit versions would truly benefit any user that is using applications that are memory-intensive or calculation-intensive. For example, a user who works a lot with multimediatype applications would see an improvement in performance.

Pentium "M"

For years, laptop manufacturers have been asking for smaller processors to place in laptop systems, and they finally have their wish. A number of processors have come out with the "M" version, which stands for mobile. The mobile version of the processors are smaller than the processors that go in desktop systems, so they will fit better and also use a lot less power. The benefit of using less power also means that they run much cooler.

Because the mobile versions of the processors use less power, they also are going to run a little slower than their desktop counterparts.

Some popular brands of mobile processors are the Intel Pentium III M and the Pentium M. Intel's big competitor, AMD, also has mobile versions of their processors: Athlon XP M and Mobile Duron. (Some manufacturers put the word mobile in the name of the processor instead of the letter M.) The next sections discuss more about AMD processors.

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