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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 Ringold on 4/18/2007 8:58:21 PM , Rating: 2
I also appreciate clock-for-clock comparisons because, for an overclocker, it provides a rough mental guide for expected performance gains when looking at all kinds of different processors one can buy at various price points and how people have managed to OC them. When people report OC's and get it added to OC databases they don't typically run a full suite of benchmarks for everyones benefit, so having clock-for-clock comparison information in the back of ones mind can just be of some use.

Of course, it's no replacement for any other benchmark, and I agree the best general comparison is chip at a price point rather than at a clock speed. Clock-for-clock is a compliment.


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