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Previewing the Performance of the Intel Conroe 114

Posted by Zonk
from the speedy-little-chip dept.
pirate rtt writes "bit-tech has spent some time with an Intel Conroe system and has published a preview of its performance as compared to the current Intel flagship chip - the Presler 965. From the article: 'Core 2 Duo is clearly a very capable processor. We found that it was faster than the current 965 processor in most situations on the desktop, and far more proficient at gaming - an area where Intel has traditionally been weak. The added memory bandwidth that will come from having faster RAM enabled on the Core 2 Extreme chips will be an extra bonus for those looking to Conroe as a gaming platform.'"
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Previewing the Performance of the Intel Conroe

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  • Wait for v2 (Score:5, Funny)

    by MarkByers (770551) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @02:41PM (#15467625) Homepage Journal
    Core 2 Duo is clearly a very capable processor

    Version 1 of anything always sucks. I'm waiting for the Core 2 Duo II v2 Second Edition.
    • Oh... and Second Post!
    • Re:Wait for v2 (Score:1, Interesting)

      by iezhy (623955)
      shortly after relase of core duo, there was an article going around, which outlined that chip has over 30 bugs, and Intel is planning to fix only few of them...
      • Do you have a link? Sounds interesting...

        This is what I found by using Google:

        http://www.geek.com/images/geeknews/2006Jan/core_d uo_errata__2006_01_21__full.gif [geek.com]

        By the second one listed it says 'Could be exploited by a virus'. Interesting! I haven't yet heard of a virus which exploits a bug in the processor to infect systems. Some of the are marked 'Potentially Catastropihc'. I wonder what the list would look like if you made it for other processors. Most of the errors look like they will never happen in pra
        • Every round of processors has some sort of potentially catastrophic bug. Hyperthreading has an issue where if you fool the scheduler right you can get elevated privledges, back in the early Pentium 2/Celeron days there was flashable microcode that a virus could use to basically wipe the proc clean, and most critical to real life there was an issue in the early rounds of Pentiums (I believe; Intel proc around that time) where there was a known error in the lookup table used for division (ie, a divide on a sp
      • Re:Wait for v2 (Score:5, Informative)

        by Crussy (954015) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @02:56PM (#15467705)
        This has been brought up many times. Every chip has a sheet of bugs and the core duo is no exception. Though if you had actually read the sheet you'd notice that almost all of the bugs were found during intel testing and most involved extremely rare scenarios. The amount of bugs reported show only that intel is conducting serious testing. As for not fixing the bugs, do you think AMD is fixing all of the bugs its processors have? http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/white _papers_and_tech_docs/25759.pdf [amd.com] There are a number of bugs still in amd processors and even a few are not planned to be fixed. However this is really negligible concern to anyone.
      • You probably missed the fact that every single chip has bugs, AMD's A64 have 'bout as many bugs as the Core Duos, and the bugs that aren't fixed in silicium are the ones around which workarounds exist (usually in microcode, so that devs don't even realise there is a bug in the silicium in the first place).
      • Every non-trivial chip has errata.

        They get fixed in microcode, or they're published in the errata of the chip so OS developers can work around them. Bugs that end up visible to userspace are very rare indeed.
      • Re:Wait for v2 (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Surt (22457)
        All modern cpus have bugs. It is common practice to work around them in the compiler rather than retape the chip, an expensive and time consuming process.

        Here's a link listing some of the errata known for Athlon processors (counting up to at least 154):
        http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/white _papers_and_tech_docs/25759.pdf [amd.com]

        • Re:Wait for v2 (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Tough Love (215404) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @03:59PM (#15467988)
          "All modern cpus have bugs. It is common practice to work around them in the compiler rather than retape the chip, an expensive and time consuming process."

          Nonsense. For compilers do not work around bugs in general purpose chips. If a chip bug can't be worked around by microcode or bios settings, or (in rare circumstances) the operating system, the chip will be binned. Compatibility is king in the general purpose CPU market. Nobody can sell a CPU that crashes on some programs that used to run perfectly well.
      • Gee. ALL chips have bugs. Some are fixed in the microcode* during every boot. Other flaws have to be worked around in the compiler or in the programming stages.

        * Funny story. The Asus P4P-800 motherboards for Pentium 4 would not boot Windows XP SP2 because the upgrade from SP1 did not load the processor's corrective microcode before firing up the OS. The BIOS had to be updated before SP2 would boot, otherwise it would hang on a DLL.
    • "Core 2 Duo: Too duo for you-o". I should be an intel marketing exec!
    • Is that the new Capcom chip?

  • Conroe vs. FX-62 (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, 2006 @02:47PM (#15467652)
    And now for Conroe vs. AMD's Athlon FX-62 (and presler) [hexus.net].

    Yes, the FX-62 does lose... badly in several cases..
    • by Brian Stretch (5304) * on Sunday June 04, 2006 @03:44PM (#15467919) Homepage
      1) Hexus used Intel's compilers with their synthetic benchmarks. Intel has been known to rig their compilers to ignore post-i486 instructions (SSE, etc) on non-Intel CPUs. This is suppoesd to have been corrected in later Intel compiler releases, but...

      2) Some of those benchmarks, like Pifast, likely fit inside the Core 2 Duo's massive L2 cache. Intel uses all that expensive cache to compensate for their lack of on-board memory controllers and HyperTransport.

      3) Curious how they chose much lower latency memory for the Intel machine than the AMD. I'm not sure that the higher bandwidth of the AMD PC's memory overcomes its higher latency.

      4) Why use 1024x768 res for the FarCry benchmark and 1600x1200 with AA and AF cranked up for theother two games? Games are GPU-limited at hires, so if you wanted to spike the results where AMD is superior...

      5) Despite all of that, the AMD FX62 still won the Cryptography benchmark.

      6) Why are nearly all of these reviews showing up on websites outside of America? Could it be that Intel wants to keep these reviews out of reach of AMD's American lawyers?

      It sure looks like Intel's playing dirty (again). Wake me up when we get reviews done outside of Intel-controlled environments.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, 2006 @06:26PM (#15468639)
        1) Hexus used Intel's compilers with their synthetic benchmarks. Intel has been known to rig their compilers to ignore post-i486 instructions (SSE, etc) on non-Intel CPUs. This is suppoesd to have been corrected in later Intel compiler releases, but...

        For which benchmarks do you claim they used special Intel compilers? The only reference in the article is that they used an "Intel HT compiler" for their "HEXUS.in-house MP3 Encoding Benchmark".

        2) Some of those benchmarks, like Pifast, likely fit inside the Core 2 Duo's massive L2 cache. Intel uses all that expensive cache to compensate for their lack of on-board memory controllers and HyperTransport.

        Noone's interested in Pifast scores. Conroe beating the FX-62 by almost 60% in Far Cry is much more impressing. And using a 65nm process Intel can sell Conroes with 4MB cache for very competitive prices. If you believe the leaked documents on the web a Conroe E6600 will sell for a little over $300 (in quantities of thousand) and should be on a performance level of the best AMD CPU.

        3) Curious how they chose much lower latency memory for the Intel machine than the AMD. I'm not sure that the higher bandwidth of the AMD PC's memory overcomes its higher latency.

        Even if there was a 5% difference, it wouldn't change the big picture.

        4) Why use 1024x768 res for the FarCry benchmark and 1600x1200 with AA and AF cranked up for theother two games? Games are GPU-limited at hires, so if you wanted to spike the results where AMD is superior...

        That's an interesting question indeed. But all other Conroe previews suggest that its gaming performance will be stellar.

        5) Despite all of that, the AMD FX62 still won the Cryptography benchmark.

        The average user doesn't use his CPU for cryptography very much.

