First let's cover the Prescott basics that we discovered so far. We will classify most of this as rumor since Intel has not publicly substantiated any of this, but much of what is described below has been verified by many different sources. As it has been publicly discussed by more than a few websites, Intel's new Prescott processor will be making its debut in early February 2004. We will likely see CPUs built on the new 90 nanometer process scaling from the mid-2GHz range utilizing a 533MHz bus to 3.4GHz running on a 800MHz bus, with "Extreme Edition" CPUs rounding out the top of the pack. These CPUs will launch in the current Pentium 4 socket 478 packaging and will carry the Pentium 4 namesake. They will also transition over to a 775-pin package as the speeds climb. While it is currently unclear, most of the CPUs will be HyperThreading compatible though some will not.
As for us enthusiasts, we may find some good reasons to upgrade to Prescott CPUs. While looking over the future offerings, there are a couple of Prescott CPUs that may have a special place with the enthusiast. It seems that some new Prescotts will have a 533MHz (133MHz QuadPumped) bus speed, unlike its 800MHz big brothers. At that bus speed the CPU would have a very high multiplier, possibly in excess of "20". Because much of the reason the Prescott is being put into production is to give the Pentium 4 line of CPUs some scaling headroom, it's very likely the parts in question could be great enthusiast CPUs, coming in at less than US$200 at the OEM level. It is unclear if it will benefit from the 1MB of L2 cache like most of the other Prescott CPUs however. In any case, there appears to be a good chance at some great CPUs for the enthusiast at the bottom of Intel's initial Prescott product lineup, should availability be present.
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