This article is about the brand. For the original Intel Pentium processor, see P5 (microarchitecture).
Pentium logo, 2003–2005
Pentium logo, 2005–2009

Pentium is a brand used for a series of x86-compatible microprocessors produced by Intel since 1992-96.. In its current form, Pentium processors are considered entry-level products that Intel rates as "two stars",[1] meaning that they are above the low-end Atom and Celeron series but below the faster Core i3, i5 and i7 lines as well as the high-end Xeon processors.

The current Pentium processors have only the name in common with the early ones, and are in fact based on the Intel Core architecture, typically implemented by lowering the clock frequency and disabling some features, such as hyper-threading, virtualization and, partly, L3 cache.

The name Pentium is originally derived from the Greek word pente, meaning "five" (a reference to Intel's fifth-generation microarchitecture employed on the first Pentium processors), with the Latin ending -ium.


During development Intel generally identifies processors with codenames, such as Prescott, Willamette, Coppermine, Katmai, Klamath or Deschutes. These usually become widely known,[2] even after the processors are given official names on launch.

Brand Microarchitecture Desktop Laptop Server
Pentium OverDrive
P5 P5 (0.8 µm)
P54C (0.6 µm)
P54CS (0.35 µm)
Pentium MMX
Pentium OverDrive MMX
P55C (0.35 µm)
Tillamook (0.25 µm)
Pentium Pro P6 P6 (0.5 µm)
P6 (0.35 µm)
Pentium II
Pentium II Xeon
Pentium II OverDrive
Mobile Pentium II
Klamath (0.35 µm)
Deschutes (0.25 µm)
Tonga (0.25 µm)
Dixon (0.25 µm)
Dixon (0.18 µm)
Drake (0.25 µm)
Pentium III
Pentium III Xeon
Mobile Pentium III
Pentium III M
Katmai (0.25 µm)
Coppermine (180 nm)
Tualatin (130 nm)
Coppermine (180 nm)
Tualatin(130 nm)
Tanner (0.25 µm)
Cascades (180 nm)
Pentium 4
Pentium 4 Extreme Edition
NetBurst Willamette (180 nm)
Northwood (130 nm)
Gallatin (130 nm)
Prescott-2M (90 nm)
Prescott (90 nm)
Cedar Mill (65 nm)
Northwood (130 nm)
Prescott (90 nm)
Rebranded as Xeon
Pentium D
Pentium Extreme Edition
Smithfield (90 nm)
Presler (65 nm)
Pentium M P6 based Banias (130 nm)
Dothan (90 nm)
Pentium Dual-Core Yonah (65 nm)
Core Allendale (65 nm)
Wolfdale-3M (45 nm)
Merom-2M (65 nm)
Pentium Wolfdale-3M (45 nm) Penryn-3M (45 nm)
Nehalem Clarkdale (32 nm) Arrandale (32 nm)
Sandy Bridge Sandy Bridge (32 nm)
Ivy Bridge Ivy Bridge (22 nm)
Haswell Haswell (22 nm)
Broadwell Broadwell (14 nm)
Skylake Skylake (14 nm)
Pentium processor

The original Pentium branded CPUs were expected to be named 586 or i586, to follow the naming convention of previous generations (286, i386, i486). However, as the company wanted to prevent their competitors from branding their processors with similar names (as AMD had done with their Am486), Intel attempted to file a trademark on the name in the United States, only to be denied because a series of numbers was not considered distinct.[3]

Following Intel's previous series of 8086, 80186, 80286, 80386, and 80486 microprocessors, the company's first P5-based microprocessor was released as the original Intel Pentium on March 22, 1993. Marketing firm Lexicon Branding was hired to coin a name for the new processor. The suffix -ium was chosen as it could connote a fundamental ingredient of a computer, like a chemical element,[4] while the prefix pent- could refer to the fifth generation of x86.[3]

