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Intel Hardware

Socket Adapter Brings Pentium M to Desktop 197

EconolineCrush writes "Intel's Pentium M processor is widely regarded as the company's most compelling chip, and although desktop versions of it won't be available until next year, a new adapter from Asus allows users to run a Pentium M on existing Socket 478 motherboards. When coupled with a compatible motherboard, the CT-479 adapter is much cheaper than existing Pentium M desktop platforms, and also offers better performance by allowing the processor access to dual-channel memory configurations. Considering the Pentium M's frugal power consumption and great clock-for-clock performance, this could be an interesting upgrade for those looking for a low-noise system."
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Socket Adapter Brings Pentium M to Desktop

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Well, now I know what the question was for the answer of life, the universe, and everything. It's, "how much does the CT-479 cost."
    • Re:Fairly Cheap (Score:3, Informative)

      by thegoogler ( 792786 )
      quite a bit more than even a 3800+, 1.7ghz is $250 at newegg, and i think 2ghz was at about $399-410 right now, so

      more than you would want to pay for a chip+adaptor

      • I don't understand Intels pricing of the Pentium M. It is like they really don't want anybody buying it. Quite a lot of people want to trade in a tiny amount of performance for a huge decrease in wattage. But the way Intel price the Pentium M and associated motherboard circuts, that option is far to expensive for most people. Why not diversify the processor line by selling both fast low wattage processors and slightly cheaper fast high wattage processors?
        • Re:Fairly Cheap (Score:4, Insightful)

          by scum-e-bag ( 211846 ) on Monday July 25, 2005 @10:46PM (#13162244) Homepage Journal
          Why not diversify the processor line by selling both fast low wattage processors and slightly cheaper fast high wattage processors?
          The Intel marketing dept doesn't want to look foolish after having spent all that money on promoting the P4...
          • The Pentium M is basically a souped-up Pentium-III. The Intel vice presidents and managers who were responsible for the Pentium-IV and its thefts of technologies from DEC don't want to admit that the theft was wasted and the switchover to RAMbus heralded by the Pentium-IV was a complete waste of many billions of dollars of everyone's time, effort, and money.

            Tom's Hardware goes into good detail on why the Pentium M is superior, but the basic reason is vastly lower power consumption by not using unnecessary
            • I would also gather that there is no major roadblocks tht would prevent Intel from creating a dual-core Pentium M that is socket compatible with 478. That would be a chip that I would be interested in...
            • First, there is no "Pentium-IV". It's the "Pentium 4". They stopped using roman numerals with the 4.

              Second, what thefts? Intel bought out portions of DEC when it collapsed. Using rights to IP you've bought isn't theft.

              However, the rest is correct. RAMBUS was a big waste of time and money, and the P4 is based on a lot of bad ideas, and as a result doesn't perform that well. Why are we stuck with it now? Because there's a lot of big egos at Intel who can't admit it was all a mistake. Unfortunately,
        • Re:Fairly Cheap (Score:3, Informative)

          Because Intel doesn't have the balls to admit that NetBurst (the P4's microarchitecture) is a steaming pile of crap, and that the Pentium M is far superior to anything that's ever been based on NetBowel.

          And, for the record, the PM already contains the only two good features the P4 ever had: SSE2 and the QDR bus. And that's on top of all the wonderful features of the PM that have nothing to do with the P4.

          Yeah, Intel is really insecure right now. They're too ashamed to admit that the P4 was a massive fucku
          • Re:Fairly Cheap (Score:3, Informative)

            by ciroknight ( 601098 )
            But that's just it, if it wasn't for the Pentium 4, there'd be no Pentium M. Pentium M was designed as a comprimise between the Pentium 3 M and the Pentium 4 M. The P3M was a fast mobile chip, but they needed something faster and lower in heat production. So, taking the technologies from the Pentium 4 (Netburst-style micro-ops fusion, QDR FSB (and pretty much all of the logic dedicated to bussing), SSE2, (SSE3 eventually), along with the Pentium 4's voltage profile, etc), they made a fairly compatible chip
      • Re:Fairly Cheap (Score:5, Informative)

