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  • BlackLotus2 - Saturday, April 15, 2006 - link

    I actually dont think the Intel results are too impressive :

    - they compare a CPU that is out in 6 months with a current CPU, this does not show a real comparison of products that will compete against each other. who knows what AMD is going to have then

    - the 25 % performance leap is just very relative. if you compare gaming benchmarks with AMD cpus, you can see that for every 0,2 ghz more clockspeed you get 3 to 10 % more gaming performance (3 % on quake, 10 % on farcry), just see here:">
    The test was testing with a dual core 2.8 ghz product, but AMD is already shipping out 3 ghz opterons for a week now, which will already lower intels performance leap as the quake3 benchmarks would be around 3 % better. In 6 months, there will surely be 1 or 2 more new speeds, lowering the gap a lot, giving a total of 10 % more performance than in the _current_ benchmarks.

    - the intel cpu had 2 x 2 mb cache, the amd cpu only 2 x 1 mb cache. 1 mb extra cache gives you something like a 5 to 10 % performance. AMD doesnt need to design a new core to increase the cache size, they still can increase the cache size anytime and still maintain socket compatibility. they can easily catch up here

    - socket AM2 will give AMD an extra 3 % performance

    - intel only ships out less than 10 % in 65nm chips right now, most of their production is still 90 nm. so their advantage to AMD is not that big, AMD will also ship the 65nm chips this year. with 65 nm chips, AMD speaks of a 40 % transistor speed advantage, with such a CPU using less power they can archieve higher clockspeeds. in this test, they compare a 65nm conroe with a 90nm fx62. A 65nm fx62 with 400 or 800 mhz more clockspeed can easily catch up with the conroe. In addition to that, AMD will already ship 65nm chips this year, they ordered semiconductor manufacturer Chartered with the production, so expect the chips already this year.

    - there are already some details around for the new K8L core, which is going to be a real FP monster .. it is said to give a whopping 50 % floating point performance increase to the K8-Core,"> , and it´s only a few month after the release of the conroe. I assume this machine is going to beat the shit out of conroe. I also expect it to come with 2 x 2 mb cache, if intel is producing all their desktop parts with 2 x 2 mb the AMD chips will also, and due to the better scalability because of the on-die memory controller the server market will rather prefer this one (just imagine a dual xeon dual core machine with a memory bus bottleneck). First pictures of the 65nm core for this year also show some interesting details, instead of 3 execution units they show 4 execution units on the die, which might already be a part of a K8L-core. In addition to that, the photo of the die shows something which looks like a new cache area, which might be the new ZRAM L3 cache.

    Personally, I wouldnt wait for a Conroe, I would rather wait for this one (if at all). Also, Conroe is quite half a year away, and the new AM2 boards are out in mid of May. The K8L monster will be socket compatible with the AM2 sockets, so it is no problem to just insert a new K8L-CPU into that socket later, and therefore the chances for upgrades are great, I wouldnt say that for Conroe.

    Intel will try to make most of the money out of it, so I dont expect the chips to sell cheap in the first 3 months. It´s rather price efficient to build and AM2-system right now with the cheaper AMD-cpus, and then next year just put a K8L-cpu into the socket.

    If we sum it up
    - we already have 3 ghz AMD chips, 3-10 % more performance NOW. 1-2 steps coming in the next 6 months, which will lead to 10 to 20 % better performance than the FX62 now
    - 3 % extra performance because of DDR2
    - 10 % extra performance from larger caches if they are introduced yet
    - shrink to 65nm allows higher clockspeeds, gives at least 15-20 % and scales up.
    The same way Intel can increase the Mhz on the Conroe to get more performance, the
    same way AMD can increase the Mhz on their 65nm chips to even out.
    - new K8L core ahead, with 50 % more FP performance (other specs yet unknown, but
    I expect AMD to prepare a beast, they had time enough to design a new core and they
    certainly not only improve the FP performance, I assume the rest of the new core
    to offer a similar performance jump).
  • Rendition - Sunday, March 12, 2006 - link

    With a 4MB L2 cache, won't that increase the price of the Conroe part and lower yields?

    Isn't it likely that we won't see volume production of the Conroe part for desktops in late 2006 due to the large cache and 65nm process?

    If that happens, won't this be like the many paper launches of a high performance product (ATI Crossfire, Nvidia in the past) that doesn't mean much because the vast majority of us can't even buy the CPU?

    I mean we aren't exactly swimming in Core Duo parts (65nm) right now, other than Apple.

    20% advantage from a pre-production processor sample with a HUGE 4MB cache that won't be out for 6 months, isn't that impressive.

    Can Intel actually produce it in volume at a competitive price (with the large cache) in 6 months, is the key question?

    You have put your reputation on the line by proclaiming Intel has taken the performance lead, when you are not even sure if Intel can produce it in volume in the 2H, with enough yields of a super large cache, and along with the fact AMD won't be standing still in the next 6 months.

