The Giga Battle

The Giga Specs, Continued

Giga-Pentium III is of course based on Intel's 'Coppermine'-core. While Coppermine represents a very advanced version of Intel's five-year-old Pentium Pro architecture, the 0.18 core of Coppermine is one step ahead of Athlon. Giga-Pentium III's 256 kB 2nd level cache is on-die, clocked at core clock and connected with a 256-bit wide low-latency data path. This creates a performance advantage over AMD's Athlon, even though Athlon's internal architecture is far advanced over Coppermine's. Pentium III is also including Intel's 'Streaming SIMD Extensions' SSE, which are used by quite a bit of software nowadays, as we will see later on. Athlon's 'Enhanced 3Dnow!' extensions are able to do the same work as SSE, but AMD's lack of a compiler for those extensions keeps a lot of software developers from using it as much as AMD would wish.

Giga-Pentium III is also using a higher core voltage than its slower brothers. 1.7 V are required for this Giga-processor. What's touchy though is the temperature specification of Giga-Coppermine. 60 degrees Celsius is the maximum heat that it is allowed to reach, which is Giga-pathetic compared to the 80 degrees C that any other Coppermine can endure. Thus Giga-PIII needs a Giga-heat sink as well unless you aren't afraid of a lot of Giga-system crashes on a regular basis. OEM's are already reporting that the Giga-heat sink requires special assembly lines, but as long as Giga-CuMine is only available in 'Giga-small quantities', those assembly lines won't be too busy I guess.