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Intel Upgrades Hardware

Intel Breathes New Life Into Pentium 207

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-alive dept.
angry tapir writes "Intel is giving new life to its Pentium processor for servers, and has started shipping the new Pentium 350 chip for low-end servers. The dual-core processor operates at a clock speed of 1.2GHz and has 3MB of cache. Like many server chips, the Pentium 350 lacks features such as integrated graphics, which are on most of Intel's laptop and desktop processors."
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Intel Breathes New Life Into Pentium

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  • by jonwil (467024) on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:58AM (#38163866)

    A chip like this would work good for servers that are limited more by network bandwidth and disk IO than by CPU load.

    • by realityimpaired (1668397) on Friday November 25, 2011 @07:52AM (#38164766)

      Actually, a server is one of the few places I actually want an integrated graphics chip, because it means I don't have to take up a PCI slot and associated energy and I/O load with a low-end graphics card just to provide a console, not to mention the space considerations and form factor requirements to be able to put in a PCI card. While I like that it's not built into the CPU (freeing up those transistors for, you know, CPU things), I'd still be buying a motherboard that has built in cheap graphics.

      If you're in a situation where network and disk bandwidth is the limiting factor, then why wouldn't you put in a ULV celeron chip? My laptop has a 1.2GHz dual core with 2MB of cache, and a TDP of 18W, and while that is 3W higher than the processor in TFA, that's also including the graphics card, which this one isn't. And failing that, try putting in an Atom... I have built Atom-powered fileservers before, and they run very well: even with an Atom, the limiting factor is disk I/O, not CPU power for a fileserver.

      • by dfghjk (711126)

        Because integrated and PCI slot are the only two choices. ;)

      • It doesnt have CPU graphics, but whether or not it has integrated graphics is up to the motherboard manufacturer. I have been looking at a number of server builds with various Xeon chips which dont have the Intel HD graphics, and a lot of them have Nuvoton graphics chips with a paltry amount of video RAM.

        It boils down to, do you really want Sandy Bridge graphics chewing up an extra 10w of electricity in your CPU when you could just use a much more modest chip?

      • by swalve (1980968)
        I think for machines like that, what they mean is the graphics aren't integrated into the processor or the chipset like they would be on a consumer machine. Just a single chip hanging off a PCIe lane or something.
      • by hey (83763)

        I wonder if there is a market there. If some body could make a really small graphics card. With very lower power consumption. It might even turn itself off once the system is booted. Perhaps it might not even do graphics - but just provide what the POST is looking for.

  • by Ch_Omega (532549) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:00AM (#38163868) Journal
    ... What exactly does this have to do with the older pentium architechtures?
    • Nothing (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:26AM (#38163994)

      And this is also nothing new. They've been selling "Pentiums" for some time now. The Pentium G6950 is one for the last generation Core i series systems (LGA1156). The Pentium G600 and G800 series are for this generation core i series (LGA1155, Sandy Bridge). They are the same architecture as the i series chips, just more cut down.

      So for example with the current LGA1155 offerings:

      -- The i7-2600/2700 are the quad core, hyperthreaded chips with 8MB cache.
      -- The i5s are quad core, non-HT, 6MB cache.
      -- The i3s are dual core, hyperthreaded, 3MB cache. They also lack AES-NI instructions.
      -- The Pentiums are dual core, non-HT, 3MB cache and have slower graphics and clockspeed. They also lack AVX instructions (and AES-NI).
      -- The Celerons are even slower, and 2 or 1MB of cache, and the lowest end one is single core.

      In all cases they are all Sandy Bridge. They are 32nm chips with that core architecture. The lower end ones just have less features, cache, clockspeed, and so on and thus can be made cheaper.

      Basically these days "Core" is Intel's mainstream and high end brand. Everything from about $120 up is branded Core. Pentiums are their budget brand, the $60-100 range. Celerons are their extreme budget brand. $40-50 (only sold to OEMs).

      • Re:Nothing (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Shinobi (19308) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:57AM (#38164074)

        The difference with the Pentium 350 is that it is HT and supports VT-x and ECC. And has a TDP of 15W.

        I'm trying to dump the Zacate I bought about a month ago onto someone now, and buy a Pentium 350 instead.... The Zacate gets rather hot(noticed 67 degrees Celsius from on-die sensor) when decoding a movie for example, even with a fan. With the Pentium 350 and a GT 520 for example, I could go completely fanless, and not reach those temperatures.

      • Re:Nothing (Score:5, Funny)

        by rapidreload (2476516) on Friday November 25, 2011 @04:05AM (#38164094)

        Sycraft-fu, your posts are consistently accurate, informative and insightful. Could you at least pretend to troll once in a while? It's much more fun!