        6) Why are nearly all of these reviews showing up on websites outside of America? Could it be that Intel wants to keep these reviews out of reach of AMD's American lawyers?

        Maybe because Intel makes most of its revenue outside the US?

        It sure looks like Intel's playing dirty (again). Wake me up when we get reviews done outside of Intel-controlled environments.

        July 23rd is rumored to be the launch date. Until then I'd definitely wait before buying a new CPU. Even if you want to buy an AMD processor, they're will be huge price drops.

        • July 23rd is rumored to be the launch date. Until then I'd definitely wait before buying a new CPU. Even if you want to buy an AMD processor, they're will be huge price drops.

          Which is the precise objective of this Intel FUD campaign. They know their current chips are crap, so if they can use these highly controlled "benchmarks" to get people to wait it'll hurt AMD.

          Even if Intel does launch the chips on July 23rd, will it be a real launch or a paper launch? How fast will they ramp production of the new chi
          • 64-bit has already been tested some (with some of the few 64b benchmarks out there... Cinebench 9.5, for example). Core 2 did very well.

            I'm not a fanboi, I buy what I think is best. That's why I have four Athlon64 machines (one is an X2) and three Athlon XP machines. I'm waiting to see reviews of Core 2, but if they turn out as good as, or better than, the previews, my next machine may very well be a Core 2. I don't care what the brand name is on the chip as long as it's the best for the money when I bu
      • 2) Some of those benchmarks, like Pifast, likely fit inside the Core 2 Duo's massive L2 cache. Intel uses all that expensive cache to compensate for their lack of on-board memory controllers and HyperTransport.

        I'm not sure I see the problem. A few years ago Intel apparently decided that maximizing headline clock speed was their priority. Oh yeah, baby. I've got a netburst for you.

        IBM in mainframe mode has their own pipeline, and it primarily involves ratios of kilograms of solid steel packaging to perfor
      • Well, the Germans got their share of testing as well. And they too say Conroe performs better overall than current Athlons. (Yes, the article is in German. I bet you can still figure out the graphs.)
        http://tomshardware.thgweb.de/2006/06/04/intel-con roe-erste-benchmarks/ [thgweb.de]
    • by alfs boner (963844)
      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.
  • I've been holding out upgrade from my old pre-MT 2.8 GHz P4 for a while now, and the Intel Conroe was going to by my choice for my new computer. Glad to read that it's actually kicking ass for games like it's supposed to. I still haven't decided if I'm going to go with ATI or Nvidia, though.

    Bruce
    • I'm in the same boat you are, holding off upgrading until Core 2 Duo is out. My current desktop is an "ancient" NForce2 + Athlon XP 2500+, so I missed the whole Athlon 64 on Nforce3/4 upgrade cycle. I was planning on upgrading to nForce4+ Athlon X2 3800 earlier this year but the reviews of the Core Duo caused me to delay my plans until Core 2 Duo.

      I'll probably go with Core 2 Duo on the nForce 570-based platforms.

      This will be my first Intel based system since the Pentium III/440BX chipset.

      Sporadic
    • Same boat here, curent machine is a P4 2.8 and 256mb Geforce FX5700 and a gig of RAM. I need my new machine for editing HD video (guaranteed to bring any PC to it's knees) and the obligatory gameagé (can't wait for spore, if it's half the game it looks), so yup, sounds good to me too :)
  • by buckhead_buddy (186384) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @02:55PM (#15467701)
    The article reads:
    The Core 2 Duo benchmarks we ran were not completed in our own labs and we have used some unfamiliar tests in order to establish how well the new Core architecture performs. This was because we were not allowed to tweak the system or install our own benchmarks - the machine was built and configured by Intel engineers.
    So if Intel provided hardware, chips, and tests themselves, isn't this more of a write-it-yourself press release from Intel than a real independent review? If they provided "some unfamiliar tests" then that would seem to indicate Intel doesn't know what common and familiar tests should be run, or (more cynically) that they didn't want potentially bad or uncontrolled results polluting their positive reviews.

