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Game Over? Core 2 Duo Knocks Out Athlon 64

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July 14, 2006 7:23:10 AM

Hardly anything about Intel\'s new processor remains secret: Core 2 beats Athlon 64, period. Our in-depth analysis focuses on scaling, temperature, overclocking and power consumption.
July 14, 2006 7:49:03 AM

Well, I bought an Opteron 148 so I could easily take it up to 2.8GHz to beat the FX57. Unfortunately, it seems, my PC has been overtaken. I bought some DDR600 ram (2.5-4-4-8 at 2.7V) to see if I could take the CPU up any more and get more bandwidth, but evidently the Core 2 Duo's 1066MHz FSB is quite notable and will perhaps provide a lot of bandwidth.

I'm very taken aback by this immense processor battle. I think it's the toughest it's been in years. However, I'd still like to go with AMD because I think those CPUs overclock better.

For example, I once ran the CPU at a 4x multiplier to see my max FSB, and I got tired at a perfectly BIOS-stable 345 and decided to go back to an everyday speed, boot up, and surf the web.
July 14, 2006 7:54:26 AM

No temps for the overclocked EE? I'm glad you included temps because I don't see them in any other review. 45c is quite impressive on stock cooling, looks like theres plenty of room to move.

Impressive overall.
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July 14, 2006 7:58:37 AM

i really appreciate Tom's including XviD encodes. i use it for MPEG-4 encodes in a commercial environment (simple profile options) as we already own the ability to use and distribute MPEG-4 (to a limited degree) thru the underwhelmingly mediocre Quicktime (license).

it's good to see both DivX and XviD as well as WMV9. thanks!

edit: also glad to see competition finally :D  ...altho the response takes at least a half-year+ sometimes...
July 14, 2006 8:00:49 AM

Quote:
If the signal isn't there, systems with a Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Extreme will not boot! This is also the reason why it turned out that you will need to replace even a 975X motherboard, although technically it could have supported Core 2 Duo.


Quote:
Core 2 Duo Platforms

You can chose between Intel's 975X and P965 chipsets and Nvidia's upcoming nForce 590 SLI.


*confused* (but at least i wasn't stupid enough to buy a mobo before now and hope for compatibility)


anyway, nice to see intel has finally brought out something worth buying. like a lot of people, i've been waiting for this ever since Asus' CT479 showed netburst was as useless as a toaster (and as hot too). i just hope this is enough to make amd work extra-hard to make k8l kick butt. in the end, the consumer (and their power bills) will be the real winner...
July 14, 2006 8:00:56 AM

Not to nitpick or anything but what's up with the UT2004 minimum frame rate charts? I'm guessing it's an error of some form that the X6800's score suddenly doubles then goes back to normal when it was overclocked?
July 14, 2006 8:02:14 AM

Are the x-axis labels missing on the "architecture scaling" graphs?
July 14, 2006 8:05:51 AM

Quote:
Are the x-axis labels missing on the "architecture scaling" graphs?


i'd assume they're just arbitrary, ie per model number. but it'd be nice if they corresponded to something like power consumpton or price (also, some of the 'FPS' labels on the y-axes should be 'time', but i'm sure everyone's smart enough to work that out).
July 14, 2006 8:32:23 AM

nicely written review. looks like conroe has some excellent performance.

I'm wondering whether I can/should safely do which of the following:

a) take an E6600 2.4 Ghz and overclock it to E6700 speed (or faster?)

b) take an E6700 2.66 Ghz and overclock it to X6800 speed, eg 2.93 Ghz

c) just fork out $$$ for a faster model and not bother overclocking.

This would be great for readers to have some insight on.. anyone seen the answer to this anywhere on the web?

cheers
July 14, 2006 8:33:11 AM

Dont understand why they didnt include Oblivin in their game tests as its the most hardware hungry game right now.
July 14, 2006 8:52:05 AM

Quote:

[snip]
a) take an E6600 2.4 Ghz and overclock it to E6700 speed (or faster?)

b) take an E6700 2.66 Ghz and overclock it to X6800 speed, eg 2.93 Ghz

c) just fork out $$$ for a faster model and not bother overclocking.

[snip]


I think that only the X6800 Extreeme can be overclocked. At least is what I read on Toms.

Vtrain
July 14, 2006 8:54:28 AM

so let me get this straight, if i was to buy the e6600, then i cant change the multiplier at all, not even go down 1?
a b à CPUs
July 14, 2006 8:58:52 AM

Quote:
Hardly anything about Intel\'s new processor remains secret: Core 2 beats Athlon 64, period. Our in-depth analysis focuses on scaling, temperature, overclocking and power consumption.


