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Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 Quad-Core Benchmarks 162

Slimpickin writes "Intel gave access to quad-core Kentsfield-based systems to select members of the press at IDF. The embargo has been lifted on a preview of performance numbers with the new 2.66GHz Core 2 Extreme QX6700 processor. HotHardware showcases Intel quad-core performance from a few different angles, from digital video processing and encoding, to 3D modeling and rendering, along with a few of the more standard benchmarks. the new Intel quad-core puts up performance numbers, depending on the application, at nearly double the performance of a 2.93GHz Core 2 Duo processor based system. Core 2 Quad will also drop right into existing motherboards that are compatible with the Core 2 processor line."
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Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 Quad-Core Benchmarks

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  • by chriss ( 26574 ) * <chriss@memomo.net> on Friday September 29, 2006 @01:42PM (#16249217) Homepage

    A few weeks ago Anandtech already tried to plug two 2.4 GHz Quad-Core Clovertons (Xeons) samples into the new Mac Pro [anandtech.com] featuring two LGA-771 sockets. Worked like a charm, a nice eight core machine. And since dual socket motherboards are quite expensive, the Mac Pro might even be a cheap version.

    • Not to be a spoilsport, but if you do drop in a couple of clovertowns, you'll void your warranty. I've had a lot of Mac-owner friends tell me it's a bad idea.

      Me, I might try it anyway, but if I do, I definitely won't shell out $249 for an AppleCare warranty I'll be voiding soon after purchase.
      • You don't void your warranty for upgrading a Mac or any other computer. Your "friends" are wrong about this, at least in the US, because it would violate the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

        The only way you void your warranty is if in upgrading your computer, you damage it or the parts you add damage the computer. Any damage you do is not covered, but anything else should still be covered.
        • There's one addendum I should make - Apple's warranty won't cover the parts that weren't bought through Apple.

          But what I'm really saying is that you don't automatically void your warranty if you upgrade your computer.
        • by HTH NE1 ( 675604 )
          The only way you void your warranty is if in upgrading your computer, you damage it or the parts you add damage the computer. Any damage you do is not covered, but anything else should still be covered.

          And so the warranter will declare the damage was caused by the non-factory parts you added and not investigate further.

          What I want to know is if the two firmware updates Apple pushed to fix Boot Camp problems also blocked this type of upgrade, like they did to the Blue & White G3s to prevent their easy up
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nuzak ( 959558 )
          You don't void your warranty for upgrading a Mac or any other computer. Your "friends" are wrong about this, at least in the US, because it would violate the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

          My interpretation of Magnuson-Moss is that it prohibits bundling, like say, Apple requiring you purchase Apple-branded CPU's to upgrade. Pulling out your own CPU is probably still a warranty killer. They just can't automatically call it void if the problem is obviously unrelated and a defect in the merchandise, like oh, the
          • Swapping one component for another component that is designed to be a replacement for it cannot violate a warranty. It's just like replacing Apple's SATA drive with one from Best Buy. Now, if you damage the computer in any way during the upgrade process, you're SOL.
    • Any chance one would fit in an iMac or a Mac Mini?
      • No. There probably won't be a quad core chip that will go in an existing iMac or Mac mini because the sockets are different, and future quad core notebook CPUs will use a different socket for faster FSB.
  • by HuckleCom ( 690630 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @01:44PM (#16249251) Homepage
    Quake 3 Voice: QUAD DAMAGE!
    • Does that mean that you really only get three cores?

      (Q3's "quad damage" really only tripled the damage, if I recall.)
  • No surprises, about 80% more speed for multithreaded programs.
  • by ricky-road-flats ( 770129 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @01:51PM (#16249369)
    If the Intel Core 2 Duos are good (generally agreed I think) , and this chip - their first quad-core - is looking so good, at what point will the apparent advantage of the AMD platform (no FSB, just Hypertransport links) kick in? If not at four cores, at eight? 16? More to the point, before Intel gets round to releasing CSI?

    I know on the face of it this chip is a kludge (two dual-cores connected to one FSB in a single-socket package, as opposed to AMD's forthcoming 'true' quad-core CPU), but if it performs well, so what?

    • by mnmn ( 145599 )
      That will depend probably on the type of app. One with smaller tasks depending on each other, probably at 4 cores AMD will look good, else with linux kernel compilations where gcc takes its sweet time with each module, Intel will be better for now.

      I just wonder if in place of the fat L2/L3 cache multimedia extensions, x64 and legacy components, if we just get MORE cores it will be better. The Ultrasparc T1 has good performance figures with oracle and the Cell sounds like a workhorse enough for IBM to releas
      • I just wonder if in place of the fat L2/L3 cache multimedia extensions, x64 and legacy components, if we just get MORE cores it will be better.