      • by Dogtanian (588974) on Friday November 25, 2011 @06:30AM (#38164546) Homepage

        Basically these days "Core" is Intel's mainstream and high end brand. Everything from about $120 up is branded Core. Pentiums are their budget brand, the $60-100 range. Celerons are their extreme budget brand. $40-50 (only sold to OEMs).

        Good grief, Intel's marketing department really needs a good slapping.

        Their brand positioning used to make sense when you knew that Celeron was their budget line (though sometimes quite decent) and Pentium-XXX (later replaced by Core-XXX) the standard midrange, with Xeon for servers.

        So when they brought back Pentium, I was confused until (as you say) realising that it was meant as a kind-of-lower-priced line, but not as cheap as the Celeron (*). Confused partly because they still had the Core 2 (**) then i3/i5/i7 lines as their mainstream brand which Pentium used to represent.

        In other words, they brought back the Pentium name due (presumably) to some vague consumer recognition, but not for what it was used before and for some vaguely-defined semi-budget segment.

        Worse, it isn't even necessary because the current "Core" line is split into i3, i5 and i7, which is an easily-understood hierarchy, and along with the "Celeron", there's absolutely no need for another damn confusing name.

        *Now* they're making things even more of a cluster**** by using the Pentium name on low-end *server* (not mainstream) processors.

        Please note that I'm *not* talking about the underlying architecture, which marketing doesn't necessarily follow, and which the man on the street probably doesn't care about much. I'm simply talking about incompetent marketing and positioning in that there are a mess of names that no longer represent their intended price segment and/or use clearly.

        Then again, perhaps confusion is the aim of the game, as it makes it easier for sales people to bamboozle the public and upsell more expensive CPUs than they need? But I suspect not.

        (*) You say that Celeron is now an ultra-cheap OEM-only thing, but I can still apparently purchase boxed versions here [dabs.com] and here [ebuyer.com], for example.

        (**) And while I'm here, "Core" and "Core 2" were absolutely stupid choices for a processor name, as "core" already had a technologically-defined use we all know well, and "Core" (the name) was thus guaranteed to confused anyone not in the field, e.g. a dual-core Core, etc. etc..... "Core 2" was even worse, as it's going to get easily confused with "dual core" and terms like "Core 2 Quad" (i.e. a four-core "Core 2"!) are just a confusing mess for Joe Public. I know of at least one alleged computer technician (i.e. someone who *could* be expected to know this) who thought that "Core 2" in itself meant that it was a dual-core processor! I'll give them a free pass on the fact that the original "Core" line didn't actually feature the "Core" architecture, as I was complaining about bad marketing, and marketing doesn't normally mention internal architectures anyway.

        • by iviv66 (1146639) on Friday November 25, 2011 @07:48AM (#38164752) Homepage

          *Now* they're making things even more of a cluster**** by using the Pentium name on low-end *server* (not mainstream) processors.

          You forgot to include the footnote for explaining the **** there!

        • What's worse, up until fairly recently they had *two* different chips named after the Pentium. The Pentium D and the Pentium Dual Core.

          Who thought up these product ranges? Never mind naming them both Pentium, but giving them similar names? I've known lots of people confuse the two. I have no idea why we need all these product ranges. Celeron, Pentium and Xeon should be sufficient, with maybe something to differentiate the i7. But for god's sake, give them distinct and understandable names!

    • ... What exactly does this have to do with the older pentium architechtures?

      The current Intel line of decent chips is descended from the Pentium III line. While the marketing department was running the US operation with its Pentium 4 ("burn baby burn") line, a small group in Israel took the Pentium III and made it power efficient ('Core').

      Pentium 350 sounds like the end of Atom. Yay, I guess, since they handicapped Atom on purpose.

  • That'd be a very very low end server!
    You can buy more powerful hardware, a desktop actually, with 4 cores and call it your server.
    Naaa, Intel is killing the Pentium.

    • by the linux geek (799780) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:16AM (#38163936)
      Desktops don't have ECC. This does. Two cores with hyperthreading and ECC, only drawing 15W, isn't such a bad idea for the lowest of low-end servers.
      • by beelsebob (529313) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:47AM (#38164048)

        What this looks perfect for is a NAS... now if only anyone would release a mITX C202/C204 board with 6 SATA ports on it.

        • by Fackamato (913248)

          That'd be perfect. 6x 3TB in RAID6 on that baby... 12TB in a small box!

      • by smash (1351) on Friday November 25, 2011 @04:23AM (#38164152) Homepage Journal
        Depending on the company, this would even be fine for an ESXi host to run 5-6 VMs on, given enough ram. As any ESX admin will tell you, you'll run out of IO and memory LONG before you get anywhere near running out of CPU these days, for all but the most cpu-demanding tasks (like VDI, code breaking, rendering, etc).
      • by fa2k (881632)

        Desktops don't have ECC. This does.

        Pretty much all AMD desktop chips support unregistered ECC memory. It's great for situations where you load up a desktop with RAM and hard drives instead of building a separate NAS. If Intel has two memory controller designs, I can understand that they don't ship ECC on desktops, but I suspect that they just flip a bit in the microcode, which is really annoying. AMD did it once as well, when they disabled a perfectly good core on quad core chips to get the cheaper 3-core versions, but they don't seem to dis

      • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Friday November 25, 2011 @06:18AM (#38164516) Journal

        Desktops don't have ECC. This does.

        Really? Because even a low end AMD motherboard supports (certainly the 40GBP range ASUS ones do) ECC. It's very hard to find such a low-clocked processor as the 1.8GHz Pentium 350, but processors don't put out all that much heat if you don't use them much. It's also a motherboard which allows for easy underclocking, should you wish to reduce the power draw.

        • by PhrstBrn (751463)
          Intel desktop (Core/Pentium/Celeron) processors don't. You need to get a Xeon UP/DP workstation processor (same socket as the server processors, but have a larger TDP and run at a higher clockrate) in order to get ECC. This is a "Pentium" branded processor, and not a Xeon that has ECC.
      • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Friday November 25, 2011 @07:44AM (#38164738) Journal

        "Intel Desktops don't have ECC" FTFY

        AMD desktops all support ECC and have for ages. When you figure in the cost of the board and Intel's price for the chip one could easily get get one of the low power Phenom variations and still have money in your pocket. One of the places i like to get chips from (great bunch to shop with BTW) has the AMD Phenom X4 9150e [starmicroinc.net] which is a 65w quad at 1.8GHz for $55. Slap it in a nice cheap business class board, I prefer the ECS business class myself, and you have a nice cheap server that will be quiet as a churchmouse while being cheaper and more powerful than the Intel Pentium dual.

        • Comparing a 65w TDP to a 15w TDP is such a stretch its not even funny.

          Im sorry, I love AMD, how cheap they are, their graphics, the competition they bring to intel, etc; but theyre so uncompetitive right now its not even funny. For $200 I can get an intel processor [intel.com] that can do over 1GB/sec of AES encryption (thats around 10gbit vpn tunnels, if youre keeping score) in a 20w package. They seriously need to get their act together, especially as regards power draw.

      • by Agripa (139780)

        My Phenom II desktop has ECC. The cost difference between it and an equivalent Intel system more than paid for a hardware raid controller and 4 big drives. My previous two desktops, a P4 and P3, both have ECC as well.

      • It would be more than adequate for most of the servers in my rack. Granted, I'm moving in the direction of virtualization, but I need to get a better storage infrastructure. That brings me to another question, where does one go to get an updated education on server/stoage technologies? I'm primarily a programmer, but being a small shop, I do everything, and my server knowledge is kind of lagging behind.

  • by drunkennewfiemidget (712572) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:04AM (#38163894) Homepage

    Until Intel brings back the Pentium brand in general.

    Unless they're stupid.

    I'll never understand why they killed their most visible, most recognised brand.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Tastecicles (1153671)

      Their whole Pentium M, Centrino and Core brands are based on the Pentium III "Tualatin".

      Pentium never died, although P4 came close. That was a dead end.

    • Because the ageing pentium architecture was a mess, and they needed to redesign from scratch for the Core 2 architecture - which was a great improvement. They stopped using the pentium brand because they stopped selling chips with any pentium-based technology in.
      • by Guy Harris (3803) <guy@alum.mit.edu> on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:55AM (#38164072)

        Because the ageing pentium architecture was a mess, and they needed to redesign from scratch for the Core 2 architecture - which was a great improvement. They stopped using the pentium brand because they stopped selling chips with any pentium-based technology in.

        What is the "Pentium architecture"? The microarchitecture of the original Pentium (P5) was different from the microarchitecture of the Pentium Pro/Pentium II/Pentium III (P6), and P6 was different from the microarchitecture of the Pentium 4 (NetBurst), and NetBurst was different from the microarchitecture of the Pentium M (which was, I think, P6-derived). The microarchitecture of the Core 2 (Core) was, I think, Pentium M-derived.

        So there's Pentium-the-chip (P5), and there's Pentium-the-brand, which was first used with the P5 chip but was also used with chips with significantly different microarchitectures from the P5 chip.

