This Article was last modified in October, 1998.
Although there are quite a few notebook computers available today that use alternative processors from AMD, Cyrix, and IDT, Intel by far dominates the mobile market, even more so than it's domination in the desktop processor market. Boasting the fastest mobile performance available today, Intel's new 266 and 233 MHz mobile mobile Pentium II processors "are driving a new generation of mobile PCs". Mobile Pentium II processors, like current Pentium II processors, are manufactured using Intel's 0.25 micron technology, which helps to keep size, cost, and heat down.
The Mobile Pentium II differs from the normal Pentium II in several significant ways. These changes needed to be made because: mobile processors need to be kept cool in the small confines of notebook computers where it's difficult to dissipate heat, mobile processors need to use less power to save battery life, and the packaging around the processor needs to be kept small. To address these issues, Intel has made several key changes to the mobile Pentium II processor which we will now discuss:
One of the big differences of the mobile Pentium II processor is the fact that it generates a very small amount of heat. Generally speaking, the more power a CPU consumes, the more heat it will product. This is why Intel developed it's mobile Pentium II processor to use much less power than a normal Pentium II. According to Intel: "the desktop 333MHz Pentium II processor consumes almost twice the power of the 266MHz mobile Pentium II processor".
Mobile PCs need to consume as little power as possible, in order to maximize battery life. The 0.25 micron manufacturing process greatly helps Intel's mobile Pentium II processor to consume very little power. Mobile processors were the first to use the 0.25 micron manufacturing process, and the mobile 0.25 micron Pentium MMX CPUs were available for quite some time to mobile users. A Pentium MMX processor manufactured using the 0.25 micron manufacturing process will use a whole 53% less power than a processor at the same clock speed manufactured using a 0.35 micron process. Mobile Pentium II processors use approximitely the same amount of power as the "Tillamook" mobile Pentium MMX processors.
Obviously, mobile PCs are very small, and stuffing a full-size Pentium II processor into one would be out of the question:
Intel's mobile Pentium II processor, to conserve space, uses the new mini-cartridge rather than the SECC, which enables the processor to be mounted flush with the motherboard to conserve space. Previous Tillamook processors also used the Intel Mobile Module (IMM) to conserve space.
How fast are they?
Well unfortunately, I do not own a Pentium II notebook (although I wish I did), so instead of doing my own benchmarks, I'll instead have to show you some which were done by Intel:
Floating Point Performance
As you can see, the mobile Pentium II processor by far outperforms the older Tillamook mobile processors, and doesn't use any additional power, or waste battery life.
Today, mobile Pentium II processor based systems are simply the best choice for delivering graphically-rich interactive presentations, producing smoothly-playing full-motion video, processing sound/voice media while on the road, playing games, and just about anything else you do on the road.