Tom's CPU Architecture Shootout: 16 CPUs, One Core Each, And 3 GHz

Older Dual-Core Designs: AMD Brisbane, Intel Conroe, And Intel Wolfdale

AMD Brisbane, 65 nm (Athlon 64 X2 6000+, Rev. G2)

Brisbane was the last processor in AMD’s successful Athlon 64 X2 line. It had 512 KB L2 cache per core, and this particular model runs at 3.1 GHz. The Athlon 64 X2 6000+ requires a Socket AM2 interface and sports an integrated memory controller.

Intel Wolfdale, 45 nm (Core 2 Duo E8600, Rev. E0)

Intel used the code name Wolfdale for its die-shrunk 45 nm Core 2 design. Wolfdale simultaneously improved power efficiency and created room for more L2 cache. While Conroe had 4 MB of L2 cache, Wolfdale-based chips are equipped with 6 MB.

We're using the Core 2 Duo E8600, which runs at 3.33 GHz by default. However, by dropping the multiplier from 10x to 9x, we got it down to our 3 GHz target.

Intel Conroe, 65 nm (Core 2 Duo E6850, Rev. E0)

The Conroe core is what first replaced the troubled NetBurst design on the desktop. This processor actually marks a turning point in history, as it ended AMD’s dominance back in 2006 by delivering much more performance per clock than NetBurst, and by lowering power consumption significantly. Here we're using the Core 2 Duo E6850.