        For servers? Sure. For desktops? Probably not. Server tasks are typically (though not always) more parallelizable. doesn't mean the desktop Apps can't be made more parallel, but it's harder and it will take longer. Then again, maybe all these multicores coming out will lead to motivation to develop new tools to make threading easier.

    • by jiushao ( 898575 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @02:04PM (#16249571)

      It can equally well be argued that AMD's solution is a "kludge". Intel has four processors arranged in two pairs, within each pair the processors are connected by shared L2 cache, but the pairs are connected by the FSB. AMD on the other hand have all four processors communicating over HyperTransport links. Shared L2 is clearly better than HyperTransport links, and the HyperTransport links are better than Intel's current FSB.

      The physical packaging simply doesn't tell much about the quality of the interconnect. Sure it is harder to make a truly great interconnect with separate packages, but looking directly at the interconnect tells the much more accurate story.

      Either way, it is not an all that great suprise that the dual-FSB design of modern Intel platforms manages four cores decently, but yes, AMD probably still has a clear edge on 8 core systems.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Calling Hypertransport a "kludge" is a stretch. The advantage of Hypertransport with multi-core comes into play regarding access to main memory. All processors can access main memory simultaneously, with theoretical bandwidth actually scaling with the number of processors, rather than being divided among them. It really is better than the FSB, but AMD needs to get kicking with 65 nm and below.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by jiushao ( 898575 )

          Calling either solution a "kludge" is of course wrong. However, just running everything across HyperTransport is an obviously worse approach for core-to-core communication than shared L2. The trick about sharing cache though is that it stops making sense to talk about the cores "sharing access to main memory", since any memory fetches go into the shared cache. Plus that Intel isn't stupid, their current platform has two separate front-side buses, so there is quite a bit of bandwidth to work with.

          On the ot

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            However, just running everything across HyperTransport is an obviously worse approach for core-to-core communication than shared L2.

            The real question is how important is core-to-core communication versus core-to-memory for "regular" workloads?

            My gut says that for consumer-level workloads, memory is more important than inter-core communication because most consumer-level parallel processing is of the "embarassingly parallel" type - specifically codec processing - video, audio and "photoshop plugin" types.

            My
            • by jiushao ( 898575 )

              That does not change the fact that shared cache is a strictly good thing though. There are many other advantages. Sharing cache means more cache overall (since no data needs to be duplicated when both processors need it, a huge saving for common workloads), and more cache means a lot less memory accesses. Shared cache also means that such common data only needs to be read from memory once, where the reads would need to be duplicated when cache is not shared.

              On the other hand, the only thing I replied to w

              • by jiushao ( 898575 )

                AMD has a better solution for that at the moment, but it is not due to some kind of trade-off, they would be better off with shared cache and HyperTransport.

                Oh, and one more thing: As has already been pointed out, this is indeed what will happen with the K8L.

      • by Kyro ( 302315 )
        Except K8L is going to have 2MB+ of shared L3 cache...
    • by chriss ( 26574 ) *

      The chip is not a kludge. It may seem that the right way would have been to build the four cores into one die instead of two, but according to some information Intel accidently slipped during the IDF (in German) [heise.de] due to the yield they get for Core2 chips the price for a monolithic 4-core die would be $36,13 compared to $29,37 for two 2-core dies. So this might simply be driven by economic reasons, till the process and the yield.

  • You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
    • by mph ( 7675 )
      You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
      Tell it to Jane Austen [m-w.com].
    • Why do I keep seeing this phrase online? I don't get the joke. Is it from some lame movie or something?
    • by Skevin ( 16048 ) *
      > You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      We Americans are not so unworldly as to not know the meaning of "embargo". Hmph.

      It's buttered snails, often served in French restaurants.
    • by julesh ( 229690 )
      Hmm?

      embargo /embaargo/

            noun (pl. embargoes) 1 an official ban, especially on trade or other commercial activity with a particular country. 2 historical an order of a state forbidding foreign ships to enter, or any ships to leave, its ports.

            verb (embargoes, embargoed) impose an embargo on.


      Meaning 1, not in the "especially" sense, (i.e. "an official ban") seems to fit.
  • by b0r1s ( 170449 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @01:54PM (#16249435) Homepage
    For years, most operating systems have been designed for 2-4 processors, with some handling more [redhat.com], and others doing better with less [freebsd.org] (I'm sorry, FreeBSD fans, I use it myself, but let's be honest, SMP was horrible until 5-REL, and it still isn't up there with Linux and *ugh* Microsoft).

