Pentium Dual-Core

Last updated
Pentium Dual-Core
General information
Common manufacturer(s)
  • Intel
Max. CPU clock rate 1.3 GHz to 3.4 GHz
FSB speeds533 MHz to 1066 MHz
Architecture and classification
Min. feature size 65 nm to 45 nm
Microarchitecture Core
Instruction set MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, x86-64, VT-x (some)
Physical specifications
  • 2
Products, models, variants
Core name(s)
  • Yonah
  • Merom-2M
  • Allendale
  • Wolfdale-3M
Predecessor Pentium M, Pentium D
Successor Pentium (2009)

The Pentium Dual-Core brand was used for mainstream x86-architecture microprocessors from Intel from 2006 to 2009 when it was renamed to Pentium. The processors are based on either the 32-bit Yonah or (with quite different microarchitectures) 64-bit Merom-2M , Allendale , and Wolfdale-3M core, targeted at mobile or desktop computers.


In terms of features, price and performance at a given clock frequency, Pentium Dual-Core processors were positioned above Celeron but below Core and Core 2 microprocessors in Intel's product range. The Pentium Dual-Core was also a very popular choice for overclocking, as it can deliver high performance (when overclocked) at a low price.

Pentium Dual-Core E2220 2.40 (Allendale) with Intel i945GC Chipset Pentium E2220 with Intel i945GC Chipset.jpg
Pentium Dual-Core E2220 2.40 (Allendale) with Intel i945GC Chipset

Processor cores

In 2006, Intel announced a plan [1] to return the Pentium trademark from retirement to the market, as a moniker of low-cost Core microarchitecture processors based on the single-core Conroe-L but with 1 MiB of cache. The identification numbers for those planned Pentiums were similar to the numbers of the latter Pentium Dual-Core microprocessors, but with the first digit "1", instead of "2", suggesting their single-core function. A single-core Conroe-L with 1 MiB cache was deemed as not strong enough to distinguish the planned Pentiums from the Celerons, so it was replaced by dual-core central processing units (CPU), adding "Dual-Core" to the line's name. Throughout 2009, Intel changed the name back from Pentium Dual-Core to Pentium in its publications. Some processors were sold under both names, but the newer E5400 through E6800 desktop and SU4100/T4x00 mobile processors were not officially part of the Pentium Dual-Core line.

Intel Pentium Dual-Core processor family
Original logoRebranded logo Desktop Laptop
Code-namedCoreDate releasedCode-namedCoreDate released
Logo Pentium DualCore thumb2.jpg Intel PentiumDC 2008.png Allendale
dual (65 nm)
dual (45 nm)
Jun 2007
Aug 2008
dual (65 nm)
dual (65 nm)
dual (45 nm)
Jan 2007
Nov 2007
Dec 2008
List of Intel Pentium Dual-Core microprocessors


The first processors using the brand appeared in notebook computers in early 2007. Those processors, named Pentium T2060, T2080, and T2130, [2] had the 32-bit Pentium M-derived Yonah core, and closely resembled the Core Duo T2050 processor with the exception of having 1 MB of L2 cache instead of 2 MB. All three of them had a 533 MHz front-side bus (FSB) connecting the CPU with the synchronous dynamic random-access memory (SDRAM). Intel developed the Pentium Dual-Core at the request of laptop manufacturers. [3]


Intel Pentium E2220 @ 2.40GHz (Allendale) installed Pentium Dual-Core E2220 2.40GHz.jpg
Intel Pentium E2220 @ 2.40GHz (Allendale) installed

Subsequently, on June 3, 2007, Intel released the desktop Pentium Dual-Core branded processors [4] known as the Pentium E2140 and E2160. [5] An E2180 model was released later in September 2007. These processors support the Intel 64 extensions, being based on the newer, 64-bit Allendale core with Core microarchitecture. These closely resembled the Core 2 Duo E4300 processor with the exception of having 1 MB of L2 cache instead of 2 MB. [2] Both of them had an 800 MHz front-side bus (FSB). They targeted the budget market above the Intel Celeron (Conroe-L single-core series) processors featuring only 512 KB of L2 cache. Such a step marked a change in the Pentium brand, relegating it to the budget segment rather than its former position as a mainstream or premium brand. [6] These CPUs are highly overclockable. [7]


The mobile version of the Allendale processor, the Merom-2M, was also introduced in 2007, featuring 1MB of L2 cache but only 533 MT/s FSB with the T23xx processors. The bus clock was subsequently raised to 667 MT/s with the T3xxx Pentium processors that are made from the same dies.


The 45 nm E5200 model was released by Intel on August 31, 2008, with a larger 2MB L2 cache over the 65 nm E21xx series and the 2.5 GHz clock speed. The E5200 model is also a highly overclockable processor, with many reaching over 3.75 GHz clock speed using just the stock Intel cooler. Intel released the E6500K model using this core. The model features an unlocked multiplier, but was only sold in China.


