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Preliminary results from around the web

Computex so far has been full of announcements and interesting product showings. One of the biggest demonstrations at the show this year however, is Core 2 from Intel -- previously known as Conroe. The CPU is herald to be the next start from Intel to take back the performance crown from AMD. Interestingly enough, Core 2's release is not far away at all. In fact, DailyTech has received word that Intel has just decided to release Core 2 processors as early as July.

The following are some of the available reviews on Core 2 Extreme from Computex. Most of the reviews pitted Core 2 Extreme against AMD's latest Athlon FX-62, which itself is a dual-core processor.

FiringSquad tests Core 2 Duo E6600 against Athlon FX-62

From the article: The Athlon 64 FX did hold its own in the memory bandwidth tests, thanks most likely to its integrated memory controller. In real world usage the Core2 system ran Quake 4 faster than the Athlon 64 FX we tested, in some cases by as much as 9%. Looking over the results, you can’t help but be impressed by Core2’s performance results.

AnandTech tests Core 2 Extreme against Athlon FX-62

From the article: The benchmarks we've seen show Conroe as a very strong competitor to the Athlon 64 X2, availability could be what limits how much lost ground Intel can regain before AMD has a chance to respond with K8L. While performance here is extremely strong, we also haven't even touched on the overclockability of Conroe; from what we've seen, hitting above 3.5GHz on the highest end parts isn't too far fetched on air cooling alone.

ExtremeTech tests Core 2 Extreme against Athlon FX-62

From the article: It is too early to pass final muster, and we weren't able to run our full benchmark suite. Until we can get our hands on motherboards and CPUs in our own labs, using our own gear, we can't give Core 2 our stamp of approval. But we're certainly encouraged. All this assumes Intel can really deliver both in volume and on time.

TweakTown
benchmarks every Core 2 Duo chip above 2.4GHz

From the article: Intel’s Conroe design makes their older Pentium chips look very, very ordinary. At times, the X6800 is able to beat the Pentium 4 631 clocked at 3GHz by as much as 180%. As far as gaming performance goes, Intel is looking very strong and as we have predicated and told many people at the Computex show throughout the week, Intel is looking like they will be the gamer CPU of choice in H2 2006 and all of 2007. The Core 2 Extreme clocked at 2.93GHz was able to beat the AMD Athlon FX-62 on average by 15% in our gaming benchmarks.

Results from the above tests are showing that at this time, Core 2 Extreme shows higher performance numbers than AMD's Athlon FX-62. Keep in mind that the official launch of Core 2 processors is still a bit away and the Athlon FX-62 is based on an architecture that has been out for quite some time now. Intel's pricing of the fastest Core 2 Extreme X6800 (2.93GHz with 4MB of cache) is expected to launch at $999. Availability will also be a key component in Core 2's ultimate success.


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Core 2 still looks good but...
By Hulk on 6/8/2006 8:40:34 PM , Rating: 2
some of the more recent reviews have put some chinks in Conroe's armor.

At first it looked like Conroe would wipe the floor with X2 in every app but now there seem to be a few that X2 is competitive. Conroe is still going the be the fastest but not by as wide a margin as it initially appeared.




By segagenesis on 6/8/2006 8:56:39 PM , Rating: 3
Personally I find the the price drops Intel is making still keeping it attractive. I am looking to replace my old XP 3200+ with dual core something and Core 2 Duo is still very attractive at the moment compared to X2 (especially pricing)


RE: Core 2 still looks good but...
By rqle on 6/8/2006 10:08:38 PM , Rating: 5
i dont know, but i thougth a $300 2.4ghz conroe beating out a $1000 AMDFX2 flagship at firingsquad is pretty impressive to my standard.


RE: Core 2 still looks good but...
By MrKaz on 6/9/2006 5:07:33 AM , Rating: 2
Are you sure? A virtual $300 processor beating a real $1000 FX62 is impressive?


By zsdersw on 6/9/2006 6:44:49 AM , Rating: 2
You wouldn't be saying that if it were AMD coming out with a $300 processor that beats an existing $1000 Intel processor.


RE: Core 2 still looks good but...
By melgross on 6/10/2006 2:37:08 AM , Rating: 2
These aren't virtual processors, as you well know. They are just as real as AMD's.


a
By sagagenesis on 6/8/2006 9:26:30 PM , Rating: 2
http://sharikou.blogspot.com/2006/06/busting-anand...

some people are not a big fan of anandtech




RE: a
By sagagenesis on 6/8/2006 9:30:02 PM , Rating: 2
forgot to mention that that guy is HUGE amd fan, he seems pretty biased, but figured you all would like to see what ppl are saying ; )


RE: a
By kuff on 6/8/2006 9:45:53 PM , Rating: 2
Isnt it just precious how he references himself in every "article" ?



