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Intel's newest 1333 MHz front-side bus processors take the center stage

Intel today announced a new lineup of 1333 MHz front-side bus dual and quad-core processors. The new Intel 1333 MHz front-side bus lineup consists of three dual-core and one quad-core processors. The dual-core lineup features the new Core 2 Duo E6550, E6750 and E6850.

Intel clocks the lowest Core 2 Duo E6550 at 2.33 GHz, which slots between the previous 2.13 GHz E6400 and 2.4 GHz E6600. Intel does not have a 1333 MHz front-side bus Core 2 Duo E64xx or E66xx planned. Intel intros the Core 2 Duo E6550 at $163, below the current retail prices of the Core 2 Duo E6400.

Intel Core 2 Duo E6x50
L2 Cache
FSB Pricing
E68503.0 GHz 4MB1333 MHz
E67502.66 GHz 4MB 1333 MHz
E65502.33 GHz 4MB 1333 MHz

The middle of the 1333 MHz front-side bus consists of the Core 2 Duo E6750. Intel prices the Core 2 Duo E6750 at $183, $20 more than the E6550. The extra $20 yields a 330 MHz higher clock speed. Intel’s Core 2 Duo E6850 fills the top of the dual-core lineup. The Core 2 Duo E6850 raises the clock speed another 330 MHz to 3.0 GHz. The increased clock speed comes at an extra $83.

Intel Quad-core
L2 Cache
QX68503.0 GHz 8MB1333 MHz
Q67002.66 GHz 8MB  1066 MHz

Intel’s Core 2 Extreme receives a 1333 MHz front-side bus makeover as well. The new Core 2 Extreme QX6850 is the only quad-core processor to transition to a 1333 MHz front-side bus. Intel clocks the Core 2 Extreme QX6850 at 3 GHz, a slight increase over the QX6800’s 2.93 GHz clock speed. The Core 2 Extreme QX6850 has a $999 price tag.

Also launching today is a new Core 2 Quad processor, albeit with a 1066 MHz front-side bus. The new Core 2 Quad Q6700 clocks in at 2.66 GHz, similar to the previous Core 2 Extreme QX6700. Intel debuts the Core 2 Quad Q6700 at $530.

Intel Quad-core
L2 Cache
FSBJuly 22
QX6800 2.93 GHz 8MB1066 MHz
Q6600 2.40 GHz 8MB 1066 MHz

Despite the new product introductions, there are no price cuts on existing products today. Nevertheless, Intel plans to cut prices on most dual and quad-core products next week. When the new price cuts go into effect, the entry-level Core 2 Quad Q6600 drops down to $266, matching the Core 2 Duo E6850 in price.

Expect the new Core 2 1333 MHz front-side bus processors to pop up in retailers immediately.

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By MrBungle on 7/16/2007 11:03:00 AM , Rating: 2
I'm building a workstation after the July 22 price cuts, and I'm wondering which would be the better performer for my needs. I multitask and am mainly looking for the best performance from Adobe Studio CS3 (Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects), which can supposedly take advantage of multi-core setups. I currently use a Core 2 Duo E6300.

Of the following 2 hypothetical systems:

1.) Core 2 Duo E6850 3.0GHz ($266)
Intel P965 Express/ICH8R motherboard (1066mHz FSB)
4GB DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) RAM
Vista x64

2.) Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.40GHz ($266)
Intel P35/ICH9R motherboard (1333mHz FSB)
4GB DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) RAM
Vista x64

Which might give the better performance for Adobe CS3? I don't plan to overclock.

Basically, I'm wondering what's more important in the end: significantly higher clock speed and faster FSB of the E6850, or 2 extra cores of the Q6600?

Thanks in advance for any help/feedback.

By Anh Huynh on 7/16/2007 11:13:54 AM , Rating: 2
Quad-core will benefit you more, if CS3 takes advantage of multi-core. Four lower speed cores work more efficiently than two higher-speed cores.

