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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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Penryn 4-5Ghz
By ruirod on 8/24/2007 8:24:42 AM , Rating: 3
Do you remember when Intel moved from Pentium III to Pentium IV, the latest being less performant clock-for-clock? Intel made the move anyway because PIV could achieve higher clock speeds than PIII and back in those days clock speeds were the marketing argument.

However, things have changed in the computer industry. Intel move from Conroe to Wolfdale is a statement that heat dissipation and noise are important marketing factors these days, and Intel won't increase clock speeds on the Conroe if that means creating too much heat. Instead, Intel came out with a cooler CPU which yields only a little more performance clock-for-clock but which will later allow a lot higher clock speeds than Conroe.

I'm expecting very power efficient 4Ghz Wolfdales in early-mid 2008 and I wouldn't be surprise to see 5Ghz Wolfdales by Q4 2008 (if AMD keeps pushing Intel).

I doubt AMD can do better than Intel though. The investments are simply out of reach for such a money loosing company.

RE: Penryn 4-5Ghz
By Murst on 8/24/2007 10:08:17 AM , Rating: 2
They'll be able to once a cash injection comes from IBM or Samsung...

Unless some miracle happens w/ Barcelona, I doubt AMD can continue existing in its current state. If their stock price drops a bit more, however, I'm sure there will be some companies who'd love to have a large(r) chunk of AMD.

RE: Penryn 4-5Ghz
By Targon on 8/24/2007 10:40:52 AM , Rating: 2
People were expecting 4GHz Pentium 4s as well, but it didn't happen. AMD is getting to 3GHz(both with their current processors as well as K10), so it's not all doom and gloom for AMD.

The problem Intel will continue to run into is that the company keeps adding more and more cache to their processors in order to keep their advantage. The problem with this is that the power requirements of all that extra cache memory may cause problems when trying to ramp speeds. So Intel may hit 4GHz eventually, but going beyond that may not happen for a very long time.

RE: Penryn 4-5Ghz
By Master Kenobi on 8/24/2007 11:33:33 AM , Rating: 4
The problem with this is that the power requirements of all that extra cache memory may cause problems when trying to ramp speeds. So Intel may hit 4GHz eventually, but going beyond that may not happen for a very long time.

Might wanna do some research next time. 10 months from now we should see Nehalem hit the market using the CSI bus which will operate as fast as Hyper-Transport. It will also contain the Integrated Memory Controller.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
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