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Intel Pentium D 940 3.2GHz Dual Core Processor Review

Intel Pentium D 940 3.2GHz Dual Core Processor Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Built on Intel's 65 nanometer manufacturing process and with two physical processing cores running at 3.2 GHz each, backed up by 2MB of L2 cache, the socket 775 chip certainly makes quite a splash.
 82% Rating:   
Filed under: CPU / Processors Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Intel Jul 25 2006   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > CPU / Processors > Intel Pentium D 940

Quiet LGA775 Thermal Solution

The Intel Pentium D 940 ships in a distinctive blue box, differing from the orange colour scheme that has typified recent Pentium 4 processors. The details of the chip are printed on the side of the box as usual. Note that Intel has kindly offered a warning confirming that this CPU works best with an Intel Express chipset, no mention of nVidia nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition here... surprise, surprise.

The processor we tested was ATX motherboards, as are the majority of dual-core Pentium D's for sale. Intel seems to have put BTX on the back-burner for a little while, which is probably a sensible decision on its part.

The Pentium D 940 itself is practically identical to previous LGA 775 Pentium processors, having the characteristic integrated heat-spreader and flat, gold contact-point covered underside (pinless). The array of resistors and capacitors in the center of the processor's underside remains, and these are as vulnerable to damage as ever, so be careful.

The installation procedure is identical to other LGA 775 socket Pentium processors, with the usual warnings about protecting the pins on the motherboard. If you'd like more information about the installation procedure, see PCSTATS guide on the subject.

The heatsink that shipped with the processor is typical, consisting of a large and mostly un-housed fan topping a hunk of copper-cored aluminium extrusion. As we'd expect, the fan was quiet during operation and altogether solid and unremarkable. Fan speed (and hence noise) is controlled by way of the 4-pin Pulse Width Modulation power connector. This allows the computer to sense how fast the CPU fan is spinning, and scale down or speed it up depending on the case or processor temperature. By automatically controlling the speed of the fan, noise can be limited without sacrificing cooling.

Intel Pentium D 940 and Memory Speed

As you probably know, most recent Intel and AMD-based motherboards allow users to alter the speed at which the system memory runs internally. This is separate from the FSB (Front Side Bus) speed used to determine the bandwidth between the processor and the rest of the system in that it affects only the speed of the memory itself.

Decreasing internal memory speed below the default front side bus (FSB) speed can have dire effects on performance, but increasing this value above FSB (for example using DDR2-533 memory at its rated speed with an 800MHz FSB Pentium 4 processor) has historically added little to benchmark scores. From PCSTATS early benchmarks using the Intel Pentium D 940 though, it looks like that's going to change.

We discovered that if we ran a set of Crucial Ballistix DDR2 memory at 533MHz as opposed to the default 400MHz FSB bus speed of the Pentium D 940/975X Express test system, we gained a significant and noticeable performance increase to the tune of ~5% on most benchmarks. Not bad.

This characteristic of the Pentium D makes sense if you analyze the way the processor works. Both cores essentially compete for FSB and memory time, using the same interface to do work as well as communicate with each other. The Pentium D processors use the exact same 800MHz/400MHz FSB speed that single core Pentium 4 processors do though. Given the increased demand placed on the memory, it's not surprising that increasing its internal speed actually does pay performance dividends.

Early looks then, suggest that buying the fastest DDR-2 memory you can find is a good idea if you plan on investing in a Pentium D processor... so start looking for PC2-8000 at least.

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Contents of Article: Intel Pentium D 940
 Pg 1.  Intel Pentium D 940 3.2GHz Dual Core Processor Review
 Pg 2.  Intel Dual Core Technology
 Pg 3.  — Quiet LGA775 Thermal Solution
 Pg 4.  Overclocking the 3.2GHz chip
 Pg 5.  Pure 32 bit Benchmarks: Sysmark 2004
 Pg 6.  Pure 32 bit Benchmarks: Office Productivity, SiSoft Sandra 2005
 Pg 7.  Pure 32-Bit Benchmarks: Maya Render Test, Super Pi
 Pg 8.  Pure 32-Bit Benchmarks: PCMark05
 Pg 9.  Pure 32-Bit Benchmarks: 3DMark05
 Pg 10.  Pure 32-Bit Benchmarks: 3DMark06
 Pg 11.  Pure 32-Bit Benchmarks: Doom 3
 Pg 12.  Pure 32-Bit Benchmarks: Quake 4
 Pg 13.  Pure 32-Bit Benchmarks: FarCry
 Pg 14.  Pure 32-Bit Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 15.  64 Bit Benchmarks: ScienceMark 2
 Pg 16.  64 Bit Benchmarks: Mini-GZip, DiVX Encoding
 Pg 17.  Multi-Threaded Benchmarks: 3DMark05
 Pg 18.  Multi-Threaded Benchmarks: Doom 3
 Pg 19.  Multi-Threaded Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 20.  65nm Pentium D 940 - a step in the right direction?

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