        The Pentium 350 apparently uses the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture, along with a bunch of other microprocessors [intel.com], some named Core, some named Xeon, some named Celeron, and some named Pentium. Some of the ones named Pentium were launched in Q3 2011, before the Pentium 350, so "Intel Breathes New Life Into Pentium" is, to use the technical term, a "complete bullshit headline".

        • It is complicated, yes. I can't keep track of it all myself.
      • by smash (1351)
        Where "redesign from scratch" means "tweak the old p6 core a bit more"
      • To most people, Pentium was just a brand name. The technology behind it was irrelevant. Even if tomorrow Intel starts making their CPUs out of tungsten and unicorn tears, they could still call it Pentium.

    • by korgitser (1809018) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:24AM (#38163984)

      I'll never understand why they killed their most visible, most recognised brand.

      For me that hasn't been much of a question. For what I gather, the Intel brand is way stronger than the Pentium brand. You don't buy Pentium or Core, you buy Intel. Their changing the processor name only signifies that they are moving forward (and leading) as usual.

      • by unitron (5733) on Friday November 25, 2011 @04:25AM (#38164160) Homepage Journal

        "You don't buy Pentium or Core, you buy Intel."

        The more technically aware perhaps, but people like the dudes who got Dells (i.e., the ones who had no idea that there were any OS'es besides Windows) knew they wanted a Pentium even if they didn't know if it was made by Intel or Mat-tel.

      • by Sloppy (14984)

        You don't buy Pentium or Core, you buy Intel.

        You don't buy Intel; you buy Sandy Bridge.

    • by bhcompy (1877290) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:29AM (#38164008)
      It's all about the Pentiums, baby
    • The impression I got from P4's was that they were always overheating and the consessions made to get these high frequencies were unacceptable (looooong pipelines) and limiting to the actual speed.
      It was an overall recognised brand, but not always in a good way.
    • by Larryish (1215510)

      It's all about the Pentiums, baby!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpMvS1Q1sos [youtube.com]

  • Is to try and stop people using Atom chips on the server due to their low profit margins? Doesn't have me fooled atleast. On the subject of the Pentium brand, it's best off where they left it. I think of Pentium I think slow, old and crap. To they extent I was put off the second I read the name.
  • I suppose. Although these days I see most serious customers by a few high end servers and use vmware. I've yet to see a single low end low power server in a datacentre in this country
    • by leenks (906881)

      This kind of product is ideal for SMBs though, and even individuals who want a high performance NAS box. I've got AMD's equivalent processor (as I see it anyway) in a HP Microserver, and it runs a couple of Linux VMs and a Windows XP VM without a problem (for the odd bits of Windows stuff I have to do), as well as providing me with a fast 4x 3.5" removable HDD storage solution.

    • by smash (1351)
      This will likely be aimed at the small 10-20 employee shops to run vmware (or hyperV - blech) on. Free copy of ESXi, low end cpu like this with plenty of RAM = win. Add nodes/vcenter license and CPU/RAM as you grow.
    • There are corps who buy a ``a few high end servers and use vmware'' and then there are corps who buy thousands of low-end cheap boxes and build hadoop clusters.

      • by mjwalshe (1680392)
        actually from what my colleges a LN Risk tell me HPC clusters are not normally built with cheap as chips parts - they use commodity but fairly decent kit dual quad cores plus infiniband to tie it together
  • ... all their 32-bit x86 CPUs as Pentiums, including the recent names, such as Pentium i3 Dual Cores, etc, an come up w/ a new name for all their x64 CPUs - maybe call it Hexiums, or Sexiums, and append them w/ their current names, such as Xeon, Core2Quad, et al, so that they'd have a good branding strategy. And come up w/ low cost versions of the Itanium, since it's obviously going nowhere in servers, and they might as well get some lower cost versions of that CPU and offer systems on that loaded w/ thing
  • by unitron (5733) on Friday November 25, 2011 @04:20AM (#38164134) Homepage Journal

    What happened to the Pentium 5 through 349?

  • More like integrated waste of money.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      on 1.2ghz server though, integrated graphics would be more reasonable than on most of the machines integrated graphics ship on.. so.. uh.. I don't think this is a chip for totally gpu'less installations either..

  • by alfredos (1694270) on Friday November 25, 2011 @05:22AM (#38164310)
    So if Intel is now pushing the Pentium brand, and having suffered Intel's legal belligerence myself, I feel sorry for all those who have brand names starting with P and having less than 12 letters.
  • by msobkow (48369) on Friday November 25, 2011 @09:36AM (#38165168) Homepage Journal

    ...the Pentium 350 lacks features such as integrated graphics, which are on most of Intel's laptop and desktop processors.

    Somehow I doubt that integrated graphics are on "most" of their chips, unless you're talking about the volume shipped for laptops, and even then I thought the graphics were on a separate chip in most cases.

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