It was amazing to read your article and realize just how far and away this put other mainstream processors in the wind as 'antiques' as you described. Makes me want to have one, but I'll wait and see how others do with their new purchases. I was surprised the 6800 was unstable a 3.7 mhz. So, were not at the 4.0 mhz. plateau when common processing speeds are spoken about. I guss it's all in the technique of how you build a processor. I just wonder how long the technology will be king. Probably not as long as AMD64. But who knows. Tanks a bunch.
July 14, 2006 9:02:30 AM

no e6400 and e6300 benchmarks?

thats what i wanted to see

it would have been good to see some older single core cpu's included to compare upgrading from an older system
July 14, 2006 9:24:08 AM

Quote:

[snip]
a) take an E6600 2.4 Ghz and overclock it to E6700 speed (or faster?)

b) take an E6700 2.66 Ghz and overclock it to X6800 speed, eg 2.93 Ghz

c) just fork out $$$ for a faster model and not bother overclocking.

[snip]


I think that only the X6800 Extreeme can be overclocked. At least is what I read on Toms.

VtrainAll the Conroe's can be overclocked. It's just that the X6800 has an unlocked multiplier, so you can change the multi either way and play around with FSB speeds. The non-Extreme chips have to be overclocked strictly by raising the FSB.
July 14, 2006 9:38:34 AM

Quote:
All the Conroe's can be overclocked. It's just that the X6800 has an unlocked multiplier, so you can change the multi either way and play around with FSB speeds. The non-Extreme chips have to be overclocked strictly by raising the FSB.


Thanks.

And the memory has to support those faster FSB?

Vtrain
July 14, 2006 9:47:53 AM

Somone needs to show me the cheapest way to build one of these suckers :lol: 

I wanna spend about 900 dollars and make it beat a FX-62. Possible???
July 14, 2006 9:51:24 AM

Quote:
All the Conroe's can be overclocked. It's just that the X6800 has an unlocked multiplier, so you can change the multi either way and play around with FSB speeds. The non-Extreme chips have to be overclocked strictly by raising the FSB.


Thanks.

And the memory has to support those faster FSB?

VtrainYou can run the RAM synchronously(1:1) without much performance deficit, and don't forget, you need high-end RAM with AM2 as well. But the higher latency's don't negatively affect Conroe as much as AM2.
July 14, 2006 9:55:47 AM

Quote:
And the memory has to support those faster FSB?
You can spend $999 on the X6800 and ~$200 on RAM, or $316 on a E6600 and ~$250 on RAM. Which sounds like the better deal?
July 14, 2006 9:58:15 AM

Quote:
Somone needs to show me the cheapest way to build one of these suckers :lol: 

I wanna spend about 900 dollars and make it beat a FX-62. Possible???


Not really familiar with taxes and all where you live. But my bet would be:

Core 2 Duo E6600 (possibly E6300)

GigaByte GA-965P-DS3 or ABIT AB9 PRO

Sapphire X1900XT

and

Corsair TWIN2X 6400 DDR2 2x1024MB

That would probly be in your reach
July 14, 2006 10:05:09 AM

Quote:
You can spend $999 on the X6800 and ~$200 on RAM, or $316 on a E6600 and ~$250 on RAM. Which sounds like the better deal?


you made your point. I will go shopping after summer it seems ;-)

Vtrain
July 14, 2006 10:09:03 AM


the HORDE hooligans in the background are crying. :cry:  :cry:  :cry: 
July 14, 2006 10:12:09 AM

Hey Guys, i just wanted to note that I really liked the new format of the articles. This is a little out of place, but I thought that It was important to give feedback to the site. The bulleted conclusions, pictures, and the pros and cons on previous articles are really improving the readability of this site. Thanks for the continued indepth analysis as usual.
July 14, 2006 10:22:26 AM

AMD can lower the price to even it out? or can they?
July 14, 2006 10:40:59 AM

Quote:
AMD can lower the price to even it out? or can they?


In the bottom of the line AMD dont have the same size of "pocket" as intel. Which means that intel can "survive" a long "scale" war.
July 14, 2006 11:16:43 AM

Quote:
AMD can lower the price to even it out? or can they?


In the bottom of the line AMD dont have the same size of "pocket" as intel. Which means that intel can "survive" a long "scale" war.

That's certainly true. I have a feeling that AMD will have a hard time in the up coming months but I just hope that they will eventually bounce back. Competition is good for the customers and I certainly wouldn't want to go back in a time where Intel was the lone CPU supplier, that thought gives me the creeps............
a b à CPUs
July 14, 2006 11:48:56 AM

Good article...good for Intel...it's about time they pulled their head out of their ass...just happy the speculation is over and there are real world reviews to read...

I just hope I can weather the influx of gloating fanboys...this is the 1st post of about 4 or 5 threads I've seen so far today...some people put way too much of themselves into these things...don't know why I'm surprised, given the mentality of some of the forum denizens...

