I should say that Pentium Extreme Edition 840 from Intel made a twofold impression today. On the one hand, this CPU is a true new step in the evolution of Intel processors on NetBurst architecture. In most contemporary tasks supporting multi-threading, this processor does improve the system performance. Among these multi-threaded applications are the same ones we have already mentioned in our AMD Athlon 64 X2 CPU Review last week. I would like to specifically mention that Pentium Extreme Edition 840 proves highly efficient compared with the single-core Pentium 4 when we have a few resource-hungry applications running simultaneously.
However, the same CPU looks very unconvincing in quite a number of tasks. The main problem with Pentium Extreme Edition 840 is its low clock frequency, which makes its price absolutely incomparable with the actual performance you get in single-thread environment or under multi-threaded workload, which doesn’t eat up a lot of processor resources.
But even if we disregard all these cases, Pentium Extreme Edition 840 still doesn’t make the desired impression after we have once seen what AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ is capable of. Intel’s dual-core solution cannot compete successfully with the Athlon 64 X2 4800+ although they belong to the same price group. In other words, if we compare these two rivals side by side, Pentium Extreme Edition 840 will almost always fall behind.
Moreover, Pentium Extreme Edition 840 has a few other issues. This CPU has dramatic power consumption which sets additional requirements to the voltage regulators designed for the mainboards supporting it as well as to the system PSUs. As a result, Pentium Extreme Edition 840 requires special cooling solutions. Besides, this processor will not work in old LGA775 mainboards and is compatible only with the limited number of solutions based on i955X and NVIDIA nForce4 SLI (Intel Edition).
So, Pentium Extreme Edition 840 has pretty vague chances to become a popular being an expensive solution for high-performance PCs. From all viewpoints it so far yields to the competitor from Athlon 64 X2 family.
However, from the long-term prospective, I wouldn’t be so pessimistic about the Smithfield based processor family. In fact, the Pentium D processor models may become quite demanded in the mainstream segment. The dual-core Pentium D 2.8GHz will cost just a little over $200. So far AMD doesn’t offer any dual-core CPUs for this price point, as they all start at $500. So, from the price-to-performance point of view, Pentium D CPU may turn into a pretty attractive offer.
Very soon we are going to offer you another review of the dual-core processors, where we will discuss in detail the performance of the Pentium D in the mainstream systems. So, stay tuned for more dual-core stuff!