Pentium Extreme Edition 955 (Presler) processor we have reviewed today left a very favorable impression. Especially against the background of its less successful predecessor – Pentium Extreme Edition 840 based on the 90nm Smithfield core.
First of all I would like to say that Intel improved the performance of its dual-core solution quite significantly. Thanks to the finer 65nm production technology, Intel increased the clock frequency of its new CPU and equipped it with the larger L2 cache. As a result, Pentium Extreme Edition 955 is not an eternal loser in the dual-core duel anymore. There are a lot of applications where Pentium Extreme Edition 955 managed to defeat AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+, the top dual-core solution from Intel’s competitor. In fact, AMD processor remains the leader only in gaming applications, in professional OpenGL tasks and a few codecs. However, Athlon 64 X2 4800+ cannot be called a fully-fledged rival to Pentium Extreme Edition 955, because in about two weeks from now AMD will launch its new faster dual-core Athlon 64 FX-60 processor. Then we will talk again about the today’s fastest dual-core solutions.
Besides higher performance, the new Presler core of the dual-core Intel CPUs can also boast very high overclocking potential. We managed to reach 4.26GHz clock speed on Pentium Extreme Edition 955 easily without any additional cooling involved. And the experiments carried out by some hardware enthusiasts proved that even 5.5GHz is not the maximum for the new Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955 on the Presler core. So, you can speed it up quite tangibly by simply overclocking to higher frequency.
However, we shouldn’t also disregard some drawbacks of the NetBurst architecture, which remained even after the transition to 65nm process. I am talking about high heat dissipation and power consumption of the new Presler based processors. Although more advanced production technology allowed to bring these parameters down a little bit, they still remained as high as those for the top-end single-core Prescott based CPUs. The typical heat dissipation of the new Pentium Extreme Edition 955 is even set at 130W by default.
In conclusion I would like to say that the major advantage of the Presler CPU for the manufacturer is its internal core structure composed of two individual dies. As a result, Intel managed to significantly reduce the production cost for these processors, which will help inexpensive dual-core Pentium D processors invade the market in 2006.