By MrBungle on 7/16/2007 11:22:33 AM , Rating: 2
Anh, thank you so much! I had a hunch, but that confirms it. I'm just counting the days until the 22nd... ;-)

By awer26 on 7/16/2007 11:37:45 AM , Rating: 3
Spend a little more on quality components, and OC the Q6600 to 3GHz :)

By MrBungle on 7/16/2007 11:21:50 PM , Rating: 2
I've considered overclocking, but since this is a workstation that I use to make a living, I'm concerned about stability.

The increased processor speed would certainly help me get more done, but I've always understood that overclocking is a no-no on a workstation - do you think differently?

By Justin Case on 7/16/2007 11:52:59 AM , Rating: 5
Not everything in those programs is multi-threaded, so the answer isn't an easy one. For Photoshop, I'd say around 30% of operations use multithreading. But Photoshop isn't very CPU-intensive anyway (unless you're smart-blurring insanely big images). What PS really needs is a ton of RAM.

In Premiere, around 50% of operations are multithreaded. The problem with Premiere (and also Photoshop) is that many of those "multithreaded" tasks will not run more than 2 threads (and therefore won't use more than 2 cores). Typical scaling: 40% with the second core, 10% with subsequent ones.

After Effects is a very different beast. About 90% of its filters and operations use multiple cores, and nearly all of those will use more than two. Typical scaling: 80% or better per new core.

So, if you use After Effects a lot, definitely go for more cores. If you use mainly Photoshop, it's probably not worth it. Get a cheaper dual-core now and upgrade when you move to CS4 or CS5 (which will hopefully have better multithreading).

By Sunrise089 on 7/16/2007 2:32:58 PM , Rating: 2
Wow - great set of info. I don't use any graphic type programs, but if I did this would be an incredibly helpful post.

Note to Anandtech editors browsing comments at the "completely independent" DailyTech: Compile this sort of info into an article, and add in other types of programs to the list, and you'd be doing a tremendous amount of service to the community.

By TomZ on 7/16/2007 2:37:09 PM , Rating: 1
I agree - it would be very helpful to have some kind of review and/or table that shows the degree of multitasking supported by commonly-used software applications.

By epsilonparadox on 7/16/2007 4:35:29 PM , Rating: 2
Anandtech has a review up that compares the dual core $266 process vs the q6600

By MrBungle on 7/16/2007 11:26:34 PM , Rating: 2
That is great to know - thank you for sharing that info!

I do happen to use After Effects quite extensively, so it sounds like the Q6600 is the way to go. When I'm rendering in Premiere, I'm often running something else in the background (e.g. Photoshop), so it sounds like even that would allow me to utilize the extra 2 cores that Premiere isn't typically using.

Thanks again!

By Justin Case on 7/17/2007 6:45:23 PM , Rating: 3
Well, it's unlikely that Photoshop will be making much use of your CPUs in the background while Premiere is running (it's rare for a filter to take more than a few seconds to apply); you're more likely to benefit from it the other way around (ex., use PS while Premiere is rendering or encoding a project).

In any case, if you run AFX a lot (and are on a deadline), the extra cores will definitely be worth it, and probably pay for themselves quickly. The same goes for any 3D renderer (typical scaling for 3dsmax is 90% per extra core on long renders, though some single-threaded plug-ins can bring that down in a nasty way).

After Effects is by far Adobe's most civilized package. Although it's usually seen as an "entry level" compositing program, in some areas it does things better than Shake, Fusion or Combustion (the "big guns").

If only Premiere and Photoshop would borrow AFX's code, instead of coming up with half-assed solutions to problems that were solved years ago...

By skaaman on 7/16/2007 11:23:29 AM , Rating: 2
Your question and other interesting post price cut comparisons answered here. Very timely. Nice article Anand.

By Anh Huynh on 7/16/2007 11:30:09 AM , Rating: 2
This page pretty much sums up everything:

Higher clocks for games, more cores for rendering and other professional work.

