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Intel's Conroe Previewed and Benchmarked 261

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the under-the-hood dept.
DrFishstik writes "Anandtech has a few preliminary benchmarks on Intel's new Conroe architecture. From the article: 'As far as we could tell, there was nothing fishy going on with the benchmarks or the install. Both systems [AMD 2.8Ghz OC and Conroe] were clean and used the latest versions of all of the drivers.'"
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Intel's Conroe Previewed and Benchmarked

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  • Shock news. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by supersnail (106701) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @07:50AM (#14873876)
    Next years Intel chip will run faster than last years AMD chip!
    • Re:Shock news. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:22AM (#14873996)
      Not really. You should have said: "this year's second fastest Intel chip will be way faster than AMD's chip which will be released in June 2006".

      Let's look at the facts:
      - They benchmarked 2.667GHz Conroe against 2.8GHz Athlon64 FX (FX-60 with 200MHz overclock)
      - 2.8GHz Athlon64 FX will be released in June
      - 2.667GHz Conroe will be released somewhere in Q3 2006
      - Conroe Extreme editition clocked to at least 3.0GHz will be released somewhere in Q3 2006 (there have been rumours about 3.33GHz version)

      Based on those benchmarks, fastest Athlon64 FX won't have a chance against 3.0GHz Conroe XE (which will have also faster FSB compared to Conroe benchmarked here), even if you into account that Athlon64 FX will soon support DDR2.
      • Re:Shock news. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Saven Marek (739395) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:30AM (#14874017)
        THe simple fact remains that intel needed to do these tests at all, side by side. That's an admission on their part that AMD is beating them and beating them hard. I've heard AMD has some new stuff in the pipeline that'll put conroe out of its misery once and for all.

        Given Intel's release date fiasco's it'll probably come out before conroe too.
        • Re:Shock news. (Score:5, Informative)

          by fitten (521191) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @12:13PM (#14875683)
          The things that AMD has said that they have are F, G, and H revisions of the K8 core (the core that the Athlon64, Turion, Sempron64s, and Opterons are based on) which, other than DDR2 support, not much more information is available. There is another revision called the K8L which will supposedly have 2x the FPU units for about a 50% gain in FPU performance. These will most likely be HPC blade Opterons or some such.

          DDR2-800 support, which is the known upgrade, basically adds bandwidth to a chip that isn't bandwidth starved as it is. Current speculation is that the new DDR2-800 Athlon64s will show up to a 10% performance increase on extreme bandwidth benchmarks (synthetics and HPC crunchers, for example).

          THe simple fact remains that intel needed to do these tests at all, side by side. That's an admission on their part that AMD is beating them and beating them hard.

          Intel has publicly stated (admitted) this already. This demo is to show that the chips they have planned for Q3'06 release (speculation is that they will be delivering machines based on it in July which is the very beginning of Q3, which is only 4 months away) perform well.

          By the way, if speculation is that machines will be selling in July, this would imply that the chips are in manufacturing even as we speak. This means that Apple is most likely to announce availability of the new Intel based Power Macs around this time, as well and the various benchmark sites to have their hands on 'pre-production' machines in two to three months tops. We'll be able to see the real story then.

          The only announced things from AMD even remotely in this time frame (specifically July and Q3'06) are the AM2 socket for DDR2-800 and a speed bump of the FX-62 to 2.8GHz (which is the equivalent of the overclocked part in the demo). Given that DDR2-800 is expected to be a 10% speed bump at most in most cases and that Conroe will be available at 3GHz (if not higher as rumored - 3.33GHz), I predict (a rather easy prediction to make) that AMD will be playing catch-up for once in the past few years.
          • Re:Shock news. (Score:3, Informative)

            by fitten (521191)
            Oh... another thing that I forgot was that somewhere in the F, G, and H revisions (and probably the L), HT was supposed to be bumped up to 333MHz (1.333GHz effective) from the current 200MHz (1GHz effective). Given that tests have already shown that 800MHz effective HT performance is statistically equal to 1000MHz effective HT performance, boosting HT speed will probably give a small (1% to 3%) performance increase at best. In actuality, the HT speed increase is required for DDR2-800 to run at its best so
      • Mmmm your right -- but how often do you get a first post oppertunity!
        Check the facts and you lose it.

        • Good call, especially when you are a snail and already unfairly disadvantaged. I say Slashdot gives priority to all users who are snails!

      • Re:Shock news. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Ravenscall (12240) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @09:37AM (#14874287)
        Let's look at the facts:
        - They benchmarked 2.667GHz Conroe against 2.8GHz Athlon64 FX (FX-60 with 200MHz overclock)


        So they are taking the AMD processor out of spec which can affect performance. Also, the forthcoming AMD processors are a new core architecture and will support faster RAM with an onboard memory controller. I think benchmarks of the final products will be much different. This is the same type of dog and pony show Intel has been doing since they released the Celeron (and possibly before, but that is when I started paying attention to hardware marketing).

        - 2.8GHz Athlon64 FX will be released in June
        - 2.667GHz Conroe will be released somewhere in Q3 2006
        - Conroe Extreme editition clocked to at least 3.0GHz will be released somewhere in Q3 2006 (there have been rumours about 3.33GHz version)


        If you think those numbers mean anything, I would like to know what cave you have been living in for the past 3 years.

        • Re:Shock news. (Score:5, Informative)

          by timeOday (582209) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @09:55AM (#14874369)
          Also, the forthcoming AMD processors are a new core architecture and will support faster RAM with an onboard memory controller.
          The review did address that, as best they could:
          While we're still comparing to Socket-939 and only using RD480, it does seem very unlikely that AMD would be able to make up this much of a deficit with Socket-AM2 and RD580. Especially looking at titles like F.E.A.R. where Conroe's performance advantage averages over 40%, it looks like Intel's confidence has been well placed.
          As for your assertion that MHz don't mean anything, that's just wrong. Within a single architecture, speed is nearly proportional to MHz. For a 2.66 GHz Intel to crush a 2.8 GHz AMD so convincingly, does not mean good things for AMD if the Intel can easily reach 3 GHz. It means AMD would have to be at about 3.8 GHz to keep pace: 2.8*(3/2.66)*1.2 = 3.7895 assuming these benchmarks show a 20% lead for Intel.

          The real hope for AMD here is that these results won't hold to other benchmarks in general. Apparently this set of benchmarks was handpicked by Intel, so that's almost certainly the case to some degree.

          • Re:Shock news. (Score:2, Insightful)

            by GuyverDH (232921)
            As far as Mhz semi-equating to speed...

            Doesn't anyone else recall Intel releasing a faster processor, yet having to have the CPU idle for half of them to keep it from melting down?

            Seems to me that we can speculate all you want, yet, in the end, only final numbers will be able to show what's what....

            At this point it's all a big phallic comparison, and everyone who jumps on board swinging their own extensions are just blowing smoke up everyone's arses.
            • Re:Shock news. (Score:3, Informative)

              by Guspaz (556486)
              You missed the part where the parent said "within a single architecture".

              Intel's heat issues started when they introduced Prescott, which was effectively a new architecture that didn't really deserve the moniker "Pentium 4".

              When you compare the current P4 to the original P4, they have very little in common. Intel just stuck the P4 name on all of them for marketing reasons. In fact, if I'm reading all the coverage of Conroe correctly, they are going to call it a P4 too even though it is a completely differen
      • Re:Shock news. (Score:2, Informative)

        by DaFrogBoy (519141)
        The article compared a AMD Athlon 64 X2 *NOT* a FX.

        FX is known to be better in gaming than the X2.
      • OK so the Intel chip will be faster......... but how much will it cost? There's no point in it being 30% faster if it's three times as expensive. We'll just have to wait and see.
      • Sure, except they used the old ATI RD480 and SB450 chipset combo with bad Southbridge performance, and only 16X of PCI E lanes for the graphics. Had this been a real test the Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe would have been used. Also get your facts straight. The next FX is Socket AM2, not 939. Just overclocking the FX60 is not going to work. Since you clearly have not been paying attention then you don't realize that DDR2 performance on AM2 is superior to what Intel has gotten.
      • Re:Shock news. (Score:3, Insightful)

        [ even if you into account that Athlon64 FX will soon support DDR2 ] How about when you take into account that the Intel chip is 65nm and the AMD is 90nm? The next AMD die shrink will likely take care of most of the performance difference. In the meantime, in the battle between products that you can't actually buy, Intel appears to have a lead on their prefered benchmarks.
    • yup this is what I thought too.. but..

      the AMD system was overclocked, and it's confirmed that AMD will not move to a 65nm process untill 2007, so the comparison has a chance of being apt. that is the competition in six months might be between very similar system from AMD and Intel.
    • Re:Shock news. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MSisNOT4Sale (183186)
      First off, the benches that intel provided are fishy. Using a motherboard that doesn't even recognize the FX-60? This just stinks of marketing poop and anand just stepped into it. Is there a benchmark of a crossfire/nvidia sli setup using a FX-60 and F.E.A.R.?
  • Wait and see (Score:5, Informative)

    by xming (133344) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @07:51AM (#14873879) Homepage
    As pointed out by Ars http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060307-6334 .html [arstechnica.com] I think we should wait and see for the more objective benchmarks. Anyway 2006 will be a good year for CPUs
    • Re:Wait and see (Score:5, Interesting)

      by imsabbel (611519) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:15AM (#14873968)
      That ars technica article is denial at its best.
      "intel faster? CANNOT BE!!!111"
      Sorry, i am as much an AMD fanboy as anybody (hey, their stock financed the car i am driving right now), but besides dual core and adapting sse2/3, VERY little has been done to beef up the aging k8 core (which is byitself also little more than a k7 with on die memory controller).
      In a race, standing still will only lead to a loss.

      Amd just now is in a position where their flagship is in fact a 7 year old core design, they are one die-shrink behind, and their cache technology is about 4 years behind intel (they need twice as much space per Mbyte cache on the same process size, plus are a factor of 4 slower).

      Its time for a _real_ K9 just in the same way intel needed something new after netburst.
      • Re:Wait and see (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Bert64 (520050) <bert@sl[ ]dot.fi ... m ['ash' in gap]> on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:31AM (#14874020) Homepage
        And Intel's new chips are based on the Pentium-M, which is still heavily based on the Pentium-PRO that dates from the early 90s...
        Intel's attempt to produce a new architecture (netburst/p4) resulted in an underperforming overheating mess, so they're going back to one that works.
        • Re:Wait and see (Score:3, Informative)

          by mcbridematt (544099)
          But isn't Conroe based on the new Intel Core (Not the current Solo or Duo) design, which is similar but not the same to the P-M? See the dirt on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]
          • Re:Wait and see (Score:3, Informative)

            by Sketch (2817)
            The Core is basically a redesign/relayout of the P6 on a modern process, with some things learned from the P4 thrown in.
        • Re:Wait and see (Score:2, Informative)

          by acidblood (247709)

          And Intel's new chips are based on the Pentium-M, which is still heavily based on the Pentium-PRO that dates from the early 90s...

          Never mind that the AMD K7 was a carbon copys of the P6 microarchitecture, with incremental tweaks most probably applied to account for P6 shortcomings found in the field. That's an euphemism for `AMD stole Intel's field experience.' The K8 core is only an incremental tweak of K7, the major feature being the on-die memory controller.

          So really, AMD can't blame Intel for using P6-d

          • Re:Wait and see (Score:2, Insightful)

            by the_real_bto (908101)
            It sounds like AMD and Intel are both choosing the designs that work. How can anyone blame them for that? Can you follow up with more evidence on your "carbon copy" claim? If AMD's designs are so uninspired, then why is AMD giving Intel so much trouble right now? This in spite of Intel's advantage in manufacturing technology and might.

            I don't believe for a second that Intel's marketing department designed the p4. But I'm also not so naive as to think that Intel's marketing department didn't try to take
          • Re:Wait and see (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Sketch (2817) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:04AM (#14874911) Homepage
            Never mind that the AMD K7 was a carbon copys of the P6 microarchitecture, with incremental tweaks most probably applied to account for P6 shortcomings found in the field. That's an euphemism for `AMD stole Intel's field experience.' The K8 core is only an incremental tweak of K7, the major feature being the on-die memory controller.
            So really, AMD can't blame Intel for using P6-derived cores since they're doing the same (not to mention the ethics of stealing a competitor's design). Also, their incremental tweaks aren't really that significant -- process technology changes account for the larger share of performance increase.

            I don't think anyone who knows much about CPU's is "blaming" Intel for going back to the P6 core. The P6 was basically the beginning of the modern x86 CPU...more RISC than CISC. As for the K7, this article [arstechnica.com] has a good summary of how it's similar to, but different from, the P6. I think a better euphamism would be 'AMD decided to build a better P6'. (Which is actually what Intel has done as well. This isn't just a faster P6, it's redesign of the P6.) AMD 'stole' from Intel about as much as Intel stole from DEC and Motorola and other RISC CPUs in building the P6, and as much as they had 'stolen' from the CPUs before them. Welcome to the evolution of the CPU, where every CPU is not designed in a vacuum with no relation to anything else, but is built on previous technology and ideas.
            Intel tried to raise the bar with the P4 designs, applying some risky design features like hyperpipelined design, and unfortunately the strategy didn't work out all that well, in no small part due to power issues. Moreover they had to endure fanboy cries of `designed by marketing!', but that's the price one pays for exploring new ground in computer architecture. Meanwhile AMD will be content to follow on Intel's successful footsteps as they've always done.

            Too bad the superior engineers at Intel weren't smart enough to copy AMD's supposedly "minor tweaks" and bring out a competitive CPU in the last couple of years, and instead chose to stick with their risky design which essentially hit a clock speed wall that they were apparently unable to predict. Surely the geniuses at Intel could have designed a better P6 than that "copy" which was beating their P4 in less than 6 years. Or perhaps they didn't care, and thought that marketing would keep them on top?
          • Re:Wait and see (Score:4, Informative)

            by imsabbel (611519) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:06AM (#14874925)
            Well, thats certainly not correct.
            The internal differences between p6 and k7 are enormous.
            From microops sheduling (k7 using packed microops, in some kind of on the fly VLIW ) to the execution units (fully piplelined and superscalar FPU, for example, compared the non-fully piplelined scalar one), virtually the only thing thats the same is the fact it eats x86 opcode.

            But the fact is that the changes between p6 and the new p-m derivates are VERY much larger than the change from 99s k7 to the latest k8.
            Just look at a current die-photo of a k8... back in 99, the core transistor count was at the edge of what was possible economically, with l2 cache externally implemented. Nowadays, the nearly unchanged core is just a small lump on the side of the large and not very dense l2 cache-array...
        • And Intel's new chips are based on the Pentium-M, which is still heavily based on the Pentium-PRO that dates from the early 90s...

          This is true of Core Solo/Duo, but not of Conroe. Conroe, Merom, and Woodcrest are all a new architecture.
      • Re:Wait and see (Score:5, Informative)

        by hattig (47930) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @09:23AM (#14874225) Journal
        The K8 core is as similar to the K7 core as the conroe core is to a PIII core.

        I.e., at first glance there are similarities which can lead to the obvious thought that the K8 core is just a K7 core with memory controller, but actually they're completely revamped, overhauled, enhanced and redone.

        I agree that it is time for AMD to get a "K9" out of the door as the K8 as it is won't compete against Intel's offerings unless AMD somehow get 3.6GHz out of 65nm at launch (which is extremely unlikely). Of course, K8L will probably put AMD back into the lead in terms of floating point anyway, but integer is going to be very weak.

        Unless AMD is sandbagging - but that's a faint hope for even the most ardent AMD fanboy. I think they miscalculated Intel this time around.

        Which of AMD or Intel has the most fangirls?
        • by rsborg (111459)
          I agree that it is time for AMD to get a "K9" out of the door

          ... AMD's K9... will you let it out the doggie door? Will it be more bark than bite? Man, the press will have a field day with that core designation :-)

      • by Namarrgon (105036) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @09:42AM (#14874312) Homepage
        their stock financed the car i am driving right now

        Man, there's gotta be some pretty heavy laws about posting on Slashdot while in control of a moving vehicle.

      • Re:Wait and see (Score:2, Informative)

        by adsl (595429)
        Here's a thought and a question: It seems top me that Intel's "new" platform CPU design can be used across most sectors. i.e. Laptops, PCs and Servers at 65 nanos. They also admit that it's as cheap to produce in dual core as the Pentium single core is at 90 nanos. So here we have excellent computing power, great power saving and MASSIVE cost savings in production. Conclusion and question: Given the above will this give Intel, what looks like, a huge price advantage in terms of production and enable them t
      • Its time for a _real_ K9 just in the same way intel needed something new after netburst.

        K9 is bound to be a real dog.

      • Launching a new socket with identical speed CPUs? Ouch ouch ouch... 5000+ my ass.

        wooo 5.... no one cares about that. AMD has basically said that they aren't doing ANYTHING new in terms of performance this year, now old reports said that it would take Intel approximately 4-5 years to recover from not adopting HyperTransport (Doesn't matter how fast you run if your cpu is starved for bandwidth) but AMD should have been moving in that period.

        Their prices aren't coming down the way they used to so they need
    • by FirstOne (193462) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @09:55AM (#14874375) Homepage

      Something isn't right, from the screenshot [anandtech.com].