    I hope for your sake Intel isn't pulling your chain.

    People also have been a little too forgiving on your mistake on the FEAR benchmark. You played right into Intel's hands by posting the bogus 40% performance increase number. It was totally irresponsible and unacceptable to be wrong like that on such an important claim.
  • Conroe - Sunday, March 12, 2006 - link

    no, no, no, and yes. Reply
  • overclock2050 - Sunday, March 12, 2006 - link

    These results are a little strange, too big the advantage of Conroe especially in games.

    I readed also that intel havent permit to control what's was inside the two sistems, this is a little suspect.

    Maybe there's an explanation for these result, "Dynamic overclocking" what everyone considers the results of a 2.66Ghz conroe, may be the results of Conroe running at an hygher clock.

    3.3Ghz or more??? It's only a possible solution, until we will see a real indipendent test
  • JoKeRr - Sunday, March 12, 2006 - link

    wow!!! just wow!! previously we didn't have bios screenshot of FX60-->therefore conroe wasn't running against an FX60--->not fair.

    now it's proven conroe is running against FX60@2.8ghz, so "well we don't have a screenshot of conroe actually running at 2.66ghz" therefore it must be running at 3.3ghz or more!!! Oh man I'm laughing my ass off. I guess some ppl just can't accept the fact that unleashed conroe is faster than AMD's best. Intel definitely needs an excuse just to cheat to win, right?? Give me a break plz.

    as for quantity production of chips on time, AFAIK no one can make chips as fast and many as Intel. Intel was always the first to release and they never had much of a yield problem. (from 180nm->130nm->90nm->now 65nm)
  • theteamaqua - Saturday, March 11, 2006 - link

    its funny to see how Intel beats AMD in 32 bit application, AMD fan boys starting to trash talk about how Conroe's lack of 64-bit support, sure its only memory with bigger register, but it gets the job done

    i doubt the we're gonna move to 64-bit platform within 3 years(i meant every apps, games u see in the store are 64 bit, not just couple of em, but all), there are too many applications written in 32 bit, not to mention games, and the only game i know is Farcry 64 bit, thats it, i think both Intel, AMD , M$ are devising some strategy right now on how to make everyone use 64-bit as we are speaking, but if the software developers don't work with them, they're gonna move very slowly.

    I think every bit generation can maybe survive around 8 to 10 years (thats just my guess based on the old Windows)
  • theteamaqua - Saturday, March 11, 2006 - link

    its funny to see how people react when they knew this was coming, Anand, has been talking about Conroe since like 3rd quarter of last year, and in Tom's Hardware, they did benchmark Pentium M overclocked 2.133 GHz compare to FX 55, it actually beats the FX 55 in some games, the news doesn't suprise me, but again both system were setup by Intel, and until Anand + other review site get their hands on it , I guess this is perhapse the maximum potential the Conroe has, scèrw that , im getting Conroe anyway Reply
  • cornfedone - Friday, March 10, 2006 - link

    Even Supermicro know the truth about Intel.">
  • dev0lution - Friday, March 10, 2006 - link

    I'd be interested to see how a Nvidia-based Intel and AMD platform with the same chips stacked up, as SLI is a more mature platform and in some respects matches up better.

    It's interesting that Intel chose to go the crossfire route, as ATI has been their 3rd party chipset supplier as of late.

    I'll reserve judgement until Conroe is in retail, AM2 is out and I can see benches on multiple board partners, with DDR2 800 and on Nvidia as well ;)

    Love to see thermal and power benches too....
  • theteamaqua - Friday, March 10, 2006 - link

    finally AMD fan boy can shut up about "unknown Processor" issue regarding to the AMD FX 55 BIOS. I think its stupid when they make that comment. However, both the system was setup by Intel, and they didn't let people to do an open box check. There can still be something fishy going on, but I hope not, cause I am gonna get Conroe and if thats the performance i can get it will be awesome Reply
  • theteamaqua - Friday, March 10, 2006 - link

    actually its FX 60, sorry Reply
  • Beenthere - Friday, March 10, 2006 - link

    Well the Intel Desperation Forum is just about complete and as usual it's just another Dog and Phony show where the naive get manipulated by Intel. And the media will be hyping the Intel gospel now with FUD beyond compare until the next Intel Desperation Forum. It's pretty amazing the FUD Intel can produce but they can't produce quality CPUs. Shows where their interest is focused. Reply
  • stopkidding - Friday, March 10, 2006 - link

    Ok, I have always been a passive reader to these forums. I read more out of curiosity about user perceptions to technology than to engage in some mindless ranting with arrogant arm chair scientists and geeks who have no better use of their time than to seek validation from fellow lifeless nerds! having said that, here is my message to AMD fanboys.

