Intel is very excited about its new Core architecture, especially with Conroe on the desktop. It's not really news to anyone that Intel hasn't had the desktop performance crown for years now; its Pentium 4 and Pentium D processors run hotter and offer competitive or lower performance than their AMD competitors. With Conroe, Intel hopes to change all of that.


From top to bottom - Quad-core 65nm Kentsfield, dual core 65nm Conroe and 65nm Pentium D

Intel setup two identical systems: in one corner, an Athlon 64 FX-60 overclocked to 2.8GHz running on a DFI RD480 motherboard. And in the other corner, a Conroe running at 2.66GHz (1067MHz FSB) on an Intel 975X motherboard.

The AMD system used 1GB of DDR400 running at 2-2-2/1T timings, while the Intel system used 1GB of DDR2-667 running at 4-4-4. Both systems had a pair of Radeon X1900 XTs running in CrossFire and as far as we could tell, the drivers and the rest of the system setup was identical. They had a handful of benchmarks preloaded that we ran ourselves, the results of those benchmarks are on the following pages. Tomorrow we'll be able to go into great depth on the architecture of Conroe, but for now enjoy the benchmarks.

As far as we could tell, there was nothing fishy going on with the benchmarks or the install. Both systems were clean and used the latest versions of all of the drivers (the ATI graphics driver was modified to recognize the Conroe CPU but that driver was loaded on both AMD and Intel systems).

Intel told us to expect an average performance advantage of around 20% across all benchmarks, some will obviously be higher and some will be lower. Honestly it doesn't make sense for Intel to rig anything here since we'll be able to test it ourselves in a handful of months. We won't say it's impossible as anything can happen, but we couldn't find anything suspicious about the setups.

Gaming Performance
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  • smut - Tuesday, March 07, 2006 - link

    We are still comparing Intels NEW core to AMDs old core. Its like ATI pitting their 1900XT against the 7800s. A new card against a card thats been out for awhile (in the computer world and the way new tech comes out, its been awhile). I could care less who wins as more competition is always better for US, the consumers. I just want to see a new core against a new core. We can only hope AMD designs a new core so we can all have this awesome new tech from Intel/AMD at even cheaper prices. If AMD doesnt catch up to conroe then you will see me setting up an Intel rig! Long live competition! Reply
  • z3R0C00L - Wednesday, March 08, 2006 - link

    Not at all...

    Let's do some looking back here.

    Pentium Pro/II/III were known as 686's, hence there use of the codenamed "P6" bus.

    The AMD Athlon/XP were known as 786's, hence there use of the codename "K7".

    Intel Pentium IV/D were known as 786's, as they came after the P6 processors effectively making them 786 generation.

    The AMD Athlon64 is known as the K8..that's right 886.

    So Conroe and the K8 are both 8th generation designs. What does this mean?
    Means it's comparing two chips from the same generation ;) When you do that, you will notice that Intel is always ahead of AMD... and always has been. Unlike the 6month cycle we see in Graphics cards.. CPU's are milked much longer.
    Reply
  • RAVENCZ - Sunday, March 12, 2006 - link

    At last, someone who hase good overwiev and good memory. I absolutely agree with you man. No more gap or excuses, that AMD doesn't have a new CPU on a market. It is not truth. AMD had jumped over Intel's generation CPUs, when they released K7 (Athlon) CPU. But These Athlons were competeing with an "old" generation of P III until P 4 had finally arrived. And for that period of time the generation race was equal, bud AMD needed a new generation to overrun Intel's solution (as always). And K8 was born. But in our midst, it is nothing more than Athlon XP with on-die memory controler and slightly improved integer operations plus 64bit execution capability in the main. After this K8 line there were again not equal condition. And no one was complaining at all. And now when Intel is about to releas its 8. generation of CPUs to really show us, how 8. generation has to look like, there are many people complaining, that it is not equal. Craps!! It is equal 8. gen from Intel versus 8. gen from AMD. And we will see who is better in designing CPUs. I believe Intel is. They have always been. Will really AMD need an 9. generation to compete with Intels 8. gen???? (as always) Reply
  • RAVENCZ - Wednesday, March 08, 2006 - link

    At last, someone who hase good overwiev and good memory. I absolutely agree with you man. No more gap or excuses, that AMD doesn't have a new CPU on a market. It is not truth. AMD had jumped over Intel's generation CPUs, when they released K7 (Athlon) CPU. But These Athlons were competeing with an "old" generation of P III until P 4 had finally arrived. And for that period of time the generation race was equal, bud AMD needed a new generation to overrun Intel's solution (as always). And K8 was born. But in our midst, it is nothing more than Athlon XP with on-die memory controler and slightly improved integer operations plus 64bit execution capability in the main. After this K8 line there were again not equal condition. And no one was complaining at all. And now when Intel is about to releas its 8. generation of CPUs to really show us, how 8. generation has to look like, there are many people complaining, that it is not equal. Craps!! It is equal 8. gen from Intel versus 8. gen from AMD. And we will see who is better in designing CPUs. I believe Intel is. They have always been. Will really AMD need an 9. generation to compete with Intels 8. gen???? (as always) Reply
  • JackPack - Tuesday, March 07, 2006 - link

    AMD doesn't have a radically new core in time for Conroe.

    Look at S754->S939 benchmarks and you'll realize the gains aren't even 10%.

    AM2 doubles bandwidth, but diminishing returns means the gains from Rev.F are probably 5% or less.
    Reply
  • coldpower27 - Tuesday, March 07, 2006 - link

    You compare what's currently out to what currently out, it doesn't matter that much what generation it's from, they will be competitors for the meantime.

    Conroe is likely engaging Socket AM2 DDR2 Athlon 64x2's at up to 2.8GHZ initially, so that's what AMD is gonna battle with for the time being at Conroe introduction.
    Reply
  • ChronoReverse - Tuesday, March 07, 2006 - link

    In any case, no matter how you look at it, AM2 by itself isn't going to help AMD that much. We all know that the K8 isn't bandwidth starved. AM2 gives us DDR2 and... more bandwidth. Reply
  • smut - Wednesday, March 08, 2006 - link

    yeah I know they dont have a new core out. I said if Intel is still king when its time to upgrade you will see me building an Intel rig. Im just saying it would be nice to compare both companies new cores *if* AMD had a new one. Thats when you will really see who is better at designing and building, thats all! It would be nice if Intel can make Conroe even faster by the time it launches! Reply

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