      ..Using an award bios last copyrighted in 2003 for AMD's latest FX-60 chip (2006)..
      ..Notice how the AMD Processor isn't correctly id'd in the Bios post.
      ..Even though.. DFI has distributed a new bios version to suport FX60 [dfi.com.tw]..

      .. This thread [rage3d.com]indicates that there is some video defect in RD480 chipset..

      These red flags indicate that something is very fishy and Intel's results should not be trusted... (rigged test)

  • The Conclusion (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mtenhagen (450608)
    The conclusion from the article:

    While we're still comparing to Socket-939 and only using RD480, it does seem very unlikely that AMD would be able to make up this much of a deficit with Socket-AM2 and RD580. Especially looking at titles like F.E.A.R. where Conroe's performance advantage averages over 40%, it looks like Intel's confidence has been well placed.

    Also keep in mind that we are over six months away from the actual launch of Conroe, performance can go up from where it is today. We also only looked a
    • Going into IDF we expected to see a good showing from Conroe, but leaving IDF, well, now we just can't wait to have it.

      Nice that this is a horse race now. Should be very good for competition going forward. Might also be a spot to short AMD and go long INTC coming up... ;-)

      It also looks like Jobs made a genius move picking this point in time to go with Intel. He must have hated Netbust too. I can't wait to see the new MacMacs! (Intel PowerMacs, eh?)

    • Re:The Conclusion (Score:2, Interesting)

      by twiddlingbits (707452)
      The big question is going to be is when Intel makes a chip that runs fast AND runs cool. The Conroe is still as big of space heater as the older chips are. The AMDs are just a bit slower in everyday apps (90% of the users are not gamers and don't care about FPS) but it's a hell of a lot cooler. HEAT matters to those who run data centers.
      • This is just wrong. Conroe has a 65W TDP. I believe that the FX-60 is pushing 100W (if not over).
      • Uh?

        The Conroe here is the E6700, TDP under 65 watts (max for the mid-end E series).

        The Athlon64 is a FX60, TDP of 110 watts at 2.6 GHz (whereas it is run at 2.8 GHz in the benchmarks).

  • A better competetion (Score:5, Interesting)

    by poeidon1 (767457) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @07:55AM (#14873892) Homepage
    With AMD taking the performance lead now and Intel gearing up for getting the top performer position again, I think we are going to see nicer battles now, much nicer than the GHz ones with AMD now much better in its market position and its new fabs.
  • by Bert64 (520050) <bert@sl[ ]dot.fi ... m ['ash' in gap]> on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @07:59AM (#14873907) Homepage
    Did anyone else notice that the AMD motherboard didn't detect the processor correctly?
    • by iainl (136759) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:37AM (#14874042)
      The AMD was overclocked to the timings of the one that won't officially be released until June - unsurprisingly, AMD won't let them have a pre-production chip to demonstrate how their one is even faster.
  • Who staged This? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    And as you'll notice Intel Staged the test so it will be interested to see what a Third party test will learn when the do a comparison, along with the new AMD processors, not ones that are already months old.
  • What about RAM? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:26AM (#14874009)
    The AMD system used 1GB of DDR400 running at 2-2-2/1T timings, while the Intel system used 1GB of DDR2-667 running at 4-4-4.

    and:

    Intel told us to expect an average performance advantage of around 20% across all benchmarks.

    Did they really expect around 20% better performance, while using 66% faster RAM? That seems at least unfair to me... Especially the encoding tests, whose results depend heavily on RAM access.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Did they really expect around 20% better performance, while using 66% faster RAM? That seems at least unfair to me... Especially the encoding tests, whose results depend heavily on RAM access.

      If you read the various benchmarks over the years, changing memory architecture or increasing it's speed directly does very little to increase most benchmarks more than a percentage point or two. Inceasing FSB also hasn't done much. Rather increases in processor performance are directly responsible for the disparity be
  • Since you need a really high-end PC to play most new games these days, most people will miss out on the new titles and technology. The new dual-core technology is outpacing most users purchasing power and the ability to even play the game on its lowest graphics settings.

