Chipzilla strikes back ! Core 2 Duo E6600, E6700 and X6800 processors tested.
So if Conroe "sounds" new to you .. have you been living under a rock ? Hey all and welcome to another Guru3D review. Today we'll be taking some new Intel processors for a test-drive. Intel is smiling .. really really smiling ! They have achieved something really good for the processor market. The Pentium 4 brand is being ditched and Core 2 Duo has recently been introduced. Specifically the Core 2 Duo processors with the "Conroe" processor core really hit the market aggressively. They are energy friendly and offer a stack load of performance and if that isn't enough .. you can buy them relatively cheaply.
All in all a good opportunity to have a look at all the new Core 2 Duo processors and their performance as you already know it, they deliver some serious punch in your face. Where AMD has been leading the market and had the throne they are now becoming the underdog. Ever since Conroe was released, AMD lowered prices yet still has a hard time to fight Intel's latest.
Why is Core 2 Duo so much faster than the Pentium 4 processors you ask ? Well, the Micro-architecture of the processor has been altered in a lot of ways. Most importantly they are actually not using that Pentium 4 technology anymore, Intel is now using it's "Core" micro architecture and not only will it make the processors faster, it's also more energy efficient. Previous generation Intel processors could peak at over 100 Watts where the current Core 2 Duo processors have a TDP of only 65 Watts, quite amazing when you realize that you have increased the overall performance significantly yet can save 40% on energy consumption.
Core 2 Duo is new .. yet not. When you look at the chip itself it will look familiar. It's the same "physical" design and still uses Socket 775 to be mounted into your mainboard. Don't get fooled though as a lot of mainboards are not compatible. Only new generation mainboards based in Intel's 965 and 975X chipset will work with Core 2 Duo. Obviously not looking at Intel, parties like NVIDIA, ATI and others will release enthusiast mainboards that support these processors also. In fact have a look at our NVIDIA NFORCE 590 SLI for Intel preview.
"Core 2" is available in two flavors .. Core 2 Duo & Core 2 Extreme. Core 2 Extreme is the follow-up processor of the "Extreme Edition" Pentium 4 processor. No extra L2 cache this time for the Core 2 Extreme though yet a higher clock frequency and a really lovely unlocked multiplier which is an overclockers wet dream.
This article will cover the Core 2 Duo E6600, E6700 and X6800. In the next pages we'll describe a little more what Conroe is all about and obviously we'll dive into a performance overview and compare what these lovely new Core 2 Duo processors can do in terms of performance.
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