As impressive as the graphs and charts show Core2 to be, it's still not compelling enough to justify the time and cost to build a new machine...I kind of equate things like this that little kid who thinks he can run faster because he's got new sneakers...the graphs and benchies are impressive no doubt, but it does make me wonder how much of the performance gains are solely user perception...an additional 5-10 fps in games already getting over 100fps...an few seconds shaved off encoding time...
July 14, 2006 12:17:33 PM

Ya so... now it is a waiting game to see what the amd fanatics/zealots will try to bring up to refute this. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :roll: :roll: :roll:
July 14, 2006 12:19:14 PM

Conroe seems good, probably the best thing intel released since the pentium 3, but i must say WOT THE HELL ARE AMD DOING?? :evil:  they have known this was coming for at least a year i say, and they have jus sat still, slugged around and dun f*** all about it, now they say K8L will be here in 2008, this looks like the netburst-k8 war agen but with the companys being the other way around!
July 14, 2006 12:28:59 PM

further to that, is even 20fps+ worth shelling out $1000 for a processor? If AMD's price drop is significant, I do not see this processor really dominating the market except for the extreme performance hungry (without concern for money).

The reality is, most of us are on a budget, and Intel has always been on the low end of that scale. That is the reason AMD is here to stay, at least for a while yet.

Bravo Intel for coming up with some new innovation, but too bad the price does not justify the performance for most.
July 14, 2006 12:37:32 PM

Quote:
further to that, is even 20fps+ worth shelling out $1000 for a processor? If AMD's price drop is significant, I do not see this processor really dominating the market except for the extreme performance hungry (without concern for money).

The reality is, most of us are on a budget, and Intel has always been on the low end of that scale. That is the reason AMD is here to stay, at least for a while yet.

Bravo Intel for coming up with some new innovation, but too bad the price does not justify the performance for most.


Ok so let me try and understand your logic here.

The top of the range CPU is $1000 and because of that you wont buy that CPU range? Have you even seen the pricing on the E6700 and E6600?

As far as I can see, the $300 E6600 is the Direct Equal to the $1000 FX-62.

So now intel is expensive? Really? :roll:
July 14, 2006 12:41:24 PM

So what do you guys think is the best performance to dollar chip AFTER overclocking?

Right now I'm on my 3.4GHz P4, and have been eye-ing the Conroe since I first read about it. The time has almost come, and I need to decide which one to look into.

And while $1,000 won't break the bank, if I can get similar performance out of ~$500 with an OC, I can't say I'd mind saving the extra $500. :) 

-Ryu
July 14, 2006 12:44:21 PM

well, I suppose if they can pull themselves off by a new design some time before (K8) in the middle of nowhere (not sure if P4 owns Athlon XP around that time, oh well), I would say they will need the next one to keep themselves on the shelves, and they probably would just instead of doing the AM2 thing in 65 nm, they should come up with something totally different to start their 65nm line
July 14, 2006 12:45:04 PM

Quote:
Conroe seems good, probably the best thing intel released since the pentium 3, but i must say WOT THE HELL ARE AMD DOING?? :evil:  they have known this was coming for at least a year i say, and they have jus sat still, slugged around and dun f*** all about it, now they say K8L will be here in 2008, this looks like the netburst-k8 war agen but with the companys being the other way around!


What has intel been doing for the past 5 years with Netburst? I doubt AMD has been doing nothing - Processors are an expensive and long development product. Not something to say "Hey guys, we need a new processor to be developed, tested, have the fabs produce and make thousands of them in a year" And if someting isn't working right in the chip......well, thats just more time.

Looks like I will be getting the E6600
July 14, 2006 12:55:07 PM

I just signed up to this forum after a real long time of reading it.

Not that long ago, I was about to get myself a nice new AMD system, maybe a 4400+ with 2 gigs of ram, nice fast hdd, the works. I was really proud of my £1000 ish system and was about to buy - when I decided to check THG. I was really glad I did, as I read the article on AMD reinventing itself. I felt so dissapointed with the entire thing (AM2) I stopped my order and decided to just leave it another year or so before I upgrade my 1.6Ghz P4 *shudders then hides*

Well, that was until reading about Conro, and this latest article has sealed it for me. I'm so impressed with Intel (never thought I would say that, always thought they were pants compared to AMD), and the 6600 chip looks wonderful and for about £250 I can now go back to my original system idea and get something signifnicantly better, for a bit less. I'm just hoping its going to be fully Vista compliant and wont mean I will need a further upgrade when that comes out?
July 14, 2006 12:58:17 PM

There are many parts of yuor system that you have to consider for being able to run Vista, but if you have a Core 2 Duo you will have at least ticked the CPU biox.
July 14, 2006 1:00:36 PM

The only thing Im a little sad about is that there is no 2mb cache versions in the review, in fact Im having little success in finding the 2mb cache versions in any reviews! I like seeing the super fast versions in all their glory, but Id also like to see the processors Id be able to purchase :)  Especially where theres a cache difference which is harder to estimate than clock speed in my opinion...