    A year or two after people spend an avg. of $1000+ for a new system, most are not going to run out and buy the latest dual core chip and ATI/NVidia video card just to play the latest new game (Quake 4, Far Cry, F.E.A.R., etc.) and then
    • I got a cheapy 64 bit sempron system with crappy onboard 6100 nVidia graphics card (theres an empty pci-e slot available for the summer)

      I held off playing half life 2 because I didn't think it would run (I had a 5900 agp previously than ran it really well)

      I am running now at 800*600 with full details enabled and 2x AA and I've only noticed one point where it even shudders (the chimney blowing up and falling whilst in the airboat), if anything its smoother on this card than before, and the shaders are tonnes
    • I have an athlon xp1500+ with a geforce fx5200 and 512MBs of RAM and i can play anything on the market as long as i turn the settings down to "my computer is a retard" levels.

      even games that say they require faster CPUs dont.

    • I guess what I was trying to say that most people can not afford to keep upgrading their PCs just to play the latest cool game (me included.)

      I am all in favor of new tech, just don't forget the people who like new games, but may have old tech.
  • by brucmack (572780) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:37AM (#14874041)
    The thing I like the most about where Intel is going is that they really seem to be taking the time to do it right. They have been doing exactly the opposite for the past couple of years... Prescott was released with many good ideas that were just never put together in a way that gave a good final product. Then the Intel dual core chips were just two single core chips pasted together, not even sharing the cache... again, it just seemed like a "let's just get it out the door" solution.

    Video cards are even worse, with the shorter dev cycles. How many times have we seen a manufacturer put out a video card that is essentially the same as their last model, but with a ridiculous overclock and cooling solution. It's not innovation, and spending the time to develop properly would put us as a technological society further ahead a year from now.

    But Intel's really taken their time with this, and hopefully they will have gotten their 65 nm yield issues worked out by the time they want to ramp up production. Hopefully AMD will follow suit and give us some great innovation in 2007!
  • by CFD339 (795926) <andrewp@@@thenorth...com> on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:47AM (#14874077) Homepage Journal
    There is a lot more to picking a processor than just how fast it runs. Personally, I have more bottlenecks with I/O (as I've said before) than I do with video or processor performance.

    Of importance to me in addition to raw speed are are the number of concurrent threads, the power consumption and with that the heat output I have to dissapate into my office or my lap, and of course the expense of both the processor and the ram it needs to get these kinds of speeds.

    Frankly, I'm looking for which allows me to build the most efficient system for my needs at the least cost.
    • by Namarrgon (105036) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:12AM (#14874464) Homepage
      the number of concurrent threads

      If you're referring to "Hyperthreading", Conroe has none that I'm aware of. One thread at a time, in hardware (whatever you like in software of course).

      the power consumption and with that the heat output

      Conroe is supposed to have a Thermal Design Power of only 65W. Compare this to the current 3.6GHz P4's TDP of 115W. AMD rate the Athlon FX60's TDP at 110W; however AMD quote the maximum possible thermal dissipation while Intel quotes "typical", usually 75% of maximum (which would make the FX60 about 82W by Intel's reckoning) .

      of course the expense of both the processor and the ram it needs

      The 2.4GHz and 2.6GHz Conroes are expected to sell for US$316 and US$530 respectively, in 1000-unit quantities (the FX60 was released at US$1031). RAM is harder; reportedly Conroe chipsets will use DDR2, but possibly packaged as new FB-DIMMs. I don't have pricing for those yet, but they'll probably cost more. Consumer motherboards may just use standard DDR2 DIMMs.

      • Its good on a number of fronts -- first, I've been leaning toward AMD for my near future machines based in part on heat and power use. These seem to show Intel in a good light -- which is hard to believe, but if true is a good thing.

        Its also interesting that you point out the choice of ram will be up to board manufacturers. I wasn't considering that -- assuming that the processors would generally be driven by specific chipsets and thus tend to favor one type of ram over another.
  • by Alsee (515537) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:56AM (#14874119) Homepage
    Code-named Conroe... blah blah blah ...feature "security" is expected to be discussed in the framework of a technology that is based on standards set by the Trusted Computing Group and carries the code-name "LaGrande." [tgdaily.com]

    Intel's new chips have a Trust Enforcer chip embedded inside the CPU itself. Each chip features a unique serial number, DRM enforcement, Sealed Storage to prohibit you from reading your own files on your hard drive, and Remote Attestation to act as a spy on your computer to log your hardware and what software you run and to securely transmit that spy report to other people over the internet. The chip has your computer's master key locked inside, and you are forbidden to know your master key to control your own computer. Other models of the Trust chip are boobytrapped to self destruct if you attempt to get you key out, and I'd wager these CPUs are boobytrapped to self destruct as well.

    Evil as hell.

