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by shovain / November 16, 2004 11:13 AM PST

hey guys.
i was wondering.
how fast is
1.0GHz Pentium M processor, a 1MB L2 cache??

i mean can anyone compare that to pentium 4 x.x gigahertz?

and what is L2 cache? do i need alot of it?

i am trying to buy vaio TR series. and i LOVE it except the fact that it has LOW speed ghz...
please explain.

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Re: intel M RPOCESSOR!
by Ryan T / November 16, 2004 11:55 AM PST
In reply to: intel M RPOCESSOR!

In general, a processor's power can be determined by 3 things:

1. Clock Speed
2. Bus Speed
3. Cache (L1, 2, and 3)

Clock speed is a large indicator of a processor's power. It is the speed at which a processor can execute instructions. While we might think of an instruction as "Save a file", really that might consist of hundreds of instructions. As software becomes more complex, it becomes necessary to have the ability to execute more instructions per second.

A processor with a 1.0 GHz clock speed can execute 1 billion instructions per second. The unit here used is Hertz, which is also Cycles Per Second. So Giga-Hertz is a Billion-Cycles-Per-Second measure. Pentium 4 Processors generally have higher clock speeds, so they have an edge over Pentium M processors in this department. However, other factors are in play . . .

Bus Speed is the speed at which the processor communicates with the computer. Bus speeds are measured in Mega-Hertz, millions of cycles per second. So, Pentium M processors in general have 400-MHz buses. This is not bad, but Pentium 4m Processors have between 533MHz and 800Mhz bus speeds. Point to Pentium 4 again.

To understand cache, you have to understand the layered storage architecture in the computer. The computer uses several types of storage which increase in speed based on how often the data is accessed. The slowest is the hard drive of course. This is secondary storage. Above that, you have the system memory. This is faster, but not as fast as Cache.

Cache is a small portion of memory that is super-fast. It comes in levels. Level 1 is the fastest, and there's usually about 64 Kilobytes of this. This cache is integrated onto the chip. This is the fastest storage the processor has available.

Level 2 Cache used to be stored on the motherboard. It was called Pipeline Burst cache, and back then, if you had 256K of it, you were smokin'. But starting with the late Pentium IIIs and Athlon XP's, L2 Cache was integrated onto the chip.

Some chips integrated Level 3 cache as well. But the only chip I can remember having L3 Cache was the Xeon and Pentium Pro . . .

In any event, it's fast ram storage for the processor. Pentium M's have 1MB Cache in the "Banias" core chips (1.6 GHz and below), and 2MB Cache in the "Dothan" Chips (1.6 and above, designated by number 725 and above). Pentium 4's have 1MB.

So the one edge (performance-wise) that the Pentium M processors have is that they have more Cache (in some cases).

So why the Pentium M?

It uses much less heat and power than the Pentium 4. So in a laptop, it is much cooler and lasts longer than a P4 laptop.

Intel Centrino Technology is simply the Pentium M processor and chipset plus integrated Wireless B or G.

A caution: Celeron M processors are Decontented Pentium M processors. Ken has mentioned this many times (in fact if you google "Decontented Processor" you will come up with about 6 posts of his. :))

What that means is that it's a Pentium M processor with less speed and features (like Cache and Bus Speed) than the Pentium M.

It's like when they sell you a Toyota in South Florida but want to charge extra for Air Conditioning.

Hope that helps.

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Re: intel M RPOCESSOR!
by KenSanramon / November 17, 2004 2:19 AM PST
In reply to: Re: intel M RPOCESSOR!

Wow, that was a great post for Ryan. I am nearly speechless for once.

If you are looking at a Sony with a 1ghz Pentium M it must be one of their ultralight models and that lower mhz chip is used to allow the thinnest/lightest casing. This is a full Pentium M Banias Cpu as Ryan says so you still get 1mb L2 system cache which is better than it being halved to 512kb on a Celeron M.

A Pentium M processor can operate at 1.5 - 2.0 times its mhz in comparison to a Pentium 4M so a 1.7 Pentium M Dothan (with 2mb L2 system cache) is very comparable to a 2.5 - 3.0 ghz Pentium 4M.

You will be fine with this processor if you are buying an ultralight Sony.

If not an ultralight, get at least the Pentium M 725 1.6 Dothan with 2mb L2 system cache.

The fast L2 cache use comes into play when accessing frequently visited web pages, etc as it stores those (instead of on system RAM which is comparatively slower) and you will get faster access to what is on the L2 cache memory. The full Dothan Pentium M's give you double the cache to utilize (and more than a Pentium 4M or Athlon 64) so that is one factor that allows the Pentium M cpu to make up for its slower mhz.

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Re: intel M RPOCESSOR!
by shovain / November 17, 2004 12:14 PM PST
In reply to: Re: intel M RPOCESSOR!


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Re: intel M RPOCESSOR!
by shovain / November 17, 2004 12:15 PM PST
In reply to: Re: intel M RPOCESSOR!

Both ryan and ken!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

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