Articles: CPU

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Almost a year has passed since desktop processors with Core micro-architecture were announced, over this period of time Intel has significantly expanded the line-up of their dual-core Core 2 Duo processors and launched quad-core Core 2 Quad CPUs. However, the maximum clock speed hasn’t really changed. Core 2 Extreme X6800 working at 2.93GHz speed is still the fastest model in the dual-core processor family on Core micro-architecture. Does it mean that Intel gave up the idea of boosting the performance by simply raising the clock frequency and now bets only on additional cores? Not quite.

The thing is that frequency increase inevitably leads to increase in processors heat dissipation. And while there is no real competition for Intel in the high-performance segment, they intend to keep the CPU heat dissipation within 65-75W range (for dual-core models). As a result, CPUs with Core micro-architecture can boast not only unprecedented performance, but also a great combination of speed and heat dissipation. And since the “performance per watt” concept is becoming more and more important, it makes Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme processors quite attractive for consumers.

However, we are going to witness a slight increase in the clock speeds of the Core 2 processor family. It will be primarily connected with the faster 1333MHz Quad Pumped Bus that they will support. The corresponding increase of the FSB speed to 333MHz will force Intel to revise the parameters of their solutions: the maximum clock speed in the dual-core and quad-core processor families will now hit 3GHz. Of course, the 2.4% increase in the working frequency of the top processor models is not an impressive achievement at first glance. However, together with higher frequency and bus bandwidth it may eventually result into a serious performance gain.

Today we are going to discuss how big of a performance boost the new processors supporting 1333MHz bus will be able to offer us. Since these processors haven’t been yet officially announced, we will only talk about dual-core Core 2 Duo CPUs this time. We are going to reveal more details on the performance of dual-core and quad-core processors with 1333MHz bus a little later, when they officially launch around mid July 2007.

The processor family supporting 1333MHz bus will consist of four CPUs. They are a quad-core 3GHz Core 2 Extreme QX6850 and three dual-core Core 2 Duo processor models marked as E6850, E6750 and E6550 working at 3.0, 2.66 and 2.33GHz respectively. Until next year this processor family will look exactly like that and then it will be little by little ousted from the market by the new promising Penryn based CPUs.

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