RE: a
By Bonrock on 6/8/2006 10:51:17 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, that link is actually pretty interesting. I'm not sure what to make of it. On the one hand, I don't know much about this guy's credibility; on the other hand, he makes some very damning points that call Anand's own credibility and technical competence into question.

Frankly, this is why I never make a final decision on a hardware purchase until I read the review in Maximum PC magazine. I do read online reviews to get a broad range of perspectives, but I don't trust any of the online tech sites enough that I would make a decision based solely on them.


RE: a
By segagenesis on 6/8/2006 9:51:21 PM , Rating: 3
Nice unoriginal name, moron.


RE: a
By sagagenesis on 6/8/2006 11:58:23 PM , Rating: 2
lol


RE: a
By plewis00 on 6/9/2006 4:45:27 AM , Rating: 3
This guy makes me sick, every single one of his badly written posts are finding sites or articles to slate Intel without due reason. I bet he works for AMD's spin machine, and I bet my post there won't even get approved. When the new chips come out on July 23rd, all this crap can stop. People like him shouldn't be allowed to own blogs. And what kind of tosser names himself (on a forum) Sharikou, Ph. D?


Link Error
By tk109 on 6/8/2006 9:00:14 PM , Rating: 2
The first link isn't working. It takes you to an error page on Daily Tech and not the site of the review.




RE: Link Error
RE: Link Error
By JumpingJack on 6/8/2006 11:31:26 PM , Rating: 3
The writer of the article also incorrectly titeled the link referencing a Core 2 EXTREME in the fireingsquad review, it is actually just an E6600.


RE: Link Error
By Tuan Nguyen on 6/9/2006 7:28:12 AM , Rating: 2
Fixed for accuracy. URL also fixed.


Tuan


Conroe vs Athlon 64
By Targon on 6/9/2006 7:57:16 AM , Rating: 2
The reason to buy an Athlon 64 FX processor is because it's unlocked for overclocking, not "only" because it's the fastest Athlon 64 out there. That is why it costs extra, because it can be clocked faster. To compare price, you would need to take an unlocked Conroe(which Intel won't be selling).

To be fair then, if you want to look at price vs. performance, then going with an Athlon 64 X2 5000+ in the comparison would be a fair comparison. Or compare and overclock an Athlon 64 FX-62 to an overclocked Conroe and see where the two chips top out in terms of clock speed and performance. Also, the two chips should be fully stable, not "we were able to boot into Windows XP" as the way to test stability.

We also will need to see how long it will take before people can buy Conroe based machines, because AMD could very well come up with a processor in the short term that can compete well. An Athlon 64 X2 with 4 megs of cache might be enough for the Athlon 64 to catch up in terms of performance, and wouldn't require waiting for K8L to be ready. It might cut into the bottom line, but the ONLY reason Intel has managed to stay competitive to this point and move ahead with Conroe is due to more cache on the processor.

More cache doesn't mean Conroe has a better architecture. AMD has a better architecture, but needs more cache to compete with Conroe.




RE: Conroe vs Athlon 64
By zsdersw on 6/9/2006 9:15:48 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
AMD has a better architecture, but needs more cache to compete with Conroe.


Wrong. If AMD has a better architecture (now, not when K8L comes out) why are they adding many of the same things (for K8L) that Conroe brings to the table? Typically you only copy something if it's better than what you currently have; making it worth copying in the first place.


RE: Conroe vs Athlon 64
By zsdersw on 6/9/2006 9:26:52 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That is why it costs extra, because it can be clocked faster.


Not really. It's priced at $1000 because AMD wants to make money by capitalizing on the willingness of enthusiasts to spend *anything* to have the fastest thing around. (well, the fastest thing around before Conroe, anyway)


RE: Conroe vs Athlon 64
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 6/9/2006 9:44:49 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. And I do believe we already went around the block on the whole caching issue and it was made crystal clear that the AMD chips gain nothing from DDR2 and very very little from increased on die cache. Seems to be an intel thing that increased cache helps the architecture. Let's see if I can find a linky for everyone...... Yea I give up no linky, someone might be able to help me out with the link please? :P


RE: Conroe vs Athlon 64
By deeznuts on 6/9/2006 12:36:27 PM , Rating: 2
The Conroe XE will be unlocked.


