Articles: CPU

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I don’t think anyone will argue that the transition to 45nm production process allowed Intel to significantly improve their processors on Core micro-architecture. It seems that the new CPUs from Penryn family didn’t get any revolutionary improvements compared with the older Conroe CPUs. However nevertheless, they boast a number of advantages that may seem insignificant at first glance, but combined altogether ensured a tremendous step forward, so that these new processors proved totally praiseworthy.

True, Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors manufactured with 45nm process can boast higher performance, lower heat dissipation as well as better frequency and overclocking potential than their predecessors. It was possible to improve the consumer features of these processors thanks to new smaller and more economical transistors using metal gate and hafnium based dielectric. However, you should also take into account micro-architectural improvements including larger cache-memory, introduction of new SSE4.1 instructions and changes of some functional units’ operational algorithms. As a result, Penryn processors turned out pretty successful, so that there will hardly be anyone these days to deny it and insist on the superiority of older CPUs manufactured with 65nm process.

However, despite everything we have just said, previous generation processors continue to enjoy steady demand. The reason for this not very logical situation is quite common actually: far not all the users can afford 45nm Intel CPUs. There are currently two problems that prevent new processors from getting widely spread. Firstly, they are quite expensive: the youngest dual-core CPU model with a 45nm core, Core 2 Duo E8200, is currently priced at $163 in the official Intel’s price-list. Secondly, there is a real shortage of new processors in the market today. They are available far not in all large stores, and those retailers who sell them, push their prices way up.

Luckily, not only the end users but also Intel themselves are unhappy about this situation. Within this quarter Intel is going to significantly increase the supplies of 45nm desktop processors and ensure that they are in fact widely available to consumers. At the same time, the company is preparing new Core 2 Duo processor models that will be targeted for less expensive computer systems. In the next few days we should see the new dual-core Core 2 Duo E7200 processor with slightly more modest specifications than those of Core 2 Duo E8200. However, nevertheless, it will have the same core manufactured with 45nm process. Its official price is promised to be $133.

The new processor will become the first representative of the new E7000 line-up that will keep expanding with new inexpensive solutions ousting old 65nm models from the Core 2 Duo E4000 family. In fact, the new Core 2 Duo E7200 is none other but a more up-to-date alternative to the 65nm Core 2 Duo E4700, which doesn’t look convincing at all against the background of the youngest models in the Core 2 Duo E8000 family. The new 45nm core and democratic price point make Core 2 Duo E7200 a pretty intriguing new solution for mainstream computer systems. That is why we decided to devote our today’s review to this particular processor.

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