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F.S.B. VS. L2 CACHE

Posted on 2004-10-01
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I am in the market for a laptop, mostly for research with a battery at least 2 hours for watching a dvd, and am confused which is a better way to go, a faster F.S.B. (800) with a smaller L2 cache (512)
>
> OR
> a slower F.S.B. (400) with a larger L2 cache (2048) ?
I am guessing a larger L2 cache gives you better/larger read/write access for h.d. instruction/retreavale so this might be better for more multitasking events? but a higher F.S.B. means faster instructions for all c.p.u. tasks ? Does this sound about right ?
Thx.
Derek
lreay@cogeco.ca
E.E. = Batty4info
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Question by:Batty4info
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Expert Comment

by:Replied
ID: 12208251
You should go with the lower FSB and higher Cache... The 800FSB CPU you are talking about is a Pentium 4 Mobile, which is basically just a pentium 4 squeezed into a laptop. It runs fast, but it also runs HOT, which is bad for your circuitry... And it's very power consuming, giving you about 2.5 hours on battery at the absolute MAX... The 2048KB Cache CPU, which is the Intel Pentium M Dothan, is designed specifically for laptop computers... It runs cooler, and it will give you 5-7 hours of battery, depanding on what kind of laptop it is. And now for the magic selling point: Yes, the Dothan IS faster than the Pentium 4 Mobile. A 1.8GHz Dothan will perform as fast as a 2.6-2.8GHz Pentium 4 M (largely, because of it's increased cache). Hope this all helps you!
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by:Callandor
ID: 12208337
The cache helps, but the main reason the Pentium-M is faster at a slower clock speed (PM 1.4 ~ P4 2.4, PM 1.7 ~ P4 3.0) is because the core is completely different.  See these articles:

http://www.cpuid.com/PentiumM/index.php
http://www.powernotebooks.com/centrino.php
http://www.anandtech.com/mobile/showdoc.html?i=1800
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Replied earned 252 total points
ID: 12208451
Callandor, those aren't Dothan articles, they're Banias articles (the predecessor to Dothan)... And as good as the Pentium M is, the speed translations you posted are a little high, a 1.4GHz Pentium M isn't quite as fast as a 2.4GHz P4, and a 1.7GHz PM isn't as fast as a 3GHz P4... It may be that fast in the most banias-favoring benchmarks, but you have to factor in ALL the benchmarks for an accurate reading.. And I know the Pentium M has more efficient clock for clock processing, but the gentleman asked about FSB vs Cache..
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by:Callandor
Callandor earned 248 total points
ID: 12208600
Replied,

I don't understand why you have a problem is with those articles - are you saying they are biased in favor of the Pentium-M, or is it just because they are about Banias?  I used the Banias as a comparison against the P4, because it's basically a Pentium-M versus P4 question, even though he asked about FSB versus cache - as far as I know, no one offers laptops with different size cache P4's (ie, Prescott).  The Dothan scales linearly with Banias in clock speed, so using Banias for comparison should be acceptable.

Dothan versus Banias
http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,1590457,00.asp

Mobile Pentium 4 has a 533FSB
http://www.intel.com/products/processor_number/info.htm

Again, if you have further insight into how Dothan performs, I would be glad to add it to my knowledge base.
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