Intel yesterday formally began selling its Pentium 4 6xx series, rolling out four versions of the 90nm, 2MB L2 cache chip.
The chip giant also added its latest P4 Extreme Edition to its official price list.
The P4 630, 640, 650 and 660 are clocked at 3, 3.2, 3.4 and 3.6GHz, respectively. All four chips support an 800MHz frontside bus. They also bring Intel's AMD64-like 64-bit addressing technology, EM64T, to the mainstream desktop, along with the latest version of the company's SpeedStep power management system, to minimise energy consumption. The anti-virus 'execute disable' bit is also supported. The processors connect through the standard top-end P4 LGA775 interface.
The new P4EE, meanwhile, is the first of its class to be fabbed at 90nm and to incorporate 2MB of L2 cache rather than 512KB of L2 and 2MB of L3 cache built into the package. Essentially, the new P4EE is a faster 6xx chip, clocked at 3.73GHz and with 1066MHz FSB support turned on.
Like the last two generations of the P4EE, the new model costs $999. It will soon be out-evolved, of course, by next quarter's Pentium Extreme Edition, which drops the '4' in order to stress the fact it's not a P4 but a new dual-core model, though each one is essentially a P4 'Prescott' core.
Q2 2005 is also expected to see the debut of the dual-core Pentium D, a faster P4 6xx chip, the 3.8GHz 670, and updates to the P4 5xx family that add a '1' to the model number and bring Intel's Virtualisation Technology - formerly known as 'Vanderpool' - to the desktop.