    -
    • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @09:28AM (#14874242) Homepage Journal
      Maybe it is time to ask that AMD gets out of the Trusted alliance before their chips are like that?
      • Maybe it is time to ask that AMD gets out of the Trusted alliance before their chips are like that?
        Either that or start buying "independant" products such as VIA's processors, which even have hardware AES and hardware random number generators, for that added safety when you're feeling paranoid.
      • Maybe it is time to ask that AMD gets out of the Trusted alliance before their chips are like that?

        AMD's 2006 roadmap already contains chips with identical Trusted Computing features. That is to say, it is already way too late.
    • We have been waiting for details on LaGrande for several years and according to Chapman, we will have to continue to wait and should not hope for much information on this technology this time around. This is somewhat surprising, especially if one considers the Apple-Intel deal - in which LaGrande appears to play a key part as technology that prevents MacOS to run on any PC.

      They don't seem all that keen to talk about it either......... As Alan Cox said, if you don't have the key to your own hardware then
    • by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @09:51AM (#14874350) Homepage
      So... let's take the headcount:

      1) Non-geeks who'll buy a new PC not caring and/or approving of whatever "security features" the salesmen told them about.
      2) Geeks who'll just bite the bullet and run TCPA/Windows anyway.
      3) Geeks who'll be on the TCPA/OS X-x86 platform.
      4) Geeks that'll use Linux or turn off TCPA, but will still want new and faster processors.
      5) Geeks who won't buy the 'evil as hell' processor.

      Oh yeah, Intel is doomed now.

      4) is the final nail in the coffin. It's like trying to stop people from buying an iPod which they plan to fill up with their CD collection, because it could also play DRM-protected AACs. That battle is already lost. It only remains to see what content will succeed at DRM, and which will be rejected by the consumers. I'm not too hopeful...
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Believe it or not, this fight is not lost. It's not just geeks on slashdot. This hardware (with the master key hidden) takes control of the PC *completely away from a business*. It puts them completely at the mercy of Intel and Microsoft.

        We can get them onside in the push to ensure that they hardware works for us, and not against us. We jsut have to make sure that they hear us and not just Intel whisphering seductive promises of better security and control over their computers.

        Look at it this way: Micros

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There's surprisingly little discussion of this... I remember, about 8 years ago, hearing an Intel engineer talking about how the next step in security was going to be ensuring that a PC was secure against its owner -- along with his updates on such things as encryption from end-to-end with media. I said at the time that what Intel was planning was nothing less than a total lockdown of the previously open PC platform.

      And here we are... the final step. With this hardware in a PC, it does not belong to you...

    • Other models of the Trust chip are boobytrapped to self destruct if you attempt to get you key out, and I'd wager these CPUs are boobytrapped to self destruct as well.

      How are you trying to "get you key out"? I imagine if you're using a Dremel, that is pretty destructive.

      What a bunch of dumb FUD.
    • Intel's new chips have a Trust Enforcer chip embedded inside the CPU itself. Each chip features a unique serial number, DRM enforcement, Sealed Storage to prohibit you from reading your own files on your hard drive

      That's one scenario. Apple for instance is only using the TPM to make sure OS X will run on the boxes they sell, but it's not controlling my hard drive or stopping me from intalling Linux.

      My car gomes with gasoline, a liquid capabile of setting a human being alight in a most gruesome manner. How
      • You should never fear a tool itself, only improper uses of them. Nuclear weapons also bring us nuclear power.

        No they don't. They're entirely different. Commercial nuclear plants use Uranium that isn't highly enriched, and the method they use to generate power is they have rods of uranium in a neutron-absorbing material (to control the chain-reaction). The heat from the rods boils water, which is heat-exchanged with other (non-radioactive) water to create steam, which drives steam turbines.

        Thermonuclear b
    • As I explained yesterday, [editthispage.com] the TPM is not actually in the processor, but the processor has a few new features that allow it to cooperate with the TPM. If you buy a motherboard with a LaGrande-enabled processor but no TPM, LaGrande will not be able to work its evil magic on you.
  • by InsaneLampshade (890845) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @09:01AM (#14874141) Homepage Journal
    This is the problem i have with deciding on which processor i want to buy for my new computer...

    I keep reading all these benchmarks, but then i hear afterwards "Oh, if you think that's good, just wait and see what so-and-so is comming out with next year!", so i think, oh, ok, i'll just wait for that then. Then when the new processor gets benchmarked i just hear the same thing over again.

