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
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
Specifications of the "Tualatin" Pentium III
We can rebuild him.
We have the technology...
- Available at speeds ranging from 1.13 to 1.20
- 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
- Quad Quadword Wide (256 bit) cache data bus
provides extremely high throughput on read/store
- 8-way cache associativity provides improved
cache hit rate on read/store operations.
- Data Prefetch Logic.
- Based upon Intelís 0.13 micron manufacturing
- 1.475 operating voltage
Support for Pentium
III and Celeron Processors
Intel 815E Chipset
Universal 4X AGP
SDRAM DIMM Sockets
Ultra ATA 100
Intel Rapid BIOS Boot
Digital Video Output
Four USB Ports
Five PCI Slots
using the AD1881 codec
Network Riser Support (Optional)
Pro/100 Network Connection (Integrated LAN)
ATX Form Factor
PC (Suspend-to RAM)
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