Santa Clara (CA) - Intel today announced a faster Pentium 4 of its high-end Extreme Edition (EE) series as well as an updated PCI Express chipset now supporting FSB1066.
Intel's new processor announcement is an indication of the thin air the current chip technology has reached: Based on the 130 nm Gallatin core, the company increased the clock speed from 3.4 to 3.46 GHz, resulting in slightly more performance, according to benchmarks run by Tom's Hardware Guide . As the previous generation, the new Extreme Edition also integrates 512 kByte L2 and 2 MByte L3 Cache.
While the $1000-processor hardly can be considered the big newsmaker, the company also introduced an upgraded version of the previously released 925X PCI Express chipset. The 925XE now supports a 200 MHz QDR and a 266 MHz QDR FSB, translating to an 800 a 1066 MHz FSB. The chipset can work in conjunction with the current Pentium 4 700 series, the upcoming 600 series (including 2 MByte L2 Cache) as well as the first dual core processors, code-named Smithfield, due in the third quarter of 2005.
According to Intel, the 925XE platform is capable of maximum data throughput improvement of up to 33 percent between the CPU and system memory, if compared with systems using an 800 MHz system bus. This speed improvement especially should be seen in faster frame rates for both gaming and video editing, the company said. Pricing for the 925XE is the same as for the 925X.
Intel plans at least one more update for the Extreme Edition before the arrival of dual-core processors. A 3.73 GHz version based on the 90 nm Prescott core and support for EM64T 64-bit extensions is scheduled for the first quarter of 2005.