    With 4 core out this year, and 80 cores out in 5 years, it's time to rethink multiprocessor operating systems. There needs to be a significant change in the locking and threading metaphors, because 4 and 8 way will be obsolete by this time next year.
    • by mnmn ( 145599 )
      Operating systems are fine. They just take processes and share them across cores.

      Its the threads libraries and programming style of larger apps that matter. Say you have a basic Linux system with 4 cores. It will reasonably distribute processes across all 4. The problem is when a single process with multiple short-lived threads takes all the CPU power. Like games. Thats where funky compiler directives will be witnessed.
      • So why does an app or a library have to care how many CPUs or cores the PC has? Surely that's the job of the OS?
        • by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @02:46PM (#16250239) Homepage Journal
          So why does an app or a library have to care how many CPUs or cores the PC has? Surely that's the job of the OS?

          Yes and no. Programs can split the hard work across several threads and all of those threads will be managed by the task scheduler regardless of how many cores there are. The hard part is making an algorithm that can split the heavy processing work to multiple threads, that threading has to be programmed. If the program has all the hard work in one thread, then it's not going to use more than 100% of one CPU, 50% each of two CPUs, etc.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Elladan ( 17598 )
            To elaborate:

            Usually, if an application can split its work up into 2 threads, it can split its work up onto n threads (if it's well designed). This isn't
            always the case, but it tends to be. The hard part is breaking an algorithm up into pieces, usually not the number of pieces in particular.

            So, for example, it could spread its work over 100 threads on a 1-CPU machine. This would be an inefficient use of threads, if they're all doing work. Usually 1 or 2 threads is ideal for a 1-core machine.

            Similarly, i
        • So why does an app or a library have to care how many CPUs or cores the PC has? Surely that's the job of the OS?

          The OS does not know what kind of interdependecies there are between threads and or even different processes. One of the most common performance issues is where thread-A needs to communicate with thread-B, but B is sleeping so A sits and waits for B to wake up (be scheduled) and respond. By that time, A may have been put to sleep (by the scheduler) so that when B finally responds, A isn't there
          • by Jeremi ( 14640 )
            but B is sleeping so A sits and waits for B to wake up (be scheduled) and respond. By that time, A may have been put to sleep (by the scheduler) so that when B finally responds, A isn't there to act on the response for another XX milliseconds.

            You seem to be implying that threads can't be woken up except at scheduler quantum boundaries. That would be horribly inefficient, so it's a good thing it isn't true... any decent/modern OS can wake up a thread immediately at any time. So even if thread A was put to

        • If you don't use threads you won't get additional speed. If you would be able to automatically run a single thread on multiple cores at the same time, please give me a call. And even if an application does use multiple threads, it's easy to mess things up (try any multi-threading resource out there and see how easy *that* is).
    • by Eccles ( 932 )
      How would you rate Mac OS X on its multiprocessor handling?

      Obviously, you still need the apps to support it too.
      • by Jeremi ( 14640 )
        How would you rate Mac OS X on its multiprocessor handling?

        I believe it's pretty good, and getting better.

        Obviously, you still need the apps to support it too.

        Not necessarily... one trick Apple is doing is to hide the multithreading code inside its higher level libraries. As a hypothetical example, say you have a single-threaded application that calls RenderCool3DScene() in Apple's Cool3DGraphics library: on a single CPU machine, the scene will be rendered in normal way, but on a multi-CPU machine, Apple'

      • by drsmithy ( 35869 )
        How would you rate Mac OS X on its multiprocessor handling?

        Average. Probably at about the same level NT 4.0 and Linux 2.2 were in their day.

        OTOH, with the read availability of multiprocessor machines today, it will (and has) likely improve a lot quicker than they did. I would expect it to be comparable to Windows and Linux at either the next major release, or the one after that.

    • ... 4 and 8 way will be obsolete by this time next year.
      By "obsolete" you mean "just starting to become mainstream", right?
  • Did anyone else notice that the 2nd graph on page 3 and the graphs on page 4 don't match the results under them.

    The graphs show the Dual Core out-performing the Quad, but the descriptions indicate how much faster the Quad is.

    Sigh.. oh well. Moving on..
    • Maybe you might want to proofread again:

      The quad-core Core 2 Extreme QX6700 is only showing about a 14% performance advantage over the dual core X6800 chip in the base CPU test module . We should note that an Athlon 64 FX-62 dual core processor scores around 5700 in the PCMark05 CPU test module.