By InsaneGain on 7/16/2007 11:55:24 AM , Rating: 2
That's what it looks like right now, but I wonder if current games just aren't programmed to take advantage of multiple cores but games coming out soon will get huge performance increases from quad cores.

By Justin Case on 7/17/2007 6:53:11 PM , Rating: 2
If by "performance increases" you mean more frames per second, then no, they won't (not much, anyway). If you mean "better AI", "more realistic physics", and so on, then yes, they will.

It's like the digger metaphor:

If 1 man digs 1 hole in 60 seconds...

a) 60 men can dig 1 hole in 1 second.

b) 60 men can dig 60 holes in 60 seconds.

For highly specific kinds of "hole", a) might be true, but in most cases the benefits will be closer to b).

By MrBungle on 7/16/2007 11:27:55 PM , Rating: 2
Very cool! This is exactly what I was looking for - thanks for posting.

By Martimus on 7/16/2007 11:59:05 AM , Rating: 2
Of the following 2 hypothetical systems:

1.) Core 2 Duo E6850 3.0GHz ($266)
Intel P965 Express/ICH8R motherboard (1066mHz FSB)
4GB DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) RAM
Vista x64

2.) Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.40GHz ($266)
Intel P35/ICH9R motherboard (1333mHz FSB)
4GB DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) RAM
Vista x64

I think you should switch MB's around, since you have the 1333Mz FSB chip on the 1066Mz FSB MB, and vice versa.

As for the question, I am pondering the same thing. I may just go for the faster dual core chip, and drop a quad core in later if they become more useful to the applications I use.

By MrBungle on 7/16/2007 11:34:52 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks Martimus - you're exactly right. I think I just made a mistake in the posting. I was actually considering the Intel P35 even for the Q6600 - namely on the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3P - since that looks like a great deal for the money, even over a tried & true P965 motherboard. I'd probably never upgrade to a 1333 FSB processor due to the minimal performance gains I've read about, but it's nice to know that I could run a 45nm CPU if I wanted to at some point.

Be sure to check out that Anandtech article linked a few times in this thread before you make the call on your system - I found it very helpful.

By Live on 7/16/2007 12:09:15 PM , Rating: 2
The Million Dollar Question: Dual or Quad Core for the Same Price?

By Screwballl on 7/17/2007 12:32:58 PM , Rating: 2
For your situation, I would say go with the E6850, GA-965P-DS3 or DQ6, 4GB of DDR2-800
The price of the 800 is the same or cheaper in many cases than the 667 nowadays so might as well go with the step up while the price inversion exists.

As for the CPU, very few programs including CS3 truly make use of all 4 cores so I believe you will be better off with the dualcore. Plus the single threaded applications will make better use of the higher clock speed.

As the owner of a E6600 and 2GB of DDR2, I tested 667 versus 800 and found CS3 tends to run just a bit faster (small but noticeable difference) with the 800.

By Setsunayaki on 7/18/2007 1:10:41 AM , Rating: 2
I am suggesting the Quad Core for the following reason.

We are both into Video Editing and Development. This means that although Dual core seems attractive, most programs now are optimized for Dual Core, without being able to actually select wether or not you want to use a Single Core or not.

What this means is that some Heavy Programs now ask for 2 cores.....Adobe Studio CS 3 asks for 2 cores per program. This means its good to go Quad Core, then buy an AfterMarket Cooler and Overclock from 2.4ghz to 3.6ghz

I currently use an E6300 as well.

What you should think about is that although on dual core, we can overclock....Since programs now take 2 cores to be "effective" that a Dual Core merely replaces a Single Core and a Quad Core now really replaces a Dual Core.

In the end, now instead of having 1 program run on 1 core, you have 1 program running on 2 cores and if your favorite programs are ever optimized for 4 cores, you will have the problem that all the cores will be used and everything else loaded into memory afterwards will cause a performance hit.

We can overclock as much as we want, but overclocking doesnt increase the number of cores you have. The more cores, the better in a world that is evolving in the way it is.

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