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Product: Pentium III 1Ghz B & Intel VC820 Motherboard
Company: Intel corp.
Estimated Street Price for the CPU: $990.00 in 1000 unit quantities
Review By: Julien JAY


Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: BenchMarks
3: Intel VC820 Motherboard
4: Conclusion

Intel, the Santa Clara's CPU giant, has provided us with a nice test system featuring its new top-notch high-end processor: the Pentium III 1Ghz B officially announced in march 2000, exactly two days after the AMD Athlon 1Ghz availability announcement. For the first time ever an intel processor reaches the 1Ghz barrier. Who would believe that, a few years ago when the most powerful CPU were only 16mhz ones? So once again the well-known Moore theorem is right. In this review we will see if the latest Intel's baby hold on its promises. When I unpacked the box I was only able to say 'Wahoooooo', because when Intel says that a PIII 1Ghz B bring power they surely mean it! Indeed the processor is surrounded by a big heatsink with two independent power supplied fans! This processor seems to heat enough to cook your eggs! ;-) Buying a new air-conditioning system will be soon imperative to use a computer safely. Notice that we received word from Intel saying that as the Pentium III 1Ghz production will grow they'll be provided with a smaller heatsink and with only one fan shortly. More seriously the system also comes with an Intel Motherboard the VC820 featuring Rambus support. I know that most of you will wince on the fact that this motherboard supports Rambus. Since the release of this new promising technology many denigrated it and Intel didn't manage to impose it. But after you'll read this review and the benchmark results you'll surely want a RDRAM enabled motherboard. Indeed if the RDRAM is expensive it's probably the most faster & reliable memory technology type we've ever seen that admit the unbelievable data transfer rate of 1.6Giga bytes per second: it's fast enough to work correctly with AGP 4x graphic boards to achieve high 3d performance. This memory with a Pentium III will change forever the way you use your computer to gaming or video mounting.

The Intel Pentium III range of CPU features:

  • Amazing 3D—The Pentium III processor enables higher polygon counts and advanced lighting effects, which can provide software and WB sites with more lifelike surfaces, more objects rendered in a given scene, and amazing shadow effects and reflections rendered in real time. This makes for more immersive gaming and entertainment experiences on your PC and more detail and convenience for online shopping.
  • Realistic Animation—The performance of the Pentium III processor enables software developers to incorporate a greater degree of realism and interactivity. Imagine flight simulators with wings that actually flex, driving simulations with suspension that actually works, or gaming characters with fingers that can touch and grasp.
  • Advanced Imaging—The Pentium III processor can provide better responsiveness with your graphics software by offering increased frame rates, color depths, and image processing algorithms. This means you can work with large, complex images and digital photographs without the wait.
  • Streaming Video—Because video files tend to be large, all the benefits of the Pentium III processor realized for still imaging are even more important for editing and viewing video. In addition, the performance capabilities of the processor allow for real-time MPEG-2 video encoding and editing and great performance for streaming video—resulting in higher quality video on the Internet.
  • Speech Recognition—The Pentium III processor can provide greater accuracy and faster response time in new applications that feature this exciting capability. With this performance advance, speech capabilities cross the threshold into real usability for real-time speech, WB browsing or word processing.

Before talking about this wonderful chip & its performance, here is a shot of the 'beast':

Intel Pentium III 1Ghz CPU with its two big fans surrounding the heatsinkPIII 1Ghz Front

Now a few technology notes on the PIII 1Ghz and then let the tests speak for me!

Technology explanations

This Pentium III 1Ghz B CPU comes with several Intel advanced & exclusive technologies:

  • It's MMX ready so it'll boost any software that takes benefit of MMX tech such as most of the current games and Office 97SR1 (or later) & Office 2000 as well as Adobe PhotoShop 5.5.
  • The Pentium III is the first range of Intel Processors, ever to include the SIMD instructions set. This set of instructions is intended to boost 3d performance in games or software that are compliant with this technology. This SIMD instructions is a kind of 'MMX2' designed to beat the AMD 3d now ones. However there's still few current software that take advantages of this technology.
  • The Pentium III 1Ghz B also features the serial number unique ID to secure orders over the web. Paranoiac users I can ensure you that this feature is not a big brother treat, really. You can disable it if you want and it's only provided to offer the security you're expecting when purchasing over the 'net. Please note that to have access to the exclusive Intel WebOutFitter service that provides free stuff for Pentium III owners the serial number is required.
  • The Pentium III 1Ghz B comes with a SLOT1 connector (that allows to include on die cache memory due to the large size of the CPU which is more big than a Socket 370 one) in a SECC2 cartridge!. If Intel first justified SLOT1 was necessary to increase speed & frequencies it's now clear that the SLOT 1 was only designed to annoy Intel's competitors like AMD. Intel or AMD: you have to choose because Intel uses SLOT1 connector when AMD uses SLOTA or Super 7 which are obviously incompliant between them.
  • The Pentium III 1Ghz B is part of the Coppermine family so it's engraved in 0,18µ (According to our sources Intel plans to release first 0.13µ CPUs in early 2002). It also includes 256kb of full speed L2 "on die" cache memory  with a true 256bits link with the CPU that runs at the speed of the CPU: 1Ghz in that case. The full speed cache memory is wonderful as it gives better performance than if there were 512kb of normal cache memory (remember that the cache memory stores the most used data to accelerate the transfer times & so the processing speed in order to reduce waiting times): this cache memory uses a new more efficient algorithm named "8 way set associative". Coppermine Pentium III have seen their data transfer's bandwidth between the CPU and the cache switched from 2.4Gbps (for first Pentium III) to 9.6Gbps! Finally its front side bus is a 133Mhz one and allows to achieve a data transfer bandwidth of 1Gbps between the CPU and the bus instead of 800Mo per second for first Pentium III. As you can understand even if new Pentium III includes less cache memory than before (256 instead of 512k) this memory is more powerful and gives better performance than with 512Kb of standard cache (running at *only* 200Mhz).
BenchMarks -->


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