Sunday, January 08, 2006

INTEL Pentium D 950 (Presler) may overheat

There are two reasons that a CPU reduces its speed when running, one is there is little work to do, the other is the chip is overheating. INTEL Pentium 4 CPUs are basically overclocked chips, they can't run continuosly at their specified speed for extended periof of time, due to the extreme power consumption. INTEL employs a technique called thermal throttling: the CPU lower its speed to prevent melt down of the silicon core. Another technique INTEL uses to reduce heat is to add instructions that basically does nothing, this way, the chips looks running at full speed, but saves energy by reducing the work load.

According to the Tech Report, the 65nm Pentium D 950 (Presler) has a real heat output of 140-145 watts, partly due to a defect in the CPU design. It found that , with the stock INTEL CPU cooler, the Pentium D 950 has to throttle itsef to a lower speed. However, if using an expensive cooler like a turbo fan, the throttling problem is resolved.

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