Articles: CPU

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Conroe processor that is due to come out very soon seems to be the most impatiently awaited newcomer of this year. Conroe will be the first desktop processor with new Core microarchitecture developed by Intel Israeli engineering team (the same team that designed the successful Pentium M processor). And at this time it seems to be a panacea against all issues that have emerged throughout the last 6 years. Now we can openly state that NetBurst microarchitecture that was first launched in the end of 2000 didn’t prove up to the expectations. The use of NetBurst architecture for desktop Intel processors resulted into decreasing popularity of the solutions, especially in the retail market. The processor users couldn’t put up with the fact that the growing performance of the Pentium 4 and Pentium D processors went side by side with rapidly increasing heat dissipation and power consumption.

But Intel learned from their mistakes. In the beginning of this year they announced the official radical change of the consumer features optimization plan for their CPUs. Intel shifted from hunting down maximum performance numbers to finding the best ratio between performance and power consumption. This basic principle guided Intel engineers when they were working on the new Core Microarchitecture (the initial version of the name for it was Next Generation Microarchitecture) that became the basis for Conroe processors.

I would like to point out that Intel has been severely criticized for setting the initial task in a slightly unusual manner. From the performance-to-power consumption prospective, even the extremely economical CPUs may be considered efficient, although their performance level will hardly be acceptable for the desktop space. However, things shouldn’t be taken too literally. By switching to new priorities, Intel engineers first of all emphasized the fact that from now on they will pay special attention not only to the performance increase of their processors, but also to their power consumption rate, which is another very important characteristic of the end product.

Therefore, you shouldn’t take low heat dissipation and power consumption of the new Core Microarchitecture based processors as their primary advantage. In reality, Intel engineers did their best to also improve their performance tremendously. According to the preliminary test results, Conroe has every chance to become one of the fastest desktop processors, which stimulates growing public interest in it. The arrival of the Conroe processor family into the CPU market has every chance to oust (even temporarily) the Athlon 64 family from the higher league to the budget and mainstream market.

All this explains why we should pay special attention to Conroe processors and Core Microarchitecture in general. Before we get a chance to really dig into the actual performance analysis, it would be very useful to spend some time discussing the material part of it. In our today’s article we will try to reveal the major strengths of the Core Microarchitecture that will ensure high performance and low heat dissipation of the upcoming Conroe processors. Besides, we will also discuss some preliminary data on Conroe performance and sum up everything we know about the model range within the upcoming CPU family.

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