Due to its success, the Pentium brand would continue through several generations of high-end processors. In 2006, the name briefly disappeared from Intel's roadmaps,[5][6] only to re-emerge in 2007.[7]

In 1998, Intel introduced the Celeron[8] brand for low-priced microprocessors. With the 2006 introduction of the Intel Core brand as the company's new flagship line of processors, the Pentium series was to be discontinued. However, due to a demand for mid-range dual-core processors, the Pentium brand was re-purposed to be Intel's mid-range processor series, in between the Celeron and Core series, continuing with the Pentium Dual-Core line.[9][10][11]

In 2009, the "Dual-Core" suffix was dropped, and new x86 microprocessors started carrying the plain Pentium name again.

In 2014, Intel released the Pentium 20th Anniversary Edition, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Pentium brand. The processors are unlocked and highly overclockable.

Pentium-branded processors

Die of a Pentium processor

P5 microarchitecture based

The original Pentium and Pentium MMX processors were the superscalar follow-on to the 80486 processor and were marketed from 1993 to 1999. Some versions of these were available as Pentium OverDrive that would fit into older CPU sockets.


Core p Process Frequency L1 Cache FSB Socket Release date
P5 0.8 µm 60–66 MHz 16 KB 60–66 MHz Socket 4 March 1993
P54C 0.6 µm 75–120 MHz 16 KB 50–66 MHz Socket 5 October 1994
P54CS 0.35 µm 133–200 MHz 16 KB 60–66 MHz Socket 7 June 1995
P55C 0.35 µm 120–233 MHz 32 KB 60–66 MHz Socket 7 January 1997[12]
Tillamook 0.25 µm 166–300 MHz 32 KB 66 MHz Socket 7 August 1997

P6 microarchitecture based

In parallel with the P5 microarchitecture, Intel developed the P6 microarchitecture and started marketing it as the Pentium Pro for the high-end market in 1995. It introduced out-of-order execution and an integrated second level cache on dual-chip processor package. The second P6 generation replaced the original P5 with the Pentium II and rebranded the high-end version as Pentium II Xeon. It was followed by a third version called the Pentium III and Pentium III Xeon, respectively. The Pentium II line added the MMX instructions that were also present in the Pentium MMX.

Versions of these processors for the Laptop market were initially called Mobile Pentium II and Mobile Pentium III, later versions were called Pentium III-M. Starting with the Pentium II, the Celeron brand was used for low-end versions of most Pentium processors with a reduced feature set such as a smaller cache or missing power management features.

Pentium Pro

Core Process Frequency L2 Cache FSB Socket Release date
P6 0.5 µm 150 MHz 256 KB 60–66 MHz Socket 8 November 1998
P6 0.35 µm 166–200 MHz 256–1024 KB 60–66 MHz Socket 8

Pentium II

Core Process Frequency L2 Cache FSB Socket Release date
Klamath 0.35 µm 233–300 MHz 512 KB 66 MHz Slot 1 May 1996
Deschutes 0.25 µm 266–450 MHz 512 KB 66–100 MHz Slot 1 January 1998
Tonga 0.25 µm 233–300 MHz 512 KB 66 MHz MMC-2 April 1998
Dixon 0.25 µm 266–366 MHz 256 KB 66 MHz MMC-2

Pentium III

Core Process Frequency L2 Cache FSB Socket Release date
Katmai 0.25 µm 450–600 MHz 512 KB 100–133 MHz Slot 1 February 1999
Coppermine 0.18 µm 400–1130 MHz 256 KB 100–133 MHz Slot 1, Socket 370, BGA2, µPGA2 October 1999
Tualatin 0.13 µm 700–1400 MHz 512 KB 100–133 MHz Socket 370, BGA2, µPGA2

Netburst microarchitecture based

In 2000, Intel introduced a new microarchitecture called NetBurst, with a much longer pipeline enabling higher clock frequencies than the P6 based processors. Initially, these were called Pentium 4 and the high-end versions have since been called just Xeon. As with Pentium III, there are both Mobile Pentium 4 and Pentium 4 M processors for the laptop market, with Pentium 4 M denoting the more power-efficient versions. Enthusiasts version of the Pentium 4 with the highest clock frequency were called Pentium 4 Extreme Edition.

