Gecko's CPU Library

Intel Pentium D (Presler) processors

Introduction: January 2006


The Pentium D brand refered to two series of dual-core 64-bit x86 processors with the NetBurst microarchitecture. Each CPU comprised two single-core dies (CPUs) - next to each other - in one multi-chip module package. The brand's first processor, codenamed Smithfield, was released by Intel on May 25, 2005. Nine months later, Intel introduced its successor, codenamed Presler, but without offering significant upgrades in design, still resulting in a relatively high power consumption. By 2005, the NetBurst processors reached the clock speed barrier at 4GHz due to a thermal (and power) limit exemplified by the Presler's 130W TDP (a high TDP required additional cooling that can be noisy or expensive). The future belonged to more efficient and slower clocked dual-core CPUs on a single die instead of two. The dual die Presler's last shipment date on August 8, 2008 marked the end of the Pentium D brand and also the NetBurst microarchitecture.

The dual-core CPU ran very well with multi-threaded applications (typical for transcoding audio and video, compressing, photo and video editing and rendering, ray-tracing). The single-threaded applications alone, including most games, did not benefit from the second core of dual-core CPU over equally clocked single-core CPU. Nevertheless, the dual-core CPU was useful to run both the client and server processes of a game without noticeable lag in either thread, as each instance could be running on a different core. Furthermore, multi-threaded games benefited from the dual-core CPUs.

The Presler core

The last generation of Pentium D branded processors was the Presler identified by the product code 80553, and made of two 65 nm process cores found also in Pentium 4 branded Cedar Mill CPUs. The Presler single package also comprised two single-core dies next to each other increasing its processing capability over single-core CPUs branded Pentium 4. The Presler was supported by the same chipsets as the Smithfield. It was produced using 65 nm technology similar to the Yonah. The Presler communicated with the system using an 800MT/s FSB, and its two cores communicated also using the FSB, just as in the Smithfield. The Presler also included VT (Virtualization Technology, aka Vanderpool, although limited to the 9x0 models, and not in the 9x5 models), Intel 64, XD bit and EIST (Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology). The Presler was released in the first quarter of 2006 with a 2x2MB level 2 cache. Its models included 915, 920, 925, 930, 935, 940, 945, 950, and 960 (with a respective 2.8, 2.8, 3.0, 3,0, 3.2, 3.2, 3.4, 3.4 and 3.6GHz clock frequency).

The Presler models 915, 920, 925, 930, 935 (all steppings), 940, 945, 950 (C1, D0 stepping) and 960 (D0 stepping) were rated at a 95 watt TDP. All other models were rated at 130 watt - a 37% increase in power consumption.

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.