    Are reviews like this of any real significance?

    • Intel choose the benchmarks where conroe preformed better than AMD and suppressed the ones that didn't. This is standard procedure in biased tests.
    • So if Intel provided hardware, chips, and tests themselves, isn't this more of a write-it-yourself press release from Intel than a real independent review?

      I don't think so... the machines were still actually running the tests. Also, from TFA, only some of the tests were unfamiliar. It specifically says that there were some standard ones there.

      If they provided "some unfamiliar tests" then that would seem to indicate Intel doesn't know what common and familiar tests should be run,

      Common and familiar accor

    • As it says in bold in the article, it's more of a performance preview at this point, that should be taken with a grain of salt until they're running their normal benchmark set on final silicon with shipping BIOS and whatnot. In Bit's own words,

      Because of the outlined circumstances and the fact that the Core 2 Duo chips are not set to launch for another month or two, you should take these results 'as is' or 'preliminary'. We will reserve our final judgements on Conroe's performance (relative to AMD) until

    • The discussion [bit-tech.net] clears up your worries.

      "All benchmark settings were controlled by us - I made sure that the Catalyst driver settings were at the default setting (High Quality), and I used included timedemos/stress tests in games.

      FEAR has it's own benchmark, as does Lost Coast and the three Far Cry demos used are from Ubisoft.

      I think that Intel has too much to lose to 'lie' or 'fix' these benchmarks. They configured an Athlon 64 FX-60 at 2.8GHz for us, but I declined the opportunity to run comparis

  • by LIGC (974596) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @03:00PM (#15467723)
    There have been Conroe previews several sites, all of them using intel preconfigured boxes. The only way to make sure of Conroe's performance is to benchmark it once its bought. I'm sorry if I'm a bit of a sceptic, but I don't trust these boxes made by Intel to market Conroe.
    • Indeed.

      Skepticism is a healthy thing. The early indications are of a fast chip, but don't make any purchasing decisions unless you see reviews of a shipping product.
      • But this is exactly what this is about, to get you to postpone your purchasing until they acutally ship the product. This is a page out of the MS book. They are flooding the review web sites with these "reviews" where Intel supplied all the sofware/hardware and people are thinking: wait, this Conroe isn't bad, maybe I want to wait for it to finally come out. This is completely lame and I don't know why this gets posted on the Slashdot front page. Until there is an independent review this is nothing more tha
    • by Anonymous Coward
      --You are "snorreh", a well-known AMD fanboy who posts on www.aceshardware.com forums. You've openly admitted that anything Intel releases won't be good enough for you. I highly suggest any readers of your posts be "sceptical".

      • He still makes a valid point - I would take any Intel supplied benchmarks of their own chips with a grain of salt. The benchmarks to pay attention to will be the ones performed by third parties.
      • --You are "snorreh", a well-known AMD fanboy who posts on www.aceshardware.com forums. You've openly admitted that anything Intel releases won't be good enough for you. I highly suggest any readers of your posts be "sceptical".

        These statements may indeed be true (I really have no idea, so I'll assume they are), but the FX-62 is tried and true, and well known to perform very well in most real-world arenas, whereas the Conroe chips are new and not well tested yet. So the Intel fanboys at least need to wait

        • You can't even buy an FX-62 yet (I just checked newegg). How is it tried and true?

          Guess how those who benchmarked the FX-62s got them? They got them as favors from AMD. And they were given them on the condition they not benchmark them against Conroe! So why do you trust them and not the Conroe reviewers?

          Anyway, the people on xtremesystems.org have Conroes already, and on their systems, not under the eye of Intel. They seem to like it.

