Cheaper Northwoods

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I tell you, I was getting pretty grumpy (I know, I know, when am I not?). 🙂

I felt like I was on PIV Death Row, and nobody was going to sign a pardon.

Looked like I was going to have to shell out $400 of hard-earned cash for a processor I was pretty sure wasn’t going to do what I wanted.

This did not give me joy.

Then I got some.

Intel is producing .13 micron 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz CPUs. They even admit to it.

Why is this good news?

Speed

Current Low Pricewatch Price

2.2GHz

$624

2.0AGHzHeatsink

$391

1.8GHz

$211

1.6GHz

$147

Forgive me if I interrupted any large electronic fund transfers, but believe it or not, there’s some warped people out there
who like to overclock to save money. 🙂

Second, the overclocking matchups look a lot better than with the 2.0A and 2.2GHz. Running a 1.8GHz PIV at 133Mhz FSB give you 2.4GHz. Running a 1.6GHz PIV at 150Mhz would give you the same. Based on what the 2.0 and 2.2Ghz have been doing, 2.4GHz is at least a realistic hope for these chips.

Of course, there’s one big possible problem with this. These 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz may well be not-quite-good enough for 2GHz CPUs and may not be able to reach the speeds their more expensive brothers can hit. If you want to be a pioneer, that’s the kind of arrow you may find in your back.

There’s some indications that Intel hasn’t quite gotten the manufacturing process down pat, and could well need to bin.

But if you’re game, at least it won’t cost you nearly as much to experiment.

What To Look For

There are two ways you can identify these processors:

By Cache Size

All Northwoods have 512K cache. Period. If you order from a website, and the website ad doesn’t say 512K, don’t buy it. If the website ad says 256K, that’s an “old” PIV. Don’t buy it.

By Sspec

Here are the Sspecs for these Northwoods:

Speed

Sspec

1.6GHz

SL668

1.8GHz

SL63X

1.8GHz

SL62P

The first two are boxed processors; you may be able to find the SL62P outside of the box – it apparently comes in boxed and unboxed versions.

If all this leaves you thoroughly unconvinced of the need to replace your AMD system, this is perfectly normal and sane.
This just greatly lowers the entry price for overclocking hobbyists who want to fool around with Northwood overclocking sooner rather than later and
are not too concerned if the end result is not quite as fast as an XP solution.

These Northwoods all have a B0 stepping, which is pretty raw. Just for comparison’s sake, current “old” PIVs are in their third (or D0) stepping. It will take one or maybe two more steppings to realistically expect 3GHz from these CPUs without too much fuss, so if that’s your goal, stay on the sidelines.

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