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CPU ID screen shot of "Yorkfield" at 2.33 GHz  (Source: DailyTech)

Intel "Yorkfield" ScienceMark 2 L2 cache performance  (Source: DailyTech)
DailyTech managed to snag a quad-core "Yorkfield" for a few quick benchmarks

Benchmarks of Intel’s Penryn based dual-core Wolfdale have appeared a couple times in the past month. The early benchmarks tested engineering sample processors and showed Wolfdale, on average, performing 5 percent faster, clock for clock then Conroe. However, benchmarks of the quad-core Yorkfield are virtually non-existent to the public.

Intel’s Yorkfield is not a native quad-core design. As with Kentsfield, Yorkfield features two dual-core dies fused together. The design results in each pair of cores having access to its own pool of shared L2 cache. Since Penryn has more cache, each pair of cores has access to 6MB of L2 for a total of 12MB – up from the 4MB per pair and 8MB total of Kentsfield.

In addition to the increased cache size, Penryn features a faster 24-way associative L2 cache, which cuts off a few clock cycles. Kentsfield has an 16-way associative L2 cache.

also features new SSE4 instructions catered towards multimedia tasks. SSE4 introduces 47 new instructions to improve performance of video accelerators, graphics building blocks and streaming load. Intel claims a 2x performance gain in video acceleration tasks. There are 14 new instructions for video accelerator performance enhancement. Intel improves compiler auto-vectorization performance with 32 new instructions.

Intel expects SSE4 optimizations to deliver performance improvements in video authoring, imaging, graphics, video search, off-chip accelerators, gaming and physics applications. Early benchmarks with an SSE4 optimized version of DivX 6.6 Alpha yielded a 116 percent performance improvement due to SSE4 optimizations.

Also new to Penryn is the Super Shuffle Engine. Intel’s Super Shuffle Engine allows for shuffling unpacking, packing, align concatenated sources, wide shifts, insertion and extraction, and setup for horizontal arithmetic functions. Intel claims a “2x faster SSE shuffle instruction execution,” according to earlier briefing documents.

Although Yorkfield uses a 45nm fab process and consumes less power, Intel plans to stick to its existing 95 Watt and 130 Watt thermal design power ratings.

DailyTech previously presented quick and dirty benchmarks of AMD’s 1.6 GHz Barcelona processor last June. Today, DailyTech has a few quick and dirty benchmarks of Intel’s quad-core Yorkfield Core 2 processor, in an LGA775 package.

The testing configuration is as follows:
  • Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 @ 2.33 GHz, 1333 MHz front-side bus
  • Intel Yorkfield 2.33 GHz, 1333 MHz front-side bus
  • Intel P35 Express based motherboard
  • 2x1GB DDR3-1333 memory
  • AMD ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT
Since Intel does not have a 2.33 GHz Kentsfield processor, a Core 2 Extreme QX6700 is used. The Core 2 Extreme QX6700 has an unlocked multiplier, which allowed us to clock it at 2.33 GHz with a 1333 MHz front-side bus.

 SiSoft Sandra XII CPU-Arithmetic

2.33 GHz
2.33 GHz

 SiSoft Sandra XII CPU Multimedia

2.33 GHz
2.33 GHz

 SiSoft Sandra XII Memory Bandwidth

2.33 GHz
2.33 GHz

Synthetic benchmarks do not really reveal too much of a performance difference between Kentsfield and Yorkfield. However, SiSoft Sandra XII does not contain SSE4 optimizations yet.

Unlike AMD, Intel relies on an off-chip memory controller. Although AMD achieves low latencies with its integrated memory controller, Intel manages the same feat with a northbridge-installed controller. Intel managed to offset the latencies associated with off-die memory controllers with increased L2 cache. Yorkfield’s additional L2 cache and speedier 24-way associative L2 cache yields an approximate memory bandwidth boost of 7 percent.

 Cinebench 10 Performance

2.33 GHz
2.33 GHz

 DivX 6.6

2.33 GHz
2.33 GHz

Cinebench 10 yields an approximate 8 percent boost in single and multithreaded rendering. Encoding a video file into DivX also yields a similar 8 percent performance boost.

Overall, with our limited time with Yorkfield, performance of the quad-core processor is roughly 8 percent faster clock for clock than Kentsfield. However, this is expected as Yorkfield is essentially a 45nm die shrink of Kentsfield with a few tweaks here and there.

Expect Intel to begin shipping Yorkfield in mass quantities in Q1 2008. Quad-core Xeon X5400 Harpertown processors, which are somewhat similar to Yorkfield, will ship in November.