The Pentium D was the first multi-core Pentium, integrating two Pentium 4 chips in one package and was also available as the enthusiast Pentium Extreme Edition.

Pentium 4

Core Process Clock Speeds L2 Cache FSB Speeds Socket Release Date
Willamette 180 nm 1.3–2.0 GHz 256 KB 400 MT/s Socket 423, Socket 478 November 2000
Northwood 130 nm 1.6–3.4 GHz 512 KB 400–800 MT/s Socket 478 January 2002
Gallatin 130 nm 3.2–3.46 GHz 512 KB + 2 MB L3 800–1066 MT/s Socket 478, LGA 775 November 2003
Prescott 90 nm 2.4–3.8 GHz 1 MB 533–800 MT/s Socket 478, LGA 775 February 2004
Prescott-2M 90 nm 2.8–3.8 GHz 2 MB 800–1066 MT/s LGA 775 February 2005
Cedar Mill 65 nm 3.0–3.6 GHz 2 MB 800 MT/s LGA 775 January 2006

Pentium D

Core Process Clock Speeds L2 Cache FSB Speeds Socket Release Date
Smithfield 90 nm 2.66–3.2 GHz 2 MB 533–800 MT/s Socket T May, 2005
Smithfield XE 90 nm 3.2 GHz 2 MB 800 MT/s Socket T May, 2005
Presler 65 nm 2.8–3.6 GHz 4 MB 800 MT/s Socket T January, 2006
Presler XE 65 nm 3.46–3.73 GHz 4 MB 1066 MT/s Socket T January, 2006

Pentium M microarchitecture based

In 2003, Intel introduced a new processor based on the P6 microarchitecture called Pentium M, which was much more power efficient than the Mobile Pentium 4, Pentium 4 M and Pentium III M. Dual-core version of the Pentium M was developed under the code name Yonah and sold under the marketing names Core Duo and Pentium Dual-Core. Unlike Pentium D, it integrated both cores on a single chip. From this point, the Intel Core brand name was used for the mainstream Intel processors and the Pentium brand became a low-end version between Celeron and Core. All Pentium M based designs including Yonah are for the mobile market.

Pentium M

Core Process Frequency L1 Cache L2 Cache FSB Socket Release date
Banias 130 nm 900–1700 MHz 64 KB 1 MB 400 MT/s Socket 479 March 2003
Dothan 90 nm 1.00–2.26 GHz 64 KB 2 MB 400–533 MT/s FC-uBGA June 2004

Pentium Dual-Core

Core Process Clock Speeds L1 Cache L2 Cache FSB Speeds Socket Release date
Yonah 65 nm 1.6–1.86 GHz 64 KB 1 MB 533 MT/s Socket M January 2007

Core microarchitecture based

The Pentium Dual-Core name continued to be used when the Yonah design was extended with 64 bit support, now called the Core microarchitecture. This microarchitecture eventually replaced all NetBurst based processors across the four brands, Celeron, Pentium, Core and Xeon. Pentium Dual-Core processors based on the Core microarchitecture use the Allendale and Wolfdale-3M designs for desktop processors and Merom-2M for mobile processors.

