Review Index:

Intel Pentium D 820 2.8 GHz Dual Core Review

Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: Intel

The Pentium D Processor

The Pentium D Lineup

Though we have already reviewed the first dual core Intel processor a while back in our Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840 review, the real story may be these little puppies we are looking at today.  The Pentium D processor line is based on the same core as the Pentium Extreme Edition, the Smithfield core. 

The Smithfield core is essentially two Prescott cores stuck together on a single chip.  No other major architectural differences exist, except that the Pentium D line does not have HyperThreading on it.  Unlike the Extreme Edition 800 series which can have a total of four logical cores (two physical cores with two logical, HyperThreading cores each) the Pentium D is strictly two single threaded cores. 

The advantages of having a true dual core processor over a single core, HyperThreading processor are fairly noticeable and users should see a good sized increase in performance going from a HyperThreaded CPU to a dual core CPU in benchmarks and applications that take advantage of multiple processing threads.  We'll see this illustrated in several of the coming benchmarks.

As for the official specifications of the Pentium D line, we have as follows:

  • Two full Prescott cores, Netburst Architecture

  • 800 MHz Front-side bus

  • 2 x 1 MB L2 Cache

  • EM64T 64-bit support

  • Execute Disable Bit

As you can see, that list pretty much matches what we have seen on the Intel 6xx series of processors for some time, with the obvious exception of the dual cores. 

Here is the current line up from Intel for the Pentium D and their corresponding prices:

  • Pentium D 820 2.8 GHz - $241

  • Pentium D 830 3.0 GHz - $316

  • Pentium D 840 3.2 GHz - $530

  • Pentium XE 840 3.2 GHz - $999

I threw in the Pentium Extreme Edition 840 price just to show you how far of a jump Intel had going from their top Pentium D to the XE: $469!  That's nearly enough to put together a second system based on the Pentium D 820, so make sure you have more money than you need before making that jump!

The Pentium D 820 @ 2.4 GHz

The Pentium D 820 represents that minimum price you can pay to enter the dual core processor market today.  At under $250, the 820 fits into a budget to mid-range price scheme and should be within the reach of most users. 

Intel Pentium D 820 Front

Intel Pentium D 820 - Back

The processor itself looks no different than previous LGA775 processors we have seen physically, but under the hood is where all the magic happens.

Intel 945 Chipset

Though we are not going to cover it in this review directly, the introduction of the Pentium D line was also coupled with the new 945 chipset from Intel.  The chipset sports the same features as the 955X but adds an updated version of the Intel Extreme Graphics core.  In a future article we are going to be covering this chipset and looking at its integrated graphics quality and performance in comparison to some other options from NVIDIA and ATI.  For now, just know that all the Pentium 820 D benchmarks were run on the 945G reference board which should perform nearly identically to the 955X in most cases.

May 4, 2011 | 05:49 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I hate this! I've changed my AMD3500+ to this, and it sucks. My single core AMD is much much better than this.

May 31, 2011 | 10:20 PM - Posted by Kurt (not verified)

You might not have "Hyper Threading" enabled in BIOS, it would be registering as Single Core in Window,..or a much slower MHz Dual,...The Pentium D 820 2.8GHz (Pentium XE 820) is a Pentium D "Extreme" Edition,..and in PC-Wizard 2010 Latest edition,..The CPU Benchmarks a full 1000+ CPU Marks Higher then the Athlon 64 x2 3800+,...I just put a "Spare Parts" System together,..something simple to run My Home Security DVR System,..had one of them laying around from parts I accuire from working on other People's Systems as a Hobbie,.....and ran a Standard Settings CPU Benchmark,...and it scored 15825,...and the Athlon 64 x2 only scores 14799, it may just be a settings issue as it should DEFFinetly score higher then the 3500+

If You still have problems and need someone to walk You through any settings changes,..I'd be happy to walk You through it. GOOD LUCK!!

June 20, 2011 | 09:32 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

May 4, 2011? Why would you upgrade to Pentium D this year? I mean, I upgraded from an Athlon XP 2800+ to the Pentium D the week it came out, and noticed giant gains everywhere. I still didn't like the processor because it would overheat way too easily.

I bet you saw a performance dip in gaming. Pentium D can't game worth a damn.

If you were looking for a cheap 775 processor, you really should've gotten an Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 1.86GHz. Those overclock to 3GHz easily. Even at stock speed, it's still faster than the Pentium D 820's 2.8 GHz at pretty much everything.

You should've known what you were getting into. Nobody buys these inferior processors except out of morbid curiosity.

May 31, 2011 | 10:32 PM - Posted by Kurt (not verified)

Especialy if Your 3500+ is a Single Core,...What CPU is it?,..Athlon?,..Duron?,..etc...just curious.

November 4, 2011 | 06:29 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Is my motherbord intel D101GGC support Pentium D 820 Processor?

May 19, 2012 | 02:46 PM - Posted by SAQUIB KHAN (not verified)

which is better . inter pentium D 2.0ghz or pentium 4 3.0ghz

August 16, 2012 | 09:25 AM - Posted by Rajiv (not verified)


i want to know that which one is better between Pentium D 2.8 GHz and Dual Core processor...and what is the price too.

plz. suggest me ....

December 10, 2012 | 07:58 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

They are both the same!. Pentuim D is dual core.

January 7, 2013 | 11:09 AM - Posted by Computer dude (not verified)

Is this procesor better then intel core 2 duo 6420?

April 12, 2013 | 09:01 AM - Posted by noxman (not verified)

okay i have pentuim 4 dell optiplex 320,intel celeron 3.6ghz, i want to upgrade it to dual core, please give me the corect dual core or core 2 duo for my pc...

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