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Intel Core 2 Duo Vs. AMD AM2 197

ThinSkin writes, "ExtremeTech has an extensive performance roundup across the entire line of Intel Core 2 Duo and AMD AM2 CPUs, from the cheap to the ultra-high end. Both companies bring five processors to the table, ranging from $152 to $1,075, with the mid-range CPUs boasting the best in price/performance. From the article: 'It's clear that Intel's Core 2 Duo lineup offers superior performance across the product line when compared with AMD's Athlon 64. In some applications, even a lower-cost Core 2 Duo can outperform some of the higher-end Athlon 64s.'" The ExtremeTech article is spread over 10 ad-laden pages. You can read it all on the printer-friendly page, but you'll miss out on the pretty graphs.
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Intel Core 2 Duo Vs. AMD AM2

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:51PM (#16093473)
    Nice, but can it perform cunnilingus on a hardwood floor?
  • A consumer win! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) * on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:52PM (#16093475)
    Ah, Competition at its finest. Although it seems right now AMD is a bit behind Intel in speed I am glad it is there. Without head to head competition with Intel and AMD Intel will probably still be pushing higher GHZ with little consideration of performance/heat and power usage. I will not be to surprised if in a year or so AMD will be faster then in a couple years Intel will be faster. As well with these to guys fighting it out the consumer wins, as the companies compete for performance and price. I would say it is best not to be in love with either Company because if this processor war is won, we the consumer will loose.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      we the consumer will loose.

      Loose what? The hounds?
    • by Khuffie ( 818093 )
      I Wanna a Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro

      I second that. I've been waiting for today's keynote in the hopes of the core 2 duo update...but all we got were more iPods and Disney movies. Woo! I'm about to give up the wait if nothing changes by next week...anyone got any ideas?

      • I purposefully know as little about Macs as possible, as I hate the user mystique thing (My last Apple product was an Apple III), but I thought they would run on Intel CPU's now? I bought a HP 8230 Centrino Core Duo t2300 laptop a couple of months ago that was rated to run Vista (Core duo, Nvidia GeForce 7400 with 256MB, 1gb ram) (not that I'll ever run Vista). The sucker will run anything, and the battery lasts about 2 hours playing oblivion at full resolution. But it seems that if Mac OS will run on Intel
        • They do run on Intel processors there migration is completed. I want it to use the Core 2 Duo processor is is currently using the Core Duo processor.
    • Re:A consumer win! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by P3NIS_CLEAVER ( 860022 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @10:36PM (#16093655) Journal
      -10 Insightful
      Every stinking intel/amd article has this same goddam statement. Who the hell is this insigtful to?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by feepness ( 543479 )
        Every stinking intel/amd article has this same goddam statement. Who the hell is this insigtful to?

        Me... I was thinking by moving to a single payer, government sponsored chip manufacturer we could eliminate wasteful overhead, advertising, executive salaries, and that irritating itch to upgrade every 6 months.

        You damn Libertarians need to realize the free market isn't for everything...
    • Isn't Core 2 Duo very energy efficient? I think this was the most exciting aspect of Core 2 Duo. I am so sick of noisy fans, high power usage, and big clunky cases. Give me high performance, low power, and quiet. This is the future of personal computing.
    • Re:A consumer win! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <enderandrew@gmaG ... minus herbivore> on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @11:37PM (#16093946) Homepage Journal
      I agree. Everyone should be happy to see both pushing each other.

      Actually when you calculate performance per dollar, it is closer than most think right now. This article is comparing a $200 Intel processor to a $150 AMD processor. When you compare the $200 AMD to the $200 Intel, not only are they neck-and-neck, but in certain benchmarks, the AMD comes out on top.

      Imagine that.

      Perhaps those that read articles and think for themselves will see such things. Those that only read headlines and troll won't.

      Intel does have a very good processor line on their hands with the Core Duo 2. Even the AMD fans admit that. No one has said otherwise. It is the Intel fans who refused to acknowledge how far they were behind for 4 years. Now both are striving to be the top-dog. AMD claims they will be the best with the 4x4 line soon, and no doubt Intel will respond with a new line of their own.

      Meanwhile performance is going up considerably, and prices down at the same time. I built my AMD 3000 system two years ago, and I can't believe what you can build now for the same price.
  • crypto work (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) <tomstdenis@gm a i> on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:54PM (#16093485) Homepage
    :-) crypto benches [].

