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Intel Pentium 4 540 (3.2E) Socket LGA 775 Processor Review

Intel Pentium 4 540 (3.2E) Socket LGA 775 Processor Review - PCSTATS
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Abstract: The Pentium 4 3.2E LGA775 (Land Grid Array) Socket 775 processor is based on the same 0.09 micron manufacturing process as its Socket 478 Prescott cousin.
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Filed under: CPU / Processors Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Intel May 11 2005   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > CPU / Processors > Intel Pentium 4 540

Intel Pentium 4 540 (3.2E) Socket LGA 775 Processor Review

In June of 2004, Intel introduced a host of new technologies that ranged from PCI Express to DDR-2, and even retired old standards in favour of the emerging BTX form factor. All this came about with the 915P and 925X chipsets, and of course the pinless socket 775 Pentium 4 3.2E processor (otherwise known as the Pentium 4 540 based on Intel's new model numbers).

The other technologies aside, why did Intel move in such a radical direction with the LGA775 Pentium 4? Well, one of the main problems that had plagued Socket 478 processors was broken pins. With the new processor pushing pin density up by 297 contacts, layout and damaged connectors were bound to be an issue unless the package size was also enlarged. The solution Intel engineers came up with was to remove the pins from the CPU, replace them with a denser array of gold contact points, and relocate the pins into the CPU socket itself.

These changes have made the LGA775 Intel Pentium 4 processor a little more durable, while allowing connector density to increase without radically enlarging the package size. Conversely, the new socket 775 is now extremely fragile, and instead of dealing with damaged CPU pins, careless users could be left with damaged sockets and useless motherboards as a consequence. In theory, the new socket themselves are also much more vulnerable to wear and tear with repeated installations... None of this should really affect the average consumer, but it may certainly impact enthusiasts who swap out CPUs all day in search of better and bigger speeds. Whichever category you fall into, LGA775 Pentium 4 processor installation is now a tense operation - so read those instructions!

The Pentium 4 3.2E LGA775 (Land Grid Array) Socket 775 processor is based on the same 0.09 micron manufacturing process as its Socket 478 Prescott cousin. Actually, the CPU is based on the same 'Prescott' core as is found within Socket 478 CPUs; and includes the 31-stage pipeline which is 50% longer than that found in the 'Northwood' core Pentium 4 processors, with a 16KB L1 cache and a large 1MB L2 cache.

The Socket 775 Pentium 4 3.2E still incorporates the integrated heat spreader (IHS) to help protect the underlying silicon core from physical damage. It is made from nickel-plated copper and presents a larger surface area for heatsinks to work with. As you may notice from the marketings on the IHS, the 3.2E processor PCSTATS is testing is based on the D0 stepping (S-Spec SL7J7) and was produced in the end of March or early April of 2004.

Note that while the bottom of the Pentium 4 540 processor is pinless, it is not entirely flat. At the center of the processor package are resistors and capacitors; both these electrical components and the small gold contacts are fragile, and the documentation recommends against touching them with your fingers.

Now that the socket has all the pins, it's vital that LGA775 Pentium 4 processors are installed correctly, and in the right orientation. That's why Socket 775 processors have two keys on opposite sides off-center. You align them with the socket keys which helps guide the processor correctly into place.

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Contents of Article: Intel Pentium 4 540
 Pg 1.  — Intel Pentium 4 540 (3.2E) Socket LGA 775 Processor Review
 Pg 2.  CPU Features
 Pg 3.  Model Numbers
 Pg 4.  Intel's chipsets for Socket 775: 915P/G and 925X
 Pg 5.  The 915G/P chipset
 Pg 6.  The 925X chipset
 Pg 7.  Test setup and SysMark 2004
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2002, Super Pi
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: Sandra 2004, POVray
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: ScienceMark, CINEBENCH 2000
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: PCMark04, 3DMark2001
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: 3DMark05, AquaMark3
 Pg 13.  Benchmarks: Comanche 4, UT2003
 Pg 14.  Benchmarks: UT2004, Doom3
 Pg 15.  Overclocking and conclusion

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