      The overall score actually shows the QX6700 slightly slower than the dual core Core 2 chip.
  • by Kelz ( 611260 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @01:57PM (#16249473)
    I seem to remember a particular article [slashdot.org] in which everyone seemed to decry the chip before it came out, citing "wait for the independant reviews". True, do that, but this time maybe people will think of Intel with a little more credibility? But then again, this is slashdot!
    • True, do that, but this time maybe people will think of Intel with a little more credibility? But then again, this is slashdot!

      Oh yeah, a real hotbed of hate for Intel, this is...

      Give me a break. AMD, to this day, gets unfairly poor treatment on /. with myths of chip shortages, poor performance, heat problems, crappy motherboards, etc. These myths have been in decline in recent years, but they still persist, even though AMD has been slaughtering Intel until VERY recently.

      And your post is even a good examp

  • Quad Core Gaming (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Psiven ( 302490 )
    Currently the only game in the near future that will take advantage of multithreading is Crysis, shortly followed thereafter by HL2:EP2. In the case of Crysis, lead designer Cevat Yerli is quoted as saying that they are "scaling the individual modules, like animation, physics and parts of the graphics with the cpu, depending how many threads the hardware has to offer" (incrysis.com). But he has also stated that the game will get a 10-15% boost per thread in a 64bit environment compared to 32bit. If this is
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by neilyos ( 671220 )
      FYI, Kentsfield has 64 bit instructions, and therefore is 64 bit capable. Please stop spouting this "AMD is the only pure 64 bit processor" garbage.
    • Currently the only game in the near future that will take advantage of multithreading is Crysis
      I thought I remembered seeing that, among current games (not near future) Civ 4 was multi-threaded, though it may use some lightweight thread library rather than system threads, in which case it wouldn't necessarily get any advantage from multicore/multiprocessor systems.
  • Names (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jeffy210 ( 214759 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @02:33PM (#16250007)
    2.66GHz Core 2 Extreme QX6700??

    So now, now only have they gone back to pointing out the clock speed, they add the NVidia product name at the end? Surely there's got to be a simpler way to do this, without even taking into account AMD. I mean you have:

    - Dual Processor Pentium
    - Dual Core Pentium D
    - Core 2 Solo
    - Core 2 Duo
    - Core 2 Quad
    - Dual Processor Core 2 Quad

    Seriously, that's some major word jumble and you haven't even specified anything like clock speed (I know it's not all about clock speed, but uniform naming to differentiate would help).
    • Uh... I hate to point this out, but AMD did it first. 2000+... 2500+... 3000+... 4000+....

      I mean, does Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 really roll of the tounge so much worse than AMD Athlon 64 3200+ socket 939 (which, if you remember, is important since socket 754s also had a 3200+)?
      • Hence why I said "without even taking into account AMD.", They're just as bad at it. And they've been pulling an Intel quite recently too. Really clockspeed + codename should be well enough. If you want to know more about the specific chip, look up the code name info. Keep the marketdroids out of it (You know it wasn't a tech who came up with Core 2 Duo)
  • The Core series chips has the same problem I have with just about every CPU from AMD or Intel. No good motherboards. It seems you cant get a motherboard with basic features such as 133mhz PCI-X and without such crap as onboard audio and RAID without going to the Xeon or Opteron lines.
    • The ASUS P5WDG2-WS has two PCI-X slots and uses the 975X chipset that is supposed to work with Core 2 Duo, but the board was released just prior to the Core 2 release and it does not look like they are going to update the BIOS to support Core 2. I dont see anything else in the lineup with PCI-X.

      But PCI-X is a dying standard that is getting replaced by PCI-E x8 and x16 slots. (PCI-E x8 is 2GB/s while PCI-X is only 1.06 GB/s)

      There are more and more RAID and other controllers being produced for PCIe, so hopefu
      • by zardie ( 111478 )
        The Pro version of that ASUS board DOES support the Core 2 Duo and presumably, the quad core chips as well.
  • by Kostya ( 1146 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @03:28PM (#16250981) Homepage Journal
    What the hell is with this Core2 Quad crap? It should be Core2 and Core4. You would have thought Intel would have learned from the nightmare Sun/Java went through with the whole "Java2 1.4" branding nightmare. Sun finally wized up and started calling everything Java 4, Java 5, and Java 6. Why would Intel start such a fiasco?