          This just seems like more smokescreen from the AMD fanboys. Why do people
          • Whatever. I'm not a fanboy, so I assumed that all the manufacturers who were advertizing the FX-62 chips were actually selling them, but those systems aren't shipping for a couple of weeks yet. That, coupled with all the benchmarks I've seen (lots of tests) made me think they were already available. Oh well. I'm not pimping AMD, and I really don't care. My next CPU will be the one that offers the best overall performance for my budget - which has meant 3 AMDs and 2 Intels in the last few years.
  • Sorry but (Score:5, Funny)

    by opusman (33143) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @03:00PM (#15467728) Homepage
    I'm waiting for the 400 page Tom's Hardware review!
    • But that will take them at least 5000 hours!!
    • Okay, let's start the official pool for how big Tom's Hardware review will be.

      I'm guessing 23 pages.
    • It they wouldn't spend 40% of every page as purely site navigation, I think they could knock that down to 200 pages or less. The high profile PC hardware "enthusiast" sites tend to allow at most 10% of each page as actual article. The next time I read some weenie claim that Internet articles are always better, I'll have to point to Tom's Hardware as a strong counterexample, just one sample from an entire genre of sites that excercise all the don'ts of site navigation design.
  • The Core 2 Duo benchmarks we ran were not completed in our own labs and we have used some unfamiliar tests in order to establish how well the new Core architecture performs. This was because we were not allowed to tweak the system or install our own benchmarks - the machine was built and configured by Intel engineers.

    So take these results with an even smaller grain of salt. Goddamn benchmarks.

  • It's good they are faster than Core 1, but it's interesting to see if they've surpassed the top P4 chips in speed.

    As you know Intel basically dropped the P4 architecture (netburst) in favor continuing the hardware line of Pentium III -> Pentium M (Core 1 was a mod of Pentium M, Core 2 is a more serious change adding back 64-bit, but still a development of the same architecture).
  • by suv4x4 (956391)
    Both the operating system and benchmarks were installed by Intel performance engineers, so we cannot guarantee that the bit-tech configured operating system was in the same state as the one on the Intel-built Core 2 Duo machine. We were not allowed to make any changes to the Intel-built system. ...
  • by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Sunday June 04, 2006 @03:21PM (#15467809)
    The real question to most of the rest of the world is: how do these chips handle regular desktop duty? I mean, all we've seen tested is a high end chip versus a high end chip, not mid-range testing. Conroe is supposed to replace Pentium 4s almost everywhere, with single-core variants or Pentium Ds handling the low end. Where does that put us for a $1200 or $1500 computer from Dell or Gateway that everyone else is going to be buying. In my mind, the real issue is how this helps the huge mid-range of consumers and computers, not the 2% upper end that can afford ATI Crossfire X1900XTXs.
    • They are more power-efficient. Except for that, I find it hard to see ANYTHING that the CPU can do that would matter for common customers in that way. Benchmarks for varying heavy duty scenarios will be quite characteristic for the short "bursts" where CPU power actually makes sense for a common user.
  • by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Sunday June 04, 2006 @03:28PM (#15467836)
    The benchmarks show a serious drop in multi-tasking capabilities in Conroe relative to the P XE 965. In some cases, a multi-tasking Conroe was beaten by a multi-tasking PXE.

    However, we have some worries about its multi-tasking performance, which doesn't appear to be quite as good as the chip that Conroe will be replacing later this year.
    We found that it was faster than the current flagship Pentium Extreme Edition 965 processor in nearly every single-threaded scenario, but there were times where Conroe fell behind in multi-tasking scenarios.

    That seems pretty bad if we're trying to move to a more multi-threaded and multi-tasking computer system (yes, I know the difference between the two).
    • Neither the article or the benchmark seem to actually look at multi-tasking performance. As far as I can tell from the available information the benchmarks were running multithreaded versions of the benchmark. Unless they specifically come back and show us that they were running multiple processes, doing different things, then you cannot extrapolate whether or not the multitasking performance of the chip is any good.

