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Compare the upcoming Intel 6xx and 8xx series of Pentiums

Discussion in 'Intel' started by hankman, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. hankman

    hankman Guest

    Any thoughts on which series (6xx or 8xx) of the upcoming Intel Pentiums
    will be the "better" cpu's?

    From what I have read it seems that the 6xx series will have a 2MB L2 cache
    vs 1MB and will support EM64T and HT technology, while the 8xx series of
    dual core Smithfields will only have 1MB L2 cache (per core), support EM64T,
    be dual core, but not support HT on either core and will initially be
    released at lower frequencies. I am not sure what the front side bus speed
    will be on either the 6xx or the 8xx series. Anyone know?

    Also, any ideas if the 8xx will run on current mobos with or without a bios
    change, or will they require a new chipset, not just a new bios?
    hankman, Jan 24, 2005
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  2. hankman

    Tony Hill Guest

    As always, it will depend on what you're doing with them. The 6xx
    series will have faster single-threaded performance, but the 8xx
    series will smack them silly when it comes to multithreaded

    The support of hyperthreading is pretty much a non-issue one way or
    the other as far as I'm concerned. It seems like a good idea but it
    just isn't doing much of anything. Best case scenario is that it
    might give you up to 25% performance boost, but such situations are
    VERY rare, typically it's more like 5-10% in multithreaded performance
    and -3 to -8% in single-threaded performance.

    Dual-core, on the other hand, is the Real Deal (tm) when it comes to
    multithreaded stuff. Even with less cache (per core) and lower clock
    speeds it should have no trouble beating out the 6xx series in any
    software that is at all multithreaded. It should also make the system
    much more responsive in the same way that standard dual processor
    setups work now. However it will not have much of an impact at all on
    the vast majority of games (as one example), and many other
    workstation-style applications which are often single threaded.
    A BIOS update will be the absolute minimum that would be required,
    they definitely won't run without one. Beyond that is a bit of a
    guessing game.

    My money is on a whole new motherboard with a new chipset. The P4
    wasn't really designed with dual-core setups in mind and I'm guessing
    that there will be SOMETHING in there that will cause them not to work
    on existing boards. If you're lucky than MAYBE a new i9xx series
    board with Socket 775 will do the trick, but I certainly wouldn't bet
    on that.

    In any case, if I were buying the chips, it would certainly be an 8xx
    series unless the price is outrageous. The 6xx P4 chips seem rather
    uninteresting to me. Of course, in reality I probably wouldn't care
    one lick about either of them since AMD seems to have dual-core sorted
    much better, they've got a better memory interface, will probably have
    the faster processor consuming less power, arrive sooner and be
    cheaper to boot. Ohh, and the AMD dual-core chips have already been
    demonstrated in current Socket 940 Opteron boards. In short, Intel is
    REALLY behind the 8-ball on this one.
    Tony Hill, Jan 25, 2005
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  3. newbie here.

    i'm trying to decide as well when and what to buy.

    very helpful info. Can you give an example(s) of software that is

    Richard Williams, Jan 25, 2005
  4. hankman

    Tony Hill Guest

    Uhh.. that's a kind of broad question. Damn near any software CAN be
    multithreaded if it's written as such. In fact, I should probably
    specify my original statement a bit more in that I'm only referring to
    software that makes use of multithreaded code in an effective manner
    to increase performance. Pretty much all software has multiple
    threads, but mostly all of the threads but one sit idle 99.9% of the
    time. FWIW if you check in Task Manager under the process tab you can
    add a column to see how many threads are being used.

    As for some common examples of multithreaded software, well first off
    pretty much ALL server software. You're standard server application
    opens each new connection to it as a separate thread. Other common
    examples of heavily multithreaded software are high performance
    computing applications, which often get split up into groups of
    calculations to be distributed among many processors.

    More down-to-earth software that is multithreaded included many
    (most?) Photoshop filters, some audio and video encoders, most ray
    tracing programs, and many, many workstation applications of various
    types. Basically any task that can be effectively split up into
    multiple chunks can be multithreaded, though whether it was programmed
    as such or not is up to the developers.

