Tweak3D - Your Freakin' Tweakin' Source!

Posted: October 31st, 2004
Written by: Adam Honek


Whether the Gallatin core secretly contains within it EM64T (Extended Memory 64 Technology) and EDB (Execute Disable Bit) is possibly a question only Intel could answer, to the knowledge of most outsiders the belief is it does not. The proof though is in the pudding many say and on this occasion it need not be different, given the fact that Northwood never exhibited signs of such talent it is safe to state nor it nor Gallatin ever possessed them. The Nocona and Prescott on the other hand do and although not enabled by default on every variant of these processor families it is certainly there hidden away amongst the hefty number of transistors. What this information leads us to know is quite simple; the Extreme Edition at 3.46GHz lacks through hardware both EM64T and EDB translating into being an only 32bit compliant processor but also one that lacks integrated stack overflow protection. The other angle at which this could be viewed is that until Intel pushes forward a Prescott focussed Extreme Edition these technologies will remain in other domains.

What effect this places on end users is questionable, for example with the complete absence of 64bit applications and games let alone no final such version of Windows XP it seems logically if not to vouch practically a small setback. Taking very much into account the present state of the software IT industry its more so rational to dwell over the non-presence of SSE3 (Streaming SIMD Extensions 3) than that of EM64T, at least because this feature is already being partially executed within video & audio encoding. Of course it is inevitable and incorrect to think anything other than Intel taking the Prescott route with their Extreme Edition in the foreseeable future. It is doubtful they will manage to produce enough yields at greater clock speeds than 3.46GHz using the same 0.13 micron process hence will become pushed into pursuing that change. For now the real question wanting an answer is as follows; until this evolution to a Prescott core happens does the current 3.46GHz model lose any of its appeal and potential to perform? For the reasons surrounding the software IT industry's disability to keep up with recent technological advances the response to that question would need to be no. However desirable a hardware measure should it not be usable its value can be regarded as trivial. A prime example why this theory holds credit is AMD's Athlon 64/FX-5x series, despite their existence of over a year now it remains fact that neither Microsoft or indeed the vast majority of software vendors have leaned to supporting it the way 32bit software is. If this status was to be different then the Extreme Edition 3.46GHz would lose merits as quickly as AMD would gain them, unless of course Intel could be equally as fast evening the playing field.

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