Why
By gramboh on 6/9/2006 4:20:27 PM , Rating: 2
It literally baffles me that people are trying to defend AMD against Core 2. Even if the FX 62 comes close in a few benchmarks or is even faster, Core 2:

- WAY less power consumption
- Chip beating FX-62 is less than half the price

Come on people, performance perr watt and performance per dollar. It's not even CLOSE!

At least this should force AMD to drop the floor out on pricing on AMD64 X2 and dual core Opterons which would be nice since they are expensive now.

Will be interesting to see overclocking on the Core 2, hopefully low power consumption allows the 2.4/2.6 to reach 3GHz.




RE: Why
By AzureKevin on 6/9/2006 11:56:04 PM , Rating: 2
Ditto.


RE: Why
By Hare on 6/10/2006 3:57:39 AM , Rating: 2
Actually it's pretty much a fact that those clocks are within everyones reach with aircooling. People have already reached 5Ghz with liquid nitrogen (overclocking crowd).


By Blackraven on 6/11/2006 1:02:59 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I know Merom will be released within this year. Then, Kentsfield quad-core in Q1 next year.

But what's next?

Penyrin (is that right?) as a dual-core system for 2007?

Does anyone here have future Intel product roadmaps?


Conroe has weaknesses
By Anemone on 6/8/2006 9:33:04 PM , Rating: 3
Two less heralded powers of the A64's were their multitasking ability and the ability to keep constant with the framerates. Not many tests watched this last ability, but as we all know going 150fps is all fine and good but if every minute and a half you drop to 20fps, the expletives start flying. I don't know if anyone will get to test this on Conroe but that will be interesting to know if it can keep the speed up and not just peak the highest.

The other thing I noticed on multitasking (the Extremetech article) the A64 seems to still top even the EE speed Conroe and that could be telling. I'm not going to speculate just yet as to why, but even the old dual core P4's did better and that wasn't really a good sign.

Last point is that at higher res, which seems to becoming more common in gaming, the A64 seems to have not problem keeping pace.

Conroe is good, but just as we suspected, not exactly the end all and be all of cpu's.

:)




RE: Conroe has weaknesses
By xtremejack on 6/8/2006 9:51:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but as we all know going 150fps is all fine and good but if every minute and a half you drop to 20fps, the expletives start flying


If you noticed the Anand's benchmarks on FEAR, Conroe has 50% higher minimum framerate than FX62.

quote:
Last point is that at higher res, which seems to becoming more common in gaming, the A64 seems to have not problem keeping pace.


As you increase res, you increasingly take the CPUs out of equation and bring the graphics subsystem under stress. With one GPU, the CPUs' performances draw closer. Even at Anand's the benches were done with one GPU. For one GPU, it probably does not matter which CPU you use. They will probably get framerates nearabout each other. But when you put in SLI and Crossfire, the CPUs get their chance to flex muscles. This is when you may notice wider gaps.

So, in the end the more GPUs you add, the more CPU-limited you get, and in these situations Conroe could do even better. Same is seen as very low res like 640x480 which is normally the simplest way to bench CPU performance in games.


RE: Conroe has weaknesses
By OddTSi on 6/9/2006 1:21:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The other thing I noticed on multitasking (the Extremetech article) the A64 seems to still top even the EE speed Conroe and that could be telling. I'm not going to speculate just yet as to why, but even the old dual core P4's did better and that wasn't really a good sign.

What are you talking about? The Core2 beats the A64 flat out. I think you're thinking those tests are "lower is better" or something.

In the first test: http://common.ziffdavisinternet.com/util_get_image...
The 2.93GHz Core 2 Extreme beats the A64 by 49.8% and 18.9%. The 3.2GHz one beats the A64 by 63.8% and 31.7%.
In the second test:http://common.ziffdavisinternet.com/util_get_image...
The 2.93GHz beats the A64 by 24.7%, 19.2%, 64.4%, and 14.5%. The 3.2GHz beats it by 34%, 34.4%, 78.5%, and 27.1%.

Unless you and I are looking at the wrong multithreaded tests (hard to see how since they're the only two posted in that article) then the A64 doesn't even come close to "topping" the Conroe.