    I value competition, and admire what AMD have done with their limited resources and creative use of new technology. So they have had their fair share of the spotlight. A pat on AMD's back. Good job. Having said that, it really pisses me off when people take this to be a free for all Intel bashing event. Most people have no idea, how great the contributions of Intel have been to advance the state of art in the world of computing. While the nerds are busy talking about giga this and mega that, Intel is quietly investing billions of dollars into research that is fundamental to the core of all forms of computing, be it hardware, software or the cutting edge manufacturing processes. Intel invented the whole performance game, took it to the next level and AMD has always had a free ride on countless technologies that Intel gives away for free to the computing world. Be it investing money into standards are USB, PCI, Wifi, Wimax, the open source community, compiler research, etc to advancing the lives people around the world my investing tons of money in technology education programs around the world (Intel has trained 3 million teachers world wide and plans to train another 10 million). The list and contributions are endless.

    So the point its, which i hope your turd filled brains will get it at some point, Intel is why we have what we have today. While a fair and balanced critisism of products and technology misteps is required, it is ultimately competetion and the market that decides the victor, and trust me kiddos, most of you here haven't got a clue about what you are talking about.....geez people grow up!!

    PS: Neither AMD64 nor EM64T technologies are true 64 bit processors, there are merely extensions to 32 bit processors that allow them access 64 bit memory! ARGGHH!!!
  • dysonlu - Sunday, March 12, 2006 - link

    While I agree that huge corporations such as Intel do contribute to the world with technology advancements. Please don't make it sound like they are doing it out of pure love ("give away for free")! Big companies develop stuff to create new markets with which they can grow their overall business and make more money. Intel had no other choice than to co-operate with others and share technologies for a given new market to be viable. Reply
  • stopkidding - Monday, March 13, 2006 - link

    I totally agree with you, Intel invests in the ecosystem to grow the market, no charity here. My point was the relentless, meritless bashing of Intel, making it seem like a company that is upto no good. I was merely listing the accomplishments that matter to the industry. what forums like this do is reduce all of that to a few fps on a game to decide who is great and who is not. as the saying goes, "the 0.1 % of the market makes 99.9% of the thrashy noise". the gamers are self aborbed pretentios hacks who know nothing...... Reply
  • Cerb - Saturday, March 11, 2006 - link

    PS: Neither AMD64 nor EM64T technologies are true 64 bit processors, there are merely extensions to 32 bit processors that allow them access 64 bit memory! ARGGHH!!!

    How are they not? 64-bit registers makes...64-bit CPU.

    The extensions make mostly wider and longer sets of registers. AFAIK, they are at 40/48-bit memory access. They are as much 64-bit processors as any others; they're just not compeltely redesigned from the ground up, because consumers and businesses that are used to using binary apps hate that.
  • stopkidding - Monday, March 13, 2006 - link

    modern 32 bit processors for a long time have had 128 bit registers for floating point operations. the conroe as 128 bit instruction sets and registers for SSE instructions and 128 bit for fp. does that make it a 128 bit processor? Reply
  • Cerb - Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - link

    For marketting weenies, it does :). Like many other things, being x-bit is not any great and useful metric, except to differentiate it from its past (IA32, now x86-64). Reply
  • smut - Friday, March 10, 2006 - link

    Get with reality! People are always going to live by the mindset "What have you done for me lately" or "Your only as good as your last hit" Who cares what they did many years ago? This is not my point of view, just saying why you had to make that point, because no one cares about that stuff these days and thats the way fanbois will continue to think. Reply
  • Nighteye2 - Friday, March 10, 2006 - link

    EM64T is an extension, yes, but AMD64? What is your source on that? From what I recall the AMD64 instruction are real 64-bit instructions, rather than 32-bit instructions with bigger memory adressing capabilities...
  • Questar - Friday, March 10, 2006 - link

    Nice to see you joining in. Great post. Reply
  • fikimiki - Friday, March 10, 2006 - link

    I'm AMD fan, but I'm also a computer user which wants to buy something with best/price performance. That's why I have bought ATI instead of nVidia (after 10 years sticking with nV products). There is one conclusion which is based on my observations for 10 years.

    Intel and AMD will never give you a chip which is 30% faster than competitor or your own product. They will give you 5, 7% but not 30% (FX is overclocked remember?).
    How about Conroe running 3.33 with 1333MHz bus? Does it squize X2 performance to match only one Conroe core??? Have you ever seen performance speed upgrade like this?
    Maybe in historical 286/386 times...

    Intel and AMD does business. There was a REASON, marketing reason for preview like this. And this behaviour is not reasonable. Showing 2.4GHz Conroe as EE Edition, comparing with FX60 and miserable 7% makes sense.
    And than make 100MHz upgrade, upgrade upgrade....
    This is business I observe for many years, because money is important, technology longevity also. Intel wanted to speed up P4/Netburst to 10GHz - just shrink die as long as possible, 64-bit in 2010...And this is let's say "normal" business behaviour!

    So I expect Conroe XE running as Intel mantra: Leap Ahead...10% faster than FX62 or whatever AMD will give to us in July...

  • dysonlu - Sunday, March 12, 2006 - link


    That's the most intelligent, insightful and down-to-earth comment I've read so far! 98% of the other comments I've read gave me the impression that they were written by naive fools getting caught in the hype and clever marketing -- C'mon kids, do you really expect that, when everything's said and done, you would be able to order on an Intel CPU that costs half the price and performs 30% better than its closest AMD competitor?!
  • Rendition - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    1) Is Conroe a true 64-bit chip like the AMD chips are? If so, how do you think it will perform with 64-bit Vista and the new 64-bit capable games coming out next year?

    2) Does Intel have a tradition of having yield and volume issues when they move to a new manufacturing process like 65nm with Conroe?

    3) What has been the average cycle for an AMD new core to come out (4 years)? And how long as the current AMD core been out?

    4) If the AMD chips had a huge 4MB cache like Conroe, would that improve performance?
  • theteamaqua - Friday, March 10, 2006 - link

    no cache does not influence performance as much as u think, for ex: i read benchmarks of Pentium 4 660 vs 560, the 660 has 2 MB L2 cache while 560 has 1MB L2 cache, the performance increase is roughly 3 % if u average all the benchamrk from gaming, multimedia, multi tasking ... its like HT(hyper threading), u never know the difference Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link


    1) 1) Is Conroe a true 64-bit chip like the AMD chips are? If so, how do you think it will perform with 64-bit Vista and the new 64-bit capable games coming out next year?

    2) Does Intel have a tradition of having yield and volume issues when they move to a new manufacturing process like 65nm with Conroe?

    3) What has been the average cycle for an AMD new core to come out (4 years)? And how long as the current AMD core been out?

    4) If the AMD chips had a huge 4MB cache like Conroe, would that improve performance?

    I can answer some of that.

    1. Yes
    2. I am not sure
    3. Well, define new core, is K8 a new core enough or would it take a K7??
    4. Umm:">

    Looks like it, however, there are some unanswered questions. Will the 4MB cache be high performing enough to have a performance advantage(ie not have high latency like Prescott)?

    Doom 3=yes
    UT2004=not much
    WET=not much

    There are rumors there will be versions with 4MB L3 cache, which is obviously an EE, but being a higher latency L3, the benefit will be less than quadrupling L2, plus these 2.667GHz Conroe's are not really competing with FX's, its the 3.33GHz 1333MHz FSB Conroe EE's that will come after Conroe.
  • logeater - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    I think I speak for everyone on this board when I say Anand has proved beyond reasonable doubt that Intel has regained it's rightful place at the throne. A flawless examination if I may say so myself.

    AMD, it's been fun, let me show you to the door...
  • Bakwetu - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    The malicious intent in this is naturally to make people thinking about buying a system now (the logical choice for a gamer rig would be an AMD one) to hold off until the new Intel processor come. We have seen this "delaying of opponents sucess" ever since AMD became competative when the original Athlon was released.

    That aside, it is great to see the development in the cpumarket.
  • PeteRoy - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

  • MrKaz - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Should Intel compare their future processor with their current offering and not with the competion?

    I mean P4 sucks in performance, power, ...

    Wouldnt those numbers look much better if it was some P4 vs Conroe?
  • Zebo - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    No! read about Osborne effect. Essentially this is why new product demos like this, months ahead of schedule, are so rare and NDAs for all products exist. Reply
  • archcommus - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Well good for Intel for coming out with such a strong product, but I'll always have to go with the best bang for the buck, wonder if that'll still end up being AMD even if their parts are weaker across the board this time around.

    Just hope AMD stays in the game, we can't afford to have the little guy fall behind too much.
  • samuraiBX - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    I've been a diehard amd fan, but kudos to Intel for ramping up competitive products. I have only a couple of additions I'd like to see with the testing:

    1. I noticed that anandtech used the 2-2-2-5 T1 timings for the RD480 chipset. I remembered from an anandtech review that the best timings for this chipset is 2-2-2-7; not sure how much of a performance difference that would make, but I'd like to see the difference, however slight.
    2. I know that this website's impression of the RD480 chipset wasn't stellar, and while I can understand if Intel couldn't purchase the RD580 chipset two weeks ago, I'd imagine it would have been possible to obtain this week, or at least borrow an RD580 board from ASUS; isn't ASUS a participant at IDF this year?
    2. I understand that there was limited time, but I would also like to see how the conroe chip would do with 3d studio max. I'm looking to build a high end 3d animation workstation, and I'm looking at the performance leader, whether AMD or Intel.
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    We did find 2-2-2-7 to provide the best bandwidth in our memory testing on the RD480 chipset, but the difference between 2-2-2-5 and 2-2-2-7 would be less than 1%, and certainly not significant. Reply
  • samuraiBX - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    As an addendum:

    I went to; the performance difference by Conroe is awesome! However, it was curious that on their F.E.A.R. benchmarks, the Intel overclocked FX-60 did worse than the reference FX-60.
  • Accord99 - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Different platform (NF4), different video card (single OC 7800GT). The bit-tech system may have been mored tweaked and perhaps there's some additional overhead in multi-GPU setups like Crossfire which causes reduced performance at extremely low resolutions. Reply
  • HurleyBird - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Did anyone else notice that on the Intel Quake 4 timedemo performance *increased* for both processors but with Anand's timedemo performance *decreased*

    I wonder why that is?
  • IntelUser2000 - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link


    Did anyone else notice that on the Intel Quake 4 timedemo performance *increased* for both processors but with Anand's timedemo performance *decreased*

    You mean on the SMP enabled and disabled benchmarks?? That's because on the page, while SMP disabled(SMP=0) is first on IDF Quake 4, SMP enabled(SMP=1) is next one while on Anand's Quake 4, SMP enabled is first, while SMP disabled is second(skeptics...).

    THANKS FOR CONFUSING PEOPLE ANAND, otherwise great article.
  • MrKaz - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Why Ati drivers where modified to recognize the Conroe processor?
    What was the problem if the processor didn’t get recognized?

    I mean if the FX60 could say Unknown Processor and have no problems, (my mobile 2600+ says the same and runs OK).

    What problem would have come from the drivers by not recognizing the processor?

    Some drivers optimizations there? Like NVIDIA/ATI?
  • amano - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Just wondering.. did they use fear.exe, or a renamed fear.exe?
    Because there seem to be some issues with the fear benchmarking that cripple the AMD:">

  • Questar - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    I think you have confused AMD for ATI. Reply
  • amano - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Not really: "Why Ati drivers where modified to recognize the Conroe processor?"
    Indeed, why ? Perhaps to fix the disadvantage that the FEAR benchmark gives to ATI?
    If this disadvantage was fixed for the INTEL-setup, and not for the AMD-setup, then the 2 setups can not be compared and the benchmark-results are flawed.
    (sorry, my first post was a bit confusing..)
  • Accord99 - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    That was fixed several driver revisions ago. All it was was a mistake in one If statement. Reply
  • DSaum - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    So the 41% Conroe advantage over AMD has suddenly become 20%? After this sorry episode I have serious doubts as to Anandtech's objectivity as an unbiased reviewer.

    "Believe it or not, Intel doesn't seem malicious in their intent." LOL
  • clnee55 - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    After a great review and re-test by Anand, I hope i don't see fanboism comment again. Unfortunately, there are still kids around, who cannot understand a simple review. Reply
  • Bladen - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    ^And the AMD fanboy of the year award goes too...

    BTW for thoes wondering if Conroe and the others are 64 bit, the answer is yes.

    I highly doubt Intel will release a processor that is not 64 bit in the future. Well for any processor designed for laptop, desktop or server anyway...
  • Bladen - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Ohh crap, I failed to realise my post would not be directly below DSaum... Reply
  • matthewfoley - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Um, would they have released a follow up article telling you about it if they were trying to hide something? Reply
  • Sunrise089 - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    It was a 41% advantage in one game during one total hour of testing. In addition, not only did Anand explain how they messed up, but also provided new graphs only 2 days later. What are you really thinking here, that Anand's mistake will increase Conroe's sales even though the corrected numbers are out and its 6 months away from launch? I'm pretty sure even Intel fanboys didn't just read the first story and then plan on not visitng another hardware site before launch. Reply
  • Aileur - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Way to be able to read

    on average we’re still seeing a bit over a 20% increase in performance over an overclocked Athlon 64 FX-60.


    Especially looking at titles like F.E.A.R. where Conroe's performance advantage averages over 40%

    Now, thats not the same as dropping from 40 to 20%, is it?
  • Shintai - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    So to summon up with updated benchies, bios etc.

    Conroe 2.67Ghz beats the 2.8Ghz FX with:

    Quake(intel demo) Single 22.4%
    Quake(intel demo) SMP 24.8%
    Quake(Anand demo) Single 28.7%
    Quake(Anand demo) SMP 30.9%

    FEAR - min 25.4%
    FEAR - max 18.8%
    FEAR - avg 19.6%

    WMV9 12%
    DiVX 6.1 29.5%
    iTunes 9.7%

    UT2004 and HL2 in the 20 - 30% faster range aswell on Conroe according to Anand. But if Intel was mean, they bench this FX with a 3.33Ghz Conroe XE or a 3.0Ghz Woodcrest.

    And funny to see Intels dualcore implementation scales better than AMDs.

    530$ to get that much more performance than a 1000$ FX chip.
    Hell, even the 420$ and maybe 295$ chip is faster.

