TDP issues manifest with Pentium D 900 series?

— 3:34 AM on January 8, 2006

Akiba PC Hotline! is admonishing prospective buyers that the first batch of Pentium® D 900 series of processors that have arrived in Japan may not have Enhanced HALT State and Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology (EIST) enabled. Apparently, one shop is saying that because EIST and other power-saving features are not fully functional with this initial lot of processors, the TDP (thermal design power) might go up as much as 10 - 15W. It should be noted that Intel's Pentium® D 840 has a TDP of 130W, but the 920 and 930 have lowered that to 95W. The 940, 950, and XE 955 are rated at 130W which is the same as the Pentium® D 840 (see table 5-1: processor thermal specifications on page 76 of the datasheet for the Pentium® D 900 series here.)

Akiba goes on to highlight a footnote to the Intel Pentium® D Processor 900 sequence and Intel Pentium® Processor Extreme Edition 955 datasheet and specification update stating that Enhanced HALT State and EIST will be functional for specified units of these processors through a BIOS update which is expected some time in the second quarter of this year. However, what may be particularly troublesome is that Intel's latest errata (AA30 on page 24) says that during an Enhanced HALT or EIST ratio transition, the system may hang. Indeed, it is hoped that future BIOS updates alone can resolve these issues.

Whatever the case may be, this revelation, if true, could help explain some of the clock throttling issues that Dr. Damage encountered during his testing of Presler which he wrote about in this post.

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