        by eobanb ( 823187 ) on Monday July 25, 2005 @08:47PM (#13161634) Homepage
        Dude, he was asking how much the adapter, the CT-479, in the article was. It's $42.49.
  • awesome (Score:5, Funny)

    by poind3xt3r ( 890661 ) on Monday July 25, 2005 @08:33PM (#13161539)
    w00t. now ive got a reason to smash open my ibm t30
    • Re:awesome (Score:5, Funny)

      by mpathetiq ( 726625 ) on Monday July 25, 2005 @08:36PM (#13161568) Homepage
      You need a reason?
    • Hate to break it to you, but those things had the short lived Pentium 4-M mobile chips in them. They make nice space heaters.
      • Hate to break it to you, but those things had the short lived Pentium 4-M mobile chips in them. They make nice space heaters.

        Actually, the P4-M is still around, unfortunently. Seen mostly in bottom of the line budget notebooks, where it is still barely cheaper than the Celeron-M, or in those big gamers notebooks that can heat a small house.
        • Hell, even the big gamers notebooks, they're going to the Pentium M... (*cough*XPS Gen 2*cough*)
  • by nxtr ( 813179 )
    Intel releases the Pentium M processor.
  • by Sv-Manowar ( 772313 ) on Monday July 25, 2005 @08:34PM (#13161555) Homepage Journal
    I've always wondered about the potential of today's mobile cpu's as quiet/silent & power efficient replacements for the current crop of desktop processors. It'll be interesting to see how Intel react to this, and if enough people make use of these adapters to noticably affect P-M sales. After reading articles about silent PC's, and the various steps/careful hardware choice required to create them, its only logical to move to components where the cooling & noise issues have already been considered in the component design.
    • I'm sure Intel will be happy to sell them at the current extra high laptop-premium. The real question is if/when the same characteristics will be available in a common desktop. I don't think Intel is ready to cannibalize their laptop margins so they can sell it to the mass market, at least not until they have to. And while the PIVs aren't exactly dazzling, they are holding their ground against the A64.

    • As far as I am aware Intel is planning on implementing the Pentium M processor as a desktop processor anyway, this adapter simply means that you can be ahead of the curve.
    • by freidog ( 706941 ) on Monday July 25, 2005 @11:05PM (#13162345)
      As one of the many people who picked up an AthlonXP-Mobile, I can tell you it's pretty nice.
      An SI-97 and a Panflo ultra quiet fan, it's nice and cool, and the loudest thing on the computer is a pair of WD ATA hard drives.

      The biggest drawback to intel right now for me is the 80-100+W TDP on most of their chips.
      I look forward to a dual core Yonah ~40-50W part.
  • Can someone explain to me exactly what the chip compels one to do?
    • by Kris_J ( 10111 ) *
      Given that it has high performance for very low power consumption, it compels one to buy it. 130W less than a P4 @ 3.4GHz under load? Depending on your video card, that might make the difference between a power supply with fans and one without.
      • It might also save up to $0.30 cents a day.. in electricity.. up to $9 a month (if you always run at load) the difference won't be so profound at idle speeds, but it will still be noticable.
        • It's also vastly better for Beowulfs and cluster computing, since such a reduction in power consumption will seriously cut cooling costs and reduce the need for extra power cabling and uninterruptible power supplies to handle power outages. Extending the power outage lifetime of a data canter by 50% by using a different CPU at no significant performance cost is a big, big deal. Keeping computing cluster cooling costs and requirements of chilled air down is also a big, big deal.
  • by non-poster ( 529123 ) on Monday July 25, 2005 @08:39PM (#13161591)
    So, I've been running a AMD Mobile Athlon XP Barton (link []) in my desktop for about a year, in a standard Socket A motherboard (NForce2 based). It is easily overclockable, and runs cooler than my previous main CPU, an Athlon XP 1800.

    Is the PentiumM that much better, or is it just the CPU du jour?
    • Disclaimer: I'm going off of stats, specs, and what others have said. I don't actually own one.

