If you are following the events of the processor market, then you probably know that Intel is planning to launch their server processors from the Penryn family on November 12, 2007. These will be the first processors manufactured with innovative 45nm technological process. Although these CPUs are yet another solutions on the widely spread Core micro-architecture, they promise to be extremely interesting. The thing is that Penryn didn’t emerge as a result of simple transition of the previous 65nm processor cores to the new manufacturing technology. Intel engineers improved and enhanced a lot of things in them to achieve higher performance without pushing up the clock frequency.
However, Intel followed AMD’s example this time, when the new architectural solutions first arrive into the server segment. Thus, in two weeks they will announce only Xeon processors known as Harpertown (4 cores; 12MB L2 cache; 50, 80 and 120W TDP) and Wolfdale-DP (2 cores; 6MB L2 cache; 40, 55 and 80W TDP). As for the desktop system, Penryn processors will unfortunately appear there only next year. Intel, however, made only one exception for the most wealthy computer enthusiasts and decided to give them the opportunity to meet the new technologies before Christmas. In other words, the refreshed Xeon family is going to hit the stores together with the only 45nm model of a quad-core LGA775 processors – Core 2 Extreme QX9650 (codenamed Yorkfield XE). The most impatient computer users will be able to purchase it for $999. This processor is also scheduled to be announced on November 12, but we have a great opportunity to get a little bit ahead of time and tell you about this new solution today.
When Core 2 Extreme QX9650 processor took its place on our testbed we were very excited. Of course, this is it: the so long awaited opportunity to take a get close and personal with the fastest, newest and one of the most interesting solutions for computer enthusiasts. But unfortunately, testing this processor turned out a not very interesting process. The thing is that there is absolutely no competitor that we could compare it against at this time. But, of course, Core micro-architecture, the innovations made to it and new 45nm production technology ensure that it outperforms the previous solutions from all standpoints.
Intel Company keeps good tempo in replacing the manufacturing technologies and processor architectures with the time. As of today, they intend to offer new micro-architectures every two years and a year after the introduction of the new micro-architecture new processors should be transferred to new finer production process with a few improvements to them. Penryn family is actually the result of Merom, Conroe and Woodcrest evolution and it is coming to the market about a year after Core micro-architecture was first introduced. Closer to the end of next year we will be greeting absolutely new processors currently known as Nehalem.
Intel main competitor, AMD Company, failed to comply with the rhythm Intel has set for new announcements and to launch high-frequency quad-core desktop processors on new K10 micro-architecture this year, although we have been expecting them. Instead, they are going to announce only new mainstream CPUs in November-December timeframe, although they will not be able to compete with Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650. That is why today we are going discuss the differences of the new Intel processor from the previous Intel solutions on 65nm Kentsfield core.