    Seems core2 is closer to Opteron but not quite there.


    • The performance is identical to slighly Opteron with Core2 decrypting much faster for AES / MD5 / SHA2. Remind me why I care about the others?
      • Um, Opteron is not slower at any hashes than the Core2. It's also faster at most PK work.

        That said, this is Intels ... ahem ... ****NEW**** core. Opteron is more than 3 years old.

        The results show that Intel is finally catching up in ops/cycle performance. Which is nice for a change...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Wavicle ( 181176 )
      Seems to me you have an odd comparison. You took the lowest end Core 2 Duo with the smallest L2 cache and pitted it against a high end AMD offering. And they about tied. What does this tell us?

      The E6300 costs about $230. How much does the Opteron 885 cost?
      • These benchmarks measure the number of processor cycles. Therefore the clock speed is mostly irrelevant. FYI it is rather common to count cycles when speaking about the efficiency of crypto/hashing algorithms.
        • by Wavicle ( 181176 )
          So what you have is essentially a synthetic synthetic benchmark. Does this count the number of cycles spent on the bus fetching memory? Hyper Transport usually gets a win there. What about pipeline fill time for a branch mis-prediction? Why is the chip being compared an Allendale?

          I'd be far more convinced if I saw an actual benchmark. Until we're running real code on real data and measuring the wallclock on it, we have, as I said, a synthetic synthetic benchmark. A lot of fluff. It seems kind of odd that ne
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by tomstdenis ( 446163 )
            It's an ALU benchmark nothing more. The goal is to see if the ALU has improved or not.

            The code all fits in either the L1 or L2 (the test program is less than a 1MB) so it doesn't matter that I used a low end Conroe. The 1.83Ghz conroe has the SAME CORE as the expensive 2.9GHz conroe...

  • by David Jao ( 2759 ) * <> on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:59PM (#16093503) Homepage
    I'm disappointed to see that as usual the review contains no mention of 64-bit performance. Does anyone know any place that provides 64-bit benchmarks for core 2 duo?

    As much as it's done for us in the last 20 years, 32-bit x86 is not the future. Linux was AMD64-ready three years ago and Windows Vista which is just around the corner already puts more emphasis on the x86-64 platform than x86. Reviewing the 32-bit performance of core 2 duo is like reviewing Pentium processers based on 16-bit performance. Let's get some forward looking reviews instead of backward looking reviews, please!

    • by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) <tomstdenis@gm a i> on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @10:01PM (#16093514) Homepage []

      crypto work done in 64-bit mode on the Core 2.

  • Slashdot should make a habit of linking to the printer friendly version when someone submits their own site. I love it.
    • The printer friendly link doesn't seem to be working. Meaning the people at ExtremeTech noticed Slashdot's evil attempt at denying them ad revenue and changed things around.

      Shame on them. This article is a troll.
      • by suggsjc ( 726146 )
        I agree that having multiple pages just to increase ad impressions is a little annoying, but why do people gripe about a site trying to profit from its work/research/journalism/whatever? How else is it going to make money/pay for the bandwidth that slashdot/anyone generates? Get off your soapbox!
        • I agree that having multiple pages just to increase ad impressions is a little annoying, but why do people gripe about a site trying to profit from its work/research/journalism/whatever? How else is it going to make money/pay for the bandwidth that slashdot/anyone generates? Get off your soapbox!

          1) Some things make sense to be split to multiple pages. Such as cases where you have 10 images for each of the benchmarks that you ran and you put them on multiple pages to make life easier for dial-up users.
  • by LIGC ( 974596 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @10:13PM (#16093571)
    Weren't there about 20 Core 2 Duo reviews/comparisons with Athlon 64 X2's on July 23 when Core 2 officially launched? We've known these results for longer than a month.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Frogbert ( 589961 )
      Yes but for those of us with Core 2 Duo systems it just gets sweeter each and every time we read about it.
  • Overclocking... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by steppin_razor_LA ( 236684 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @10:45PM (#16093701) Journal
    The last Intel processor I bought for home use was a P2. I recently purchased a Core 2 Duo 6400 and I am *so happy* with it. As discussed at this article: 02 []

    The Core 2 Duos are tremendously and easily overclockable. I upped my performance 25% by changing the FSB from 266 to 333. While this sounds like a significant overclock, for the Core 2 Duo it is actually rather conservative. You juse switch to DDR-667 memory. I'm using the stock Intel cooler and my chips are running just fine temperature wise. People who are more ambitious are going for 400+. When you combine the inherent performance and value in the line with the ease of significant overclocking, AMD isn't even in the same ball game anymore.

