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Intel's 15 Most Unforgettable x86 CPUs

Pentium M: Laptops Flex Their Muscles

In 2003 the market for portable PCs was booming and Intel had only two processors for them: the aging Pentium III Tualatin and the Pentium 4, whose high power consumption made it unsuitable. But a savior was to arrive from Israel: the Banias (alias Pentium M). This processor, based on the P6 architecture (the same as the Pentium Pro) had high performance and low power consumption. It even beat the Pentium 4, while consuming a lot less power. This was the processor used in the Centrino platform and it was quickly followed (in 2004) by the (faster) Dothan model. The Pentium M left its mark on the world of mobility, and the Stealey (A100) still uses the Dothan architecture (with lower frequencies and TDP).

Code nameBaniasDothan
Date released20032004
Architecture32 bits32 bits
Data bus64 bits64 bits
Address bus32 bits32 bits
Maximum memory4 GB4 GB
L1 cache32 KB + 32 KB32 KB + 32 KB
L2 cache1,024 KB2,048 KB
Clock frequency0.9–1.7 GHz1–2.13 GHz
FSB400 MHz400, 533 MHz
SIMDMMX, SSE, SSE2MMX, SSE, SSE2
SMT/SMPnono
Fabrication process130 nm90 nm
Number of transistors77 million140 million
Power consumption9-30 W6-35 W
Voltage0.9–1.5 V0.9–1.4 V
Die surface area82 mm²87 mm²
ConnectorSocket 479Socket 479

As with the Pentium 4, the FSB actually operated at a quarter of the nominal frequency (QDR). The connector used, the Socket 479, actually had 478 pins, but they were arranged differently from the Pentium 4 Socket 478 (though adapters were made).

  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • @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
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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!
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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...
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply