Top Secret: A Sneak Preview Of Intel's Next Pentium 4 Generation
We've already tested what Intel is keeping under wraps until this year's CeBIT trade fair. Imagine a Pentium 4 with a front-side bus clocked at 800 MHz, instead of the standard 533 or 400 MHz. At the same time, the processor family will have some new additions running at 3.2 and 3.4 GHz in order to keep the Athlon XP cowed.
The foundation for the power platform will be the E7205 chipset, a.k.a. "Granite Bay," whose dual-DDR memory interface already offers decent performance together with DDR266. However, the interface will be revamped for the Canterwood chipset and validated for use with DDR400 RAM.
Pessimists have been pooh-poohing the Speedy Gonzalez among DDR RAMs for giving little (if any) edge over DDR333 in Athlon systems with VIA KT400 or NVIDIA nForce2 chipsets. While an Athlon XP with 333 MHz operates asynchronously with DDR400 RAM, a Pentium 4 with the Canterwood chipset and 800 MHz FSB can hit the ground running quasi-synchronously. In the past, the lack of clock synchronization paid off with better performance for many chipsets.
So, what can you really expect from the Canterwood? To answer this question, we put together a Granite Bay motherboard (Asus P4G8X), a modern Pentium 4 processor and one of the most unusual cooling systems around, the VapoChill from AseTek .