Those reading this website regularly know that we don’t like Intel’s Prescott processors very much, simply because we think they’re (literally) too hot for overclockers to handle.
Results from our CPU database indicate that the CPUs up to now do little better (maybe 100-150MHz on average) better than Northwoods using air. Anything above that, you’re going to need at least water cooling.
Intel said a few months ago that they were going to do an E stepping for Prescott to try to cut the power down a bit, and that we ought to start seeing them in October.
Well, it’s October, and at least on paper, they are showing up. The Specification Update for 90nm socket 775 Prescott processors shows quite a few E0 stepping chips coming.
It should also be noted that these include both OEM and retail versions of Prescotts with x86-64 enabled.
However, they’re not quite here yet, since these new CPUs haven’t shown up in Intel’s Processor Spec Finder yet, but at least some of them ought to show up someplace sometime soon.
We don’t know how successful Intel will be at quenching the fires of hell (we guess not very), but they ought to represent some improvement over the current D0 stepping.
If you’re hellbent on a Hammer, this is not the kind of news that will or should change your mind. Assuming a bit of improvement, the E stepping will probably do no more than get Prescott fairly close to 90nm Hammers in performance. A 2.6GHz socket 939 Hammer ought to usually edge, say, a 3.9Ghz Prescott.
But for those who cringe at the thought of buying AMD, for whatever reason, and are looking for something of an alternative, this is something to keep an eye on in the next month or two.
The PDF linked above will give you the sspecs to look for.