    I get that they are trying to say "Hey look, it is a totally different architecture!" But calling it Core2 isn't going to do that. People will just end up calling them Dual Core or Quad Core anyways, not Dual Core2 and Quad Core2. It's just going to detract from their branding, not help it.
    • What the hell is with this Core2 Quad crap? It should be Core2 and Core4. You would have thought Intel would have learned from the nightmare Sun/Java went through with the whole "Java2 1.4" branding nightmare. Sun finally wized up and started calling everything Java 4, Java 5, and Java 6.

      Actually, up through Java 2 Standard Edition 1.4, they used "Java 2 Standard Edition 1.x". I'm pretty sure there was and is no "Java 4" product.

      The next product version is "Java 5", for which the runtime and development kit

      • by Kostya ( 1146 )

        Ok, maybe they never called Java2 1.4 Java 4, but that's my point: with Java2 1.5, they officially [sun.com] changed this approach. There will never be anything called "1.6" when it is released (well, maybe somewhere buried in the code or in some arcane property)--it will be called Java 6. It's not a guess that they will be Java 6 or Java 7--that's the new naming scheme.

        Which is what I was trying to get at--naming something FooBar2 3.4 is absolutely crazy from a branding and public relations perspective. Sure, i

        • Anyways, as a Java programmer who always wondered what Sun was thinking with their whole Java2 campaign, I'm just flabbergasted that Intel would fall in the same trap.

          Intel has different historical problems that they are responding to, particularly, the inability to trademark a number, and the fact that their competitors (including AMD, Cyrix, and others) copied Intel's non-trademarkable numbers to sell competing processors, which is why, starting from the Pentium, Intel hasn't used numbers as the main iden

          • by Kostya ( 1146 )

            Intel has different historical problems that they are responding to, particularly, the inability to trademark a number, ... Its not really the same thing as Java versioning thing at all, I'd say.

            I assume you are referring to the inability to trademark 386, 486, etc. But I don't see how that problem has to do with them coming up with the brilliant brandname "Core 2". And don't dismiss branding as an issue--the Core 2 line could be the biggest thing to happend to Intel since the original Pentium.

            So the

            • I assume you are referring to the inability to trademark 386, 486, etc. But I don't see how that problem has to do with them coming up with the brilliant brandname "Core 2". And don't dismiss branding as an issue--the Core 2 line could be the biggest thing to happend to Intel since the original Pentium.

              I'm not dismissing branding. OTOH, its not much different for the Core than what they've did with the Pentium series, except that there are modifiers up and down the line, rather than just at certain places:

        • by julesh ( 229690 )
          Ok, maybe they never called Java2 1.4 Java 4, but that's my point: with Java2 1.5, they officially changed this approach.

          And you think calling it "Java 2 Platform Standard Edition 5.0" is any better?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nuzak ( 959558 )
      > What the hell is with this Core2 Quad crap? It should be Core2 and Core4.

      Core 2 is the second iteration of the "Core" line. There is Core 2 Solo and Core 2 Duo. It's the new "Pentium", stick with a single brand and append numbers to it. It doesn't help that there's *also* pentium-branded chips still being made.

      I agree though, it's still a mess. I'm pretty experienced, and I get confused by it. Quick, which is newer, a Foofra QXV5024351GL or a Wibble RG188716912B?
    • But yeah, it's got to be one of the stupidest naming schemes from a major vendor of anything that I've seen in a long time. I was looking forward to a Pentium V. Sure it would have seemed a bit redundant, but so is the Core 2 Duo chip that's in the new laptop I've been eyeing...
    • They are saving Core 4 for the eventual return of NetBurst.
    • Originally there was the Core Duo (codename Yonah), then there was the Core 2 Duo (codename Conroe). The 2 is not a representation of the number of cores, the 2 represents the updated intel core architecture, hense Core 2. Intel decided to use "Duo" to represent dual core.
  • Why is it that nobody seems to benchmark these chips in 64-bit mode? All the benchmarks seem to be 32-bit only.
    • by smash ( 1351 )
      Maybe because very few people run a 64 bit O/S, and even fewer run 64bit ready software?
  • It will be interesting to see how long it takes Apple to ship 8-core machines (or in intel speak, twin core 2 quad machines... what were they thinking?). Steve Jobs drives a hard bargain, and I wouldn't mind betting that in return for handing Intel his 8% of the computer market, and ruling out AMD chis for the forseeable future, he extracted something pretty special from Intel. I wonder if Apple has 'first dibs' on these, especially given that OSX's multithreading might well be more flattering to the chips
  • The CPU will clock at 2.66GHz with a 1066MHz effective FSB

    I'm sure earlier articles were saying it would have a 1333MHz FSB. Has the spec been dropped for some reason, or is it just early models that will have this limitation?

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