      Picture the idea of a processor that uses less than 30W max (give you a hint, no other current processor comes close), and outperforms similarly speced processors without overclocking.
      And at least according to Tom's Hardware, with overclocking it easily outperforms every processor on the market in most areas.

      We're talking about a processor that produces so little heat that you can ditch all of those loud and/o
      • Actually, the lower voltage Mobile Barton models run on 35W, albeit they don't perform as well per clock as a P-M or A64. The Low voltage A64s, on the other hand, guzzle around 30W to 40W but you have to keep in mind that the memory controller is on the chip as well. On a Pentium M setup, the chipset will be using more power as the mem controller is still on the northbridge so overall system power consumption will be close enough that you wouldn't notice on a desktop system.
      • Other processors come close. And they got more stuff on board, like memory controllers and multimedia extensions.

        Again, it's not a 1:1 battle for the least watts of heat like it's not a 1:1 battle for more Mhz. There's other factors.

        I think the Pentium 3.. erm.. Pentium M is a fine chip and I always liked the P3 more then the P4. P4 turned me off from the start with it's lackluster performance and expensive Rambus RAM. Pentium 3's continued to beat the P4 in performance for some time until the P4'
      • Picture the idea of a processor that uses less than 30W max (give you a hint, no other current processor comes close),

        No other processor [], eh? Take a good, long look at those Winchester core power measurements. 33w for a 2.2 GHz processor, full-load, and 27w for a 1.8GHz, full-load. They sip much less than 10w when idle under Cool n Quiet, similar to the Pentium M.

        While the PM uses less power, the Athlon 64 is certainly a close second. Now, take into account that the newer revisions of the A64 offer
        • Last I checked, 33 was greater than 30. Other than that, congrats, you found one chip I didn't see before - hardly surprising when I haven't paid much attention to processor stats recently.

          Still uses more power than the 27W of the P-M at max load though.

          Also, performance per clock? Um... show me a benchmark that pits the P-M against those Winchester AMDs. I haven't seen one yet, but going against the benchmarks over on Toms, it doesn't look like it is as efficient to me...
    • Indeed. Can anyone point to an article comparing performance and power consumption between AMD and Intel? Much as I like my current "Frame Rate Monster" PC, I'd like my next one to be near silent again.
    • Clock for clock (not price/performance mind you) all of the benchmarks I've seen have the newer Pentium Ms beating the ever-loving-crap out of P4 EEs AND Athlon 64s. I'm too lazy to look up any supporting links.
      • Clock for clock, yes. But due to different architectures you have to make tradeoffs. Some, like the P4, don't do as much work clock for clock but can run at a very high clockspeed. Others, like the G5, do a lot of work per clock cycle but were unable to clock very high.

        The A64 is a pretty good tradeoff, it does more work than the P4 per clock cycle but can still clock pretty high.

        There's no use comparing clock per clock performance between two completely different architectures. Sure, you can overclock th
    • Imagine a processor that uses 16 watts (at 1.6Ghz, 21 watts at 2.1Ghz, 24 watts at 2.4ghz) that runs faster clock per clock than an A64.
  • by MooseMuffin ( 799896 ) on Monday July 25, 2005 @08:42PM (#13161604)
    Over at Tom's from a few weeks ago. l [] Redundant yet?
  • by NRAdude ( 166969 ) on Monday July 25, 2005 @08:48PM (#13161637) Homepage Journal
    Does anyone know about those neat 386-based computer systems that install into your motherboard's unused DIMM sockets? Has anyone seen the Sun or Apple alternative x86 solution whereas a complete computer is assembled into a PCI adaptor form-factor and installed into a PCI slot to give access to a x86 nativity?

    We need more of these solutions. Just for the utility of it, I want a computer for general purpose use; consider a Transmeta solution, and then have a Pentium M co-processor that I can enable or disable when I need it to boost an application, or even better a Hitachi SuperH 128bit solution for quicker and greater math precision. I'm waiting for the days to return when computers were modular, separate FPUs from the die core for example, like back in the late 80's when the manufacturer gave you the manual that has all the BIOS function calls and circuit schematic in such an open manner.