    Both Conroe and AM2 gets DDR-2 800 at retail.
  • dysonlu - Sunday, March 12, 2006 - link

    "530$ to get that much more performance than a 1000$ FX chip.
    Hell, even the 420$ and maybe 295$ chip is faster."

    So, where can I order this amazing 530$ CPU?

    It gets on my nerve to see people comparing prices between a computer part that's 6 months away from shipment and one that's shipping now.
  • Chadder007 - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Thanks for the update....just shows us that Intel wasn't fooling around.
    Even after the BIOS update, the Conroe pounds the fool out of the FX-60. Also I doubt any other changes can help with the AMD performance either, even a chipset upgrade.
  • plus - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    So the Conroe is 20% faster. Decent result. Of course, the FX60 is on the 90NM process... will be interesting to see what 65NM process brings to the FX series... AMD is due to have that out about the time Conroe is released.

    Intel always seems to compare best to AMD when they are one shrink ahead. Tells a lot about the strength of the Athlon core.

    I didn't see in the article if the Conroe is 64 bit. I've been running winXP64pro since Steam began auto-detecting 64bit capacity... It does seem to run smoother.

  • Eris23007 - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Furthermore, to add on to the last post in this reply chain, Intel has already announced a transition to 45nm in 2007 - not long after AMD will have their first 65nm chips.

    I've been predicting this for a while: AMD has been doing some excellent architectural work, but a good CPU is more than just architecture: the CMOS manufacturing process guys are of equal, if not greater importance. This is also where Intel has their biggest advantage: their CMOS manufacturing excellence is simply unparalleled both in quality and quantity. Say what you will about their architectural choices, but when is the last time you remember Intel failing to pull of a process shrink transition?
  • coldpower27 - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    AMD 65nm products isn't due till 1st Half of 2007. It's also AMD own fault that they are 3-4 Quarters behind Intel typically on process transistions. So hence Intel has 65nm products to show sooner then AMD can. Hence comparisons to AMD's 90nm products are legitimate.

    Intel's Core Micro-architecture have EM64T by default. This is obvious, you actually think Intel won't include such a thing when basically the bulk of shipping Pentium 4's and Celeron D have it now.

    You have to remember the FX 60 was overclocked to 2.8GHZ and the Conroe @ 2.66GHZ beat it by 20% on average, what happens when you use the Conroe XE 3.0GHZ+/1333FSB edition agains the Athlon FX.
  • spinportal - Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - link

    Actually the Pentium D and Xeon lines have EMT64, the Yonah - DuoCore processors do not.
    So we need real price points, with a comparable 939 NF4 AMD rig on XP64 or Vista-64 Beta2.
    But where is the 64-bit push? All hoopla and not worth the aggravation of adoption?
  • anandtechrocks - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    20% from a CPU alone is a decent result? When is the last time you have gotten 20% performance increase from a new processor? I think the results are amazing, expecially this early in the game. Reply
  • porkster - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    How well does the amazing Conroe overclock? Were you allow to test that? Reply
  • Nighteye2 - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    The EE conroe will of course perform a bit better with higher clock speeds, but with the bus limiting it and only so much cache to try to circumvent that I don't expect conroe to scale very well. I'd also like to see 64-bit performance, as the bigger instructions will reduce the advantage of the large cache.
  • fitten - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Right conclusion, wrong cause. What really "halves the cache" is pointers (which have to be 64-bit now instead of 32-bit). Programs that use few pointers will show little difference in cache usage. Programs that use lots of pointers (read: written in Java, C#, and those type languages) will show increase cache usage from all the larger pointers. 64-bit and 64-bit instruction set does not imply that the instructions are actually 64-bits long, in fact, it rarely implies that (64-bit RISC processors, for example, tend to have all/mostly/many 32-bit instructions, just like their 32-bit processor counterparts, for example). Reply
  • Nighteye2 - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    I'm not saying it halves the cache. Just that the instructions are longer, not necessarily 64 bits long. I expect the difference to be more like a quarter, rather than half, if I'd have to make a guess at it.
  • AlexWade - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    AMD forced Intel to make a first-rate CPU. And the good news is we win. I knew Intel couldn't stay down forever. Neither will AMD. I think it still bothers Intel, however, that they have to use AMD's 64-bit code.

    Am I reading this correctly that Conroe is a single-core CPU? I would like to know more about dual-core CPU's, that is the future.
  • fitten - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    From what I've heard in the rumor mill (nothing that anyone else can't hear), there will be no single-core Conroe chips. I'm sure marketing pressure might lead to them, though. The test system definitely had a dual-core Conroe, though. Reply
  • Von Matrices - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    No single core Celeron Conroes? Reply
  • pnyffeler - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    I have to agree. I've been building AMD rigs for many years and have always pulled for the underdog, but I have to tip my hat to the Intel man on this one. They have raised the bar after getting smacked in the forehead with it for too long.

    Intel had become pretty lazy over the past few years, and I think it took way too long to realize that they were peddling 2nd rate products that wasted enough heat to qualify as a space heater.

    AMD also has done well in this, too. By building a no-question better product, they were able to steal a good chunk of the market share, and their momentum right now will be hard to beat. Now I'm waiting for AMD's counter punch, and from what I've seen so far, if they think it's the AM2 with DDR2, they're gonna get steam-rolled.
  • cscpianoman - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    This is Intel!

    Sorry, had to be an ostrich fan-boy for the moment. I think it interesting that Intel really upped the ante on this one. They didn't want to match AMD's next stuff, they wanted to clobber it. Unless AMD pulls a rabbit out of their hat, I see Intel holding onto this performance crown. I'm interested to see what AMD has to counter this.
  • psychobriggsy - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Even I, as an AMD supporter, hope that this will shut up the extremist ostrich-like fanboys on the AMD side who can't see that Intel has finally done well.

    It will be interesting to see a comparison between Conroe at $x and a Pentium D at $x when they're released too.

    And well done for admitting a fault with the FEAR test.
  • mongster - Friday, March 10, 2006 - link

    Agree with you. Been an Intel supporter for many years and when it was time to upgrade my flailing Willamette system, I decided to wait for Prescott, thinking that I don't want to jump onto the AMD bandwagon. When AMD trounced Intel Prescott, I decided to wait for dual core. But when AnandTech and other sites put out convincing data on why AMD continues to be the better buy for CPU's, I decided it was high time to switch over to the other camp. That was what I did last year when I finally assembled my first AMD system (have assembled AMD systems for my friends but never for myself). Now, I am thinking, should I have waited? Conroe's numbers sure are impressive but I will wait for the architecture to mature first (and the prices to stabilize haha) and see if AMD has anything up their sleeves to counter Conroe.

    Just my 2 cents.
  • Calin - Monday, March 13, 2006 - link

    Yes, if your old computer's performance was enough, you should have waited another 6 or more months for Conroe. If you were concerned about price, maybe you should have waited until early next year.
    When you choose to upgrade, Intel wasn't the clear cut best option, like it seems to become in half a year
  • RichUK - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Good read good read. Thanks for the honesty and accuracy on the updates. Reply
  • MrKaz - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Intel road map says Q4. Not Q3.

    And 6 months from now is Q4 not Q3.

    AMD new K8 will boast performance by 10%. If .65nm boost the frequency of new K8 since .13 » .09 doesn’t seem to do pretty much on that aspect.
    Then we will have some good war.

    Don’t forget that this processor when working in single core have a huge L2 (4MB) vs the only 1MB from AMD. That boost the performance a lot in many applications. So the difference in Quake4, ... is amazing but not that much.
  • MrKaz - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Sorry i mean that 6 months from now is still Q3, but intel road map says Q4. Reply
  • Von Matrices - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Didn't that CPU have 2MB L2 and not 4MB L2? Reply
  • Anemone - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    If 20% improvement on Athlon the P4 is officially last, last, last years news, and a dog.

    /bye P4
  • Anemone - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    You are really top rate reviewers. Check and recheck, and always forthright about things that needed correcting. Kudos!
  • PrinceGaz - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Thanks for this follow-up article, it covers pretty much every question that was raised except one. In the original article you mention "the ATI graphics driver was modified to recognize the Conroe CPU but that driver was loaded on both AMD and Intel systems". Have you any information on why it needed modifying and what was changed, and whether the changes would have any effect on the AMD system (either positive or negative). Reply
  • Chadder007 - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    I think its because they needed to change the drivers to recognize the dual core capabilities of the Conroe, since they are multithreaded capable now from ATI. Reply
  • redbone75 - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    One thing I haven't really noticed many people talking about in all of this Conroe stuff is the price to performance ratio Conroe brings. If it were released now, Conroe would offer a significant increase in performance over AMD's top offering at half the price ($540? for Conroe 2.66 and $1000+ for an FX60 right now). Sure, AMD will reduce the prices of it's processors once Intel launches the Core line and AM2 is ramping up, but I doubt it will be significant enough to entice unbiased buyers away from Conroe if it is the superior performing chip. I personally have favored Intel's chips over AMD's simply because I'm not a heavy gamer and didn't need the insane frame rates, and before dual core chips arrived I've always found my computing experience to be a little smoother b/c of hyperthreading (I've built several AMD systems for clients and friends). With the advent of dual core chips, I was eventually going to build a new system around an X2, but then when looking at the great overclockability of the Presler core and the lower price I kinda balked at that switch. Maybe others will do the same with AMD vs. Conroe: AMD might lower their prices such that buyers will go for it and simply overclock to close the performance deficit. But, then again we did just see an overclocked FX60 get bested by Conroe, at least according to current data (had to throw that in there lest the might of the fanboys smote me where I sit). Oh, well, I could be wrong, but that's my human right:-) Reply
  • dysonlu - Sunday, March 12, 2006 - link

    Intel will charge a premium for it. You can mark my word. It's simply naive to expect the new chip to offer both the best performance AND the best value.

