Skip to main content

Intel's 15 Most Unforgettable x86 CPUs

Today's Hotness: The Core 2 Duo

In 2006, Intel released a processor that quickly became a best-seller: the Core 2 Duo. Derived from work done on the Pentium M, this processor uses a new Core architecture. Before, Intel had two lines of processors—the Pentium 4 for desktops, Pentium M for mobiles, and both lines for servers. In contrast, Intel now has a single micro-architecture on which all of its product lines draw. The 64-bit Core 2 Duo is represented from the low end to the high end, for desktop computers, portables and servers.

There are many versions of the architecture, resulting in configurations with a different number of cores (one to four, yielding everything from Solos to Quads), cache memory (512 KB to 12 MB), and the FSB (between 400 and 1600 MHz). The model shown here is the original Core 2 Duo, but faster versions (at 45 nm) exist.

Code nameConroe
Date released2006
Architecture64 bits
Data bus64 bits
Address bus64 (actual 36) bits
Maximum memory64 GB
L1 cache32 KB + 32 KB
L2 cache2,048 KB shared
Clock frequency1.8-3 GHz
FSB800-1066-1333 MHz
SIMDMMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3
SMT/SMPDual core
Fabrication process65 nm
Number of transistors291 million
TDP65 W
Voltage1.5 V
Die surface area143 mm²
ConnectorLGA 775

The mobile versions (Merom) are basically identical (but not as fast, with a slower FSB) whereas the Extreme Edition versions are faster. The Core 2 Duo also exists in a four-core version, which was, in fact, two Conroes in the same package. The 45 nm version of the Core 2 Duo (Penryn) has a larger cache and generates less heat, but is still fundamentally similar to this model.

  • Arkz
    great article with only a few slight errors (like saying the core2duo has 1-4 cores... i don't think there's a 1 cored version lol)

    Looking forward to the AMD article.
    Reply
  • aleluja
    To correct you. Core 2 Duo has ONLY 2 cores, not more, not less.
    Core 2 Quad, has 4 cores and Core Solo has 1 core.
    Reply
  • @Arkz

    Yes there is a singal core,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Core_2_microprocessors#Single-Core_Mobile_processors
    Ok it is not under the same branding but it is part of the same microarchitecture
    Reply
  • Yuka
    I might be wrong, but i resemble that the Pentium 166 (32bits adress bus and all) had support for 4Gb of memory. I remember IBM sold it's top line (at that time) with 64Mb support (even with SDR PC100/66 support). Correct me if i'm wrong please.
    Reply
  • neiroatopelcc
    The core 2 does supply 1-4 cores - 2 cores per die, where one might be disabled, and one or two dies on a socket. It's no less right to call a core2duo a cpu with 1-4 cores, than it is to put the pentium d on the same page as a single core prescot, as it's the very same principle.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    Arkzgreat article with only a few slight errors (like saying the core2duo has 1-4 cores http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coree ... i don't think there's a 1 cored version lol)Looking forward to the AMD article.
    Thanks for the heads-up! I tweaked that passage to better represent the Core 2 architecture's available configurations!
    Reply
  • randomizer
    vosesterOk it is not under the same branding but it is part of the same microarchitecture Exactly. The article says:

    ArticleThere are many versions of the architecture, resulting in configurations with a different number of cores
    There is no mention of the branding, so there is no actual error there, just misinterpretation.
    Reply
  • ImSpartacus
    Arkzgreat article with only a few slight errors (like saying the core2duo has 1-4 cores... i don't think there's a 1 cored version lol)Looking forward to the AMD article.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116039
    Yes, it isn't called a "Core 2 Duo," but it uses the Core architecture and only has a single core enabled.

    But I will have to say, there aren't any 3 core models...
    Reply
  • magicandy
    Good to hear you're not only doing an AMD article, but an ATI one as well (in response to the Nvidia article you did earlier, assuming). A sign of class from the new Tom's is a welcome one.
    Reply
  • harrycat88
    I wish they would get rid of those stupid SNAP Linkbubless and Inteltex misguiding links. Who ever invented those stupid annoying double lined text popups should have been burned at the stake
    Reply