Penryn's Launch Schedule

The launch will work like this: late this year (Q4), Intel will introduce a a new Extreme Edition processor based on Yorkfield (quad-core Penryn). Given that most Extreme Edition chips start out with a $999 price tag, that's where we'd expect the first quad-core Penryn to fall as well.

More affordable Penryn won't arrive until Q1 2008, which is great news for AMD. In the beginning of next year, Intel will introduce both mainstream Yorkfield and Wolfdale (dual-core Penryn) parts. We'd expect Wolfdale based chips to run at between 2.33GHz and 3.00GHz, while Yorkfield will probably top out at 3.33GHz.

In Q2 2008, Intel will push Penryn even further down the line and introduce a Wolfdale based E4xxx successor. This version of Wolfdale will have a 1066MHz FSB and drops support for Intel Virtualization Technology and TXT.

The Chip

Intel is keeping its few remaining cards close at hand, and thus it is only sampling lowly 2.33GHz Wolfdale/Yorkfield chips. It's not an issue of getting the 45nm process to clock high enough (as you'll see from our overclocking tests), so we'd guess that Intel doesn't want to have the performance of its top of the line 3.33GHz Yorkfield leaked until after Phenom hits.


Wolfdale's underside - we have to hide the other side so Intel doesn't murder our mole in its sleep


Conroe's belly for comparison

The 2.33GHz Wolfdale we're looking at today is best compared to the Core 2 Duo E6550 (2.33GHz Conroe), and that's exactly what we're doing.

Our Wolfdale is also not the final stepping that will be shipping next year; we've got A0 silicon and A1 should be ready in the coming weeks. Despite the not-final state of the silicon, we had absolutely no problems with the chip in our test bed. We tossed it in our Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R test bed and ran through a subset of our test suite without so much as a BIOS update. We are waiting on the first Penryn-tuned motherboards and BIOSes to arrive, so performance may increase from where we're at today.

The Test

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 (2.33GHz/1333MHz)
Intel Wolfdale 2.33GHz/1333MHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R (Intel P35)
Chipset: Intel P35
Chipset Drivers: Intel 8.1.1.1010 (Intel)
Hard Disk: Seagate 7200.9 300GB SATA
Memory: Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800 4-4-4-12 (1GB x 2)
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 158.18
Desktop Resolution: 1600 x 1200
OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit

Index Wolfdale vs. Conroe Performance
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  • Reynod - Saturday, September 01, 2007 - link

    Another great article Anand.

    Informative and helpful.

    I really hope your doing something similar with the new AMD cpu and will wait and see what you write.

    Like many people thinking of upgrading I await what AMD will offer after the 10th of Septenber ... but its clear Intel have a range of strong offerings at present.

    All we need now is to see what CPU design Nvidia are cooking up ... heh heh.

    We might end up with 3 competing complete platform (cpu, chipset, graphics) providers ... ??

    Maybe that's why Intel is trying so hard to crush AMD at the moment ... wars on two fronts are much more difficult than one !!
    Reply
  • Lord Evermore - Sunday, August 26, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Under load however (running our WME9 test) the total system power consumption gap increases to 12.6W


    189.1 - 170.3

    I don't see a 12.6W power difference in that chart. I see 18.8W. 12.6 isn't even the amount it changed from the idle draw.

    At least you got the percentage calculations correct for a decrease (difference/Conroe instead of difference/Penryn).
    Reply
  • Lord Evermore - Sunday, August 26, 2007 - link

    For that matter, I just noticed the percentage was measured using the correct 18.8W measurement. Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, August 25, 2007 - link

    Great review! This is valuable information, to know how Intel's next-year CPUs will perform. Reply
  • Carfax - Saturday, August 25, 2007 - link

    Does anyone know what resolution the game benches were run at?

    These benchmarks vary considerably compared to the HKepc ones, which could be explained if Anandtech ran the benches at a higher resolution compared to HKepc.
    Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, August 25, 2007 - link

    You're missing the whole point. The two sites aren't necessarily using the same graphics card, other hardware, exact test conditions, same driver, etc. If you want to see framerates, read a regular review on a game or graphics card. Anandtech's benchmark set the resolution very low so that it would be CPU-limited. Reply
  • ShowsOn - Friday, August 24, 2007 - link

    I'm wondering if the x264 video encoder could become a new benchmark?

    There is already a set of benchmark files http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=122318">herethat provide a consistent encoding task.

    Numerous people in the doom9 forums have already run the benchmark, http://img508.imageshack.us/img508/8092/couper12nx...">which has produced the following chart.

    It would be fascinating to see how much faster - clock for clock - the penryn cores are on this particular task.
    Reply
  • coldpower27 - Thursday, August 23, 2007 - link

    I must have missed it by could you tell me what resolutions you used in the gaming tests? Reply
  • DLeRium - Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - link

    I'm sorry but anytime you introduce a new CPU we all expect IN DEPTH articles. No, we don't want a quickie that just touches a few things and a few benchmarks so you can shoot this out the door and say "Hey! I got the first article out!"

    Sure it may be a preview because the chips aren't officially out yet and these are merely engineering samples.

    The biggest complaint was OCing. If you're not going to even do a little minor OC with different voltages, then what the hell is the point of putting a tease up there.

    Anyways.. seriously. I expect more detailed articles than this if you're going to review some piece of hot technology...
    Reply
  • DarthAgitated - Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - link

    My god man.. Did you pay for this article.. Did someone give you a choice to read this article or spend 15 minutes with a model and you chose the article?

    It's a preview. Of a cpu that's not coming for another couple of months. From a company that usually makes people sign NDA's up the ying yang so you can't report on anything.

    Damn them for managing to get a cpu in advance and telling us something about it. And in case you don't know, intel can tell when a cpu is overvolted. But I suppose they should have possibly fried it or hand it back to their mole and let him try and explain to Intel why their cpu was overvolted or fried. Maybe you can tell the people at anandtech how far they can overvolt a new 45nm cpu..

    Knowing what a cpu can be overclocked to on standard voltages is kind of a good thing to know. Knowing something about performance is probably a good thing to know. Any info is good info.

    Unless it's a press release. Then it's usually useless.

    Thanks for being a downer.

    me
    Reply

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