    The following is a article that compares some dual-processor systems.
    If you read through the benchmarks at the end you'll see that there
    are some applications in which the dual-processors systems do VERY
    well; those applications are multithreaded. In other tests the single
    processor systems are as fast or faster because the applications are
    not multithreaded:

    Tony Hill, Jan 26, 2005
  5. When: when you can get some actual data instead of discussion of these
    types of architecture in general (which help your understanding).
    What: what you like after "when."
    Mozilla, Pan newsreader, many games. Serial communication programs (if
    you dialup). Most modern browsers and window managers. The guts of the
    operating system. And the printer driver runs in a thread, as does the
    audio. Help me, Windows users!
    Bill Davidsen, Feb 3, 2005
  6. hankman

    Alex Johnson Guest

    Is Mozilla really multithreaded?? I would have thought not. I run it on
    a 2P Xeon under Linux 2.4 and whenever something is blocking one tab or
    window, all tabs and windows stop doing anything. Including redrawing!
    I use Mozilla 1.7.3. If they went to the trouble to make it
    multithreaded, they really should have made it non-blocking. One stuck
    thread seems to totally kill the entire process tree.

    I wouldn't say many games are multithreaded. That's the problem
    everyone is having with this shift to multithread and multicore
    processors at lower speeds. Since games don't use multiple threads,
    gaming performance goes down.

    Photoshop is multithreaded. Oracle and almost every major database is
    multithreaded. I would bet AutoCAD is multithreaded these days, but I
    haven't used it for years. Probably, high-end commercial applications
    are, while games and low-end business applications are not.

    Alex Johnson, Feb 3, 2005
  7. hankman

    Rob Stow Guest

    I took a long look at the source code a couple of years ago and
    at least back then it was multithreaded.
    I switched to FireFox a long time ago. OS = W2K. I very
    frequently have one tab "blocked" but all of the others working
    just fine. The only thing I run into anymore than seems to
    "block" the whole app is loading/unloading of the AcroRead plugin.
    Not sure how you can check thread counts in Linux, but it is
    quite easy in W2K and XP. Most 3D games use quite a few threads.

    Merely being multithreaded does not mean an app can take
    advantage of multiple processors. Even then the specific
    architecture can come into play. I have, for example, read a
    Delphi programming article that showed several examples of code
    that takes a performance hit when running on 2 Xeons instead of
    one - yet the same code runs faster on 2 Opterons than it does on
    Windows users can easily see how many threads an app has open.
    In Task Manager, use View|Select Columns then put a check mark
    beside "Thread count". Some examples from the apps I currently
    have open:

    Firefox = 11
    Explorer = 13
    Thunderbird = 8
    OpenOffice 1.1 = 17
    WordPerfect 2000 = 7
    Rob Stow, Feb 3, 2005
  8. hankman

    Tony Hill Guest

    I just fired up Firefox under WinXP and task manager claims that it's
    using 9 threads with only a single blank tab open. I don't know how
    effectively it is at multithreading, that's another matter altogether.
    Almost all programs are multithreaded to a certain degree, the
    question is how effectively they make use of the multiple threads
    operating independently. Generally speaking, games do much make
    effective use of multiple threads at all. The best situation seems to
    be where games have one thread doing AI, one thread doing sound and
    another doing video, but I don't think we see that too much.

    Generally speaking I would expect dual-core processors to add very
    performance to games when compared to an equivalently clocked
    single-core processor. Maybe a few percent here or there, but not

    Of course, that could well change in the future.
    AS mentioned above, basically all applications are multithreaded, it's
    really just a question of how effectively they make use of those
    multiple threads. For most apps they'll have easily a dozen or so
    threads that are totally idle 99% of the time while all the actual
    work is handled in a single thread.

    The real advantage to dual-core, like with dual-processor systems
    before them, is the ability to run multiple tasks at once without
    bogging down your system.
    Tony Hill, Feb 4, 2005
  9. Hi All,

    Introduction of 6xx series will be at end of Febr.2005..8xx will not be
    introduced before summer (but prob.much later)...current i915/925 will
    support 6xx series but 8xx will not (need 945/955 chipset...) all are
    LGA-775 (!):

    Some feature's of 6xx series will be:
    - 2MB L2 Cache (like first series of "extreme Editions")
    - HT Support
    - 800Mhz FSB (latest "extreme's" will have 1066Mhz)
    - Execute Disable Bit (J-step) to minimize buffer-overflow / flooding w.
    some virus-attacks
    - EIST64 (64Bit OS Support)
    - Enhanced Speedstep (same as on Mobile..CPU will power down to lower
    consumption if not full load is required)

    Pricing of 6xx series will be at level of 5xx + next step (so 630
    (3.0Ghz) will be @ level of 540 (3.2Ghz). For 8xx prices will be much
    higher (don't forget new MB/Memory(DDR2-667))/PSU(?)) and availability....

    I think that both 2MB Cache & Speedstep will do a lot of good !! (why
    should CPU run @ full speed (& generate lot of heat..) if you're typing
    a letter, browsing the internet of even watch a movie (w.latest

    Dennis Leever, Feb 10, 2005
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