Silicon.gif (19885 bytes)
Logo by Tom Purves


Intel's Pentium II Xeon


Back to the Silicon Edge home page.


Intel's Pentium II Xeon is a new branch of the Pentium II brand intended for high-end server and workstation applications.  One thing you can be sure about is that the Xeon won't be value-priced.  Unlike the standard Pentium II line, the Pentium II Xeon can accommodate up to 2 MB of L2 cache and runs it at full CPU speed, unlike the Pentium II, which runs its cache at half speed.  Additionally, because of the less stringent performance requirements for cache on the standard Pentium II, Intel can purchase the burst SRAM used in the Pentium II on the market at competitive prices.  However, the cache inside the Xeon must be manufactured in-house at Intel, eating up fab capacity and driving up costs.  In fact, the L2 cache inside the Xeon cartridge costs more to manufacture than the Deschutes processor core itself.  It's also the reason why the physical form factor of the Xeon's cartridge is nearly twice as big as the standard Pentium II.

The Xeon is capable of up to 8-way glueless SMP, unlike the standard Pentium II, which was limited to dual processor configurations at best.  Again, a great selling point for server applications.

The sheer size of the Pentium II Xeon's cartridge also gives it some rather unique thermal and mechanical engineering requirements.  Even if you managed to get a hold of a Slot 2 motherboard and processor, you'd likely need to purchase a heavy duty case to go along with it. 

All pictures were taken from an Intel presentation on Slot 2 architecture.    Enjoy!

wpd3-Xeon-1.JPG (115148 bytes)
Slot 2 vs. Slot 1
wpd3-Xeon-2.JPG (127144 bytes)
Diagram of the Pentium II's DIB architecture
wpd3-Xeon-3.JPG (90134 bytes)
Dual Slot 1 vs. Dual Slot 2
wpd3-Xeon-4.JPG (123061 bytes)
Mechanical considerations and more Dual Slot 2 pictures