    And so... i don't think i'll ever buy a new processor... i'm always waiting for the next version. :(
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Lets actually see the processor released before we crown it the new champion. After all, I still haven't seen a 4GHz Prescott [theregister.co.uk] that they demonstrated.
  • Next gen Amd (Score:2, Interesting)

    I have a couple of question? To my knowledge the M2 AMDs are just the old 939s with the DDR controller changed to a DDR2 controller, so unless there is a massive improvement in memory management they can improve that much. I think the big change is going to happen when 1206 LGA comes out. I don't have any idea how much putting the PCIe bus in the processor will do but is got to be great for games. I don't understand why they had to do the 940 socket again they should have just jumped to 1206 but I guess
  • by bleughbleugh (957216) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @09:15AM (#14874201)
    yep, impressive, BUT, more important than benchmarks for most Bang per buck by that I mean, if the AMD processor is 50% less than the Intel one, but only 20% slower, AMD will win it for me :-)
    • Amd has recently gotten into some shenanigans releasing it's X2 line at $400+ while Intel kept releasing $250 chips.

      Conroe is going into Dells Dell doesn't want to put 4800+s in he wants 3800s (equivalent)

      AMD just managed to scrape out a few successful quarters selling these chips but the prices they are charging are absurd.

      Mostly it's for marketting and new Fab plants... Fabs are understandable but AMD's increased spending on marketing is a huge turn off...

      Last few systems AMD but Conroe does look
    • Well, the tested Conroe E6700 is expected to retail at $529 [xbitlabs.com], whereas the tested Athlon64 (clocked at 2.6 GHz, the tested one is overclocked a bit) costs $1035 [newegg.com]. So even though the price of the AMD chip will no doubt go down a bit before then things still look very good for Intel.

      It might also be interesting to note that the E6700 has a TDP of less than 65 watts, whereas the tested Athlon64 has a TDP of 110 watts. Amazes me that such a thing isn't brought up in the article, it is one of the factors we have

  • What good is it, if I can't play copies of my DVDs, MP3s and games on it? Will it even let me install whatever OS I want on it? Don't get me wrong, I love to have 20%+ performance boost, but I don't love it that much.

    Give me freedom or Give me 486 (so I can run Slack on it)!
  • You should not forget that Intel supplied both the hardware and the benchmarks. Obviously, they will only supply benchmarks where they win, and not the ones where the Athlon is better (if there are any). The F.E.A.R. benchmark seems to confirm that Conroe is really faster, but that's just one benchmark, which is not enough to convince me of Conroe's superiority.

    That being said, I think it is in everybody's best interest if the benchmark results actually represent a real advantage; 20% more speed is indeed

  • I just don't know what the differences between Athlon 64 and Opteron. But what I am more interested in is how do new Intel dual cores compare to dual core Opterons.

    That may not be a big difference if the difference between Athlon and Opteron is more marketing than substance. These days I have been considering Athlon CPU's as low end.
  • Is this a new "level" of chip? Like the diffrence between the pentium (586) and P6-PIII (686) and the P4 (786)?
  • by dtjohnson (102237) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @03:01PM (#14877391)
    People have been waiting for Intel to destroy AMD with a better product ever since AMD came out with their Opterons, then their 'Venice' cores and then finally their 'X2' line of dual-core processors, all of which were much superior to the Intel chips. Intel already destroyed AMD a few years back when they released their Pentium 4 to compete with the original Athlon and everyone has expected the same thing again. That's probably why Dell has sat on the sidelines selling their aging, wimpy Celeron Ds and P4 systems at cheap prices.

    Intel is a much bigger company, they have a lot more money, a lot of smart people, the nastiest, sleaziest marketers in the business, many more fabs, and great lawyers to fend off the AMD legal strikes too. The Intel 'Prescott' was supposed to do the job on AMD but it never came close. Now, though, the 'Conroe' looks like it is FINALLY the answer to AMDs stuff. Based on the benchmarks using Intel-supplied hardware and software, it looks like the 'Conroe' line of processors totally destroys the AMD FX-60 which is the fastest AMD processor sold today. Of course, you can't buy the 'Conroe' until September, 2006 but it will be worth the wait, based on the benchmarks anyway.

    The only thing AMD has to offer is a little bit faster clock speed (aka FX62) and their upcoming AM2 socket systems which don't seem to do much of anything new other than allow DDR2 memory and a bigger cache. Looks like AMD is headed back to the bargain bin.

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