The Pentium II breaks off from the standard zero insertion force silicon cpu cased in a ceramic chip and introduces the epoxy cartridge, a bit more than twice the size, and cost. Performance wise, The Pentium II was never meant for the server market. It only supported dual SMP, not quad, and until a rerelease of the 400 Mhz version, it couldn't run if it was mated to more than 512MB of RAM. Another nail in its coffin, was its L2 cache. L2 Cache relegates how quickly operations that are repeated frequently can be optimized.

Its predecessor, the Pentium Pro was made to support quad SMP, up to 4GB of ram, and full speed L2 Cache, in quantities of 256Kb, 512Kb, and 1024. to put this in perspective, early P3s, had half speed L2 cache in 512Kb quantities, and later ones, had 256Kb full speed. The PPro was a hard act for the P2 to follow. The remedy for the Pentium II's relative poor performance was the Pentium II Xeon. The Pentium II also incorporates Intel's multimedia extension MMX.

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