- The Die
Each year we normally see the die size of processors shrinking, not enlarging like in the case of the Intel Pentium 4's die (aka core). The new Intel Pentium 4 micro architecture uses an unbelievable 42 million transistors, 14 million more than the Intel Pentium 3 processor. The Intel Pentium 4's die is bigger than that of the Intel Pentium 3 simply because it uses 14 million more transistors, and they have to go somewhere. Intel (and other chip producers for that matter) are still working on a 0.13-micron fabrication process for dies of their up-and-coming processors, until then we probably won't see smaller die sizes either with this many transistors. In more ways than one, the Intel Pentium 4 core reminds me of the Intel Celeron PPGA core. The core is very strong and isn't going to break under heatsink pressure like the somewhat weak AMD Athlon cores that are known to break easy with certain heatsinks and or incorrect installation of heatsinks.
- 400MHz FSB
Intel have used a 100MHz FSB (Front Side Bus) and have quad-pumped it allowing for an amazingly high 400MHz FSB, making it the highest bandwidth desktop system bus available to date. The 400 MHz system bus provides 3.2 gigabyte per second transfer speeds between the Pentium 4 processor and the memory controller thanks to a 64-bit bus, which operates with dual channel RDRAM in expensive PC600 and PC800 modules. This fast memory bandwidth is one of the key reasons why you will see an Intel Pentium 4 beating both the Intel Pentium 3 (maximum of 1.06GB/s with PC133) and AMD Athlon (maximum of 2.1GB/s with 2100 DDR SDRAM) in memory bandwidth intense games such as Quake 3 Arena - How does 132 frames per second at 1024x768 in High Quality sound, better still 57.5 frames per second at 1600x1200 in High Quality. we'll discuss these benchmarks and others later in this review.
- Rapid Execution Engine
The Intel Pentium 4 processor uses another amazing feature called Rapid Execution Engine. The dual ALU (Arithmetic Logic Units) operate at twice the speed of the processor. This means that an Intel Pentium 4 processor running at 1.5GHz would theoretically make the ALU operate at 3GHz, the fastest ALU speed ever. This is also another reason that helps the Intel Pentium 4 processor beat the Intel Pentium 3 processor in most benchmarking suites.