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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  • ozzimark - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    they've got some headroom with clocks to play with, as the recent opterons are showing ;) Reply
  • Beenthere - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    ...and I'm sure some gillible sheep will buy into it.

    Since the "review" tested apples to oranges AGAIN, it's not of much value for anyone looking to purchase a notebook PC because you used a desktop X2 for comparison to Intel's YAWNER -- a dual core laptop chippie.

    To quote this story:

    "Intel’s Core Duo launches in January at CES, so if you’ve been thinking about buying a new laptop, we’d suggest waiting at least another month or so. You won’t be disappointed. "

    -- Now if that ain't fanboy, what is???

    Obviously with Turion stealing a lot of sales from Centrino, it's no surprise Intel is stroking the media to gain as much positive hype on uncompetitive products as it can since it knows it will be at least '07 if not later before it can compete with AMD in any market segment based on performance, value and power consumption. That however won't stop the Intel shilling.

    Reply
  • stateofbeasley - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    AnandTech is one of the most fair review sites on the net and has been one of the biggest champions of AMD products for years. Your "comments" are little more than pathetic insults against Anand, who is and always will be more credible than you. Reply
  • Furen - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    I think that he is right to some extent, though. I was hoping for a power consumption comparison between Dothan and Yonah to see which one is better for battery life but it never materialized. I would not say that AMD has a Turion that can compete with Yonah but testing Yonah in a desktop setting and then concluding that it's a heck of a laptop chip without comparing it to other laptop chips leaves a bit to be desired. Also, the tone of this review seemed a quite a bit more Intel-appeasing, if you please, as there was nothing in this review that we didn't see before except for flowery praise about how Yonah does very well without an on-die mem controller.

    That said I must say that all the asking for a 2GHz 1MB L2/core A64 was pretty retarded. There is no 2GHz 1MB/core SKU so including a fake one just for comparison does not really help since there's no way to get something even similar (the 4400+ is the lowest-clocked 1MB L2 X2). It would have been nice to see an X2 4600+ (the second-best A64 SKU) compared to this Yonah (the second-best one) but I guess the 4200+ is more inline with its price.
    Reply
  • SpinJaunt - Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - link

    quote:

    That said I must say that all the asking for a 2GHz 1MB L2/core A64 was pretty retarded. There is no 2GHz 1MB/core SKU so including a fake one just for comparison does not really help since there's no way to get something even similar (the 4400+ is the lowest-clocked 1MB L2 X2). It would have been nice to see an X2 4600+ (the second-best A64 SKU) compared to this Yonah (the second-best one) but I guess the 4200+ is more inline with its price


    An overclocked Opteron 165 or underclocked Opteron 175 might have been an idea? forget about prices.

    I think AMD still has some tricks up there sleeves regardless of what there roadmaps might say.
    Reply
  • Anemone - Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - link

    Eliminating clockspeed and using the best cache available sets the baseline for comparison, by keeping as few items of difference between the chips as possible. I fully agree with the choice, and, moreover, am quite positive there will be something out in the Turion line that will be quite similar to the 2ghz, dual channel, 1m/core cache that was used for testing.

    I think it's kind of funny to see us finally returning to tests where comparing close to exactly the same clockspeed produces even mildly comparable results. I say that because years ago that's what we used to do all the time, and finally things have come nearly full circle.

    :)
    Reply
  • Furen - Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - link

    Ah, but we still don't know how DDR2 will affect K8 (or K9, as AMD likes to call the dual-cores) performance. Maybe AMD will increase the L2 cache data width from 128bits to 256bits (the Pentium M has a 256bit interface) to make up for the additional latency, though I doubt it. Reply
  • vijay333 - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    "Now if that ain't fanboy, what is???"

    It's called giving good advice. Not an Intel owner myself, but even I would appreciate this info as AT obviously has more info on this. Would you rather buy a laptop now and then regret the purchase when something much better comes along in just a month from now? AT is not telling you to buy an Intel based machine, just to wait a month to get a better idea of what your options are. If you have read AT for a while, you should know that they are definitely not biased towards Intel...
    Reply
  • tfranzese - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    Something new and better will always be out "a month from now". Get use to it. Reply
  • bob661 - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    Looks like just a P-M with two cores to me. Whoop-de-doo. Reply

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