At the end of November, we finally did what we had been waiting to do for so long - provide the first performance benchmarks of Intel's Yonah processor, the dual core successor to the highly acclaimed Pentium M.  However, our initial performance investigation was not without its flaws.  Given the short amount of time that we had for benchmarking, we were forced to compare to older numbers from previous reviews, which unfortunately lacked updated gaming, encoding and 3D rendering tests.

Despite the shortcomings of the initial article, we did manage to get a good look at the performance that we could expect from Yonah.  Mainly, it was a fairly strong successor to the single core Pentium M and even more impressive was that it offered performance equal to that of AMD's Athlon 64 X2 without an on-die memory controller.  Many AnandTech readers kept our methods in check, however, by quickly pointing out that the Yonah vs. Athlon 64 X2 comparison wasn't exactly fair, as Yonah is equipped with a full 2MB of L2 cache, whereas the Athlon 64 X2 3800+ that we were comparing it against only had 512KB per processor, possibly painting Yonah in a better light. 

So for this follow-up, we've done two important things. For starters, we've updated the benchmark suite considerably, including modern day games and a few professional-level applications hopefully to get a better perspective on Yonah's performance.  We've also included an Athlon 64 X2 running at 2.0GHz, but with each core having a full 1MB L2 cache, making the Yonah vs. X2 comparison as close to even as possible (not mentioning the fact that AMD has twice the advantage in this round, with both a larger L1 cache and an on-die memory controller, but it should make things interesting). 

We won't be revisiting the issue of power consumption, as we already did that at the end of our last article, but needless to say, Yonah is the most efficient dual core processor that we've tested to date.  Granted that it does have the advantage of being on Intel's 65nm process whereas the Athlon 64 X2 is still based on AMD's 90nm process, but given that AMD is around a year away from transitioning to 65nm, it is an advantage that Intel has the right to enjoy.

What about Clock Speeds?
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  • Shintai - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    I doubt a a laptop uses 108W and got a x800XT. That powerchart is close to useless.

    A Core Duo laptop is 31 peak for CPU and 2.5 for the 945GM. A single core tution is 35W. unless you want 25W part, but then we gotta use the lower intel part aswell.

    Dualcore Turion wont even stand a chance until it get 65nm.
    Reply
  • Furen - Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - link

    The 25W Turion parts are $5 more expensive than the 35W parts, hardly comparable with the price difference between regular and LV Intel CPUs. I agree with you in that I dont expect 90nm Turions to match Yonah's power consumption but I must say that what I've heard about the Yamato platform (which, to tell the truth, is almost nothing) makes me think that it'll be a closer match than we think. Reply
  • Missing Ghost - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    What, no 64 bit?
    I won't buy this.
    Reply
  • fitten - Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - link

    Do you actually use 64-bit or is it just a feature checkbox? I bought some Athlon64s because they were 64-bit and allowed me to test the software I write on a 64-bit platform, for example... not that the codes I actually write require many of the features of 64-bit, though. In the past, I have written and worked on a number of projects that actually need 64-bit (typically just very large datasets which can just be used flat in 64-bit as opposed to all sorts of tiling and paging on a 32-bit machine). Reply
  • Chickan - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    Did anyone else notice that the numbers in the graph for Black and White did not match up with the spreadsheet below it? According to the graph, the Core Duo hit 44.5 FPS, the same as the X2 2ghz w/ 1mbx2, but in the sheet below, it is reported to only do 40.1 FPS, lower than even the Pentium M. In fact, it performs the worst out of all the CPU's there, at every resolution, even though this is not reported, nor mentioned.

    I also find it interesting that Intel's new line is only able to match X2's, not beat them. Either way, lets see some new stuff from AMD!
    Reply
  • KazenoKoe - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    Odd, the article clearly has it at 42.3fps on both the graph and the table. The Pentium M got 40.1 and the X2 2GHz/1MB got 44.5. Reply
  • WitchKing - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    I enjoyed reading this 2nd article on the next Intel platform.
    Although I am basically in favor of AMD since Athlon platform, I am quite glad that Intel is closing the performance gap. It will make AMD move further ;-)

    Anyway, it should be quite interesting to see how these 2 platforms compare in 64-bits tasks (Windows XP-64, Vista (is a 64-bits version available yet?) and linux based).
    A 3rd opus of this article maybe? ;-)
    Reply
  • saratoga - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    Yonah does not support x86-64, so doing 64 bit testing is not possible. Reply
  • phaxmohdem - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    I thought this review was much better than the first. Thanks guys. It pretty much illustrates the same thing, but it is interesting to read about new CPU's none the less.

    I don't mind the name personally, I think that we uber-nerds don't like it because we actually know what a core is in regards to a CPU. Your typical idiot customer doesn't know what a Core, or Processor die is, and Core is just another brand name like Pentium.

    While these chips look freaking awesome for laptop use, I must admit I will ver very dissapointed it Conroe launches, and only brings Intel back to equality with AMD. When a new generation of CPU launches, I generally like to think that they are releaseing something to regain their status as performance leader, not just level the playing field. (Though I guess PII/PIII/P4 al launched with worse performance than the high end of their predecessors)
    Reply
  • tfranzese - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    If memory serves, the only one to launch with a loss in performance was the Pentium 4. The Pentium II was a great advancement over the Pentium it replaced (not the Pro) and the Pentium III performed equally, though was available at higher clock speeds. That said, I don't know where you got to grouping the PII and PIII in with the P4's poor launch status. Willamette was a joke. Reply

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