AJ's blog

July 15, 2006

Intel’s Core 2 Extreme & Core 2 Duo: The Empire Strikes Back

Filed under: Miscellaneous — ajdotnet @ 11:18 am

Now, this is my first post, and it covers a quite uncommon topic for me for it relates to hardware (which is something I tend to find boring). Yet it struck me that yesterday I knew which OS my next machine will probably run (Vista – despite its DRM nuisance), but today I know which processor (familly) will be at the heart of that machine.

The full article that came to my attention can be found here. The gist is that the new Core 2 processors obsolete Intels current Pentium D line and put AMD into the second league. Some quotes:

  • Unfortunately AMD won’t have an architectural update of the Athlon 64 X2 until sometime in 2007 or 2008, thus its only response to Intel’s Core 2 lineup today is to also reduce pricing.
  • As you will soon see, Intel’s new Core 2 lineup has basically made all previous Intel processors worthless.
  • At the high end, the Core 2 Extreme X6800 was just under 36% faster than the Athlon 64 FX-62. In fact, even the $316 E6600 was around 18% faster than AMD’s fastest. To add even more insult to injury the slowest Core 2 Duo in the test, the 1.86GHz E6300 is barely slower than AMD’s fastest Athlon 64 X2.
  • The old Intel lineup of Pentium D processors is truly an embarrassment. Only the Extreme Edition 965 is remotely competitive and even then it can barely outperform the $183 E6300.
  • these power numbers heavily favor Intel.
  • Intel’s Core 2 Extreme X6800 didn’t lose a single benchmark in our comparison; not a single one. In many cases, the $183 Core 2 Duo E6300 actually outperformed Intel’s previous champ: the Pentium Extreme Edition 965. In one day, Intel has made its entire Pentium D lineup of processors obsolete. Intel’s Core 2 processors offer the sort of next-generation micro-architecture performance leap that we honestly haven’t seen from Intel since the introduction of the P6.

There is essentially two things that thrill me:

  1. A huge step forward in terms of performance at the right time, i.e. at the advent of Vista (and nobody thinks this timing is anything but pure accidental ;-))
  2. No more need to distinguish between desktop and laptop processors. More to the point, no need to choose between fast but power consuming heating chips or striped down versions.

So, whoever is thinking of a new PC as his next christmas present, (s)he should tell Santa that it better had one of these new processors.



1 Comment »

  1. Hi Alex,

    yeah – I’m thinking the same way. January 2007 my Laptop will have it’s second birthday. That’s the right time to watch for a new one.


    Comment by Gerhard Stephan — July 15, 2006 @ 1:26 pm

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