Intel's New Weapon: The Coppermine

Coppermine's New Enhancements, Continued

Improved Compiler

Intel will release a new compiler that can take full advantage of Coppermine's faster cache and the SSE-extensions by the beginning of next year. This will result in software being more optimized for Coppermine while not optimized for Athlon. You can imagine that this will make Coppermine look better against Athlon and you can't even blame Intel or the software developers for it, because nobody keeps AMD from supplying a compiler that optimizes for Athlon as well. If they would only do that.

You can see that the core was hardly changed, but Coppermine's cache operations were optimized close to a theoretical maximum. You will be surprised to see how much impact those optimizations have.

Here are the three contestants. Athlon on the top, then Coppermine and underneath Katmai. You can see that Coppermine's chip is the smallest, although it has 256 kB integrated L2-cache. The other two require external L2-cache, you can spot the two chips on the Athlon and Katmai-PCB.