The Penryn core is the successor to the Merom core and Intel's 45 nm version of their mobile series of Pentium Dual-Core microprocessors. The FSB is increased from 667 MHz to 800 MHz and the voltage is lowered. Intel released the first Penryn based Pentium Dual-Core, the T4200, in December 2008. Later, mobile Pentium T4000, SU2000 and SU4000 processors based on Penryn were marketed as Pentium.


The Pentium Dual-Core brand has been discontinued in early 2010 and replaced by the Pentium name. The Desktop E6000 series and the OEM-only mobile Pentium SU2000 and all later models were always called Pentium, but the Desktop Pentium Dual-Core E2000 and E5000 series processors had to be rebranded.

Comparison to the Pentium D

Although using the Pentium name, the desktop Pentium Dual-Core is based on the Core microarchitecture, which can clearly be seen when comparing the specification to the Pentium D, which is based on the NetBurst microarchitecture first introduced in the Pentium 4. Below the 2 or 4 MiB of shared-L2-cache-enabled Core 2 Duo, the desktop Pentium Dual-Core has 1 or 2 MiB of shared L2 Cache. In contrast, the Pentium D processors have either 2 or 4 MiB of non-shared L2 cache. Additionally, the fastest-clocked Pentium D has a factory boundary of 3.73 GHz, while the fastest-clocked desktop Pentium Dual-Core reaches 3.2 GHz. A major difference among these processors is that the desktop Pentium Dual Core processors have a TDP of only 65 W while the Pentium D ranges between 95 and 130 W. Despite the reduced clock speed, and lower amounts of cache, Pentium dual-core outperformed Pentium D by a fairly large margin.

See also

Related Research Articles

Celeron is a brand name given by Intel to a number of different low-end IA-32 and x86-64 computer microprocessor models targeted at low-cost personal computers.

Pentium 4 is a brand by Intel for an entire series of single-core CPUs for desktops, laptops and entry-level servers. The processors were shipped from November 20, 2000, until August 8, 2008. The production of Netburst processors was active from 2000 until May 21, 2010.

Pentium III Line of desktop and mobile microprocessors produced by Intel

The Pentium III brand refers to Intel's 32-bit x86 desktop and mobile microprocessors based on the sixth-generation P6 microarchitecture introduced on February 26, 1999. The brand's initial processors were very similar to the earlier Pentium II-branded microprocessors. The most notable differences were the addition of the Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE) instruction set, and the introduction of a controversial serial number embedded in the chip during manufacturing.

The Pentium M is a family of mobile 32-bit single-core x86 microprocessors introduced in March 2003 and forming a part of the Intel Carmel notebook platform under the then new Centrino brand. The Pentium M processors had a maximum thermal design power (TDP) of 5–27 W depending on the model, and were intended for use in laptops. They evolved from the core of the last Pentium III–branded CPU by adding the front-side bus (FSB) interface of Pentium 4, an improved instruction decoding and issuing front end, improved branch prediction, SSE2 support, and a much larger cache. The first Pentium M–branded CPU, code-named Banias, was followed by Dothan. The Pentium M-branded processors were succeeded by the Core-branded dual-core mobile Yonah CPU with a modified microarchitecture.

Xeon Brand name by Intel

Xeon is a brand of x86 microprocessors designed, manufactured, and marketed by Intel, targeted at the non-consumer workstation, server, and embedded system markets. It was introduced in June 1998. Xeon processors are based on the same architecture as regular desktop-grade CPUs, but have advanced features such as support for ECC memory, higher core counts, support for larger amounts of RAM, larger cache memory and extra provision for enterprise-grade reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) features responsible for handling hardware exceptions through the Machine Check Architecture. They are often capable of safely continuing execution where a normal processor cannot due to these extra RAS features, depending on the type and severity of the machine-check exception (MCE). Some also support multi-socket systems with two, four, or eight sockets through use of the Quick Path Interconnect (QPI) bus.

The NetBurst microarchitecture, called P68 inside Intel, was the successor to the P6 microarchitecture in the x86 family of central processing units (CPUs) made by Intel. The first CPU to use this architecture was the Willamette-core Pentium 4, released on November 20, 2000 and the first of the Pentium 4 CPUs; all subsequent Pentium 4 and Pentium D variants have also been based on NetBurst. In mid-2004, Intel released the Foster core, which was also based on NetBurst, thus switching the Xeon CPUs to the new architecture as well. Pentium 4-based Celeron CPUs also use the NetBurst architecture.

The P6 microarchitecture is the sixth-generation Intel x86 microarchitecture, implemented by the Pentium Pro microprocessor that was introduced in November 1995. It is frequently referred to as i686. It was succeeded by the NetBurst microarchitecture in 2000, but eventually revived in the Pentium M line of microprocessors. The successor to the Pentium M variant of the P6 microarchitecture is the Core microarchitecture which in turn is also derived from the P6 microarchitecture.

