First of all, I would like to repeat the conclusions that we drew in our previous review. Core Duo processor is a pretty good product not only for the mobile segment but also for the desktop application. Its performance with the typical desktop workload is comparable against the dual-core Athlon 64 X2 and Pentium D solutions, but at the same time Core Duo is a way more economical. Heat dissipation and power consumption of this processor are a few times lower than by desktop processors because it was initially designed for the mobile market.
Our today’s review has also revealed another important feature of this CPU: its excellent overclocking potential. If we look at Core Duo as at a desktop CPU, keeping its heat dissipation and power consumption at low level will not be so critical any more. As a result, we can achieve truly remarkable overclocking results, and Core Duo is perfectly fit for that. Take for instance its fine 65nm production process. As we have revealed during our practical experiments, Core Duo can be easily overclocked to 3.0GHz, which is 40% above the nominal clock speed.
The performance of the overclocked Core Duo processor working at 3.0GHz is admirable. It is outpaces top dual-core processors from AMD and Intel, such as Athlon 64 FX-60 and Pentium Extreme Edition 965. And the performance advantage is more than tremendous in most tasks.
I would also like to point out that the today’s results show very clearly what the upcoming Intel Conroe processors will be capable off. These CPUs will have similar architecture and will be manufactured with the same technological process. Moreover, Conroe micro-architecture will also have a few differences from the Core Duo, which will determine even higher performance. These differences will be faster instruction processing (four instead of three instructions per clock cycle) and twice as fast FPU/SSE units.
So, we should get used to the fact that Intel is going to regain its market share as the manufacturer of fastest processors out there. Looks like the era of AMD Athlon 64 is coming to an end. The upcoming hit, the new Conroe processor, is very likely to win the hearts of all user groups including gamers and overclockers.
However, there is still quite some time left before Conroe comes out, so let’s get back to our today’s hero, the Core Duo processor. Of course, it can become a great solution for hardware enthusiasts. And we would strongly recommend this CPU to these users if it hadn’t been for one “but”. Unfortunately, there is a big issue with the platforms for this processor. Most contemporary Socket 479 mainboards supporting Core Duo and Core Solo processors are being designed for Viiv systems. And this certainly imposes some frustrating limitations onto their features: MicroATX PCB design, maximum level of integration, scarce overclocking options. The only solution acceptable for overclockers and hardcore users is the mainboard we reviewed today - AOpen i975Xa-YDG.
This mainboard offers an interesting range of features and will be ideal for overclocking fans. We could even disregard a few drawbacks we have pointed out earlier, because there are no alternatives in the Socket 479 market today. But unfortunately, this mainboard is practically unavailable in retail, so we can hardly hope that it will ever become an ideal Core Duo platform.
Despite this sad statement you shouldn’t be too much upset about the absence of AOpen i975Xa-YDG mainboard anyway. Even if it suddenly hits the shelves tomorrow, because there is a little more than two months left before Conroe platforms come out. So, at this time we would suggest to be patient and wait for the promising Conroe processor.