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Intel promises significant price cuts across the board in preperation for dual-core ramp

Previously, DailyTech revealed a number of changes that will be taking place with Intel's family of desktop processors: Pentium 4 processors will drop down to roughly 30% of Intel's overall desktop processor shipments and Pentium D processors falling to 45% of desktop sales.

Core 2 Duo processors will be introduced on July 23 of this year and, according to Intel's estimates, and will be accompanied by the new 96x "Broadwater" chipset. According to Intel's updated roadmap, Core 2 processors will expand to roughly 35% of Intel's shipments in Q1'07. Conroe, as the desktop version of Core 2 Duo is dubbed, will be the first Intel processor with the new letter/number naming schedule, as noted below.

Intel's flagship, the Core 2 Extreme processor, is also expected to launch on July 23 with the X6800 name. 

Intel Desktop Processor Roadmap for Dual Core
Processor
Brand
Processor
Number

Clock Speed
FSB
Cache Launch
Date
Price @
Launch
C2E
X6800
2.93GHz / 1066MHz 4MB 23-Jul $999
PPXE 955
3.46GHz / 1066MHz 2z2MB Now $999
PPXE 840
3.20GHz / 1066MHz 2x1MB Now $999
C2D
E6700
2.67GHz / 1066MHz 4MB 23-Jul $530
C2D E6600
2.40GHz / 1066MHz 4MB 23-Jul $316
C2D E6400
2.13GHz / 1066MHz 2MB 23-Jul $224
C2D E6300
1.86GHz / 1066MHz 2MB 23-Jul $183
P4D
960
3.6GHz / 800MHz 2x2MB Now
$530
P4D 950
3.4GHz / 800MHz 2x2MB Now $224 (23-Jul)
P4D 940
3.2GHz / 800MHz 2x2MB Now $183 (23-Jul)
P4D
930
3.0GHz / 800MHz 2x2MB Now
$178 (4-Jun)
P4D 925 (no VT)

3.0GHz / 800MHz 2x2MB Q4'06 $133
P4D 920
2.8MHz / 800MHz 2x2MB Now $178 (4-Jun)

Intel has dropped desktop processor prices throughout the year. Many of the Pentium D processors have seen anywhere from $30 cuts to more than 50% price cuts. All entry level Celeron 300-series desktop processors from Intel will  be priced well under $80 by the time Q4'06 comes around.

Intel Desktop Processor Roadmap for Dual Core Without VT
Processor
Brand
Processor
Number

Clock Speed
FSB
Cache   
Price
   Now   
 Price @ Launch
PDP
945
3.4GHz / 800MHz 2x2MB N/A $163 (23-Jul)
PDP 925
3.0GHz / 800MHz 2z2MB N/A $133 (Q4'06)
PDP 915
2.8GHz / 800MHz 2x2MB N/A $133 (23-Jul)

Intel will also be launching VT-disabled Preslers laster on this year with the 945, 925 and 915 series. VT, or Virtualization Technology allows virtual operating systems running on VMs such as VMWare or Parallels Desktop to access processor ops directly. The mainstream Pentium 4 processors with 2MB and 1MB caches will also see significant price drops. For example, a Pentium 4 661 (LGA775) processors running at 3.6GHz with 2MB of L2 cache will be priced at $183 on the 23rd of July. Right now, the same processor sells for $401.

Intel Desktop Processor Roadmap for Single Core
Processor
Brand
Processor
Number

Clock Speed
FSB
Cache    Price
   Now
   Price on
  23-Jul
P4P
661
3.6GHz / 800MHz 2MB $401 $183
P4P 651
3.4GHz / 800MHz 2MB $273 $163
P4P 641
3.2GHz / 800MHz 2MB $218 $163
P4P 631
3.0GHz / 800MHz 2MB $178 $163
P4P 541
3.2GHz / 800MHz 1MB $218 $84
P4P 531
3.0GHz / 800MHz 1MB $178 $74
P4P 524
3.06GHz / 533MHz 1MB $143 $69

All of Intel's single core processors see significant price drops across the board. According to Intel's roadmaps, dual core ramp will accelerate after July 23rd. Core 2 Duo will become Intel's flagship processor while Woodcrest takes the helm for enterprise and server level performance in 2007.

Intel's roadmap also confirms the existence of Kentsfield, the first quad core desktop component for Intel.  Kentsfield will launch as an "Extreme" processor in Q1'07, but Intel isn't saying the official name yet.  AMD is expected to introduce quad-core processors in 2007 as well. Called the K8L, AMD is expected to introduce new HyperTransport protocols as well as support for third party co-processors.


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Interesting
By Spoelie on 5/27/2006 3:49:10 AM , Rating: 2
Seems like the strategy of Intel paid off, when showing the performance early on. Conroe is creating quite a buzz over the internet right now, and all the skepticism has about faded way. Which is a good thing btw :)

Also seems that buying core around launch time is as good as any time this year. The lineup will remain static through the last half of 2006 with the only things happening the phasing out of P4.

Changes in the lineup seem to be for 2007, at which point AMD should have some kind of answer ready, well for their sake anyway.




RE: Interesting
By bob661 on 5/27/2006 3:12:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Seems like the strategy of Intel paid off, when showing the performance early on. Conroe is creating quite a buzz over the internet right now
You got that right!

quote:
and all the skepticism has about faded way. Which is a good thing btw :)
It's not a good thing because a lot of the dumb asses here are making decisions based on a product that doesn't exist in consumer form. There's nothing to buy and nothing to test. There's no real FACTS. IMO, if Conroe doesn't perform exactly as the pre-production units, there's gonna be a lot of fingers pointed and ill will at all the websites that published the pre-production tests. I doubt seriously that Intel will get any blame for any performance shortcomings.