I'm not a fanboy
By Merry on 6/8/2006 9:00:40 PM , Rating: 3
But i find it impressive that the Athlon FX can get near the Core2. The architecture has been around for a while now with relitivley few changes (correct me if i'm wrong)


Its going to be tough for AMD now, maybe a general price drop is in order to maintain sales until k8L (although only after core2 starts shipping in any great numbers)




RE: I'm not a fanboy
By sagagenesis on 6/8/2006 9:28:02 PM , Rating: 2
i am expecting a huge price drop from intel (like 40%) or so and a pretty big one from amd, though even with their increased capacity i doubt they can match intel


Watt / Performace
By zorblack on 6/9/2006 12:51:41 PM , Rating: 2
I think the truely amazing thing is that nobody is talking about the performance per watt. Hello, the Core 2 is beating a $1000 processor and sucking down half the energy. Not to mention the savings in AC bill that will occur. Anybody can make a processor go faster by shoving more juice through it ( do I hear next generation video card ).




RE: Watt / Performace
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 6/9/2006 2:13:31 PM , Rating: 1
Point taken, this is definately showing us that Intel is finally back on the ball, not that their Netburst was unbearable to use, quite the opposite, it just didn't perform "as well" as AMD's offering. Now the tables have turned, AMD's processors work fine, but just don't perform "as good as" Intel's current offering. Welcome to Intel Strikes Back! 101 :P


RE: Watt / Performace
By smilingcrow on 6/9/2006 3:58:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, it’s as if Ford brought out a new car that was cheaper, faster and with double the fuel efficiency of the competition. I think those might sell ;)


2.4 vs 2.8
By kuff on 6/8/2006 9:49:17 PM , Rating: 2
i think that for a 2.4Ghz $315 cpu besting a 2.8Ghz $1200 (who knows what the price will be after the price drops) is a great thing, and there are 2 speed grades about the 2.4 so i'll be getting the 2.4 and OC'ing it to about 3Ghz and be very happy:)




RE: 2.4 vs 2.8
By rqle on 6/8/2006 10:20:01 PM , Rating: 2
agree, dont know what amd guys are so happy that a $315 2.4ghz on firingsquad is beating their flagship, maybe its not as far as the 2.66ghz anandtech show but it still impressive.

I really thought amd guys would be proud of a new welcome in price as well as performance, thougth that was AMD guys pride and moto all along, as technology enthusiast and not one sided attack thing.


Remember when...
By AMDJunkie on 6/8/2006 10:27:59 PM , Rating: 2
I owned a K6-2. Did a Pentium II (and for a while, III) trounce it? Hell yes. Was it overclockable? Hell no. The moral of the story?

It was a choice. It was a cheap choice. If you didn't have a lot of scratch, a K6-2 400 with 128 MB of RAM and a 20 GB HD was a $450-$500 value. That was a fizzuckload for not a lot of scratch (remember people, Windows 98!). Sure it had an SIS 6326, but that's a whole 'nother story. It got the job done, when all I had before it was a 486 (Intel DX2 66 MHz).

Do I want to see AMD regulated to the cheap bins again? Hell no, they're plucky bastards who deposed for a while a true monopoly in PC processors. But you have to strike to kill in this field, and numbers don't lie. The best want the best, and if the best numbers are in Intel's camp, expect a lot of defectors to flock back to the ones they once put down heavily. Performance really dictates price, as demand will drop off once people realize that there's just a better powerhouse for their $2000+ monster gaming systems. Will it mean a cheaper Athlon 64 for me? Yes, but what does it matter if the company hemorrhages money until it dies?

But all it takes is another Netburst. Or in AMD's case, not modify their tried-and-true solution enough. No one has the perfect formula yet for the x86 processor that combines all the perfect aspects of low power consumption, performance, and price. And besides, this DFI motherboard I won from CES is too sweet to just ditch so I can go to some upstart Conroe.

HOWEVER , give credit where credit's due. Conroe is no joke. There's enough flaming fanboys around. Hopefully this will spur AMD to action. If there was something as triumphant as the original Athlon released as an eventual answer to this, it would be glorious.




Anands benches are fishy....
By Doormat on 6/8/2006 10:39:54 PM , Rating: 2
The first thing I noticed is that article is very difficult to read. I kept going over stuff and trying to comprehend what they were saying. Maybe the guy's native language isnt English, OK thats fine, but thats what editors are for.

Second, anyone who runs MySQL on a server costing over $5,000 should be shot (except for google, who probably has plenty of engineers in there fixing bugs and tweaking the hell out of it based on their hardware - something the average company doesnt have the resources for). Grow up and get Oracle, or barring that, MSSQL.




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