    All I see today is a bunch of unnecessary IC bloat, taking advantage of increasing transistor efficieny to use more transistors and obtusely dissipate more heat with a design that is bigger than the previous. Is progress to obsolete computers or give what is needed? I would settle for a fab-shrunk 8-way computer based on the earlier technology because it worked. Where are all those great designs going to, or is it just a fighting statistic? How about a 386 PDA? Anyone seen one yet?
    • I kinda agree with you, except that there are definitely gains in efficiency by cramming all the components as close together as possible on a single chip.

      But yeah, personally I'd like to have a cluster of 68030s built on a modern fab process. Most of what you need a PDA to do could easily be handled by one of those processors, and you could probably fit a dozen of them in the same silicon as a Pentium 4 core...
      • A dozen? Don't be so conservative. :) I couldn't find any transistor count number for the MC68030, but this page [] says the MC68040 had 1.2 million transistors (quite a jump up from the 68,000 of the original MC68000).

        A Pentium 4 seems to have either 55 million or 125 million, depending on the core generation (those are "Northwood" and "Prescott" cores, respectively), all according to this page []. There might be newer generations still, I'm not 100% up to speed on Intel CPUs.

        Thus, you can fit either 55/1.2 =

    • A 386-based PDA? The Nokia Communicator 9000 was one, IIRC (VERY fuzzy on that stuff, b/c those models were non-US, and I've never set foot outside the US).
    • by Urusai ( 865560 ) on Monday July 25, 2005 @10:31PM (#13162174)
      The Amiga had such a board way back when, a generic CPU emulator that used FPGAs to emulate multiple processors. It could supposedly emulate a Mac faster than a real Mac (probably using the Amiga's CPU, though). They were still trying to get 486 emulation debugged last I heard, many moons ago.
      • If you're referring to the Emplant [] board, then it wasn't exactly as you describe. Emplant was a combination hardware/software emulation system that provided Macintosh and i586 emulation (though the latter came out MUCH later and not to much fanfare, from what I remember).

        The idea of the package was that you could emulate any computer (and multiple ones at the same time, from some of the hype) and typically faster than the equivalent machine of the day. Looking at the software, it was equivalent to Shapes []

    • I saw one of those Sun x86 PCI cards a while back, sitting around in my local LUG's lab. It was quite impressive...basically a mobo-on-a-PCI-card. It came with a processor, chipset, DIMM slots, PATA ports, onboard USB, onboard audio, integrated graphics, and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting.

      Quite cool.
  • Great (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 25, 2005 @08:49PM (#13161648)
    The power of a laptop and the size of a desktop.
  • by bluelarva ( 185170 ) on Monday July 25, 2005 @08:50PM (#13161652)
    Toms's Hardware has a great article [] on Pentium M's performance. It's definitely worth a read.
  • by lightyear4 ( 852813 ) on Monday July 25, 2005 @08:56PM (#13161686)
    This is great..glad that Asus is keeping ahead of the game as always. I think I'll grab this simply for the great reduction in power consumption.

    On a similar note, who remembers the OverDrive for your old 486?
    • This is great..glad that Asus is keeping ahead of the game as always. I think I'll grab this simply for the great reduction in power consumption.

      Getting a new motherboard +Pentium M processor will probably cost you $600. How much electricity costs will it save you? I bet not $600.
  • "although desktop versions of it won't be available until next year"
    "the CT-479 adapter is much cheaper than existing Pentium M desktop platforms"
    Which is it?
  • "...and although desktop versions of it won't be available until next year..." Uh, both AOpen and DFI have had Socket 479 (Pentium-M) motherboards for the desktop available (iirc, both are micro ATX form factor) for several months. Granted, those motherboards are overpriced (at least they were back in January when I built a Dothan box for my mother (mobo was about $250 back then), but that clearly shows the above quote to be bullshit.
  • AOpen products (Score:3, Informative)

