Pentium Dual Core is a Core 2 Duo (or a Core Duo, in the case of some mobile versions) CPU with a lower internal clock rate and less L2 memory cache. In this tutorial you will learn the main technical specifications of this processor and tables with all Pentium Dual Core released so far.

Intel recently changed these processors’ name, from "Pentium Dual Core" to just "Pentium". So, "Pentium Dual Core E5200" and "Pentium E5200" are exactly the same processor.

Pentium Dual Core for desktops is a dual-core processor based on Core microarchitecture, the same one used by Core 2 Duo. Watch out to not make confusion between Pentium Dual Core and Pentium D. Even though both are dual-core CPUs, Pentium D is based on Intel’s previous microarchitecture, called Netburst, the same one used by Pentium 4. If you want to learn in details about the microarchitecture used by Pentium Dual Core read our Inside Intel Core Microarchitecture tutorial. To compare it to Pentium D’s microarchitecture, read Inside Pentium 4 Architecture and Intel Dual Core Technology tutorials.

Pentium Dual Core uses a 1 MB L2 memory cache (2 MB for some 45 nm processors), which is shared between the two CPU cores (Intel calls this implementation as “Smart Cache”), and works externally at 800 MHz (200 MHz QDR, i.e., transferring four data per clock cycle) or 1,066 MHz (266 MHz QDR). Mobile models work externally at 533 MHz (133 MHz QDR), 667 MHz (166 MHz QDR) or 800 MHz (200 MHz QDR).

In contrast Core 2 Duo processors have at least 2 MB L2 memory cache – with several models having 4 MB or 6 MB – and, even thought there are models running externally at 800 MHz, the vast majority uses a 1,066 MHz external bus, with newer models running externally at 1,333 MHz or 1,600 MHz.

Early mobile versions of Pentium Dual Core are based on Pentium M’s microarchitecture, which Core microarchitecture was based on. Since these processors are dual-core Pentium M’s manufactured under 65 nm process, they are in fact Core Duo processors with less L2 memory cache – the original Core Duo has 2 MB L2 memory cache, while Pentium Dual Core has only 1 MB on these models. Newer models are based on Core 2 Duo, also with reduced L2 cache and external clock.

Here is a summary of the main Pentium Dual Core family features:

  • Core microarchitecture (desktop version and newer mobile models) or Pentium M (early mobile versions).
  • 32 KB instruction L1 memory cache and 32 KB data L1 memory cache for each core.
  • Dual-core technology
  • 65 nm or 45 nm manufacturing process
  • Socket LGA775 for desktop models
  • Socket micro-FCPGA for mobile models
  • 800 MHz (200 MHz transferring four data per clock cycle) or 1,066 MHz (266 MHz transferring four data per clock cycle) external bus on desktop models.
  • 667 MHz (166 MHz transferring four data per clock cycle), 533 MHz (133 MHz transferring four data per clock cycle) or 800 MHz (200 MHz transferring four data per clock cycle) on mobile models.
  • 1 MB (or 2 MB on some 45 nm models) unified L2 memory cache.
  • Intel EM64T Technology
  • SSE3 instruction set
  • No SSE4.1 instruction set support, not even on 45 nm models (45-nm Core 2 Duo CPUs support this feature).
  • Execute Disable Bit
  • Enhanced SpeedStep Technology
  • Enhanced Halt State (C1E) 

Now let’s talk about Pentium Dual Core models launched so far.


Rafael Otto Coelho is a physicist with a master’s degree in Education, and is a college professor in Brazil.