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Intel's Core 2 Desktop Processors Tested 335

Steve Kerrison writes "It's early morning here in the UK, but that doesn't stop us from being around to see the launch of Conroe and friends, Intel's newest desktop chips. Even a $180 Intel CPU can beat an Athlon FX-62 in a number of tests. Now that's bound to get the fanboy blood pumping, right? We've also taken a look at a pre-built system that's powered by the Extreme X6800 CPU, along with an nForce 4 SLI chipset. As you'd expect, it's quick."
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Intel's Core 2 Desktop Processors Tested

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 14, 2006 @02:09AM (#15717107)

    There's a much more detailed review up at []

  • by riprjak ( 158717 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @02:11AM (#15717113)
    "Real World" [] testing of the new core2 duo's over at HardOCP seems to suggest that the hype is, well, Bullshot (Penny Arcade). He also savages... no, investigates, the other benchmarks with his normal subtle-but-robust manner :) It seems that the top of the line Core2Duo just barely beats an FX-62 numerically in actual game performance; statistically there is no difference whatsoever... As with all things, it comes down to perspective. I have no doubt that Intel are catching up to AMD, may indeed have caught up. However, I simply do not believe they have gone from lagging significantly to leading significantly at the same clock speed; Time, I suppose, will tell.
  • OCAU's view (Score:5, Informative)

    by Agg ( 246996 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @02:18AM (#15717136) Homepage
    We have a comprehensive review on OCAU also: 87 [] We compare the new high-end 2.93GHz X6800 and the 2.67GHz E6700, with the current Pentium D 955XE and AMD's A64 FX-62. Lots of info, loads of benchmarks and of course, some overclocking.
  • by Manaz ( 46799 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @02:26AM (#15717147) Homepage
  • Re:Loss Leader? (Score:5, Informative)

    by cnettel ( 836611 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @02:30AM (#15717154)
    Well, for now, the yields of the fastest Core CPUs is probably low enough that the average price of manufacturing could be higher for the cheapest chips, as they are a necessary part of the process, anyway. On the other hand, I think that the pure manufacturing costs for a (desktop) CPU tend to be quite a bit lower than this -- the big costs are the onetimers in development and investing in fab infrastructure. When that's already in place (for the current chip generation), it makes sense to use the resources available fully.
  • Re:Loss Leader? (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheCp ( 988820 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @03:24AM (#15717274)
    GDHardware's article: oe/X6800_E6700/001.htm [] That thing SMOKES ol' AMD... for now at least...
  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @03:43AM (#15717320)
    Most likley they are just having good yeilds. They've pretty much got the kinks worked out of their 65nm process with the Pentium Ds they made on it so it wouldn't supprise me that Core 2s are having high yeilds. High yeilds = low cost per unit. This is espically true if the yeilds are high, but mostly at lower speeds. Say 90% of chips work, but of that 90% 50% only work at the slowest speed. Well, just knock the price down on that and get it back in volume, hike it up more on the rarer fast chips.

    If you look at their current pricing, it's not real supprising. You find you can get a Pentium D 65nm for as little as $175. That gets you a 3GHz one on their old 90nm technology. The price creaps up on the first incriment, a 3.2 is $217. However it takes a sizable jump then to $317 for 3.4GHz. The 3.6GHZ, if you can find it, is $500 or so. Past that, well there's only the "extreme" edition and that's over $1000 for 3.73GHz.

    The jumps like that are normal. They can easily produce low speed chips and there's a large market for them so they are cheap. Maybe a couple incremental upgrades. Then you hit a knee and prices start jumping fast.

    Based on their current pricing for their current high end, I don't see anything out of the oridinary for this new pricing.
  • by dhollist ( 811706 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @03:57AM (#15717352)
    The headline states that "Even a $180 Intel CPU can beat an Athlon FX-62 in a number of tests" but if you read the article, the $182 Core 2 Duo E6300 (1.83 GHz) chip wasn't tested []. All of the performance data relates to the $224 Core 2 Duo E6400 and pricier chips. The results are impressive, but I think the "$180 chip beats Athlon FX-62" deception should be pointed out to anyone who didn't pick that detail up from RTFA.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 14, 2006 @04:00AM (#15717359)
    Rick Brewster of Paint.NET fame tested [] two Core 2 CPUs with his own benchmark.
  • Re:first PC's? (Score:3, Informative)

    by dhollist ( 811706 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @04:01AM (#15717364)
    WWDC [] is August 7th.
  • Re:Wow, Intel!!! (Score:5, Informative)

    by unts ( 754160 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @04:26AM (#15717410) Homepage Journal
    TDP of Core 2 Duo E6400: 65W
    TDP of Athlon FX-64: 125W

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 14, 2006 @04:44AM (#15717437)
    List kep up to date of Core 2 Reviews [] so far including 16 articles, with more to follow.
  • Re:Energy efficiency (Score:5, Informative)

    by Afty0r ( 263037 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @04:53AM (#15717451) Homepage
    Maybe the 7hrs claimed battery life by laptop manufacturers will actually be accurate in the near future.
    I don't think it has been innacurate until now.

    I own a Fujitsu Amilo V2000 laptop (in the UK) which uses the original Intel Centrino chipset. I work mostly at home, but am on the move once or twice a week. Several times early in its' life (first few months while the battery is fresh) I had come home in the evening from an onsite job, then got up in the morning and switch the laptop on and started work only to have the battery warning (10%) give me a nudge around 4pm (from a 9am start). My work is web development, so while it's not too intensive I'm running email, web radio, text editors etc. constantly. Admittedly it was running on a wired network, and using the built in wireless chip results in a loss of an hour or two from that figure...

