Intel's "Tualatin" Pentium III 1.20GHz. Processor
Encore From a Classic

By, Jeff Bouton
July 31, 2001


 

 

Not long ago, the rumors of a new Pentium III processor called "Tualatin" began circulating around the internet.  The occasional article claiming information or pictures of the "yet to be announced" processor would crop up, offering us a little glimpse of what was to come.  Some of you may have heard of the new .13 micron process, or maybe that it required less voltage than previous Pentium III's.  For me, my first glimpse was a screenshot of a 1.26GHz. chip from Taiwan with 1.475V stamped on it and a large silver shield hiding the die.  Information slowly trickled in as the days went by, offering more tidbits of insight about the "new" processor.  Then one day a few weeks ago, a package arrived.  It was a plain brown box from Intel.  Inside was a new 1.20GHz. "Tualatin" Pentium III processor with 256K cache, mounted on an equally new motherboard.  Needless to say, it was no longer a rumor.

 

Intel's focus is to market the "Tualatin" processor as a low-power consumption processor designed for the mobile market.  The unit we received is the the flip chip equivalent of the laptop version, provided so we can test it through and through, giving the world a taste of what to expect.  Future processors will be shipped with 512K of cache, but their design focus will be the server market where low-power consumption is desired. 

 

Nevertheless, I can assure you that with all the talk about the "Tualatin", it was not long before I had everything powered up and ready for testing.  What do you say we take a look and see what the hype is about?

 

Specifications of the "Tualatin" Pentium III 1.20GHz. Processor
We can rebuild him.  We have the technology...

The Processor

  • Available at speeds ranging from 1.13 to 1.20 GHz.
  • 256K Advanced Transfer Cache (on-die, full speed Level 2 cache with ECC).
  • Dual Independant Bus architecture:  Separate dedicated external System Bus and dedicated internal high-speed cache bus.
  • Internet Streaming SIMD Extensions for enhanced video, sound and 3D performance.
  • Dynamic execution micro architecture.
  • Flip Chip Pin Grid Array (FC-PGA2) packaging technology; FC-PGA2 processors deliver high performance with improved handling protection and socketability.
  • Quad Quadword Wide (256 bit) cache data bus provides extremely high throughput on read/store operations.
  • 8-way cache associativity provides improved cache hit rate on read/store operations.
  • Data Prefetch Logic.
  • Based upon Intelís 0.13 micron manufacturing process.
  • 1.475 operating voltage

The Board

  • Support for Pentium III and Celeron Processors

  • Intel 815E Chipset

  • Universal 4X AGP Connector

  • Three 133/100-MHz. SDRAM DIMM Sockets

  • Ultra ATA 100

  • Intel Rapid BIOS Boot

  • Digital Video Output Header

  • Four USB Ports

  • Five PCI Slots

  • Integrated Audio using the AD1881 codec

  • Communication and Network Riser Support (Optional)

  • Integrated Intel Pro/100 Network Connection (Integrated LAN) connectivity (Optional)

  • ATX Form Factor

  • Instantly Available PC (Suspend-to RAM)

  • Hardware management ASIC

The Intel "Tualatin" Pentium III Processor is the first PIII to be designed using the 0.13 micron process.  Designated FC-PGA2, the chip will still follow the Flip Chip design with a 370 pin as previous PIII's.  Nevertheless, there are several differences between the "Tualatin" and previous models of Pentium III's that render it incompatible with standard FC-PGA systems.  For one, the "Tualatin" runs at 1.475v instead of 1.75v.  Unless a motherboard is specifically designed to run accommodate the lower voltage requirements, according to Intel, the new processor will not work.

If you have a motherboard that supports FC-PGA2, you will be able to enjoy several performance benefits that are exclusive to the "Tualatin." One of these enhancements is SIMD extensions, which improves floating-point, video, and 3D application performance.  Another is the implementation of Data Prefetch Logic, which gives the processor the added ability to anticipate an application's needs by preloading data into the cache, increasing overall system performance.  The "Tualatin" is also the first of Intel's Pentium III processors to include an Integrated Heat Spreader (IHS).  This protects the die from coming in direct contact with the heat sink, shielding it from any possible physical damage.

Along with the D815EEA2 motherboard, the "Tualatin" we obtained for testing came with quite a cooling solution.  Sporting an oversized heat sink with curved fins, the assembly is far more serious than previous PIII setups.  As seen above, the entire assembly is nearly double in size compared to stock coolers from previous models.  With lowered voltage and an oversized cooler, it is clear that heat should not be an issue with the "Tualatin".

Now that we've taken a look at some of the characteristics of the new "Tualatin" Pentium III processor, let us move on and cover some of the features of the D815EEA2 motherboard...

 


 

 

Quality and Setup