RE: Interesting
By Mortal on 5/27/06, Rating: 0
RE: Interesting
By Viditor on 5/27/2006 9:17:59 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
It didn't take retail chips for people to know that AM2 wasn't going to perform great straight off the bat

No...bob is quite correct. People didn't "know" anything about AM2, they guessed it.
For example, before Prescott was released most posters "knew" that it was going to blow away the K8...obviously they found out afterwards that they were wrong.
quote:
As for your "facts" comment, are you trying to tell me all the benchmarkers thus far are in the pockets of Intel? Why do they lack credibility? Fact is Conroe is simply a great chip

You really need to think about what you're saying...
1. Where did the "benchmarkers" get the chips from?
2. Are the chips used typical of what consumers will be able to buy, or are they cherry-picked?
3. Are there any major "errata" that will show up in volume production chips?

It's not so much a question of credibilty as it is an ability to be credible...:)


RE: Interesting
By Mortal on 5/27/2006 10:44:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
People didn't "know" anything about AM2, they guessed it.


Wrong. Even AMD said themselves before release that people shouldn't expect miracles from AM2 at release. Benchmarks using AMD ES chips showed that to be true. I'm not sure how much more proof you would need to know that the chip wasn't going to be spectacular.

How much difference has there been between current "retail" reviews of the AM2 chips and those that were ES? I'll agree that the chips improved to the point where there was a couple of degrees of improvement (disregarding the Semprons of course), but nothing to jump up and down about. And definitely nothing that would say the early previews/benchmarks were misleading.

I'll agree that if word-of-mouth is all you have to go by, then you should take it with a pinch of salt, but actual varied benchmarks are something far more credible. Especially when they are all saying the same thing. Which also includes AMD retaining the memory bandwidth crown. :)


RE: Interesting
By Viditor on 5/28/2006 12:05:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Even AMD said themselves before release that people shouldn't expect miracles from AM2 at release

They made that statement in late April...at the CC. Prior to that, there was about 4 months of "expert posters" who "knew" what AM2 was going to be...

quote:
I'll agree that the chips improved to the point where there was a couple of degrees of improvement (disregarding the Semprons of course), but nothing to jump up and down about. And definitely nothing that would say the early previews/benchmarks were misleading

Ummm...to quote Anand...
"Back in January we sought to discover for ourselves what AMD's Socket-AM2 platform would have in store for end users. You'll remember that when Intel made the shift to DDR2 it basically yielded no tangible performance improvement, and we were all quite afraid that the same would be true of AM2. When we finally tested the AM2 samples that were available at the time, performance was absolutely dismal. Not only could AMD's AM2 not outperform currently shipping Socket-939 platforms, but due to serious issues with the chip's memory controller performance was significantly lower"
Many sites didn't have Anand's integrity and posted that AM2 was going to be worse than the 939...


RE: Interesting
By Mortal on 5/28/2006 12:20:09 AM , Rating: 2
You know full well that Anand had updated reviews as new ES chips became available to them.


RE: Interesting
By Viditor on 5/28/2006 12:44:38 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
You know full well that Anand had updated reviews as new ES chips became available to them

Agreed...but the point is that there has to be a point at which we are making our judgements. That point is the actual launch and not before...everything else is speculation until then.


RE: Interesting
By Mortal on 5/28/2006 1:02:23 AM , Rating: 2
I'll agree that it's best to keep your money in your pocket until you have both chips available to you, but I still don't think one can just absolutely disregard all benchmarks prior to release as nothing more than marketing, smoke & mirrors. I have a lot of confidence in people like FUGGER over at XtremeSystems. :)

Still, we'll see it all come a month or two.


RE: Interesting
By Viditor on 5/28/2006 2:01:36 AM , Rating: 3
You have to understand that I'm not questioning FUGGER (I don't know him one way or the other)...but he can only work with what he's given.
Some other examples of this are:

1. The huge Rambus based PIII launch had ES reviews all over the web. The results of these were spectacular and there was a great deal of anticipation for the launch.
One WEEK before the launch and after 1.5 million mobos had already been shipped, the whole thing was cancelled and recalled because of a last minute problem that proved devastating.

2. Intel actually demonstrated a 5GHz Netburst chip a few years ago at IDF, and they made the prediction that we would be at 10GHz P4 by 2007...

My whole point is that bob's comments are valid ones in that while the Fat Lady may be on the stage, she isn't singing yet...:)


RE: Interesting
By Mortal on 5/28/2006 2:10:36 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think any more needs to be said. We'll just have to wait one or two months and everything will be out in the open. I'll still continue to enjoy the ES benchmarking until that time arrives, though.

When all is said and done, I just hope we'll see some good competition between Intel and AMD on the desktop.


RE: Interesting
By Viditor on 5/28/2006 2:24:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
When all is said and done, I just hope we'll see some good competition between Intel and AMD on the desktop

I would consider that a "Mortal" lock! ;)


RE: Interesting
By zsdersw on 5/29/2006 12:35:15 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, come now... you know better than that. Everyone will read into the benchmarks of shipping Conroe chips what they want to read. A minor difference in results between the shipping product and what we saw from Intel a couple months ago will be all that some people need to go off the deep end about how it either didn't live up to expectations or exceeded expectations.

I'm sure it's not lost on Intel that the expectations game is always a double-edged sword. It seems unlikely to me that they'd choose to play the expectations game if there was a considerable chance they wouldn't win it, especially given the fact that there's a lot more on the line this time around than there was in the past.


RE: Interesting
By Viditor on 5/29/2006 10:18:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm sure it's not lost on Intel that the expectations game is always a double-edged sword. It seems unlikely to me that they'd choose to play the expectations game if there was a considerable chance they wouldn't win it

That depends on what their goal is (and let me be clear that I certainly don't know what it is either).

If their goal was to stop AMD's momentum at the start of the year and get people to focus on the future Conroe, then even if Conroe is only equal to A64 they have succeeded.

They certainly have played the expectations game many times in the past with poor results at launch (Prescott, Nocona, etc...), and it never really hurt them.


RE: Interesting
By zsdersw on 5/30/2006 6:27:51 AM , Rating: 2
The expectations game for Prescott and Nocona pales in comparison to Conroe/Merom/Woodcrest. Intel wasn't the party responsible for the level of hype surrounding them.

It seems unlikely to me that Intel would be content to simply stop AMD's momentum with a chip that is only an equal to the K8, as many of Core and Core 2's features appear to be above and beyond what K8 brings to the table.


The truth...
By irev210 on 5/27/2006 4:14:33 PM , Rating: 2
People, do you really think that intel can totally change the current samples in a 1-2 month period?

What about the Core Duo Yonah processors? All samples from far back as week 30 of 2005 were pretty much 100% retail. From week 30 to week 40, there was a small step change from step 4 to step 8, but both work just as well. The only thing we saw was more overclocking potential as they refined the chip.

You will see the same thing today with Conroe and Merom. Production samples have gone through just one minor revision, and again, we just see some greater overclocking potential.

Fact is, that X6800 samples are floating around already, and can do 4ghz on air.

There is going to be HUGE value in lower clocked E6300 and E6600 chips.

I think we will see the overclocking potential just grow as intel continues to improve their 65nm process. They have been at it for about a year now, and it has really matured.


I just want to say this again:

The current production samples are actually perfect indicators of how Conroe is going to perform.



I fail to see how people can look at objective tests. Look at anandtech's Yonah core duo tests. It's the same darn core as conroe... why do people feel it is going to perform so differently?


I think people really should take a close look at clock speeds and chip costs. Because, clock for clock... the core processor scales far better than the AMD 64 x2 chip. I mean, the core 2 duo CPU really doesnt start to shine until you pass 4ghz.


So I say this... to people who dont want to look at pre-production benchmarks... no issue, just look at the Yonah Core Duo benchmarks. That is only with 2MB L2 cache.


There is so much information avalible out there, i dont know how there can still be so much confusion.




RE: The truth...
By Mortal on 5/27/2006 7:14:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I just want to say this again:
The current production samples are actually perfect indicators of how Conroe is going to perform.


QFT.


RE: The truth...
By saratoga on 5/27/2006 7:49:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Fact is, that X6800 samples are floating around already, and can do 4ghz on air.


There are? The one link I saw used phase change cooling, and was not stable at 4GHz.

[quote]I fail to see how people can look at objective tests. Look at anandtech's Yonah core duo tests. It's the same darn core as conroe... why do people feel it is going to perform so differently?[/quote]

Because its not the same core? Because Yonah is a P3 derivitive with nothing to do with Conroe?

quote:
I think people really should take a close look at clock speeds and chip costs. Because, clock for clock... the core processor scales far better than the AMD 64 x2 chip. I mean, the core 2 duo CPU really doesnt start to shine until you pass 4ghz.


Again, I'm pretty sure you're confusing things here? Have you actually seen benchmarks for a >4GHz Core2? I kind of doubt they exist. Just looking at this roadmap, I'm not seeing the 3.33GHz Conroe part Intel talked about for months. If 4+GHz was so easy, why are they lowering the clock speed on launch parts?

quote:
So I say this... to people who dont want to look at pre-production benchmarks... no issue, just look at the Yonah Core Duo benchmarks. That is only with 2MB L2 cache.


Thats a completely different processor . . .

quote:
There is so much information avalible out there, i dont know how there can still be so much confusion.


There is a lot info out there, and I think you should spend some time reading about it! Start with the difference between Conroe and Yonah.


RE: The truth...
By Khenglish on 5/27/2006 9:00:58 PM , Rating: 2
Go to the Xtremesystem forums. There's at least 10 people there who got Conroes somehow and many put them on phase change or LN2. Several made it to 3.5 on air and at least 3 got over 4 gHz, with the top being 4.7, getting 10.75s on superpi 1M.

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php...

I agree with the rest that you say besides the clocks.


RE: The truth...
By irev210 on 5/27/2006 9:14:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There are? The one link I saw used phase change cooling, and was not stable at 4GHz.


*sigh*

quote:
Because its not the same core? Because Yonah is a P3 derivitive with nothing to do with Conroe?


double *sigh*

Yonah has everything to do with Conroe. Are you going to tell me that Merom has nothing to do with Conroe either? They are all variants of the core architecture. Intel is working hard to lower their cost. By creating a unified processor, to serve all segments (mobile, desktop, server) IE: Yonah/Merom, Conroe, Woodcrest it makes it much cheaper to produce processors. While I am not familar with the exact manufacturing differences between a Conroe E6300 and a Yonah T2400, they both share pretty much the same core, while the Yonah is optimized to use less power. Hence, why Yonah benchmarks are so important to reconize the power of Conroe.

Conroe, unlike Yonah/Merom only has one codename to cover both the 2MB l2 cache variants and the 4MB l2 cache variants. The E6600+ have 4MB L2 cache, and it is said that the E6600, at a street price of about 320 USD will be the choice of overclockers, do to the low price point, and great overclock potential, making it the "bank for the buck CPU". If you want to compare it to the past, it was like people going crazy over the AMD 64 X2 4400+, people wanted the cheapest processor with double the L2 cache.

quote:
Again, I'm pretty sure you're confusing things here? Have you actually seen benchmarks for a >4GHz Core2? I kind of doubt they exist. Just looking at this roadmap, I'm not seeing the 3.33GHz Conroe part Intel talked about for months. If 4+GHz was so easy, why are they lowering the clock speed on launch parts?


The 3.33ghz/1333fsb conroe is slated to be released in 2007. X-BIT labs got a hold of some incorrect information, and everyone believed it. Often times, there is little info that slips out, so we take advantage of it, regardless of its accuracy. Just last week, it was thought that Conroe X6800 was going to have HT, but that also turned out to be incorrect.

Now, your question about why isnt intel releasing faster CPU's... well that is easy. They are! They are releasing processors that really "leap ahead". So why not leap ahead further? Performance per watt. It has gotten big nowadays, and especially after the "preshot" fiasco, intel is looking to crown both performance catagories, so a low vcore results in a nice PPW. For Enthusiasts, we dont care since we have our 700+ watt power supplies and laugh at our electric bills. So crank the vcore to 1.5+, and you see the high clock speeds that I mentioned earlier. I guess you can say everyone wins.

quote:
There is a lot info out there, and I think you should spend some time reading about it! Start with the difference between Conroe and Yonah.


As I said above, the Yonah and Conroe processors both share the same core architecture. The difference is their respective power consumption; one being optimized for the laptop, the other for the desktop. Please feel free to do your own research to confirm what I have said. If I am wrong, I would definitely like to know.


I play no favorites, or sides. My favorite is just the one that is the "best". While "best" is often subjective... last year it was pretty easy to say AMD was king. When AMD was king... I owned a nice AMD rig. This year, Intel is king... and guess what, I own a new Intel rig, conroe powered :)


RE: The truth...
By Khenglish on 5/27/2006 10:04:53 PM , Rating: 2
Conroe and Yonah have similar cores, but they are still a lot different. Most noteable are the 128bit SSE and memory disambiguation, which is very poorly named. It really refers to how it can reorder load instructions it its pipelines, which are by far the most common intructions. Yonah has a limited ability to reorder loads, and K8 almost none, which is likely the main reason why it can't beat Yonah clock for clock dispite its much greater number of execution units. 128bit SSE is the biggest improvement, since it allows twice as many SIMD intructions to be performed at once, and it can do full 128bit intructions in one cycle which are supposed to be optimum for SIMD. Sometimes Conroe beats out Yonah by 50% clock for clock because of these enhancements. Conroe can also decode an extra x86 intruction per clock, but that's overhyped. Conroe also has longer pipelines than Yonah, the integer units now have 14 stages instead of 12.

You talk a lot about the extra cache size, but that really only gives a small performance boost. Look at the tiny gains the pentium m, pentium 4, and athlons got when their L2 caches were doubled. In most situations there is no performance gain, with a 5% gain at the most. The pentium 4 had a major latency increase, and the athlon had an exclusive L1 cache, but banias to dothan was a straight double in cache size and it brought very little performance gain.


RE: The truth...
By Viditor on 5/28/2006 6:11:32 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you Khenglish...
There are sooooo many people who are confused about this point (even well educated people)!
Conroe/Merom is VERY different than Yonah, just as Yonah is very different than the PIII...
There are significant similarities it's true, but they are still quite different.


RE: The truth...
By saratoga on 5/28/2006 10:38:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
*sigh*


I guess this means you realized you were wrong.

quote:
double *sigh* Yonah has everything to do with Conroe. Are you going to tell me that Merom has nothing to do with Conroe either? They are all variants of the core architecture. Intel is working hard to lower their cost. By creating a unified processor, to serve all segments (mobile, desktop, server) IE: Yonah/Merom, Conroe, Woodcrest it makes it much cheaper to produce processors. While I am not familar with the exact manufacturing differences between a Conroe E6300 and a Yonah T2400, they both share pretty much the same core, while the Yonah is optimized to use less power. Hence, why Yonah benchmarks are so important to reconize the power of Conroe.


Yonah is a P3 derivitive. Conroe and Merom are based on NGA. They do not share the same core, you're pretty confused about this whole thing.

quote:
As I said above, the Yonah and Conroe processors both share the same core architecture.


And as I said above, please look up what the difference is because you're completely wrong.



RE: The truth...
By PT2006 on 5/28/2006 11:14:39 PM , Rating: 2
Um...

It went:
Pentium 3 (P6) -> Banias -> Dothan -> Yonah -> Conroe/Merom/Woodcrest

Dothan and Banias were generally refered to as P6+ because intel did not have an official name for them. Both processors used elements of P6 but also had things like Netburst and ops fusion.

NGA was some term a press guy cooked up that means "Next Generation Architecture." The official "name" for Conroe/Merom/Yonah is "Core"

Yonah is kind of inbetween Core and P6+, but its more like Core than anything else.


RE: The truth [sic]...
By stephenbrooks on 5/29/2006 9:36:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
double *sigh* Yonah has everything to do with Conroe. Are you going to tell me that Merom has nothing to do with Conroe either? They are all variants of the core architecture.
Yonah is Core 1, Merom and Conroe are Core 2, to use Intel's naming. When I looked at the block diagrams of these CPUs, it looked like Yonah is a bit of a "bridge" between the old Pentium M and the new Conroe generation. Core 2 has more execution units and such things as macro-op merging, so somewhat like Yonah but a lot more-so, certainly not the same core.


RE: The truth...
By clnee55 on 5/30/2006 2:24:17 PM , Rating: 2

No. But the AMD fans need to believe that so they can sleep well in the next two months.

Quote:

"People, do you really think that intel can totally change the current samples in a 1-2 month period?"


940 vs E6300
By daniel7072 on 5/27/2006 4:59:41 AM , Rating: 2
The slowest Conroe E6300 will cost $183 on the 23rd July, while the Pentium D 940 will cost the same on that day.

Interesting to see which of these same- priced processors will be faster... I reckon the older chip will win

HOPEFULLY I'M WRONG!




RE: 940 vs E6300
By IntelUser2000 on 5/27/2006 7:58:08 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
The slowest Conroe E6300 will cost $183 on the 23rd July, while the Pentium D 940 will cost the same on that day.

Interesting to see which of these same- priced processors will be faster... I reckon the older chip will win

HOPEFULLY I'M WRONG!


Let's see, benchmarks show that the 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo is only 10% slower in average than FX-60 at stock. Since FX-60 is faster than Pentium EE 965, I reckon 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo is faster than the 3.4GHz Pentium D 940.


RE: 940 vs E6300
By Viditor on 5/27/2006 12:53:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
benchmarks show that the 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo is only 10% slower in average than FX-60 at stock


Huh? What benchmarks? Has there been an actual review out?


RE: 940 vs E6300
By IntelUser2000 on 5/27/2006 1:41:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Huh? What benchmarks? Has there been an actual review out?


Yes: http://www.pconline.com.cn/diy/evalue/evalue/cpu/0...

The new CPU ownz.


RE: 940 vs E6300
By bob661 on 5/27/06, Rating: 0
RE: 940 vs E6300
By slashbinslashbash on 5/28/2006 1:46:30 AM , Rating: 4
Dude, what's your deal? Do you forget who we're talking about here? INTEL. If it turns out that they've been lying or cheating somehow with the Conroe preview chips, the backlash will come hard and fast. Newspaper headlines will read "Intel stock drops 23% upon disappointing performance of latest processor" and hardware sites will have headlines like "Intel full of bullsh*t with Conroe."

I don't see what Intel could possibly be doing to cheat anyway. If Intel gives somebody a preview chip to benchmark, and that chip performs very well, then that's proof that Intel has the capability to produce chips capable of such performance. Plain and simple: "We can do it and we are doing it now." If a chip *exists* with that kind of performance, it's hard to imagine what they could do to actually slow themselves down between now and launch time. Ok, so maybe yields are terrible; it often happens, and prices rise on the end-user market. But you can STILL buy a chip that fast if you want to pay $1000 for it, even if they're super rare. And it's a guarantee that the bugs will be worked out fairly quickly and yields will improve.

What I *really* don't understand is what you think they could possibly be doing to these chips in order to cheat. So it's unbinned. So what? It's still a chip of Conroe architecture running at X GHz, and therefore, its performance is representative of the performance of future chips of Conroe architecture running at X GHz. I'm wondering if you fully understand the process of lithography and processor design and manufacture.

It can ONLY get better from there. So say that some super-genius Intel engineer says "Hey guys! Here's something we can do to speed up the pre-production samples of Conroe!" And they put this improvement into the pre-production samples. What possible reason could they have for not carrying over the same improvement into the production versions? We saw how quickly improvements could be made with the recent AM2 processors. In a matter of a couple of months, AMD brought performance from "OMG WTF?" to "Ok, that's what we expected." Going the other direction is, I assert, impossible. Manufacturing processes (masks, layouts, etc.) can only get better over time. It's a monotonically increasing function. It's called "learning." Companies don't get stupider, not when it comes to things like this. And given recent market history with binning (both Intel and AMD), it is likely that virtually all processors of the same architecture and revision will be able to overclock to high-end levels or even higher.

Just about the ONLY thing that I can think of that would be practical to "cheat" with these pre-production processors is to use some specially doped silicon that's too expensive to use in regular production. But the ONLY effect that would have is to lower the binning speeds of production processors; in other words, they might not be able to hit X GHz with production processors, while they provided an X GHz pre-production sample. But as long as the benchmarks line up where a hypothetical production processor at X GHz (or maybe a production processor overclocked to X GHz) hits the same benchmark numbers, it's all cool. Of course it is HIGHLY unlikely that Intel would provide a pre-production sample clocked any higher than at least the high-end production CPU, and they may even aim it more towards the middle of the line.

So, I ask: What else could they possibly be doing? Sneaking more cache in there? Even the most basic benchmark programs would give that away immediately. Crank up the clockspeed? I think I've already covered that. Uh... hmm. Maybe speed up the cache, independently of the rest of the CPU? Ok, but again, why would they do it on pre-production samples but not on production units? Your whole argument seems to reduce to "THESE ARE PRE-PRODUCTION!" as if that stands on its own.

It's not as if this is a car which has thousands of independent parts which can be tweaked and replaced individually, so an inscrupulous manufacturer could provide a pre-production sample with a hot-rodded engine. Processor cores are monolithic and created "all at once." You can't swap out the engine in a processor... nor the tires, nor the suspension, nor the exhaust. You can't even polish the intake manifold for an extra 3 horsepower. It's an all or nothing deal. (Yes, I know that CPU manufacturers can perform "surgery" to repair individual parts of individual chips during pre-production, but that happens very early in the design and layout process, and I doubt that such "healed" chips could even be put into functioning systems with real power supplies and heatsinks and RAM.)


RE: 940 vs E6300
By Viditor on 5/28/2006 2:21:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If it turns out that they've been lying or cheating somehow with the Conroe preview chips, the backlash will come hard and fast

And what if they just missed something (like they did with the Rambus based mobos)?
quote:
If Intel gives somebody a preview chip to benchmark, and that chip performs very well, then that's proof that Intel has the capability to produce chips capable of such performance

While they can produce them, it doesn't mean they can produce them in volume...the 2 processes are not the same.
quote:
So say that some super-genius Intel engineer says "Hey guys! Here's something we can do to speed up the pre-production samples of Conroe!" And they put this improvement into the pre-production samples. What possible reason could they have for not carrying over the same improvement into the production versions?

If it turns out that the process can't be made with an acceptable yield, then the cost would be prohibitive...
quote:
Processor cores are monolithic and created "all at once." You can't swap out the engine in a processor... nor the tires, nor the suspension, nor the exhaust. You can't even polish the intake manifold for an extra 3 horsepower

Actually it depends...there are any number of tweaks to a process that can be made. Let's say (hypothetically) that you discover that with doping level X, you can get chips that perform far more efficiently, but only 1 in 100 works properly.
Or that the new PMOS cap works fantastic, but it severely reduces yields...

I'm not saying that this is what they are doing (far from it), but it's certainly at least a small possibility.

As to production, both AMD and Intel change their production regularly...
AMD has far more granularity in these changes due to APM (they can change the doping level on any individual chip of a wafer at any point of the process), but Intel will also copy tweaks across as they find them (which is why some batches are better overclockers than others).


RE: 940 vs E6300
By slashbinslashbash on 5/28/2006 3:46:56 AM , Rating: 2
All of the problems you bring up (except for Rambus) were covered in my intial reply. It all has to do with yields. Again, if yields aren't there then they will simply be selling lower clocked processors at launch. And, to make a circular statement, we would expect these lower clocked processors to perform as expected (i.e. in a clock-for-clock proportional manner with the pre-production samples).

The only thing that is really going to change performance per clock is a significant change in architecture. The best way to change clock speed is through process updates -- process shrinks, doping, low-k, whatever. In other words, clock speed is related (inversely) to yield. Of course, performance per clock * clock speed = performance.

I am not debating that Intel may very well be doing something to increase clock speed on these pre-production samples. These samples may very well be fabbed on very low-yield processes that are cost prohibitive for mass production. However, barring significant changes to the architecture, the clock per clock performance will not change between pre-production samples and production units.

Anand previewed a Conroe at 2.66GHz. We now know that Intel is planning to release the 2.66GHz Conroe on July 23 at a price of $530. Maybe they won't be able to! Maybe they'll fail! Maybe at launch, yields will still not be high enough and they will only be able to come out with (say) 2.2GHz Conroe CPUs. IMO this is not a problem as far as Intel's credibility is concerned unless the 2.2GHz CPUs perform disproportionally slower than their clock speed would suggest, based on the samples that we've seen benchmarked so far. And there is no way for that to happen without significant changes to the architecture between the production units and the samples.

Lastly, your Rambus thing is a red herring. If there were some sort of flaw like in the Rambus motherboards, then that would not affect "performance" per se. That kind of problem affects basic functioning and would be covered by Intel in a recall, like they did with the Rambus boards and like they did with the original Pentiums before that. That's the kind of problem where most people would see the performance that we're expecting based on pre-production samples, but a small percentage would see big problems or even outright failures. That kind of flaw is obviously a very different situation than 100% of production CPU's performing slower than pre-production CPU's in some set of benchmarks. Of course, the pre-production CPU's haven't even been subjected to third-party reviewers for long-term stability etc. yet, so really that's an unrelated discussion anyway. We're talking about "how will the production CPU's benchmark compared to the sample CPU's that we've already seen benchmarked", not "will there be some flaw in the production CPU's that requires a recall."


RE: 940 vs E6300
By Viditor on 5/28/2006 4:51:20 AM , Rating: 2
Some very good points...I would agree that pure performance as a function of clockspeed for the CPU would remain a constant of the architecture.
However, what about the motherboard performance?
And more importantly, what about leakage? It's usually not a function of architecture and could also be vastly different in volume production...

Finally, I guess what I was trying to say (not very well) is that often it takes an architectual change to correct for a manufacturing difficulty (e.g. Prescott)...
If that does happen (doubtful but possible), then the old benchmarks get thrown out and new ones must be created.


Missing?
By stephenbrooks on 5/27/2006 11:44:47 AM , Rating: 2
Where's the PXE 965 on this roadmap? I can only see the 840 and the 955.




RE: Missing?
By stephenbrooks on 5/27/2006 11:45:15 AM , Rating: 2
Also, what does the X on the front of X6800 designate - does it mean a higher TDP than the other E6x00 chips?


RE: Missing?
By uofahoefx on 5/27/2006 12:23:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Extreme Edition of the Conroe processor will operate at 3.33GHz, sport 1333MHz processor system bus and 4MB cache. Thermal envelope of the part should be 95W.

From X-bit


RE: Missing?
By tonjohn on 5/27/2006 1:58:31 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, what the hell happend to the >3ghz 1333mhz FSB Conroe XE that was planned? That is what I was going to get but now I'm freaking pissed.


RE: Missing?
By hstewarth on 5/27/2006 3:06:19 PM , Rating: 2
It is likely because currently generation motherboard can't support the 1333mhz. Woodcrest has an entirely new Bus and memory. It is surprising that the 3Ghz Woodcrest is actually cheaper than the XE. But then again the motherboard is about 3 times more expensive.

I expect we will see 1333Mhz XE once a new chipset is out. But it very nice that Intel made the Conroe compatible with existing chipsets - very smart move. People can upgrade there processors with out entirely new system.

One thing I am curious about is that Woodcrest socket is 771 which is very similar 775 on the desktop. I wonder if there is a relationship there.


RE: Missing?
By bob661 on 5/27/2006 3:23:04 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
But it very nice that Intel made the Conroe compatible with existing chipsets - very smart move.
Where did you get that information? Post please.


RE: Missing?
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 5/28/2006 1:00:09 PM , Rating: 2
It's compatible with the 945/965/975 chipsets, BUT requires a different voltage regulator module. Not very many manufacturers used a voltage module compatible with Presler/Prescott and Conroe.


RE: Missing?
By IntelUser2000 on 5/27/2006 1:43:24 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Also, what does the X on the front of X6800 designate - does it mean a higher TDP than the other E6x00 chips?


Nothing much in terms of TDP now really. If anything it means X=Xtreme. They can fit 2.93/1066FSB part with 65W, considering they can with Woodcrest on a higher FSB.


Which to choose?
By JackPack on 5/27/2006 12:39:10 AM , Rating: 2
$316 Core 2 Duo E6600
$645 Athlon 64 X2 4800+

Both 2.4 GHz. What a difficult choice between the two.




RE: Which to choose?
By coldpower27 on 5/27/2006 12:44:55 AM , Rating: 3
Hopefully for AMD's sake they drop prices a little bit before Conroe launch, right now milk the cow AMD for all it's worth, while you still can.


RE: Which to choose?
By yuethomas on 5/27/2006 1:13:21 AM , Rating: 2
You're not seriously comparing an Intel and an AMD clock-to-clock, are you?


RE: Which to choose?
By PT2006 on 5/27/2006 1:19:04 AM , Rating: 1
of course not, Woodcrest smokes Opteron clock for clock.


RE: Which to choose?
By PT2006 on 5/27/2006 1:20:15 AM , Rating: 1
Er,.. I meant Conroe and Athlon 64 X2, but the point is still the same.


RE: Which to choose?
By JumpingJack on 5/27/2006 4:36:26 AM , Rating: 2
Sure why not? Clock for clock, dollar for dollar, and watt for watt --- hmmmm, yep tough choice --- to bad AMD would not send Anand the review kit if he compared it to Core 2 Duo. Then we would performance too...but I venture to guess.


RE: Which to choose?
By xdrol on 5/27/2006 10:57:00 AM , Rating: 3
Clock-for-clock comparasion of two different architectures is just plain stupid.

Although the Core ought to be faster, and as stated, cheaper..


RE: Which to choose?
By bob661 on 5/27/06, Rating: -1
Pre-Core 2 Duo purchase
By Mudvillager on 5/27/2006 10:39:21 AM , Rating: 2
I'm thinking of buying an Intel rig in the upcoming days (built from scratch). What mobo should I buy so that I have Core 2 Duo compatibility? I want the best mobo out there.
Haven't been active in the hardware scene in the last couple of months since I've been busy studying.
I compiled a list of stuff to buy:
Pentium D 805 (crap CPU till C2D comes out)
2GB DDR2 (crap mem for now until C3 mem is available here in Sweden)
X1900XT
Antec Neo Hight Efficiency 500W
Lian Li V600 Black
Seagate 7200.10 320GB SATA
Samsung DVDRW 16X SATA
Accelero X2
Anything you think I should change or add?




RE: Pre-Core 2 Duo purchase
By uofahoefx on 5/27/2006 11:01:39 AM , Rating: 2
You should wait 2 months.

You are going to want the 965 chipset w/ DDR2800. I am sure all the motherboard/memory suppliers will release new products between now and then to support the new C2D chips.

It just doesnt make much sense to buy all this stuff in anticipation for a new CPU.


RE: Pre-Core 2 Duo purchase
By Mudvillager on 5/27/2006 11:34:13 AM , Rating: 2
Well sure, but I want something to play games on this summer...
So waiting is not an option.
I might buy an AM2 X2 3800+ with mobo for now and switch when Core 2 Duo gets released.


RE: Pre-Core 2 Duo purchase
By bob661 on 5/27/2006 3:18:37 PM , Rating: 2
You will want to wait till the benchies for Conroe get released then make your decision then. No one really knows if the present motherboards will run the Conroe's. Best to wait. If you need a new system now, just get a cheap AM2 system that will do the job. Dual core ain't really necessary for gaming at this point unless UT2007 ends up being faster on two cores.


RE: Pre-Core 2 Duo purchase
By bob661 on 5/27/2006 3:20:27 PM , Rating: 2
Also, if Conroe ends up not living up to the massive amounts of hype, you can just upgrade your CPU and sell the "old" one.


RE: Pre-Core 2 Duo purchase
By Mudvillager on 5/28/2006 5:37:57 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah I think I'll go with a single-core AM2 for now. Probably the 3800+ 2.4GHz with a cheap ass mobo.


odd
By Dubb on 5/27/2006 1:59:02 AM , Rating: 2
woodcrest 2.93/1333 is cheaper than the conroe 2.93/1066 xe?




RE: odd
By stephenbrooks on 5/27/2006 11:54:10 AM , Rating: 2
I think somehow Intel don't want to cannibalise their server line again like the XE did with the Xeon. Though from what you said it looks like it's now going the other way around... maybe they're hoping the clueless consumer won't look at server chips ;)

Though AMD tried that with the Opterons and didn't fully succeed.


RE: odd
By coldpower27 on 5/27/2006 1:23:49 PM , Rating: 2
No problem on this end, the Servers require Socket J, LGA771 so are incompatible with the desktop.


RE: odd
By dgingeri on 5/28/2006 11:11:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
woodcrest 2.93/1333 is cheaper than the conroe 2.93/1066 xe?


The woodcrest 1333 chipset is not truely 1333. it's a dual 667. the 2 cpu's, which is what woodcrest is meant for, will both have their own 667 bus, so no sharing, but not high speed either. it's that way for reliability.


RE: odd
By Viditor on 5/28/2006 12:00:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The woodcrest 1333 chipset is not truely 1333. it's a dual 667. the 2 cpu's, which is what woodcrest is meant for, will both have their own 667 bus, so no sharing, but not high speed either. it's that way for reliability


Sort of...they still must share the connection to Main memory and the rest of the system through the Northbridge, however they each have their own connection to the Northbridge.
This is why we will see good performance from Woodcrest in the 1-2P arena (compared to Opteron), but probably not in anything higher...


Confused again...
By Viditor on 5/27/2006 4:57:03 AM , Rating: 2
1. Non-Celeron consumer/business processors are currently Intel's second smallest segment (after servers) by volume. 2. Celerons comprise more than half of all Intel desktop processors
3. Mobile processors make up ~30-40% of all Intel processors
4. Therefore, the breakdown is currently about
35% = mobile
35% = Celeron
18% = P4/PD
5% = Server/Workstation
7% = Xscale and misc

5. From the article: "According to Intel's updated roadmap, Core 2 processors will expand to roughly 35% of Intel's shipments in Q1'07"

Does this mean that Intel is planning drastic cuts to Celeron shipments?
Is this number including all Merom and Woodcrest shipments?
With the massive cuts to PD and P4, will Intel continue production of these chips (thereby delaying conversion of those Fabs to Conroe), or will they dump inventory only and then cancel them?




RE: Confused again...
By smilingcrow on 5/27/2006 8:01:22 AM , Rating: 2
I suspect that Intel will have released Core 2 Solo for desktop by Q107, which is why Core 2 will compromise 35% of shipments by then.


RE: Confused again...
By Viditor on 5/27/2006 12:51:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I suspect that Intel will have released Core 2 Solo for desktop by Q107, which is why Core 2 will compromise 35% of shipments by then


But that still doesn't add up unless Celeron is being discontinued (and the article says it isn't)...or unless they mean all Core 2 including both Merom and Woodcrest.


RE: Confused again...
By xdrol on 5/27/2006 2:18:15 PM , Rating: 2
The current mobile and P4/PD segment will be covered by Core2, so why will Celerons' percent drop?


Interesting...
By killerroach on 5/27/2006 12:21:31 AM , Rating: 2
...if these Conroe chips end up being as good of overclockers as some bloggers are talking about them being, that E6300 could be an incredible bargain at sub-$200. Otherwise those that already have P4D or recent A64 systems (939 or AM2) might be sticking on the fence for a bit until either performance goes further up or prices go down further to justify a platform shift. Nevertheless, Conroe is shaping up to be very impressive indeed.




RE: Interesting...
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 5/27/2006 12:33:37 AM , Rating: 3
The Conroe chips available right now are basically unbinned sampling processors. Its really going to be hard to tell how well they overclock until the retail samples get to reviewers in July or so.


RE: Interesting...
By tuteja1986 on 5/28/2006 1:53:56 AM , Rating: 2
I did sell my opteron 165 , 4x512MB OCZ rev 2 and Asus A8N 32-SLI this week. I am just going wait and buy Core duo 2 E6600 2.4Ghz , 2GB DDR 2 800 , and Crossfire mobo. I plan to overclock it over 2.8Ghz+.


Reinforces how great a deal this firesale is!!
By coldpower27 on 5/27/2006 12:31:55 AM , Rating: 2

Wow! Pentium D 945 for 163US

Single Core Pentium 4's for Sub 100US completely unheard of.

No Price Premium for Presler over Cedar Mill

Pentium D 945 = 163US!
Pentium 4 651 = 163US!

Pentium 4 531 for 74US!!




By smilingcrow on 5/27/2006 4:57:42 AM , Rating: 2
"Single Core Pentium 4's for Sub 100US completely unheard of"

Yeah, meet Pentium 4, the new Celeron :)
Well at least until Core 2 Solo for the desktop arrives, which I'm guessing will happen next year.


By Viditor on 5/27/2006 5:05:21 AM , Rating: 2
Let's see...
If I were AMD and a rival announced a huge price cut in the future but nobody could buy those chips until then, would I announce a price cut right away and convince potential buyers that they should wait to buy at a cheaper price?
Or, would I wait until the last second and announce a price cut only when I had to in order to compete...?

Tough choice...


E6700 vs. P-D 960
By Xonoahbin on 5/28/2006 3:26:46 PM , Rating: 2
Intel priced them at the same price point. The E6700 is running at 2.67 ghz and 960 is running at 3.6 ghz. I wonder if that might mean that they have about the same performance? :)




RE: E6700 vs. P-D 960
By coldpower27 on 5/29/2006 6:48:51 PM , Rating: 2
No by the time the E6700 is released, the Pentium D 960 will have fallen to 316US which is the price of E6600.

The lowest mainstream Conroe is the price of the highest mainstream Presler, there are though Allendale cores that target lower mainstream with E6400, E6300, but I am not dicussing those.


Terrible Deal...
By Nightmare225 on 5/27/2006 10:06:35 PM , Rating: 3
The 920 is the worst deal out of all of these, guess why... :P




i will be getting
By ncage on 5/27/2006 2:35:32 AM , Rating: 2
I probably will be getting E6600 prettty close to launce and i hope it will overclock to 2.67 to make it equal to the more expensive chip. I just hope those prices are retail and not price to retails in quantaties of 1000. I still wish i could go with DDR instead of DDR2 but oh well.




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