Anyone seen any reviews with the other processors? If so, could you post a name or link? Thanks.

EDIT: AnandTech did have the one of the two, the 6300. Still wasnt the one I was really looking for though, so if anyone sees the 6400 please post a link or name. Thanks
July 14, 2006 1:03:16 PM

Quote:
The only thing Im a little sad about is that there is no 2mb cache versions in the review, in fact Im having little success in finding the 2mb cache versions in any reviews! I like seeing the super fast versions in all their glory, but Id also like to see the processors Id be able to purchase :)  Especially where theres a cache difference which is harder to estimate than clock speed in my opinion...


Anyone seen any reviews with the other processors? If so, could you post a name or link? Thanks.


http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=279...

Already posted here by someone else.
July 14, 2006 1:14:47 PM

Where's all the AMD lovers? 9-inch, MMM, etc I am sure they don't want to see his post nor the article from toms. They probably think Intel is paying Tomshardware to write that post lol...
July 14, 2006 1:22:10 PM

Okay Tom's, what's going on when you list all those processors in the test setup but only present results for a handful?

I would really like to see the results as well as results for processors such as the Ahtlon 64 3000+, as I'm sure many people have systems with those ($$$ considerations).
July 14, 2006 1:26:36 PM

I don't mind whether the X6800 is the MOST OUTRAGEOUS CPU in the history, or if the E6600 is the best price/perfomance CPU, I just want an E6300! :D 
Cheap, and fast as hell. :trophy:

Awesome upgrade from my 3200+ it would be... :wink:
July 14, 2006 1:28:30 PM

1. Conroe is for real; all the hype was right, at least most of it.
2. The $316 E6600 handed the $1,100+ FX-62 it's butt in virtually all benchmarks.
3. The power consumptions on those processors are very, very good.

The race is over when these hit the retail channel. I'd like to see MadModMike come back and explain this article.
July 14, 2006 1:32:31 PM

Quote:
1. Conroe is for real; all the hype was right, at least most of it.
2. The $316 E6600 handed the $1,100+ FX-62 it's butt in virtually all benchmarks.
3. The power consumptions on those processors are very, very good.

The race is over when these hit the retail channel. I'd like to see MadModMike come back and explain this article.


As it happens i asked him @ sharikou blogg when or if he`s coming back (ofc after posting every new benchmark their is). He has yet to reposoned.. muhahahaha
July 14, 2006 1:43:04 PM

Hmm, Good article, but I'm confused about whether the game performance at least was realisitic. Didn't seem like the settings were pushing too hard, and on other sites I've seen the margin between the AMD's & Core Duo 2 were MUCH closer (Intel still won out).
July 14, 2006 1:43:52 PM

Quote:
Where's all the AMD lovers? 9-inch, MMM, etc I am sure they don't want to see his post nor the article from toms. They probably think Intel is paying Tomshardware to write that post lol...


AMD lovers? You've got one right here, simply because they had the fastest AND coolest running processor for a long time. They also did the 64 bit extensions right, and did dual core right, from the beginning.

What can I say now? I'm seriously looking at the 6700!!!!! Not only did Intel catch up (Finally!), but they leapt quite far ahead. I hope the competition keeps going. Not too many years ago, Intel would have charged $800 for the 6700. I love the new prices. :-)
July 14, 2006 1:50:30 PM

I'm a AMD fan, but as of today, Intel has the best chips out there. Nuff said.
July 14, 2006 2:26:15 PM

Quote:

I'm very taken aback by this immense processor battle. I think it's the toughest it's been in years. However, I'd still like to go with AMD because I think those CPUs overclock better.


8O 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O

** I'm speechless **
July 14, 2006 2:27:15 PM

/q from the THG review article, "Core 2 Duo does not only bring a substantial jump in performance, it also manages to surpass its AMD rival: The Intel chip dominates most benchmark disciplines and came out on top in 35 out of 37 tests. AMD's fastest processor still holds the crown in synthetic benchmarks." /end q

What are syntehtic benchmarks good for, besides measuring raw mem power/speed? Anybody can shed some light, briefly, on this. I'll be doing further reading on this in particular, but in what way does synt power affects the core2?

Thanks! :?
July 14, 2006 2:28:23 PM

Quote:
Ya so... now it is a waiting game to see what the amd fanatics/zealots will try to bring up to refute this. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :roll: :roll: :roll:


Conroe only won 35 out of the 37 tests! I am sticking with AMD :D 
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