The Intel Core microarchitecture is a multi-core processor microarchitecture unveiled by Intel in Q1 2006. It is based on the Yonah processor design and can be considered an iteration of the P6 microarchitecture introduced in 1995 with Pentium Pro. High power consumption and heat intensity, the resulting inability to effectively increase clock speed, and other shortcomings such as an inefficient pipeline were the primary reasons why Intel abandoned the NetBurst microarchitecture and switched to a completely different architectural design, delivering high efficiency through a small pipeline rather than high clock speeds. The Core microarchitecture initially did not reach the clock speeds of the NetBurst microarchitecture, even after moving to 45 nm lithography. However after many generations of successor microarchitectures which used Core as their basis, Intel managed to eventually surpass the clock speeds of Netburst with the Devil's Canyon microarchitecture reaching a base frequency of 4 GHz and a maximum tested frequency of 4.4 GHz using 22 nm lithography.

Intel Core 2 Processor family by Intel

Intel Core 2 is the processor family encompassing a range of Intel's consumer 64-bit x86-64 single-, dual-, and quad-core microprocessors based on the Core microarchitecture. The single- and dual-core models are single-die, whereas the quad-core models comprise two dies, each containing two cores, packaged in a multi-chip module. The Core 2 range was the last flagship range of Intel desktop processors to use a front-side bus.

Pentium Brand of microprocessors produced by Intel

Pentium is a brand used for a series of x86 architecture-compatible microprocessors produced by Intel since 1993. In their form as of November 2011, Pentium processors are considered entry-level products that Intel rates as "two stars", meaning that they are above the low-end Atom and Celeron series, but below the faster Intel Core lineup, and workstation Xeon series.

Conroe (microprocessor)

Conroe is the code name for many Intel processors sold as Core 2 Duo, Xeon, Pentium Dual-Core and Celeron. It was the first desktop processor to be based on the Core microarchitecture, replacing the NetBurst microarchitecture based Cedar Mill processor. It has product code 80557, which is shared with Allendale and Conroe-L that are very similar but have a smaller L2 cache. Conroe-L has only one processor core and a new CPUID model. The mobile version of Conroe is Merom, the dual-socket server version is Woodcrest, and the quad-core desktop version is Kentsfield. Conroe was replaced by the 45 nm Wolfdale processor.

Merom (microprocessor)

Merom is the code name for various Intel processors that are sold as Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Solo, Pentium Dual-Core and Celeron. It was the first mobile processor to be based on the Core microarchitecture, replacing the Enhanced Pentium M-based Yonah processor. Merom has the product code 80537, which is shared with Merom-2M and Merom-L that are very similar but have a smaller L2 cache. Merom-L has only one processor core and a different CPUID model. The desktop version of Merom is Conroe and the dual-socket server version is Woodcrest. Merom was manufactured in a 65 nanometer process, and was succeeded by Penryn, a 45 nm version of the Merom architecture. Together, Penryn and Merom represented the first 'tick-tock' in Intel's Tick-Tock manufacturing paradigm, in which Penryn was the 'tick' to Merom's 'tock'.

Penryn (microprocessor)

Penryn is the code name of a processor from Intel that is sold in varying configurations as Core 2 Solo, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Pentium and Celeron.

Wolfdale (microprocessor)

Wolfdale is the code name for a processor from Intel that is sold in varying configurations as Core 2 Duo, Celeron, Pentium and Xeon. In Intel's Tick-Tock cycle, the 2007/2008 "Tick" was Penryn microarchitecture, the shrink of the Core microarchitecture to 45 nanometers as CPUID model 23. This replaced the Conroe processor with Wolfdale.

Yorkfield is the code name for some Intel processors sold as Core 2 Quad and Xeon. In Intel's Tick-Tock cycle, the 2007/2008 "Tick" was Penryn microarchitecture, the shrink of the Core microarchitecture to 45 nanometers as CPUID model 23, replacing Kentsfield, the previous model.

Intel Core Brand name that Intel uses for various mid-range to high-end consumer and business microprocessors

Intel Core are streamlined midrange consumer, workstation and enthusiast computers central processing units (CPU) marketed by Intel Corporation. These processors displaced the existing mid- to high-end Pentium processors at the time of their introduction, moving the Pentium to the entry level, and bumping the Celeron series of processors to the low end. Identical or more capable versions of Core processors are also sold as Xeon processors for the server and workstation markets.

In Intel's Tick-Tock cycle, the 2007/2008 "Tick" was the shrink of the Core microarchitecture to 45 nanometers as CPUID model 23. In Core 2 processors, it is used with the code names Penryn, Wolfdale and Yorkfield, some of which are also sold as Celeron, Pentium and Xeon processors. In the Xeon brand, the Wolfdale-DP and Harpertown code names are used for LGA 771 based MCMs with two or four active Wolfdale cores.


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  6. Intel Processor Numbers chart for Intel Pentium Dual-Core processors
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