Pentium Dual-Core

Core Process Clock Speeds L1 Cache L2 Cache FSB Speeds Socket Release date
Merom-2M 65 nm 1.46–2.16 GHz 64 KB 1 MB 533–667 MT/s Socket P Q4 2007
Allendale 65 nm 1.6–2.4 GHz 64 KB 1 MB 800 MT/s Socket 775 June 2007
Wolfdale-3M 45 nm 2.2–2.7 GHz 64 KB 2 MB 800 MT/s Socket 775 August 2008

Pentium (2009)

Core Process Clock Speeds L1 Cache L2 Cache FSB Speeds Socket Release date
Wolfdale-3M 45 nm 2.8–3.2 GHz 64 KB 2 MB 1066 MT/s Socket 775 May 2009
Penryn-3M 45 nm 2.0–2.3 GHz 64 KB 1 MB 800 MT/s Socket P January 2009
Penryn-3M ULV 45 nm 1.3–1.5 GHz 64 KB 2 MB 800 MT/s BGA 956 September 2009
Penryn-L ULV 1 45 nm 1.3–1.4 GHz 64 KB 2 MB 800 MT/s BGA 956 May 2009
Codename Brand Name Model (list) Cores L2 Cache Socket TDP
Allendale Pentium Dual-Core E2xxx 2 1 MB LGA 775 65 W
Merom-2M Mobile Pentium Dual-Core T2xxx
2 1 MB Socket P 35 W
Wolfdale-3M Pentium Dual-Core E2xxx 2 1 MB LGA 775 65 W
E5xxx 2 MB
Pentium E6xxx
Penryn-3M Mobile Pentium T4xxx 2 1 MB Socket P 35 W
SU4xxx 2 MB µFC-BGA 956 10 W
Penryn-L SU2xxx 1 5.5 W

In 2009, Intel changed the naming system for Pentium processors, renaming the Wolfdale-3M based processors to Pentium, without the Dual-Core name and introduced new single- and dual-core processors based on Penryn under the Pentium name.

The Penryn core is the successor to the Merom core and Intel's 45 nm version of their mobile series of Pentium microprocessors. The FSB is increased from 667 MHz to 800 MHz and the voltage is lowered. Intel released the first Penryn Core, the Pentium T4200, in December, 2008. In June 2009, Intel released the first single-core processor to use the Pentium name, a Consumer Ultra-Low Voltage (CULV) Penryn core called the Pentium SU2700.

In September 2009, Intel introduced the Pentium SU4000 series together with the Celeron SU2000 and Core 2 Duo SU7000 series, which are dual-core CULV processors based on Penryn-3M and using 800 MHz FSB. The Pentium SU4000 series has 2 MB L2 cache but is otherwise basically identical to the other two lines.

Nehalem microarchitecture based

The Nehalem microarchitecture was introduced in late 2008 as a successor to the Core microarchitecture, and in early 2010, a new Pentium G6950 processor based on the Clarkdale design was introduced based on the Westmere refresh of Nehalem, which were followed by the mobile P6xxx based on Arrandale a few months later.

Core Process Clock Speeds L2 Cache L3 Cache I/O Bus Socket Release date
Clarkdale 32 nm 2.8 GHz 512 KB 3 MB DMI Socket 1156 January 2010
Arrandale 32 nm 1.2–1.86 GHz 512 KB 3 MB DMI Socket 988
Q2 2010
Codename Brand name L3 Cache Socket TDP Features
Clarkdale Pentium G6xxx 3 MB LGA 1156 73 W Integrated GPU
Arrandale Pentium P6xxx 3 MB LGA 1156 35 W Integrated GPU
Pentium U5xxx BGA 18 W

On January 7, 2010, Intel launched a new Pentium model using the Clarkdale chip in parallel with other desktop and mobile CPUs based on their new Westmere microarchitecture. The first model in this series is the Pentium G6950. The Clarkdale chip is also used in the Core i3-5xx and Core i5-6xx series and features a 32 nm process (as it is based on the Westmere microarchitecture), integrated memory controller and 45 nm graphics controller and a third-level cache. In the Pentium series, some features of Clarkdale are disabled. Compared to Core i3, it lacks Hyper-Threading and the graphics controller in the Pentium runs at 533 MHz, while in the Core i3 i3-5xx series they run at 733 MHz. Dual Video Decode that enables Blu-ray picture-in picture hardware acceleration is disabled as well as Deep Color and xvYCC support. The memory controller in the Pentium supports DDR3-1066 max, the same as the Core i3 i3-5xx series.[13] The L3 cache is also 1 MB less than in the Core i3-5xx series.

