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Old 08-03-2001, 07:08 PM
Keefe Keefe is offline
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Default Intel Pentium 4: In-Depth Technical Overview

System Logic has posted a technical overview of Intel's potent Pentium 4 processor. This chip will be Intel's mainstay for quite a while so it's good to brush up on the in-depth stuff now

On the Pentium III, Intel had a Branch Prediction Unit, which had an average accuracy of about 90% when predicting branches. This seems pretty good, at first glance, no? I'd love to simply be able to guess right (with prior knowledge about how my guesses turned out, of course) 90% of the time on true or false exams! However, in processors with long pipelines, 90% simply isn't good enough. Intel has stated that approximately 30% of real world performance is thrown out the window due to times when the processor guesses wrong. Given that the penalty for the Pentium 4 is potentially longer than that of the Pentium III, it should come as no surprise that Intel opted to improve the efficiency of their Branch Prediction Unit! As such, Intel has increase the number of entries in the history table eight-fold over the Pentium III (this happens to be the size of the history table of the K6-x family, though AMD has stated that it was overkill for a chip with a short pipeline)!

Intel Pentium 4: In-Depth Technical Overview
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