    by shikra ( 751390 ) on Monday July 25, 2005 @09:48PM (#13161985) Journal
    If anyone cares, there is already a native Pentium-M [] board from AOpen based on the Intel i915G chipset. No need for convertor crap. The upcoming small form-factor Pandora XPC [] from AOpen is Pentium-M based as well.
    • I've read some reviews of that AOpen board; apparently AOpen sacrificed the insanely low heat production of the Pentium M by strapping a heatsink and fan that looks like it came from a northbridge rather than a desktop CPU. To further this, they've formatted the mounting points on the board to be completely industry incompatible, meaning that you're stuck with their heatsink unless you fab your own.

      That's a pretty big letdown to me, as I have been wanting a desktop Pentium M since Pentium M's existed. Th
  • Northbridges... (Score:5, Informative)

    by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Monday July 25, 2005 @10:54PM (#13162281) Journal
    While it's nice to get a lower-power CPU, your results aren't going to be very impressive. The fact is, northbridges are also very power-hungry, and using the northbridge for a P4 with a Pentium M will certainly not give very good results. You really need a motherboard designed for the Pentium-M to get a low-power system, otherwise you'll just be wasting watts, and making a lot of heat for no reason.

    It seems nobody ever talks about the Northbridge, which, IMHO, will over-take the CPU, within a year, as the hottest component in a computer. If you take a year-old system, and put all the components (CPU/RAM) in a brand-new motherboard, you'll see the power consumption go up 10-20 watts. Why do you think they are now requiring fans on many of them? Even the motherboards that don't have one, commonly NEED one. They just leave it off because they know people don't buy motherboards with fans on the northbridge.

    They just assume case airflow with be enough to keep the northbridge within spec, which is rarely true. Many people with unstable systems may assume it's a CPU or software problem, while pointing a fan at the northbridge heatsink may be all they need to do to solve the problem. I have some Asus and MSI motherboards that are guilty of this (SiS and VIA chipsets).

    What pisses me off (personally) is that repeated requests to Asus, MSI, VIA and SiS for power specs on their chipsets/motherboards have been completely ignored. For that reason, I have kept using my old systems (brand-new Asus motherboard wasting space in my closet) and will not upgrade until I can find specs on motherboards (idle/load) before I buy them.
    • My NF3 chip came with a fan on it.
    • It seems nobody ever talks about the Northbridge, which, IMHO, will over-take the CPU, within a year, as the hottest component in a computer.

      More like the northbridge will disappear in a year or two, at least on AMD platforms. AMD has already integrated the memory controller on-die, and there are rumours of Socket F including an one-die PCI-E controller.

      What's left for a northbridge to do?
      • More like the northbridge will disappear in a year or two, at least on AMD platforms.

        Yes, on AMD platforms, which are in the minority. This story is specifically about Intel.

        Intel has not made any indication that it plans to get rid of the northbridge like AMD has.
    • It seems nobody ever talks about the Northbridge, which, IMHO, will over-take the CPU, within a year, as the hottest component in a computer. If you take a year-old system, and put all the components (CPU/RAM) in a brand-new motherboard, you'll see the power consumption go up 10-20 watts.

      A P4 can consume up to about 100 watts of power, which is significantly more than 10-20 watts.
      • you'll see the power consumption go up 10-20 watts.

        A P4 can consume up to about 100 watts of power, which is significantly more than 10-20 watts.

        Notice the bolded section. The previous generation of northbridges weren't drawing 0watts.

        Your figures on P4 power consumption is completely wrong as well. They are commonly drawing more than 130watts, but their power consumption increases have ceased, but northbridges are increasing in power consumption dramatically.

    • Actual measurements of system power consumption, running a Pentium-M on a Pentium-IV mobo, have been done. That configuration consumes much less [] than a comparable Pentium IV system.

      Not to say there isn't even more room for improvement. But I, for one, am impressed.
  • I don't care about the difference in power usage between a Pentium M (laptop) and a Athlon 64 (desktop) cpus. It's an irrelevant number.