    I was completely amazed the first time it happened - forgetting to plug it in I assumed it would die a couple of hours later but it lasted almost the entire workday. (Other notes about that model : the battery itself died after 6 months, how annoying... and the screen is a bit glarey but overall I was very happy with the laptop.)
  • Re:So... (Score:3, Informative)

    by paganizer ( 566360 ) <> on Friday July 14, 2006 @05:05AM (#15717480) Homepage Journal
    I'm typing this on a HP DV8230US Laptop with a core duo T2300 CPU; it just purely and simply rocks and I hate intel, this is the first Intel chip i've owned in 12 years.
    together with the gig of ram and the 256mb Nvidia 7300 GPU, I think this thing would run Vista.
    Not that it ever will, of course. Any Win OS after Win2k sucks; took me forever to get WinXP media center off this thing.
  • Re:first PC's? (Score:4, Informative)

    by MojoStan ( 776183 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @08:43AM (#15717985)
    so when will the first PC's come out with these?
    WWDC is August 7th.
    The question asked when the first PCs will come out with Core 2 desktop processors. You gave an answer based on an unconfirmed and very uncertain Mac rumor (linking to Apple's conference/lovefest), then got modded up.


    Here's the answer the GP was probably looking for (from Anandtech's conclusion []):

    According to Intel:

    Intel Core 2 Extreme processor based systems and boxed product are expected to be available on the day of launch, 27 July. Intel Core 2 Duo processor based systems and boxed product [through places such as Newegg] are expected to be available from 7 August. Each OEM has their own product introduction / transition cycles based upon their target market segment and current product offerings. We expect some to offer product in August with more introductions extending through September. Check with the OEMs of your choice to get their specific message on system availability.

    From what Intel is telling us, you shouldn't be able to so much as purchase Core 2 processors until after the first week in August, although you'll be able to get complete systems before then. At the same time, we're hearing that distributors already have some Core 2 parts in stock and will begin shipping very soon. While we tend to believe Intel's assessment of availability, we're hoping it's conservative.

  • Re:first PC's? (Score:3, Informative)

    by wolrahnaes ( 632574 ) <.ofni.wolrahnaes. .ta. .naes.> on Friday July 14, 2006 @08:54AM (#15718039) Homepage Journal
    IIRC, Core 2 desktop chips are in the LGA775 formfactor, where your Mini uses the Pentium M's modified Socket 478. Core 2 mobile chips won't work either, they're supposed to be coming with a new socket.
  • Re:Sadly.... (Score:4, Informative)

    by julesh ( 229690 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @10:10AM (#15718509)
    So my question is [...] is who the hell is bothering to rate their processors by what REALLY counts? By this I mean MIPS [...] as opposed to GHz?

    This figure is meaningless in modern CPUs as processors perform a variable number of instructions per cycle depending on (a) what instruction (b) whether data is in cache (c) whether there are pipeline stalls to account for. The best you can hope for is the number of cycles of some standardised performance test that are executed in a specific time, which is what articles like this one provide.

    I've got to wonder if you read the article, 'cause if you did, you'd know that these processors run at a slower clock rate than existing ones, so you really wouldn't be accusing anyone of comparing GHz.
  • False (Score:3, Informative)

    by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) <{atd7} {at} {}> on Friday July 14, 2006 @11:12AM (#15718954) Homepage
    Merom is from the same microarchitecture as Conroe and Woodcrest.

    You are correct about Yonah though.
  • Re:Wow, Intel!!! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 14, 2006 @12:59PM (#15719983)
    Yeah but the Intel one is "typical" which means it will exceed 65W,
    whereas the AMD one is the max thermal, and will not exceed, and
    they use the same number on several processors. I wish they'd use
    the same metric.
  • by GunFodder ( 208805 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @01:27PM (#15720190)
    The basic fact is that "hardware enthusiasts" are neither good writers nor are they all that technically knowledgeable. Their saving grace is that they are willing to spend days on the drudgery of benchmarking. We are willing to forgive their artistic pretensions in exchange for a valuable service. You just have to read the reviews with your BS filter on.

    It is true that this is not the first time that Intel has focused on IPC, that integrated memory controllers are not evil, and that few people fully understand the detailed workings of SSE (definitely not me). These are all instances of marketing BS. But they don't really mean anything. The benchmarks show that the Core architecture has much better IPC than the P4, regardless of whether this is due to the extra pipeline, shorter pipelines, better cache, lower memory latency, etc. And the benchmarks also show that the Core has better memory latency than P4 despite the external memory controller. And lastly Intel has drastically improved the floating point performance of the Core processor over its predecessor, the Pentium M, thanks to improvements in the SSE unit, whatever those improvements may be.

    This is always going to happen when a journalistic organ is supported by sponsors from the industry it covers. The editors are obligated to include a bunch of marketing BS. You can get valuable information from these compromised sources, but you have to read between the lines.
  • Re:False (Score:3, Informative)

    by djohnsto ( 133220 ) <.dan.e.johnston. .at.> on Friday July 14, 2006 @04:59PM (#15721641) Homepage
    Sossaman is not 64-bit enabled (but does support VT). Merom will have the same power usage as Yonah with a 20% performance advantage.

    Intel will still sell Yonahs because the die is smaller and not everyone needs 64-bit support (or the additional speed). They will become the "cheap" processor for laptops while still remaining profitable.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor