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AnandTech puts "Penryn" to the test

Intel’s quad-core Penryn processors are just a quarter away from launching, but the company already has plenty of samples floating around. Hardware analysis site AnandTech managed to snag a dual-core Wolfdale based Penryn processor clocked at 2.33 GHz to run a slew of tests. AnandTech puts the 2.33 GHz Wolfdale up against the Core 2 Duo E6550, similar to the previously released Wolfdale benchmarks by HKEPC.

DailyTech previously reported Intel’s Penryn receives upgrades to its L2 cache. In addition to the larger cache size, Penryn processors have a 24-way associative. Conroe and Kentsfield processors have a 16-way associative L2 cache. The cache enhancements reduce the overall latency of the L2 cache, taking off a single clock cycle, when compared to Conroe.

AnandTech computes an average performance increase of close to 5%, when compared to Conroe. The most notable performance boost is with DivX 6.6 using Xmpeg. With an unoptimized build of DivX 6.6, AnandTech observed a 10.5 percent performance boost. Wolfdale also shows notable performance improvements in 3D rendering applications such as Cinebench and Lightwave – 9.1 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively.

Gaming improvements are all over the place, ranging from 0.4 percent to 8.5 percent, in Oblivion and Lost Planet, respectively. However, none of the benchmarks ran were optimized for SSE4, which showed a 116 percent performance lead in DivX 6.6.

Intel slightly reduced power consumption with its 45nm fab process. Although idle power consumption between Wolfdale and Conroe are quite similar, Wolfdale sips 20 watts less power than Conroe under load.

With a new 45nm process, Wolfdale overclocks fairly well. AnandTech managed to raise the front-side bus to 460 MHz, bringing the clock speed up to 3.22 GHz.

Expect dual-core Wolfdale to show up in 2008, in Xeon and Core 2 Duo variants.




"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher
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