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Review: Intel's Pentium Extreme Edition 840 and 955X Express chipset

by Tarinder Sandhu on 4 April 2005, 00:00

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

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A physical look

Taking a physical look at the dual-core XE 840.

There's nothing physically remarkable about the Extreme Edition 840 at all, and that's how we expected it. The heatspreader hides the large die size needed to accommodate two cores on a single piece of silicon. This engineering sample's codes don't offer up any pertinent information. All retail examples will highlight the speed and dual-core origin of this particular CPU. Much like this preview sample, all retail models will be fully multiplier-unlocked. That's a welcome introduction from Intel. No more hunting around on eBay for ES samples.

The flipside is still LGA775, with contact pads instead of pins. Again you could be looking at any LGA775 processor.

The latest build of CPU-Z correctly identifies it as a processor sporting 2 independent execution cores and, due to HT technology, another couple of logical processors. As mentioned, each physical core has exclusive access to 1MB L2 cache.

Windows XP also identifies it correctly, and Task Manager duly highlights both physical and logical units.

Whilst the form factor has remained LGA775, both Pentium D (non-HT) and XE 840 CPUs will not power up on current 915/925 chipset-based motherboards. Intel is, therefore, also launching a couple of new chipsets to cater for these dual-core processors. Enter the 945X and 955X Express.