The Pentium 4 2.8GHz Processor
Intel ups the ante once again

By, Dave Altavilla
August 26, 2002


Strategic Marketing, most larger brand name companies have this function rolled up into a Marketing Manager's responsibilities.  Otherwise, in the case of Intel and AMD, they actually have a Strategic Marketing team who's sole purpose in life is to define the strategies and game plans from a product and branding perspective, that will maximize penetration within the customer base versus the competition.  Often times, Strategic Marketing means trying to get an edge on the competition by learning everything you can about them and leveraging your own strategies, against their weaknesses as well as strengths. 

As you can image, both Intel and AMD are masters of the fine art of strategic marketing.  Whether it be timely price cutting, aggressive branding campaigns, or positioning specific performance data-points, these two Silicon Valley veterans take no prisoners in their battle for market supremacy.  Last week, AMD launched their 2600+ Thoroughbred core based Athlon, just as Intel was poised to unleash the Pentium 4 2.8GHz processor, that we'll be showing you today.  AMD got word of Intel's pending release date and decided to unveil a competitive product of their own, that flew right in the face of Intel's new flagship CPU. 

Even though AMD officially launched their new Athlon XP 2600+ part last week, they are virtually impossible to get a hold of at this point in time.  This "paper launch", as some of the media has coined it, seemed to be only a strategic marketing tactic, rather than officially opening the production volume flood gates for their new processor.  Was it effective?  Only time will tell.  However, although you can't actually find an Athlon 2600+ on the net for sale just yet, you most certainly already can find a 2.8GHz Pentium 4. 

So with that said, we'll spare you the strategic marketing here and get down to some cold hard benchmarks on the new and readily available 2.8GHz Pentium 4.

Specifications of the Pentium 4B Processor
533MHz System Bus and a core clock up to 2.8GHz

  • Available at 2.26GHz,  2.4GHz, 2.53, 2.66 and 2.80GHz speeds
  • 533MHz "Quad Pumped" Front Side Bus
  • Based upon Intels 0.13 micron manufacturing process
  • Now built on 300mm wafers for 2X die out per wafer and lower cost
  • 512K on chip, Full Speed L2 Cache
  • Rapid Execution Engine - ALU clocked at 2X frequency of core
  • 128bit Floating Point/Multimedia unit
  • "Hyper Pipelined" Technology for extremely high clock speeds
  • Featuring the Intel "NetBurst" micro-architecture
  • Supported by the Intel 850 and i845 chipsets, as well as other chipsets from SiS and VIA 
  • Fully compatible with existing Intel Architecture-based software
  • Internet Streaming SIMD Extensions 2
  • Intel MMX media enhancement technology
  • Memory cacheability up to 4 GB of addressable memory space and system memory scalability up to 64 GB of physical memory
  • Support for uni-processor designs
  • 1.5V operating voltage range

Well, here we are again, only a few months down the road, since the Pentium 4 Northwood's launch, and we're back at for a third time, with the processor that seemingly has an almost infinitely scalable clock speed.  We get the sneaking suspicion that if Intel decided they wanted to, we would have been reviewing the 3GHz model.  There's really not much need for us to recap the architecture of the new 2.8GHz P4.  Suffice it to say that the core hasn't changed but the "Hyper Pipelined" architecture of the P4, allows it to hit clock speeds like no other processor in the world.
 

     

The physical attributes of the core and package haven't changed a bit either.  The shot in the middle does however show Intel's relatively new 300mm wafer size.  Can you say dinner plate?  One of these wafers holds about 470 Pentium 4 dice.  Thermally this core seems almost as if Intel pulled out a few tricks to get the operating temps down.  There is a new core stepping on this P4 but we were told it shouldn't  have much of an affect on operating temperature.  Let's fire it up and show you what we saw....

 

The Setup, Processor ID, Thermals and Overclocking