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Intel benchmarks its dual and quad-core "Penryn" processors

Intel is set to introduce its Penryn-family later this year beginning with its Xeon processor family. Penryn is a die shrink of the current Conroe-family to 45nm. Intel previously confirmed Penryn taped out in January and fully capable of booting Windows Vista, XP, Linux and Mac OS X operating systems.

In addition to the shrunken fabrication process, Penryn features new SSE instructions and more L2 cache. New to Penryn are SSE4 instructions for more efficient executions of SSE, SSE2 and SSE3 instructions and new enhancements for image, video processing and vectorization.

Intel plans to upgrade the cache on dual and quad-core Penryn-family products. Dual-core Yorkfield processors gain an additional 2MB of L2 cache for a total of 6MB. Quad-core Yorkfield processors, which are essentially two Wolfdales sandwiched together, feature 12MB of L2 cache. Intel’s current Kentsfield quad-core processor only has 8MB of L2 cache.

Intel has designed its Penryn-family to operate in speeds excess of 3.0 GHz. The current dual and quad-core samples demonstrated at Spring IDF in Beijing, China operate at 3.33 GHz. These early Penryn samples also operate on a 1333 MHz front-side bus.

The early Penryn dual and quad-core processors are operational as well. Intel has benchmarked its dual and quad-core in various applications and games to salivate the public. The Intel test system consists of its D975XBX2 BadAxe 2 motherboard with 2 GB of memory in dual-channel and a GeForce 8800 GTX running Microsoft’s Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit. Intel installs a pre-production dual-core and quad-core Penryn processors clocked at 3.33 GHz with 1333 MHz front-side buses in its test system. Intel also benchmarks a Core 2 Extreme QX6800 for reference.

Applications
Model
Dual-core
Penryn
Quad-core
Penryn
C2E
QX6800
Mainconcept H.264 Encoder
(seconds, lower is better)
119
73
89
DivX 6.6 Alpha with VirtualDub 1.7.1
(seconds, lower is better)
22
18 38
Cinebench R9.5 (CPU benchmark)
(higher is better)
1134
1935
1549
Cinebench R10 beta (CPU benchmark)
(higher is better)
7045   13068  10416

Video encoding shows an 18 percent improvement with the new Penryn-family when it comes to H.264 encoding. DivX encoding shows a 52 percent improvement with the quad-core Penryn over the previous Core 2 Extreme QX6800. The dual-core Penryn processor is able to beat out the quad-core Core 2 Extreme QX6800 by 42 percent when it comes to DivX encoding. Cinebench R9.5 and R10 beta reveals performance increases of 25 percent when comparing the quad-core Penryn and Core 2 Extreme QX6800 processors.

3D Applications
Model
Dual-core
Penryn
Quad-core
Penryn
C2E
QX6800
3DMark06 v1.1.0 Pro - CPU
(higher is better)
3061
4957
4070
3DMark06 v1.1.0 Pro - Overall
(higher is better)
11015
11963
11123
Half Life 2: Lost Coast
(frames per second, higher is better)
210
210
153

Half Life 2: Lost Coast shows gains of 37 percent between the Penryn and Core 2 Extreme QX6800. The dual-core Penryn has no troubles keeping up with its quad-core counterpart. Synthetic 3D benchmarks such as 3DMark06’s CPU benchmark shows 22 percent gains with Penryn.

Expect Intel to release Penryn later this year beginning with its Xeon products, desktop Core 2 products should follow shortly.



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Scaling
By psychobriggsy on 4/18/2007 9:41:51 AM , Rating: 2
It's interesting to see the scaling from two cores to four.

For instance, in video encoding, a task which I presume was running on all 4 cores, we get a 1.63x speedup and a 1.22x speedup. These are not good figures, even ignoring the second result as being poorly optimised for quad-core.

The Cinebench results scale far better, suggesting that the caches are helping greatly for Penryn. 1.71x and 1.86x for v9 and v10 respectively. I guess that's where 12MB of L2 comes in handy. Can someone verify whether the quad-core has a bus between the two cores to offload the FSB coherency traffic?

And finally 3DMark. The CPU test scales by 1.62x, not that great, but it's 3DMark. The most pertinent for gamers is the 1.09x scaling from dual-core to quad-core. If you're a single tasking gamer, then quad-core Penryn seems rather pointless - until game engines start supporting quad-cores efficiently. Let's not talk about HL2.




RE: Scaling
By sdsdv10 on 4/18/2007 10:10:39 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you're a single tasking gamer, then quad-core Penryn seems rather pointless - until game engines start supporting quad-cores efficiently. Let's not talk about HL2.


How about Supreme Commander then?
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