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RE: Not bad
By Staples on 8/24/2007 12:15:15 AM , Rating: 2
This echos my exact thoughts. It won't be until next year when we see affordable Penryns and if they come out at these low clock speeds and cost more to boot, then I would feel very safe upgrading today. I wish we had some info on when a desktop 3GHz or higher was coming out and what their prices will be.

RE: Not bad
By Treckin on 8/24/2007 1:18:39 AM , Rating: 3

I think that Barcelona will destroy it for all practical purposes, even supposing its slower... The individual core power planes and on board memory controller allow for both more system ram per channel as well as a lower voltage NB. IN the realm of business computing, breakneck speed is far less important than power savings. The individual core throttling on Barcelona should be the kicker in the deal, as well as finally fully coming off of AMD's aged 90nm process.
Seeing as most business servers are idle almost 90% of the time, raw speed is second to operation costs. One would only be interested in raw speed as far as a number crunching rig goes, and in that case, you're better off with cell or IBM tech anyhow...

I think AMD will dominate this round of server apps, especially seeing as current AM2 boards will socket these, with the option to upgrade to the AM2+ later (or 1207+, whichever you prefer).

If I get one response to this referring to Agena or Nehelam Im going to start BSODing peoples towers...

RE: Not bad
By Chris Ram on 8/24/2007 1:54:43 AM , Rating: 3
It might not be a desktop proc but what is the difference between this version and something that will fit in your P35?

There is a lot more to this chip than what people are talking about now.

The 45nm Hi-K process will help quite a bit. It increases the transistor density almost 2x and reduces the power for transistor switching by 30% compared to 65 nm. At the same time it increases the switching speed by 20%, reduces the source to drain leakage by a factor of 5 and reduces the gate oxide leakage by 10x.

Last but not least is "Deep Power down Technology". The chip is able to shut down the core and/or L2.

RE: Not bad
By Chris Ram on 8/24/2007 2:31:20 AM , Rating: 3
Doh, no edit button, I will have to remember that before I post at 2 AM.

RE: Not bad
By Viditor on 8/24/2007 11:09:11 AM , Rating: 2
The 45nm Hi-K process will help quite a bit.

While the specs sound good on paper, the power specs Anand is getting show that there is only a 3% savings at idle and 10% under load at the same clock vs Conroe.

RE: Not bad
By Brunnis on 8/24/2007 11:44:23 AM , Rating: 2
Those are power consumption measurements for the whole system, which make them highly misleading when looking at CPU power savings. Judging my Anand's numbers and previous measurements on Conroe CPUs, the power savings under load seem to be 25-30%.

RE: Not bad
By DallasTexas on 8/24/2007 8:59:49 AM , Rating: 3
You're just propagating the most recent AMD propaganda for obvious reasons - "performance does not matter".

Guess what, it does matter. Even using your arguments about energy, more performance translates into more virtualized machines per system which equals less hardware which equals less power.

The argument of hiding the need for more performance is a hopeless AMD marketing last resort. Performance matters, performance matters, performance matters. Even for a desktop application for you and me, I'll take performance over saving 7 cents over one years time. Sorry, that dog don't hunt.

RE: Not bad
By chsh1ca on 8/24/2007 11:14:34 PM , Rating: 2
Since when does AMD have marketing?

Performance can be measured in a lot of ways -- for instance a budget processor might be gauged on performance per dollar, a desktop processor might be performance per time(second), and in large clusters performance per watt may in fact be a selling point. It certainly is a factor in notebooks. Just because it's not raw maximum output power doesn't mean it doesn't perform well in a different way.

RE: Not bad
By TomZ on 8/25/2007 12:01:54 AM , Rating: 2
This is AMD's version of marketing:

I.e., buy from us, we're the good guys. Performance doesn't matter, just buy from us because Intel is naughty.

Sorry, but I really don't perceive that AMD is taking the high road. I think if they allocated resources into real marketing to build their brand, instead of into stupid lawsuits, then they might get somewhere.

RE: Not bad
By deeznuts on 8/24/2007 12:51:20 PM , Rating: 2
What are you referring to when saying "NOT A DESKTOP PROCESSOR?" Are you referring to the Yorkfield in this article? Or to Barcelona? Barcelona is not a desktop processor, but this Yorkfield is. The server/workstation processor is Harpertown (XEON).

So, just wanted to know what proc you are talking about. Since you're talking about a server proc (Barcelona) in a desktop proc thread.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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