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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  • toyota - Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - link

    whats the big deal? we just want to see what some realistic benchmarks look like in addition to the cpu specific ones. Reply
  • smitty3268 - Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - link

    What you want is a gpu benchmark. What's the big deal? This is an article about cpus. If you want a gpu benchmark, go to another article because this one isn't for you.

    It's no different than if I were to come in and start complaining about how this article didn't test the performance of external usb hard drives. Sure, this article doesn't have anything to do with that, but I actually have a usb hdd and I don't have a Conroe, so it would be useful to me. Who cares about these stupid cpu tests, I want my usb hdd test!!!
    Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - link

    quote:

    whats the big deal? we just want to see what some realistic benchmarks look like in addition to the cpu specific ones.


    But the result will be as expected, there will be no difference thanks for CPU limitations are high resolutions.
    Reply
  • zsdersw - Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - link

    quote:

    It looks like with 65mm alone AMD may be able to challenge for the crown


    If the clock speeds of Core 2 Duo at launch are all there is to ever be, maybe.. but that's probably about as likely as the US government paying off its debts and balancing the budget.
    Reply
  • Miggle - Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - link

    I can't believe that most loggers here just does not understand the concept of isolation in tests. We are testing CPU speed here and as much as possible, we want to keep the GPU from affecting the results. Sure the difference would be smaller once we apply AA/AF but thats not because the X2 starts running faster but because the GPU is beginning to limit the fps. 20% is a huge difference for CPUs in the same price range... AMD may have FX64 by the time core2 is released but its not going to chop down that 20% performance lead down to 15% even. I'm an AMD fan but I got to hand the crown to intel for Core2. I'm particularly looking at the $183 core2.... should be faster than the X2 3800+ and cooler too Reply
  • classy - Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - link

    I don't think you understand. Years ago the cpu was the most important part of the system. That is far from the truth today. Truth is people play games with AA/AF and people do things at higher resolutions. That is just a fact of life. If you want to run pure cpu tests then run things at 640x480 then. That will show some facts, but escape the truth. Truth is the cpu is limited by the rest of the system components and who in the hell would pay $1000 for a cpu and put it in a system with to play games with no aa/af or run the desktop at 640x480. I think you fit in with that group of loggers you mentioned. Reply
  • coldpower27 - Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - link


    Then let's GPU limit the FX 62 and Pentium EE 965 and bench them together and show there is no difference between them at high resolutions like 1920x1200. :D

    This argument works in Intel's favour as well you know.
    Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - link

    quote:

    I don't think you understand. Years ago the cpu was the most important part of the system. That is far from the truth today. Truth is people play games with AA/AF and people do things at higher resolutions. That is just a fact of life. If you want to run pure cpu tests then run things at 640x480 then. That will show some facts, but escape the truth. Truth is the cpu is limited by the rest of the system components and who in the hell would pay $1000 for a cpu and put it in a system with to play games with no aa/af or run the desktop at 640x480. I think you fit in with that group of loggers you mentioned.


    Except the gamers like my friend where he plays somewhat competitively and complains that he gets lag spikes playing DoD: Source with Pentium M 2.0GHz laptop(a Dell XPS M170) with Geforce 7800GTX Go, at 1024x768 resolution. He also runs at 1024x768 for BF2 because of the same reason, and he still notices lag.

    There's another guy which notices lag with A64 3000+ Radeon 9800 running Counter-Strike based on the FIRST HL engine.

    The ones who play competitively wouldn't notice. But the "normal" people will also notice no difference running the same system with Sempron or Celeron D.
    Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - link

    quote:

    The ones who play competitively wouldn't notice. But the "normal" people will also notice no difference running the same system with Sempron or Celeron D.


    The ones who doesn't play competitively wouldn't notice.
    Reply
  • bob661 - Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - link

    To be honest, I thought it would be a bit more than shown here but it's still pretty good. If I was an OCer I'd jump on this. Since I'm not, I won't be buying one for myself. My wife will get one since I'm sure some of my customers will be interested in this platform and I want to be familiar with it. Reply

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