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As expected, Intel Corp. unleashed on Thursday its new Intel Core 2 processors for desktops and notebooks. The new dual-core 64-bit chips not only outperform competitors and predecessors, but also consume much less power, which may condition their increasing popularity both among enthusiasts looking for performance and among businesses, which demand future-proof technology amid moderate power consumption.

“The Core 2 Duo processors are simply the best processors in the world. Not since Intel introduced the Pentium processor has the industry seen the heart of the computer reinvented like this. The Core 2 Duo desktop processor is an energy-efficient marvel, packing 291 million transistors yet consuming 40% lower power, while delivering the performance needed for the applications of today and tomorrow,” said Paul Otellini, president and chief executive of Intel.

Intel Core 2 central processing units (CPUs) are powered by the new micro-architecture, which sports shorter pipeline and high performance per clock ratio. The new processors feature 14-stages pipeline (compared to 31 or more stages found in previous Intel Pentium 4 or Xeon chips), 4-issue out-of-order execution engine (Intel Wide Dynamic Execution), improved performance of the floating-point unit (FPU) as well as unified level two cache that allows one of two processing cores to use the entire on-die memory reservoir if necessary while the other is idle. All of this results in significantly improved performance and of the new microprocessors.

The new Core 2 chips for mobile computers also feature a number of unique capabilities not available previously, including Intel Dynamic Power Coordination, which allows to clock two cores within a microprocessor independently, Intel Dynamic Bus Parking, which lowers chipset power consumption when maximum performance is not required and Enhanced Intel Deeper Sleep with Dynamic Cache Sizing, which saves power by “flushing” cache data to system memory during periods of inactivity to lower CPU voltage.

Previously code-named Conroe and Merom, the new Core 2 Duo family consists of five desktop PC processors and five mobile PC processors with decreased power consumption.

The family of desktop Intel Core 2 Duo chips with 1066MHz processor system bus features X6800 (2.93GHz, 4MB unified L2 cache), E6700 (2.67GHz, 4MB unified L2 cache), E6600 (2.40GHz, 4MB unified L2 cache), E6400 (2.13GHz, 2MB unified L2 cache) and E6300 (1.86GHz, 2MB unified L2 cache) models that cost $999, $530, $316, $224 and $183, respectively.

The lineup of mobile Intel Core 2 Duo microprocessors uses 667MHz processor system bus and includes T7600 (2.33GHz, 4MB unified L2 cache), T7400 (2.16GHz, 4MB unified L2 cache), T7200 (2.00GHz, 4MB unified L2 cache), T5600 (1.83GHz, 2MB unified L2 cache) and T5500 (1.66GHz, 2MB unified L2 cache) models, which official prices are unknown.

The world’s largest chipmaker said that it had been shipping production-ready Intel Core 2 Duo processors for all segments in advance of today’s unveiling. Initial Intel Core 2 Extreme processor-based systems are now available from system manufacturers, resellers and integrators. Intel Core 2 Duo desktop processor-based systems will be available beginning in early August. Intel Core 2 Duo processor-based notebooks will be available at the end of August.


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