    I'd be very curious to see the difference in power usage (and benchmarks) between a Pentium M (plugged into a 478-socket system) and a low-voltage Athlon 64 (laptop version) plugged into a similar desktop board.

    Not the difference in power usage by the processor, mind you, but the difference in power usage by the entire *system*, and at the various stages of idling.

    A pentium M northbridge will use significantly more power than an Athlon 64 northbridge. And Athlon 64s do an amazing job of throttling down to low powerlevels (enough that they can be cooled via passive cooling, and I believe they survive the heatsink-fell-off test.
    • by ciroknight ( 601098 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @06:00AM (#13163565)
      Well I can assure you that the Pentium M wins. Need proof? Go read a laptop review, Turion 64 vs Pentium M. The Pentium M kills the Turion in heat production and battery life, but the Turion's better performance-wise, which is all that matters to a lot of people.

      Why I'm answering this is that you're being very ignorant of the fact that the Pentium M, relatively unchanged, is the next Intel desktop CPU, therefore completely invalidating your statement that a Laptop CPU vs a Desktop CPU isn't fair, or irrelevant in any way. Simply put, the Pentium M is about to destroy the competition when it comes to IPC, the entire system around.

      A Pentium M northbridge will use more power, this is obvious; it's got to deal with DDR2 memory, it's got to deal with PCI Express and all of these other controllers on the bus. AMD trying to stick all of these controllers on to the CPU is only relocating the heat, and at the cost to the consumer; now every time a bump in CPU speed comes about, I'm going to have to throw out my whole system.

      AMD64's do a great job throttling, but I'm sorry to burst your bubble; Enhanced SpeedStep is far superior when paired up with software that can use it right. Fine-grained CPU speed speeds can drop the Pentium M to virtually no output, and it can still run a screensaver or two ;) (to me, this is amazing; my desktop computer's a dual proc Pentium 3 workstation from last century and it can barely run the screensavers that came with my linux distro).

      Stop being ignorant. The competition's about to get red-hot again, and we're the ones who will benefit. Choosing sides too early's only going to cost you more money in the long run. And as I'm due for a new desktop very soon, I'm watching the playing field very, very closely.
  • by Hack Jandy ( 781503 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @03:26AM (#13163219) Homepage
    Is there any chance Slashdot can stop accepting submissions from the authors of the stories submitted?????

    Tom's Hardware and Anandtech reviewed this stuff like 5 months ago; I think one of them even got slashdotted for it.

  • I tried it (Score:5, Informative)

    by vadim_t ( 324782 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @05:08AM (#13163453) Homepage
    It costs about $50, and comes with the adapter, heatsink and fan.

    How good is it? I have no idea, since I broke a pin on it while trying to get it to work.

    Here's a warning to everybody thinking of trying it: The adapter is held in the motherboard's CPU socket only by the locking mechanism. The design makes it quite easy to apply pressure in such a way that it will rip the adapter off the motherboard's socket.

    For some reason, the instructions go like this:
    Insert adapter, insert CPU, lock CPU with screw, add heatsink. But I found that it's very uncomfortable, and risky. Be really careful when doing that, especially while installing the heatsink.

    On the next time I'll probably do it differently: insert the CPU into the adapter, lock it, then insert the adapter into the motherboard and add the heatsink.

    I broke it because I thought I was applying too much force while trying to fix the CPU and didn't turn the screw far enough. After removing and inserting the adapter several times I finally realized I didn't turn it all the way, but that must be when I bent the pin.
  • ...this could be an interesting upgrade for those looking for a low-noise system.

    Or perhaps a low-cost, energy-efficient home or small-office based server, yes?
  • We have several broken toshiba laptops in my office that use the pentium M processors, I have successfully put one in a (stock) shuttle mt-63 motherboard, it works great, even overclocked. the processor is 1.7 ghz stock and it is running (very cool and very stable) at 2.2 with a regular cpu heatsink/fan. These processors are designed for a dinky heatsink/fan combo so a full-fledged cpu cooler is capeable of doing a great deal of cooling on these.

    As a note, the processors *should* work in any motherboard t

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus