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- Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955 CPU Review - Australia

Applications 9.7
Graphics 9.6
Multimedia 9.7
Value 9.8
Distributor: Intel
Andrew B


Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955 Review

Intel have once again come to the rescue of all computer users with the Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955 that ups the ante on clock speed (3.46Ghz), increases the L2 Cache (4MB) and boosts the front speed bus (FSB) to an insane 1066Mhz, making this CPU one of the most powerful processors that will be available in Australia in January 2006.

To make things even better, the 955 now uses a new 65nm production process that not only lowers the power requirements of the processor but also costs for producing this powerful CPU. With that said, the Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955 performed remarkably well on our tests, beating just about everything around and add the fact that this processor is fully ready for the applications of tomorrow, 64-bit applications and multiple operating systems are just a small step away with the powerful dual-core of the 955 that also makes it ideal for both business, gaming and multitasking.

Features of Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955

Intel® Pentium® Processor Extreme Edition

Intel® Pentium® processor Extreme Edition
Processor NumberΔ 955
Architecture 65 nm technology
L2 Cache 2x2MB
L3 Cache NA
Clock Speed 3.46 GHz
Front Side Bus 1066 MHz
Chipset Intel® 955X Express Chipset
Socket LGA775
Motherboard Intel® Desktop Board D955XBK
Intel® Pentium® Processor Extreme Edition Features
Features Benefits
Hyper-Threading Technology Enables you to run multiple demanding applications at the same time.
Execute Disable Bit° Can improve protection against malicious "buffer overflow" attacks when properly enabled with a supporting operating system.
Intel® Extended Memory 64 TechnologyΦ Provides flexibility for future applications that support both 32-bit and 64-bit computing.
Dual-Core Two physical cores in one processor support better system responsiveness and multi-tasking capability than a comparable single core processor.

The Intel Pentium Processor Extreme Edition is not only suited for today's applications but also the applications of tomorrow with two full execution cores that not only run at the same speeds but also support Hyper-Threading Technology that is ideal for multitasking. As mentioned in earlier reviews, Hyper-Threading Technology can be best described as having two engines in your car, however with the PC, one core may be performing highly intensive graphical calculations with the other core running a virus scan in the background that amazingly doesn't effect computer performance.

The 955 also supports a variety of new technologies from Intel that include:

  • Execute Disable Bit (protection against malicious buffer overflow attacks such as internet worms)

  • Intel® Extended Memory 64 Technology (Provides both 32 and 64-bit access to computing)

These are just some the features that are part of the Presler family of processors that is the latest line of processors from Intel that are quite radically different than earlier models because of the increased processor speed, bus frequency and also a lower typical heat dissipation of 130W. In laymen's terms, the Presler is basically the luxury imported sports car that has the production values of Ford that means, faster computing at a lower cost to the consumer.

Enhanced SpeedStep Technology

Another nifty feature of the 955 is the power consumption of the processor that has the ability to lower the speed of the processor, provided the that power saving technology is activated (Enhanced SpeedStep technology). For instance, when the computer is idle or using low level applications, the speed goes from 3.4Ghz to 3.2Ghz to ensure that the CPU doesn't overheat and actually benefits the user by making this CPU green friendly and slightly lowering their power bills.

Intel Virtualization Technology

The 955 also supports Intel Virtualization Technology that basically allows the user to run different operating systems at the same time such as Windows XP and Linux through independent partitions. With Virtualization Technology and in conjunction with a software layer that apportions hardware resources to each operating system (Virtual Machine Monitor), a single platform can effectively function as several virtual machines, with each running a different operating system and each sharing the platform's hardware resources.

Software tests

In order to put this beast through the tests, the following software packages were used on the 955 to test the power and performance of this CPU.

  • Windows XP (Service Pack 2)

  • Business Winstone 2004

  • Doom 3

  • FarCry

  • 3DMark2001

  • 3DMark05

Real-world applications simulations

Ironically Windows XP sees a total of 4 cores in the device manager that not only improves multi-threaded applications but also makes this an extremely affordable option to parallel processing. The first test on the Intel Pentium Processor Extreme Edition was Business Winstone and although the 955 is the clear winner in all tests, please remember that this software package was designed for single-core processors, so this is only a sneak peak of the potential of this processor.

Business Winstone 2004 (standard benchmark)

Pentium EE 955 (32.5)
Pentium 4 670 (26.5)
Pentium 4 660 (22.2)
Pentium D 820 (19.6)

Business Winstone 2004 Multitasking test 1  

Pentium EE 955 (2.94)
Pentium 4 670 (2.28)
Pentium 4 660 (2.20)
Pentium D 820 (2.09)

Business Winstone 2004 Multitasking test 2  

Pentium EE 955 (3.01)
Pentium 4 670 (2.65)
Pentium 4 660 (2.59)
Pentium D 820 (2.50)

Business Winstone 2004 Multitasking test 3  

Pentium EE 955 (4.39)
Pentium 4 670 (3.81)
Pentium D 820 (3.73)
Pentium 4 660 (3.65)

Business Winstone is a system-level, application-based benchmark that measures a PC's overall performance when running Windows XP based operating systems and is probably the closest you can get to real-world application tests. As you can see form the results, the Pentium 955 performed exceptionally, especially in the multitasking tests so playing Doom 3 and running a virus scan can easily be achieved with this processor without any loss of performance. As with the Pentium D820 (also another dual-core processor), the 955 zoomed to the finish line in the multitasking tests.



Pentium EE 955 (27809)
Pentium 4 670 (27102)
Pentium 4 660 (26370)
Pentium D 820 (20239)


Pentium EE 955 (7453)
Pentium 4 670 (5715)
Pentium 4 660 (5658)
Pentium D 820 (5564)

The 3DMark series is probably the most popular CPU and graphic benchmarking programs available that tests a variety of features that are important to the gaming world. The 955 performed exceptionally well on all 3DMark tests, even the original 3DMark2001 that was designed for single-core processors. However, the 955 really shone on 3DMark05 that not only blew its older siblings out of the water but also its competitors.

Farcry (frames per second)

Pentium EE 955 (196.3)
AMD FX55 (192.2)
Pentium 4 670 (176.2)
Pentium 4 660 (169.04)
Pentium D 820 (132.01)

Doom 3 (frames per second)

Pentium EE 955 (117.2)
AMD FX55 (108.3)
Pentium 4 670 (96.4)
Pentium 4 660 (94.31)
Pentium D 820 (84.1)

As games become more and more CPU and graphic intensive, the 955 is a clear choice for those gamers who want simply the best. Although these tests were performed an AGP graphics card, the CPU also supports PCI express 16 for super fast graphical performance. Both Farcry and Doom 3 maintained high frame rates, even on levels that pushed highly detail outdoor environments.


In conclusion, the Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955 processor is truly a masterpiece by processor manufacturers Intel that features dual-core, 65nm production technology, increased L2 cache and processor speed to make this one of the fastest processors available on the market today that also gives AMD a run for their money. The 955 is perfectly suited to the applications and games of today and is also ready for the programs of tomorrow. Highly Recommended to the computer connoisseur that wants the best.


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