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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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RE: 3.3GHz vs 2.9GHz
By Mitch101 on 4/18/2007 10:39:50 AM , Rating: 1
Just read anantech's short info and sadly Wolfdale compared to Core 2 conroe are about the same.

If you add 10% overclock to conroe and add 10% in the benchmarks they are about identical. I know the one benchmarks shows 19% but if you overclocked a Conroe via the FSB I would bet those numbers are a lot closer than 19% difference as well as that was only at a lower resolution the upper resolution showed 10.6%.

I have a feeling Penryn might not be enough to beat Barcelona. It may come down to who's chips overclock the best and Intel at 45nm should have an advantage over AMD at 65nm. Then it may come down to bang for the buck.


RE: 3.3GHz vs 2.9GHz
By deeznuts on 4/18/2007 12:53:49 PM , Rating: 1
Wait so add the 10% overclock and then add in the advantage of the faster cpu (here 10%)? With that type of formula every cpu ever made will be identical to any other cpu ever made in the history of CPUs.

Of course they used the lower resolution, they need to isolate the cpu from the effects of the video card.

Dailytech, always good for a daily laugh reading the comments.


RE: 3.3GHz vs 2.9GHz
By SmokeRngs on 4/19/2007 3:07:34 PM , Rating: 2
So, a dual core P4 running at 3.33Ghz runs everything with the same performance as a Conroe at 3.33Ghz and a Penryn at 3.33Ghz. Not to mention an Athlon X2 at 3.33Ghz has the same performance.

I am guessing you do not know anything at all about architecture differences since you're saying every CPU every made would perform the same if it was running the same clock speed.

The point about the "test" CPUs is valid. The older CPU is running a slower clock speed so it's very likely it will not have the same performance since there are not major architecture changes being made. It's a die shrink and a refresh. To have a valid comparison you would need both CPUs to be running similar clock speeds. I don't remember if you can use half multipliers for Intel CPUs but if so, all you would need to do is raise the multiplier on the older CPU to 12.5 to match clock speeds.

From the results of the benchmarks, it looks like Penryn isn't going to bring a whole lot in performance improvements over Conroe at this time except for certain applications. Then again, this isn't a major architecture change and any increase in efficiency is welcomed.

Just remember, these numbers are from Intel and the normal cherrypicking of benchmarks is certain to have happened here. To me, this just says that Penryn from a stock speed performance standpoint won't be very enticing to me right now. There should be other advantages such as lower power but I usually don't worry about that too much as long as my current CPU isn't a furnace. Then again, I'm looking forward to the Intel quad cores in the third quarter if Intel drops the prices to what it's speculated they are going to be. Perfect drop-in replacement to my C2D.


"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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