Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Core Stepping and what it means to performance. ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Core Stepping and what it means to performance.
Category: Computers > Hardware
Asked by: freakishlynormal-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 08 May 2006 17:57 PDT
Expires: 07 Jun 2006 17:57 PDT
Question ID: 726742
what is "core stepping D0" when referring to Computer processors? What
does that mean for performance?
Subject: Re: Core Stepping and what it means to performance.
Answered By: denco-ga on 08 May 2006 20:07 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Howdy freakishlynormal-ga,

The Intel website speaks to core stepping.

"The first version of a new microprocessor product is the A-0 core step.
Later, as improvements are made to the product for functional fixes or
manufacturing improvements, the core stepping number is incremented.
Generally speaking, minor changes result in an increased number (i.e.
A-3 to A-4), while more complex changes result in the letter being
changed (i.e. A-3 to B-0). Note that a B-0 core stepping is more recent
than an A-4 core stepping."

So, you can see that a D-0 core step would be a more complex change over
the prior generation of that chip's design.

A core step might mean an improvement for performance, as pointed out in
this Softpedia article.

"According to company documentation seen by Reg Hardware, the move will
see Intel replace the three processors? C-0 core stepping with an updated
version, dubbed D-0. ... At this stage, it's unclear what the core update
involves beyond the broad 'speed enhancements' Intel mentions in its

But, as this FiringSquad page points out, a core step might not be about
enhancing the end-user's experience.

"The [B0] stepping replaces the older [A2] stepping. We asked Intel about
the purpose of the new core stepping, and here's the response we received:

'The change from [A2] to [B0] was basically a yield enhancement stepping.'

That's just what we wanted to hear. The new stepping was implemented to
improve processor yields."

Translated to non-technical jargon, the above means Intel made a core
step so they could make more chips with less defects than before.

If you need any clarification, please feel free to ask.

Search strategy:

Google search on: "core stepping" defined OR "what is"

Looking Forward, denco-ga - Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Answer by denco-ga on 08 May 2006 22:49 PDT
For future reference freakishlynormal-ga, you can always ask the Google
Answers Researcher for a clarification, so you can be sure to get the
results you desire, hence my statement, "If you need any clarification,
please feel free to ask," which was part of my answer.

As I pretty much stated in my answer, a core step of "D0" might or might
not result in an improvement in performance.  All a core step of "D0"
means is there has been comparatively significant changes in the core
from the prior version, and that change can be in several forms.

Looking Forward, denco-ga - Google Answers Researcher
freakishlynormal-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
very good information provided, although the information doesn't
really clarify the second part of question, which may or may not be
available regardless.

Subject: Re: Core Stepping and what it means to performance.
From: probonopublico-ga on 09 May 2006 00:02 PDT
Poor Denco!

It grieves me when Questioners post a $2 Question and then, without
using the Clarification Process, slap on a Four Star rating.

Cheer up ... here are some extra Stars for your collection:

******** etc, etc.
Subject: Re: Core Stepping and what it means to performance.
From: denco-ga on 09 May 2006 09:49 PDT
Thanks Bryan!

More than anything, I (and the other GARs) really want the person asking
the question to be truly satisfied with the answer provided, and to (as
you point out) use the Clarification process if they are not.

Greatly appreciate the complimentary stars!

Looking Forward, denco-ga - Google Answers Researcher

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy