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L2 Cache - How does it affect performance?

Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 2:38 pm
by TK421
I'm building my first laptop and opted to purchase the Intel Pentium M 1.50Ghz processor.

Here are the specs below for the processor: BXM80535GC1500E

1MB L2 cache
400Mhz FSB
0.13 micron

I'm wonder what the performance would differ noticeably from the following similar processor: Intel Pentium M 715 BXM80536GC1500F

2MB L2 cache
400Mhz FSB
90 nanometer

I pulled these specs from their website because I can find the first processor for about $50 new, but the 715 processor would be about triple that at about $150-$220 new.

What do the differences in the L2 cache mean and the .13 micron vs the 90 nanometer? Will it affect the overall performance of my machine by much if I'm a gamer?

Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 3:26 pm
by infinitevalence

Cache can have a huge effect on some programs but most of the time it would only be 2-5% performance improvement. If the cost is not a big difference then i say buy it any way. Plus the 2mb ones overclock better :)

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:56 am
by TK421
Thanks for the reply. I've also posted this topic on the tomshardwareforumz and got a really technical answer, but I've decided that, for the money, I'm going ahead with the 1.5 400Mhz w/ only 1MB L2 cache. You're estimation of ~5% is pretty much confirmed with his results.

Thanks again!

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:02 am
by Black Mesa Scientist
There is no pentium M 1.5 Ghz with 1mb L2 cache. It must be the Celeron M 370 you're talking about.