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Desktop processors in notebooks mean lower costs and higher performance

Word is spreading that some Taiwanese notebook manufacturers are itching to get their hands on Intel's Conroe-based Core 2 Duo desktop processors. Instead of waiting until August when Merom-based processors are officially going to be released, these manufacturers are looking to Conroe to fill the gap.

Going with the pin-compatible desktop-based Conroe not only makes available faster SKUs, but it also comes at a very nice discount compared to Merom. Digitimes reports:

The shift will allow notebook makers to enjoy a price difference of over US$50, and is workable since Conroe and Merom are both designed to be lower powered CPUs, with Conroe coming with a thermal design power (TDP) of 65W, compared with Merom's 35W, the sources indicated. In addition, when paired with the Intel 965 chipsets, the Conroe-based notebooks are likely to reach a level of performance similar to Intel's next generation Santa Rosa platform, which is scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2007, the sources noted.

People looking for low-power desktops and SFF’s have been looking to Intel’s mobile processors for quite some time now. It’s only natural that notebook manufacturers would go in the opposite direction and look for a way to save a few bucks and increase performance at the same time.

Several notebook manufactures, including ECS and ASUS, have confirmed this expectation for designing a few notebook models with Conroe CPUs, so don't be surprised if we see a few models within the next few months.

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Pin-compatible Mistake?
By NextGenGamer2005 on 6/7/2006 5:21:41 PM , Rating: 2
Going with the pin-compatible desktop-based Conroe not only makes available faster SKUs, but it also comes at a very nice discount compared to Merom.

Pin-compatible with what? "Conroe" is not pin-compatible with "Merom," that's for sure. "Merom" uses the current notebook Socket 479 interface (the same one that Core Duo, Core Solo, and the new 65-nm Celeron Ms use), while "Conroe" uses the current desktop Socket 775 interface.

Also, on the issue of clockspeed throttling, the AMD Turion 64 series can go down to 800MHz. In fact, the easy way to remember it is this: PowerNow! (used in Turion 64, Opteron, Mobility Athlon 64) can go down to 800MHz, while Cool'n'Quiet (used in Athlon 64/X2/FX) goes down to 1GHz. Intel's Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST for short) depends on the processor: on desktop Pentium 4 and Pentium D, it only goes down to 2.80GHz, while on Core Duo it can get to 1GHz.

By Marmion on 6/7/2006 6:17:48 PM , Rating: 2
Intel Speedstep drops the multiplier down to 6x
That is why Conroe goes down to 1.6Ghz (266x6, whilst Yonah goes down to 1Ghz (167x6) and Dothan 800Mhz (153x6) and 600Mhz (100x6).
Don't know why the Pentium 4's didin't go down to 6x multiplier (1.2Ghz = 200x6) - guess because they would've stalled :)

RE: Speedstep
By smilingcrow on 6/7/2006 6:37:19 PM , Rating: 2
Why is Intel seemingly fixated on a multiplier of 6; do they have a restriction here or a lack of perception?
Considering how often most CPUs spend at idle, Intel’s current restriction with Conroe puts them at a disadvantage against AMD. It’s all very well having the upper hand in performance per watt under load, but why throw away the advantage at idle? This is just dumb to me unless they have an architectural limitation. Its good news for AMD as it gives them a tool to fight with against Intel until they can deliver at 65nm. For me, it makes Yonah/Merom more interesting as a desktop chip against Conroe. I was going to buy Conroe soon after launch, but now I’m more tempted to wait for Merom.

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