Intel's 15 Most Unforgettable x86 CPUs

Pentium II and III: Brothers

Released in 1997, the Pentium II was an adaptation of the Pentium Pro aimed at the general public. It was quite similar to the Pentium Pro, but the cache memory was different. Instead of using a cache at the same frequency as the processor (which is expensive), the 512 KB Level 2 cache operated at half-frequency. In addition, the Pentium II abandoned the classic socket for a cartridge containing the processor and the Level 2 cache, which was in the cartridge and not on the motherboard or in the processor itself.

New features compared to the Pentium Pro were essentially MMX (SIMD) support and a doubling of the Level 1 cache. The first Pentium III (Katmai) was very similar to the Pentium II. Released in 1999, its new feature was essentially support for SSE (SIMD instructions), but the rest was identical.

Intel Pentium II and III
Code name Klamath (Pentium II 0.35µ), Deschutes (Pentium II 0.25µ), Katmai (Pentium III)
Date released 1997, 1998, 1999
Architecture 32 bits
Data bus 64 bits
Address bus 36 bits (32 bits on the P III)
Maximum memory 64 GB (4 GB on the P III)
L1 cache 16 KB + 16 KB
L2 cache external, 512 KB (1/2 CPU frequency)
Clock frequency 233-300 MHz (Klamath), 300-450 MHz (Deschutes), 450-600 MHz (Klamath)
FSB 66-100-133 MHz
FPU built-in
SIMD MMX (SSE)
Fabrication process 350 nm (Klamath), 250 nm (Deschutes, Katmai)
Number of transistors 7,500,000 + cache (Pentium II), 9,500,000 + cache (Pentium III)
Power consumption 25-35 W
Voltage 2.8 V (0.35µ), 2 V (0.25µ)
Die surface area 204 mm² (0.35µ), 131 mm² (0.25µ), 128 mm² (PIII) + cache
Connector Slot 1

The Pentium II and III had 512 KB of Level 2 cache (31 million transistors). One Pentium II actually had an on-chip 256 KB Level 2 cache—the Pentium II Mobile Dixon. Using a 180 nm fabrication process, this processor was significantly faster than the desktop versions.

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  • Arkz
    great article with only a few slight errors (like saying the core2duo has 1-4 cores... i don't think there's a 1 cored version lol)

    Looking forward to the AMD article.
    -4
  • aleluja
    To correct you. Core 2 Duo has ONLY 2 cores, not more, not less.
    Core 2 Quad, has 4 cores and Core Solo has 1 core.
    7
  • Anonymous
    @Arkz

    Yes there is a singal core,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Core_2_microprocessors#Single-Core_Mobile_processors

    Ok it is not under the same branding but it is part of the same microarchitecture
    3
  • Yuka
    I might be wrong, but i resemble that the Pentium 166 (32bits adress bus and all) had support for 4Gb of memory. I remember IBM sold it's top line (at that time) with 64Mb support (even with SDR PC100/66 support). Correct me if i'm wrong please.
    1
  • neiroatopelcc
    The core 2 does supply 1-4 cores - 2 cores per die, where one might be disabled, and one or two dies on a socket. It's no less right to call a core2duo a cpu with 1-4 cores, than it is to put the pentium d on the same page as a single core prescot, as it's the very same principle.
    -1
  • cangelini
    Arkzgreat article with only a few slight errors (like saying the core2duo has 1-4 cores http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coree ... i don't think there's a 1 cored version lol)Looking forward to the AMD article.


    Thanks for the heads-up! I tweaked that passage to better represent the Core 2 architecture's available configurations!
    -1
  • randomizer
    vosesterOk it is not under the same branding but it is part of the same microarchitecture

    Exactly. The article says:

    ArticleThere are many versions of the architecture, resulting in configurations with a different number of cores


    There is no mention of the branding, so there is no actual error there, just misinterpretation.
    1
  • ImSpartacus
    Arkzgreat article with only a few slight errors (like saying the core2duo has 1-4 cores... i don't think there's a 1 cored version lol)Looking forward to the AMD article.


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116039

    Yes, it isn't called a "Core 2 Duo," but it uses the Core architecture and only has a single core enabled.

    But I will have to say, there aren't any 3 core models...
    0
  • magicandy
    Good to hear you're not only doing an AMD article, but an ATI one as well (in response to the Nvidia article you did earlier, assuming). A sign of class from the new Tom's is a welcome one.
    4
  • harrycat88
    I wish they would get rid of those stupid SNAP Linkbubless and Inteltex misguiding links. Who ever invented those stupid annoying double lined text popups should have been burned at the stake
    6
  • JonathanDeane
    What Intelitext do you speak of ? lol (I use a good Hosts file from MVP) blocks most of that crud.

    Anyway great article was like a trip down memory lane for me, first Intel CPU I got to use was a 8086 and wow it was slow (I was a kid with ADD give me a break lol) well maybe it was not slow and it was the floppy drive that killed me... Either way best game on it was Qbasic uugghh I think I remember it having CGA with a mighty 4 colors !! I had some paint program for it too.
    0
  • johnlove
    Compared to Athlon, Pentium 4 is a big loser.
    So why is the Pentium 4 "unforgettable"?
    0
  • Anonymous
    My AMD machine (K6 233MHz) smoked all my college buddies Pentium 233s. MatLab, Visio, Quattro Pro, PSPICE, Duke Nukem - everything ran faster on my machine. And it cost me $400 less than the comparable Intel setup.
    0
  • warezme
    Just 15? I figure its anything with SX after it, anything Celeron and most of anything HT (hyperthreading heat trap)
    0
  • warezme
    oops, my dyslexia read the thing as Most Forgettable.., ignore post above. Maybe thats the next article
    0
  • jimmysmitty
    johnloveCompared to Athlon, Pentium 4 is a big loser. So why is the Pentium 4 "unforgettable"?


    Because it was a huge part of CPU history? IDK. Considering that it was not that bad until Prescott, which I am sad they didn't mention.

    But the Pentium 4 will always be remembered in my eyes thanks to the Blue Man Group. Them and their crazy stuff.

    theDagdaMy AMD machine (K6 233MHz) smoked all my college buddies Pentium 233s. MatLab, Visio, Quattro Pro, PSPICE, Duke Nukem - everything ran faster on my machine. And it cost me $400 less than the comparable Intel setup.


    Thats nice. Because this is obviously a competition.

    No wait its not. Its just a nice walk down memory lane and they are going to do AMD next so no need for that.

    I for one am suprised that they didn't include the Pentium 805. I remember reading how well that one OCed and when OCed it smoked the highest end available and it only cost $150 bucks.

    Seriously why bring AMD into this? Its just nice memories not a comparison.
    -1
  • ovaltineplease
    Enjoyed the article, it was a nice walk down memory lane to my teenage nerdhood.
    0
  • snarfies1
    jimmysmittyConsidering that it was not that bad until Prescott, which I am sad they didn't mention.


    If the best you can say about it is "that it was not that bad," that would seem to indicate it wasn't particularly worth remembering.
    0
  • Anonymous
    You forgot the 486DX5 133. Allowed me to up a 486/50 to Pentium 75 performance with just a chip. Worked well till programs started to check for a true Pentium chip before running/installing.
    0
  • theLaminator
    I've got a working luch box with a 386 in it complete with network cards, Working pentium box, a PIII box, the laptop I still use is a P4 3.0Ghz (an hour and half battery life lol), and my new rig has A core 2 duo E8400 OC'd to 4.0Ghz. Good times for me with Intel
    0