Sandy Bridge microarchitecture based

The Sandy Bridge microarchitecture was released in the Pentium line on May 22, 2011.

Codename Brand namea L3 Cacheb Socket TDP Featuresc,d
Sandy Bridge Pentium 3xx 3 MB LGA 1155 15 W Hyper-threading, ECC
Pentium 9x7 2 MB BGA1023 17 W Integrated GPU
Pentium B9x0 2 MB rPGA988B 35 W Integrated GPU
Pentium G6xxT[14] 3 MB 8-way set associative Line size 64 bytes LGA 1155 35 W Integrated GPUe
Pentium G6xx[15] 65 W
Pentium G8xx[16][17] 3 MB 12-way set associative Line size 64 bytes
Sandy Bridge-EN Pentium 140x 5 MB LGA 1356 40-80 W ECC, AVX, TXT, Intel VT-d, AES-NI

Ivy Bridge microarchitecture based

Currently, there exist models G2010, G2020, G2120, G2030 and G2130. All are dual core and have neither Hyper-Threading nor Turbo Boost.

Codename Brand name L3 cache Socket TDP Notes
Ivy Bridge G2010, G2020, G2030, G2120[18] and G2130 3 MB LGA 1155 55 W w/o Hyper Threading

Haswell microarchitecture based

A number of Haswell-based Pentium processors were released in 2013, among them the G3258 "Anniversary Edition", first released in 2014 by Intel to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the line. As with previous-generation Pentium processors, Haswell and Haswell Refresh-based parts only have two cores, lack support for hyper-threading, and use the LGA1150 socket form factor.

Pentium compatible Intel processors

Due to its prominence, the term "Pentium compatible" is often used to describe any x86 processor that supports the IA-32 instruction set and architecture. Even though they do not use the Pentium name, Intel also manufactures other processors based on the Pentium series for other markets. Most of these processors share the core design with one of the Pentium processor lines, usually differing in the amount of CPU cache, power efficiency or other features. The notable exception is the Atom line, which is an independent design.

See also


  1. "Processor Rating". UK: Intel. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
  2. Names of processors, IA State
  3. 1 2 Colapinto, John (3 Oct 2011). "Famous names". The New Yorker. pp. 38–43. Retrieved 12 Oct 2011.
  4. Burgess, John (20 Oct 1992). "Intel's fifth-generation chip no longer goes by the numbers". Washington Post.
  5. "Intel "Conroe-L" Details Unveiled". DailyTech. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
  6. The multicore era is upon us - CNET Asia
  7. "Intel to unify product naming scheme". TG Daily. Retrieved 2007-08-12.
  8. "Microprocessor Hall of Fame". Intel. Archived from the original on 2007-07-06. Retrieved 2007-08-11.
  9. Brown, Rich; Michelle Thatcher (23 April 2008). "The multicore era is upon us: How we got here – Where we stand today". CNET Asia. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
  10. Shilov, Anton. "Intel Readies Pentium E2000-Series Processors". X-bit labs. Retrieved 2007-08-15.
  11. "Intel to unify product naming scheme". TG Daily. Retrieved 2007-08-15.
  12. "Intel introduces The Pentium Processor With MMX Technology". Intel. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  14. "CPU ID: SR05T Intel Pentium Dual-Core G620T". Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  15. "SR05R Intel Pentium Dual-Core G620". Retrieved 6 August 2011.
  16. "SR05P Intel Pentium Dual-Core G840". Retrieved 6 August 2011.
  17. "SR05Q (Intel Pentium Dual-Core G850)". Retrieved 6 August 2011.
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