    • For about the price of just your processor I got a 2.4ghz Athlon 64 processor, 800 mhz ddr2, am2 motherboard, and geforce 7600gt. This entire system draws 100-102 watts when idle including 3 hard drives (according to kill-a-watt). CPU runs at ~35C @ 1100 rpm and is silent. This isn't a top-notch system of course, but it's pretty decent.

      I'm glad I had a dual core pentium d at work (ie that I didn't pay for so didn't have to rationalize) to see that the vast majority of the time the extra core doesn't get
      • It's completely true that at the "lower" end of the spectrum (i.e. pre core 2 duo), that you get better bang for your back w/ AMD. However, if you are planning on spending ~$200+ on a processor, then you clearly get more value out of the Core 2 Duo.

        As to the value of dual cores, I'm a huge fan. I assume that for most games it doesn't make much of a difference, but if you are power using your computer (i.e. doing development work or running other CPU intensive applications, its a godsend).

        Interesting enough
  • Both companies bring five processors to the table, ranging from $152 to $1,075, with the mid-range CPUs boasting the best in price/performance.

    Looks to me like AM2 starts a little lower than [] $152.
  • just use adblock with firefox. Anyone who doesnt nuke banner ads deserves what they get.
  • by Jerry Coffin ( 824726 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @11:43PM (#16093972)
    Quite a few people seem to have missed what seems to be a pretty obvious problem: the choices they've made as to what Intel processor to compare to what AMD processor just don't make sense. Look at the price table:

    Intel Frequency Price AMD Frequency Price
    E6300 1.83GHz $190 3800+ 2.0GHz $152
    E6400 2.13GHz $230 4200+ 2.2GHz $187
    E6600 2.40GHz $360 4600+ 2.4GHz $253
    E6700 2.67GHz $559 5000+ 2.6GHz $346
    X6800 2.93GHz $1,075 FX-62 2.8GHz $825
    In every case, the Intel processor more expensive than the AMD to which they compare it. The Intel E6700 is over 60% more expensive than the AMD 5000+ they consider comparable. The Intel E6300 is not only more expensive than the AMD 3800+, but also more expensive than AMD's next step up, the 4200+.

    Given their prices, the E6300 should obviously be compared to the 4200+ rather than to the 3800+. Looking at this particular pairing, rather than the nearly clean sweep for Intel, they each win some and lose some. If you simply count wins, the Intel wins more than the AMD -- but to mean much, you need to look at what they win at, not just how many different benchmarks they win. Just for example, PCMark05 goes 3:1 in favor of the E6300 -- but quite frankly, none of PCMark05 really means a thing.

    Unless money is no object to you, the two lines look pretty closely matched. In video encoding and rendering tasks, Intel wins quite easily. In the ScienceMark scores, AMD wins pretty easily. Elsewhere, a lot are really too close to call based on the data provided. There are a number of cases in which each wins by less than 2%. It's impossible to say for sure without knowing things like the standard deviations on these scores, but there's a pretty fair chance they have no statistical significance at all.
    • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @12:32AM (#16094186)
      Nope, just look at the 4 graphs to compare any pair of processors you like (on 3 different pages: 1 [] 2 [] 3 [])

      At the low end, the E6300 at $190 beat the $187 AMD 4200+ in all tests, and also beat the $253 4600+ in 3 out of 4 (with the 4th test extremely close).

      At the midrange, the $360 E6600 beats even the $825 FX-62 in all 4 tests. That is bad, bad, bad for AMD.

      At the high end, AMD simply has no answer to the $559 E6700 or the $1075 X6800.

      Granted, none of their graphs shows the ScienceMark. But overall the results seem pretty one-sided to me. I'm surprised AMD hasn't dropped prices more.

      • Look again at the first graph on the second page you've linked.
        • I was referring to ScienceMark results not being included in the "Scaling" graphs at the bottoms of the linked pages. I like those graphs, except I wish they would use cost (in $) as the X axis instead of simply lining up pairs of processors which, as observed above, are not equal in price. But my point is, even if you shift the Intel line to the left one or usually even two notches, it still dominates the AMD line.

          The AMD chips did do well on the ScienceMark 2.0.

      • Intell can afford to go lower, they have more $$ and can sustain smaller proffits or even losses for longer and the other benifits of being the larger company play in.
              Also in part because the CPU has to go into a motherboard. If the chip is $60 less but the motherboard is $120 more the amd solution is cheaper perfomance wise. Once Intell gets supply up on the motherboards this factor fades fairly quick however.

        • by smash ( 1351 )
          Intel can also afford to go lower at the moment (and keep their profits up) due to their increased wafer size and increased dual core yields by way of "joining" 2 dies together.

          Their manufacturing costs have been cut drastically by these two factors.

    • Comparing performance, I can only see this: (hopefully with a minimum of errors)

      - SysMark, a $230 E6400 performs nearly as a $825 FX-52.
      - PCMark05, $230 E6400 similar to $346 5000+.
      - ScienceMark, $230 E6400 similar to $187 4200+.
      - 3DS Max 7, $230 E6400 between the $346 and $825 Athlons.
      - Cinebench, $230 E6400 a little better than a $253 4600+.
      - 3DS Max 7 (rendering), $230 E6400 between $253 and $346 Athlons.
      - LightWave, no Athlons are close to touching even a $190 Core 2 Duo.
      - POVRay, $230 E6400 as $825 FX-
    • by Macka ( 9388 )

      Unless money is no object to you
      Huh? At 2.4GHz and below, the price difference is about equivalent to a nice dinner for two with a good bottle of wine. Stay in for a night and you've saved enough to get the better option. It certainly shouldn't put anyone off.
      • This is slashdot, most of us would do *murder* for a nice dinner for two with a good bottle of wine, you moron.
  • As the owner of AMD socket 939 processor I'm going to skip any AM2 socket mainboard. It's time that processor manufactures realize the time to change sockets each year is over. Either they are able to foresee the socket interface for the next 5 years or they have to provide processors for any socket within that time line. The next mainboard I buy is the one which comes closed to this goal and mainboard manufactures are well advise to request this from their processor suppliers. I'll stick to this policy sin
    • Since AMD cpu's have the memory controller on board when a change is
      made to use new memory technology the cpu (and socket) must change.
      In the case of AM2 it appears that DDR2 and the proposed DDR3 will
      be compatible enough that these two cpu/socket designs will allow
      some backward compatibility. However you can't use DDR memory on
      AM2 cpu's, nor can socket 939 processors use DDR2.

      However ths situation is the same for other memory technologies.
      PC133 memory can't be used on a DDR motherboard, nor visa-versa
    • 939 has been out for well over a year now, and it's on the way out. The best time to buy a new socket is when it's brand spaking new because you can potentially get the most use out of your motherboard that way. Having bought an early 754 Athlon 64 I skipped out on 939 altogether and now have an AM2 setup.

      Then again, I sympathize with you - especially since socket AM2 has 939 pins!
  • by DrunkenPenguin ( 553473 ) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @04:11AM (#16094741) Homepage
    Core2duo processors seem very attractive - nobody can deny that. HERE [] you can find Tom's Hardware benchmarks of Core2Duo against AMD processors.
    However, another interesting thing is that Intel is very open source friendly. Intel's new top of the line graphics adapters (found on some core2duo motherboards) have _FULLY_ open source Linux drivers! That is a _BIG_ thing! You can find more information HERE []. Imagine! Now you can have fully open source OS without any binary drivers messing up your system. These on board graphics adapters are also very fast and capable, so it's a big thing to many of us.
    • by obi ( 118631 )
      yeah, they're _FULLY_ open source... unless you're actually taking into account the file -> not so open source. Basically it's for things like macrovision (tv-out?) etc, so some features require a binary blob still.

      See: 536806403908&w=2 []

      That being said, this thing is completely optional. And the message hints what the Intel policy is on things Intel can't release (I got the exact same impression from intels ipw3945 wireless driver) -
  • We all know that the performance crown (and certainly the performance per watt crown) went back to Intel with the Core 2 Duo. But at the medium and low price range the performance per $$ is contested. At the beginning the article says that you can't compare the product lines any more (so comparing simply by price would be best) and then make up their own comparison table where they put each AMD processor next to significantly more expensive Intel model. This BS to the highest degree.

    64bit is a completely di
  • I'm a cheap bastard and I need performance/price ratios. Tomshardware is too slow with its CPU charts.

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