      On the other end of the spectrum it may just be that the operating system that was used to
      • The article said pretty much that they ran two benchmarks at once, and recorded one of them. The whole thing is pretty unreliable, but that much of a loss in advantage is worth looking at.
        • You are correct. The article is pretty unreliable. But there may be more reasons for the loss on the benchmark.

          I noticed three differences in the hardware and software configuration of the demo. The hard drives were different, there was a slightly different version of the ATI Catalyst driver on the systems, and there was a different motherboard.

          Even though the the size of the hard drives was only off by 50GB, that can throw any disk based benchmarks out the window. A rough way of estimating the the maxi
  • gaming (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ltwally (313043) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @03:36PM (#15467883) Homepage Journal
    "...far more proficient at gaming - an area where Intel has traditionally been weak..."
    Define "traditionally." Normally that word is reserved for a long-term scope, in which case Intel has been better at gaming than the competition. Up until the Athlon, no x86 clone could compete with Intel when it game to games (2d or 3d). Think back to the K5 & K6 -- neither was good at 3D (not even the K6-3 could compete with a similarly clocked P2/P3. And the processors from previous generations of AMD, Cyrix, and IBM were much the same. The Athlon was the very first x86 clone that was better at gaming than an Intel flagship processor.

    So, this isn't so much as Intel stealing the crown as re-claiming the thrown.

    <shrugs>No big deal .. I just get tired of the Intel bashing crowd. "OMG INTEL IS TEH DEVIL, AMD IS OUR SAVIOR!!"

    • by kfg (145172)
      Define "traditionally." Normally that word is reserved for a long-term scope. . .

      It isn't a question of time scope, per se, but the very meaning of the word, because it means "from the hand," to be passed on and not merely a historical fact.

      You "get" tradition and you, in turn, "give" tradition, but it doesn't "just happen." The proper word would have been "historically,"

      KFG
    • Think back to the K5 & K6 -- neither was good at 3D (not even the K6-3 could compete with a similarly clocked P2/P3

      While this is more-or-less true if you are comparing clock-for-clock (and it wasn't for the early P2s, since they ran on a 66MHz external bus, while the K6-2 ran on a 100MHz one - mine was stable up to about 110MHz - and the memory performance gave it an edge), it is not true if you are comparing performance per dollar. AMD CPUs were significantly cheaper than Intel in those days, and m

    • Define "traditionally." Normally that word is reserved for a long-term scope, in which case Intel has been better at gaming than the competition.

      Then again, I've seen people write about "long term" where it refers to the current fiscal year. The first Athlon came in 1999, so that qualifies by far with me. The first real own AMD chip not cloned from Intel was the K5 in 1995, which means they've producing superior gaming chips longer than inferior chips. I call that a tradition. And I'll still wait until we g
  • It's great that Core 2 Duo (dumb name) will be as fast as/faster than AMD (grains of salt and all) but it's really about time Intel did this.

    The Core 2 Duo chips are all x86-64 (or ia32e as Intel calls it). I can't believe that it has taken them so long to do this for (what will be) their main consumer line.

    One of the things I did't like about the MacBook Pro (and that helped me decide to stick with my 1.67 GHz PB G4) was the Core Duo. I know was much faster than what I had, but I don't want to buy a new

    • Re:About Time (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ruiner13 (527499) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @04:22PM (#15468084) Homepage
      Why does a laptop need 64-bits? Are you addressing more than 4GB memory? I haven't seen a laptop yet that can support more physical memory than 32-bit chips can address, nor can I see someone doing heavily scientific work on a laptop as they tend to have slower, smaller hard drives. Extended memory and scientific precision are the only valid reasons I can think of needing 64-bit architecture, neither of which apply directly to laptops.
      • Re:About Time (Score:4, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @04:55PM (#15468233) Journal
        I write code on my PowerBook that is going to be deployed on either a 64-CPU IRIX box, a 40-node UltraSPARC cluster, or a 64-node dual-Xeon cluster. Some of this code mmaps large blocks of data. It doesn't matter that I don't have that much physical memory, because not all of it will be loaded at once.

        Remember, it is not uncommon to use more address space than you have physical memory. This is why we have swap.

      • Why does a laptop need 64-bits? Are you addressing more than 4GB memory? I haven't seen a laptop yet that can support more physical memory than 32-bit chips can address, nor can I see someone doing heavily scientific work on a laptop as they tend to have slower, smaller hard drives. Extended memory and scientific precision are the only valid reasons I can think of needing 64-bit architecture, neither of which apply directly to laptops.

        Why does anyone need more than 640 KB of memory? Why is there a world

      • Re:About Time (Score:4, Informative)

        by Brian Stretch (5304) * on Sunday June 04, 2006 @09:23PM (#15469350) Homepage
        Why does a laptop need 64-bits? Are you addressing more than 4GB memory?

        You get twice as many general registers in AMD64 mode, providing a nice performance boost independent of how much memory you have. Java, cryptography, and codecs react particularly well to AMD64 environments.

        2GB RAM is already pretty standard for power users. Throw in virtual memory and, voila, you're at the 4GB barrier. Being able to run the same 64-bit binaries on your notebook as on your quad processor, 8 core 64GB RAM server is kinda nice too.
      • Re:About Time (Score:3, Insightful)

        by toddestan (632714)
        Well, maybe you don't need a 64bit CPU right now, but it would be nice in a couple of years if you do need a 64bit CPU to not have to buy a whole new laptop. Kind of like how Windows 3.1 didn't need a 32bit CPU, but if you had one you were able to later install Windows 95 without buying a whole new computer.

        With that said, since the original poster was contemplating replacing a 1.67Ghz G4 (a fairly recent model) with a brand new MacBook Pro, it seems he doesn't have a problem with shelling out for a new la
      • but... this one goes to 64...
  • Is this really necessary for gaming ? An Athlon 64 with a decent videocard and a gig of RAM is enough to run any game well and keep it looking great. Why do I need this ? High end CPUs out now are more than good enough.

    Unless of course, you're one of "those" types of gamers, needing to buy the latest, greatest and most expensive tech possible in order to run your games as well as someone else who spent $1000 on their system.
    • Then buy this one in 2 years ;)
    • Look at it this way: if you can get better performances for the same price, why wouldn't you buy a Core 2?

      This is the reason why A64s are popular in the first place: they offered as good or better performances as P4's at equal or lower prices, and you couldn't cook eggs on them.

      If intel manages to reverse the balance with Core 2, more power to them, it means that AMD'll have to do some more work on their procs and start working on the K9.

  • by macentric (914166) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @05:40PM (#15468440)
    When I was studying Computer Science in College I took a Parrellel Programming class. One of the first things my professor taught my class was that not all tasks are well suited for parrallel processing. In many cases it is more difficult to break the task up into smaller tasks and hand off to other processors or cores. In many cases performance will be significantly degraded by parallelizing a task that is not well suited to multiprocessing.

    During several of the tests, the author of the article ran single threaded and multithreaded tests. In some of these tests, the performance of both the Conroe and Pressler chips decreased. The author incorrectly states that the multitasking performance of the Conroe chip is lower than the Pressler chips. He is incorrect becuase his own graphs reference multi-threaded performance. These are two entirely different things. While the multi-threaded perfomance of Conroe is slower in some cases, the single threaded performance was faster in most cases. These tasks obviously are not tasks well suited for parallel processing, and as such should be coded to run as a single thread to keep performace high.

    While the rest of the benchmark seems solid, his analyis should be brought into question as he doesn't seem to have a solid grasp on his technology vocabulary. That or his editors don't know what they are reading either. If that is the case their reviews should not be showcased.
    • On the other hand, things like effective time needed for context switches, cache starvation behavior and other aspects are quite alike for multitasking and multithreading. After all, multitasking (if all tasks are really active) is just another name for "multithreading with very independent threads carrying quite different workloads". The user won't care if transcoding to DivX and playing a game at the same time will result in a lower total efficiency during the tims spent on both chips, all he cares about
      • Hyper-Threading is a load of crap. It fooled the computer into believing that the computer has an additional processor. The reason that they removed Hyper-Threading from the dual core chips is that it is redundant and not needed. You are not going to get any greater performance gains from multithreading on a single chip than you are from a dual core chip.

        On another note, it is up to the developer of the optimize his/her program for the best performance. Individual tasks inside a program can be made to r
        • Hyper-Threading is a load of crap. It fooled the computer into believing that the computer has an additional processor. The reason that they removed Hyper-Threading from the dual core chips is that it is redundant and not needed. You are not going to get any greater performance gains from multithreading on a single chip than you are from a dual core chip.

          Oh really? A real-life simulation says your wrong. In this video [tomshardware.com] from Toms Hardware, it shows a 3Ghz HT system beating one running at 3.6Ghz with HT disabl
        • Hyperthreading was added to the Pentium 4 to counter the defficiencies of the architecture:

          * DEEP pipeline
          * relatively small (12K words) trace cache
          * tiny 16KB L1 data cache
          * huge main memory latency (compared to on-die memory controllers)

          By running two threads in parallel, if one thread encounters a cache miss or a branch mispredict, the execution units are not left entirely empty while waiting for a pipeline flush or context switch. Instead, the parallel thread takes over and makes good use of the core.

          Y
  • by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday June 04, 2006 @07:40PM (#15468954)
    People who have only been observing the industry for a handul of years shouldn't be talking about "tradition". The Athlon was the first product AMD made that could even offer a match to intel's CPUs, let alone exceed them.

    I'm sure there's more than enough people here who remember how intel poorly comparbadly the K6 ran Doom, for example.

    Not to mention the atrocious record of motherboard chipsets for >K6 AMD processors that, alone, contributed more to slowing their uptake by the market than any other factor (it astounds me that VIA has managed to stay in business).

  • by Visaris (553352) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:56PM (#15469238) Journal
    We found that it was faster than the current flagship Pentium Extreme Edition 965 processor in nearly every single-threaded scenario, but there were times where Conroe fell behind in multi-tasking scenarios.

    I think that's a very funny quote. This is exactly what I was expecting all along. The reason most people have been running Super-PI and other toy benchmarks is because they are single-threaded, and that is the one area where Conroe really shines.

    If the Conroe can't beat the Pentium Extreme Edition 965 how is it going "own" or "destroy" an Athlon 64 FX-64? The Conroe myth gets busted a little bit every day.
    • Well, the claim is that the chip they were testing wasn't a flagship chip like the Pentium EE. In other words, they were testing a chip that's supposed to debut a couple price points below (2.67 GHz clock) the top-clocked (2.93 GHz) Conroe EE.

      The inference being that the new top Intel chip will totally kick the Pentium EE's butt. Or, if you like, that this chip offers the same or better performance than the Pentium EE at what will probably be something like $200-$300 less.

      Of course, that's all specu
    • For AMDroids picking up on that statement, I would like to remind you that the 965 EE has 2 cores + 2 hyperthreaded virtual cores. Despite HT being much maligned it is useful in exactly the kind of situations where the Presler handily beat Conroe.
  • No self respecting gamer will run a game at 640 x 480 resolution, especially with minimum detail, so posting benchmarks at that resolution is moot.

    There are many sites that do good benchmarking, and I wish other sites would follow the lead of anandtech and tom's hardware. Rather then a bunch of numbers for unrealistic senarios, put together tests that cover all the bases. Where is video encoding benchmarks, where is compiling benchmarks? Where are REAL benchmarks for senarios we all use. Showing us how

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

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