Pentium G6951 - Upgradeable to G6952


By Joe Vanderham, September 25, 2010


When you think of a company like Intel, you think of someone constantly developing the "bigger, badder" processor.  But not everyone wants (or needs) the CPU of the future, therefore, manufactures have created different classes of CPUs.  Today we will be taking a look at the budget class, (the Pentium G6951 to be more specific).


The Pentium G6951 begins with two cores clocked at 2.8 GHz, 3 MB shared L3 cache and supports Virtualization.  Now I say begins because the G6951 is part of the "Intel Upgrade Service" program (originally used to add accessibility and manageability features for users of Intel hardware).  What this makes possible is buying the affordable processor now and being able to upgrade for $50 later down the line. 


To upgrade, you run and Intel upgrade application, which identifies whether the processor can be upgraded or not.  Then you order an upgrade key from an authorized dealer.  Once the order is approved, you can download the key.  Next the upgrade application validates the key, and then makes a firmware update.  The next time your computer is restarted, the firmware will turn on additional processor features.


So what gets "upgraded" on the G6951?  The L3 cache gets an additional 1 MB sending from 3 MB to

4 MB total.  It also gets the HyperThreading feature enabled basically turning this processor into a Pentium G6952.


The Pentium G6951 appears to be a promising product for the budget minded consumer.  If all goes well with this upgrade program, we are likely to see many more upgradeable Intel CPUs.


Here are a few of the Pentium G6951 specs:


 Microarchitecture:         Nehalem (Westmere)

 Processor Core:            Clarkdale

 Socket:                       LGA1156

 Manufacturing Process:  0.032

 Data Width:                 64 bit

 Number of Cores:          2

 Frequency (MHz):          2800

 Level 1 Cache:              2 x 32 KB instruction caches

                                   2 x 32 KB data caches

 Level 2 Cache:              2 x 256 KB

 Level 3 Cache:              3 MB shared cache




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