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Is the L1 cache needed on a quad core processor?

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November 18, 2008 12:26:38 AM

Is the L1 cache needed on a quad core processor?

A lot of quad cores, it seems, don't have the L1 cache... Maybe it is just me, but the L1 cache seems important....

I chose a processor that has an L1 cache of 4X 128KB, and L2 cache of 4X 512KB, and an L3 cache of 2MB. However, that processor since been discontinued on newegg and am having issues finding the processor else where... I am able to find similar ones but, they don't seem to have an L1 cache, just L2 and L3...

Don't these things need the L1 cache?
November 18, 2008 12:31:26 AM

There's a quad core without L1 cache?

L1 cache is extremely crucial for a CPU to function. It stores both instruction and data for the cores to process. Without L1, any CPU will simply not function.

I'm pretty sure the CPU you're looking at also contains L1. Its just that since people usually just care about L2 and L3, therefore it is often omitted.
November 18, 2008 12:39:00 AM

Which cpus are you talking about? I didn't know there are any current architectures that don't use L1 cache. They usually don't add a lot of L1 cache because the close proximity makes it difficult. There isn't really much room there. L2 is slower, L3 is slowest.
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November 18, 2008 12:48:56 AM

yes they need L1 Cache. It does not matter which CPU's he is talking about...they all need L1 cache. end of story.
November 18, 2008 12:51:11 AM

Hey, thanks for the quick replys...

The processor that I want / wanted
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

My main concern was that these other chips didn't have the L1 cache.... I thought they where vital to the chip but wasn't sure, especially because it has an L3 cache...

I guess the companies who sell them just don't like to put them on there.....

I'm still looking around for the chip, but it is a hard one to get a hold of...
November 18, 2008 12:57:12 AM

bobleny said:
Hey, thanks for the quick replys...

The processor that I want / wanted
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

My main concern was that these other chips didn't have the L1 cache.... I thought they where vital to the chip but wasn't sure, especially because it has an L3 cache...

I'm still looking around for the chip, but it is a hard one to get a hold of...


If I remember correctly, it has 512kb total, 128 per core, half instruction, half data cache, which I believe is the same for all Phenoms. Modern cpus like that really can't function without at least L1 instruction cache.
November 18, 2008 12:57:17 AM

Not clear from your posts exactly which CPUs you seem to think have no L1 cache.
November 18, 2008 12:59:41 AM

Under specifications:

Quote:
L1 Cache 4 x 128KB
November 18, 2008 1:03:21 AM

OK, I think you have answered my question.

But if you look around, they L1 cache isn't listed on a lot of quads, but if a processor needs that cache, it must be there....
November 18, 2008 1:09:22 AM

bobleny said:
OK, I think you have answered my question.

But if you look around, they L1 cache isn't listed on a lot of quads, but if a processor needs that cache, it must be there....


That's because it's the same for all processors of a given family. Why list it if there's no difference? Besides, it's more or less taken for granted. You'd list horsepower for a car, but not the fact that it consumes gas. :p 
November 18, 2008 1:13:44 AM

dagger said:
That's because it's the same for all processors of a given family. Why list it if there's no difference? Besides, it's more or less taken for granted. You'd list horsepower for a car, but not the fact that it consumes gas. :p 


Good point. I just wanted to make sure before I go off and ignorantly buy a processor without an L1 cache... That would suck!
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