"Even though the transition to improved Intel Core 2 micro-architecture with the new chips due to be available late this year is not typically considered as substantial for Intel Corp., a web-site, which managed to test an engineering sample of the chip reported up to 115% performance gains for the new products from the world’s largest chipmaker compared to current offerings.
According to a report from HKEPC web-site, Intel Core 2 Duo “Wolfdale” (2.33GHz, 6MB L2 cache, 1333MHz processor system bus) performs from 0.22% to 115% faster compared to Intel Core 2 Duo “Conroe” processor (2.33GHz, 4MB L2 cache, 1333MHz PSB). Typically, the new chip delivers 5% to 15% of additional performance, but there are tests, like video encoding or advanced gaming, where the new micro-architecture skyrockets its performance."
The "115%" performance increase is only for DivX encoding because of SSE4.
Of the games benchmarked F.E.A.R. got only an 8.5% increase while HL2 got a 31% bump. Doom 3 only got about 10% so any game based on that engine will likely receive only a 10% performance increase as well.
Most interesting to me is the fact that ES chips are apparently already being released by Intel with minimal or no NDA... and not a peep about the k10's. If Intel follows the pattern of the Conroe launch, the market will all know what to expect prior to wholesale / retail availability.
Also interesting is the stepping of this sample...