    Boy, people can so easily get carried away, being too optimistic and enthusiastic.
  • PhoenixOrion - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    I've never bought an intel chip for over the $200 mark. But with this Conroe initial showing of performance I just might save up an additional $50 and spring one for my own personal build. Reply
  • yacoub - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Aside from the fanboyisms from one side or the other, let's just state the obvious:

    It's great to see Intel being truly competitive once again, taking the performance lead (once these chips come out to market).
    In the meantime, AMD better have something on the AM2 platform that will bring them back within 5-10% of the Conroe performance if they hope to compete. It has been ABnormal that AMD has held BOTH the price and performance crowns in recent months considering that generally one item will have better price and the other better performance. After AM2's release it will likely return it to how it was a couple years ago where Intel held the performance crown by 5-10% and AMD had the better price. In that situation we will see a return to Intel by the money-no-object folks and AMD still championed by the poor and destitute (though I would include myself in that category for now). :)
  • Googer - Friday, March 10, 2006 - link

    According to socket AM2 suffers from a performance loss when compaired to a similarly configured socket 939 system.">
  • bob661 - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Nice job Anand!! I'm still going to wait till the product arrives and is tested but at least you eliminated as many variables as you could with the Intel systems. It would seem that Intel didn't try anything underhanded but like you said, "...grain of salt." Reply
  • porkster - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Some have been saying AMD are considering releasing socket 775 AMD CPU's besides their AM2 socket line, as a means to expand their market. If this is true AMD is targeting the $$$$ again rather than trying to get a whole community by centring on performace.

    You'd think there would be some form of Intel ownership on the Socket's use, but AMD are releasing also their server socket which is much like Socket T.
  • Calin - Monday, March 13, 2006 - link

    There are lots of possible problems for AMD processors running on the Intel's socket 775:
    -memory controller would have no way to access memory (outside of using the FSB)
    -AMD processors have no FSB, they use AMD HyperTransport (which is a bit slow to allow access to memory)
    -the Socket 775 has no support for HyperTransport from chipset to processor
    So, AMD would have to compete against Intel without having any of K8 advantages. Not likely.
    However, the transition to a "pins on mainboard" socket (unlike the "pins on processrs" in use at the moment) might make sense, especially after Intel proved the idea good.
  • psychobriggsy - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Ah, driven of Tech Report eh? People have been commenting about the lack of bacon over there recently.

    AMD will never release a processor on S775.

    S1207 uses LGA like S775, but that's it.
  • Spoelie - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    I just hope this lays to rest the extremely dumb comments I have been reading the past few days regarding this topic.

    One thing tho I would have preferred to see Intel do, is use the exact same chipset on their mobo, as it is available for Intel systems as well, is it not? Would have taken away any last shred of doubt but I doubt it would have impacted the scores.
  • Furen - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Looks like Intel's "20% more performance than AMD" claims are true... right now. I wonder how many speed grades AMD can get out of its 90nm K8 in order to battle Conroe when it actually comes out. I'd guess two more speed grades is the most we'll see this year (so a 3.0GHz X2) which certainly wont make up for the ~20% (overall) performance deficit... so it looks like Intel will be spanking AMD at least until the 65nm shrink and maybe until the K8L comes out. Reply
  • chilled - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    That's unlikely given Intel want to be promoting their own chipsets which run XFire fine. Reply
  • Larso - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    This conroe thing is truly interesting news. At last Intel has dropped the netburst mishap and developed a useable cpu. Reply
  • Furen - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Man, we didnt see so many people complaining about netburst when it was whoring the Athlon XP... I agree that it needed to be replaced but it wasn't all bad... Reply
  • Darth Farter - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    looks like this round is going to Intel as it did with the northwood.

    Let's see what the underdog will have in store for us.

    I myself suspect AMD having much more focused on the quad core server arena where it's likely going to whoop ass the way conroe is doing now in regards with FP performance
  • stelleg151 - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Great work, and Im glad you got that FEAR anomoly worked out. It is definately exciting seeing such a leap in performance.

    That being said, I personally would have put a little bit more emphasis on the fact that these processors are still scheduled to be 3-6 months away, as this is in the most extreme sense a PREview and not a REview.
  • IHYLN - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    good job clearing the air Anand. And whoever was that person was who called me an idiot for saying the crossfire 1900xt setup was GPU limited, I snub my nose at thee.

    Great job on intel's part for actually making a desirable CPU and I hope AMD can match or exceed.
  • Calin - Monday, March 13, 2006 - link

    At least a lower price will benefit everyone. As long as processor performance is concerned, AMD won't gain the crown easily. Looks like Intel will be on top again.
    I say this is good, as prices for AMD processors were a bit static. I hope for a price war :D

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