Intel sneaks out 2.4GHz Prescott

Boxed and certified for sale around the globe

Intel has begun offering even lower clocked Prescott Pentium 4s than originally outlined on the company's roadmaps.

The information comes from Intel's own web site - specifically its International Declarations of Conformity page. Listed among the chip giant's boxed processor offerings is a 2.4GHz Pentium 4 with the E suffix that denotes a 90nm Prescott CPU.

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Decoding the part's SKU number reveals that it's a 533MHz frontside bus product that doesn't support HyperThreading.

Prescott was originally expected to debut at over 3GHz and up. Intel later lowered the 90nm chip's entry bar to 2.8GHz. Two Prescotts are available at that clock speed, one supporting HT and the 800MHz FSB, the other without HT support and running a 533MHz FSB.

That the company is offering a 2.4GHz part should come as no surprise. Clearly it is pumping out Prescotts that can't operate at 2.8GHz or above, so it may as well offer the CPU at a lower speed if it can. However, with an 31-stage instruction pipeline intended to support much higher clock speeds, the 2.4GHz Prescott is likely to be outperformed by comparably-clocked 130nm Northwood P4s.

Intel has pledged to ramp up Prescott volumes rapidly this year, which will also see the 90nm part completely displace the 130nm model. ®