A few months have passed since our original foray into the world of Conroe, and official naming has been announced for the processor.  What we've been calling Conroe is now known as Core 2 Duo, with the Extreme Edition being called Core 2 Extreme.  Initial availability of the Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme processors remains unchanged from Intel's original estimates of "early Q3". 

At this year's Spring IDF Intel made the unusual move of allowing us and other press to spend some quality time benchmarking its upcoming Conroe processor.  Unfortunately we were only allowed to benchmark those games and applications that Intel loaded on the system, and while we did our due diligence on the system configuration we still prefer to benchmark under our own terms. 

We're happy to report that we gathered enough parts to build two systems while in Taiwan for Computex.  We managed to acquire a Socket-AM2 motherboard equipped with an Athlon 64 FX-62 and a P965 motherboard equipped with a Core 2 Extreme X6800 2.93GHz at our hotel, along with two sets of 2x1GB of DDR2-800 (only 5-5-5-12 modules though), a pair of Hitachi 7K250 SATA hard drives, and two NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GTXes (one for each system) - it helps that all the major players have offices in Taiwan.  Of course we happened to pack some power supplies, monitors, keyboards and mice in our carry-on luggage, as well as copies of Windows XP, Quake 4, F.E.A.R., Battlefield 2, SYSMark 2004 and Winstone 2004. 

When faced with the choice of testing Conroe or sleeping , we stayed up benchmarking (we'll blame it on the jet lag later). The stage was set: Intel's Core 2 Extreme vs. AMD's recently announced FX-62, and while it's still too early to draw a final verdict we can at least shed more light on how the battle is progressing. Keep in mind that we had a very limited amount of time with the hardware as to not alert anyone that it was missing and being used for things it shouldn't be (not yet at least), so we weren't able to run our full suite of tests. We apologize in advance and promise we'll have more when Conroe launches, but for now enjoy.

The Test

In case we weren't clear: we acquired, built, installed and tested these two test systems entirely on our own and without the help of Intel.

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 (2.80GHz)
Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 (2.93GHz)
Motherboard: nForce 590-SLI Socket-AM2 Motherboard
Intel P965 Motherboard
Chipset: NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI
Intel P965 Chipset
Chipset Drivers: nForce 9.34 Beta
Intel 7.3.3.1013
Hard Disk: Hitachi Deskstar T7K250
Memory: DDR2-800 5-5-5-12 (1GB x 2)
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GTX
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 91.28 Beta
Desktop Resolution: 1280 x 1024 - 32-bit @ 60Hz
OS: Windows XP Professional SP2
Memory Latency and Bandwidth
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  • Makaveli - Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - link

    first of all I love technology And I think both companies are great. my complaint is u lil kids and your fighting over pointless shit all the time. its never ending. I actually like coming to the forums to read stuff that is intelligent and that I can learn from. All the fanboyism shit gets old quick. The point of my post is Who give a flying fuck which cpu is faster. as long as it fits in your budget and meets your needs. That is one of the reason's I hardly go to tom's Hardware anymore they use to be now the forum is over run with lil kids and my intel this my AMD this. None of these companies Care what u think they just want your money. yet u guys fight like your in a war for there loyalty. I just wish some of u would grow the fuck up.

    end of my rant.
    Reply
  • Xenoid - Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - link

    We have all seen the top AMD vs the top Intel cpu, but for those of us who don't own 5 Ferraris and a Maybach, when can we expect realistic reviews.

    I would like to see the lower 3 Conroes (2.4ghz in particular as it has the bigger cache) vs normal AMD cpus in the same price bracket.

    As for my fandom since I have to explain it or else face certain flaming, I own 3 Intels and 3 AMD cpus. That will be all.
    Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - link

    quote:

    We have all seen the top AMD vs the top Intel cpu, but for those of us who don't own 5 Ferraris and a Maybach, when can we expect realistic reviews.

    I would like to see the lower 3 Conroes (2.4ghz in particular as it has the bigger cache) vs normal AMD cpus in the same price bracket.

    As for my fandom since I have to explain it or else face certain flaming, I own 3 Intels and 3 AMD cpus. That will be all.


    Not really worth it as the $530 chip is gonna beat the FX anyway. At same price point it won't be even worth comparing.

    And congrats to AT(especially Anand) for making an early and non-biased review.
    Reply
  • bob661 - Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Not really worth it as the $530 chip is gonna beat the FX anyway. At same price point it won't be even worth comparing
    I don't think that's what he meant. I think he wants to see some more realisticly priced Conroe's and X2's. Of course, if you actually read what he said, you would know that.
    Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - link

    quote:

    I don't think that's what he meant. I think he wants to see some more realisticly priced Conroe's and X2's. Of course, if you actually read what he said, you would know that.


    Doesn't matter, because at this rate, it won't be worth considering at the same price point, so why look. He can see, but its like those people who wants to see CPU performances at 2048x1536 4xAA/8xAF when there will be no difference between top of the line and Celeron D. It's already know, do you just have to see it??
    Reply
  • smitty3268 - Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - link

    Well I would still be interested in a full review, of all the speeds of Conroe with a few X2's thrown in the mix as comparison points. Which I'm sure is what AT's final review will be like.

    Presumably AMD is also going to do some significant price cutting until K8L is released in order to stay competitive. Anyone know this for sure?
    Reply
  • neweggster - Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - link

    Toms Hardware has the slower 2.66 conroe up against the Fx-62. Im sure AMD is lowering prices, already seen significant drops in AMD CPU's in past week. Reply
  • Xenoid - Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - link

    I don't read Toms.

    To rephrase what I said for the ignorant masses, I want to see the lower clocked Conroes compared to X2s of the same price (300~) and hopefully we will have that when it is released.
    Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - link

    quote:

    We have all seen the top AMD vs the top Intel cpu, but for those of us who don't own 5 Ferraris and a Maybach, when can we expect realistic reviews.

    I would like to see the lower 3 Conroes (2.4ghz in particular as it has the bigger cache) vs normal AMD cpus in the same price bracket.

    As for my fandom since I have to explain it or else face certain flaming, I own 3 Intels and 3 AMD cpus. That will be all.


    Not really worth it as the $530 chip is gonna beat the FX anyway. At same price point it won't be even worth comparing.

    And congrats to AT(especially Anand) for making an early and non-biased review.
    Reply
  • poohbear - Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - link

    so from a gamers perspective, and im guessing gamers are the only ones that care for the bleeding edge, does this cpu do anything for performance in games @ 1280x1024+ resolutions? Reply

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