The CPUs

Centrino 2 launches with basically the same 45nm Penryn Core 2 Duos that have been shipping since the beginning of this year, the only difference is that these chips run off of a 1066MHz FSB (up from 800MHz in Santa Rosa Penryn). As far as we know there have been no architectural changes to the Montevina Penryn chips, they just have a faster FSB and do benefit, in some cases, from lower TDPs which we will explain later.


Centrino 2's 45nm CPUs remain largely unchanged from those that launched with the Santa Rosa Refresh earlier this year

The Centrino 2 launch lineup is below:

Montevina (Centrino 2) Clock Speed FSB L2 Cache TDP Pricing (1000 units)
Core 2 Extreme X9100 3.06GHz 1066MHz 6MB 44W $851
Core 2 Duo T9600 2.80GHz 1066MHz 6MB 35W $530
Core 2 Duo T9400 2.53GHz 1066MHz 6MB 35W $316
Core 2 Duo P9500 2.53GHz 1066MHz 6MB 25W $348
Core 2 Duo P8600 2.40GHz 1066MHz 3MB 25W $241
Core 2 Duo P8400 2.26GHz 1066MHz 3MB 25W $209

Given that the only performance-impacting change here is the FSB speed bump, honestly there's no reason to expect a Centrino 2 with a T9400 to perform any differently from a Centrino Duo with a T9500. The 1066MHz FSB is nice, but will most likely only make a small difference with the upcoming Core 2 Extreme QX9300 - Intel's first quad-core mobile CPU, which isn't due out until later this year (2.53GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 12MB total L2 cache, 45W TDP).

The CPU pricing is actually even more aggressive than Santa Rosa Refresh Penryn parts, for comparison here are the older chips:

Santa Rosa Refresh (Centrino 1) Clock Speed FSB L2 Cache TDP Pricing (1000 units)
Core 2 Extreme X9000 2.80GHz 800MHz 6MB 44W $851
Core 2 Duo T9500 2.60GHz 800MHz 6MB 35W $530
Core 2 Duo T9300 2.50GHz 800MHz 6MB 35W $316
Core 2 Duo T8300 2.40GHz 800MHz 3MB 35W $241
Core 2 Duo T8100 2.10GHz 800MHz 3MB 35W $209

The new T9600 gives you an extra 200MHz at the same price, while the P8600 and P8400 give you virtually the same performance, but lower TDPs at the same price. The new 25W TDPs are particularly interesting since they drop power consumption at the same clock speeds and are available in speeds up to 2.53GHz.

The entire Core 2 mobile lineup with the new Montevina chips is below:

Core Platform Clock Speed FSB L2 Cache TDP Package
Core 2 Extreme X9100 45nm Penryn Montevina 3.06GHz 1066MHz 6MB 44W 35mm x 35mm
Core 2 Extreme X9000 45nm Penryn Santa Rosa Refresh 2.80GHz 800MHz 6MB 44W 35mm x 35mm
Core 2 Extreme X7900 65nm Merom Santa Rosa 2.80GHz 800MHz 4MB 45W 35mm x 35mm
Core 2 Extreme X7800 65nm Merom Santa Rosa 2.60GHz 800MHz 4MB 45W 35mm x 35mm
Core 2 Duo T9600 45nm Penryn Montevina 2.80GHz 1066MHz 6MB 35W 35mm x 35mm
Core 2 Duo T9400 45nm Penryn Montevina 2.53GHz 1066MHz 6MB 35W 35mm x 35mm
Core 2 Duo P9500 45nm Penryn Montevina 2.53GHz 1066MHz 6MB 25W 35mm x 35mm
Core 2 Duo P8600 45nm Penryn Montevina 2.40GHz 1066MHz 3MB 25W 35mm x 35mm
Core 2 Duo P8400 45nm Penryn Montevina 2.26GHz 1066MHz 3MB 25W 35mm x 35mm
Core 2 Duo T9500 45nm Penryn Santa Rosa Refresh 2.60GHz 800MHz 6MB 35W 35mm x 35mm
Core 2 Duo T9300 45nm Penryn Santa Rosa Refresh 2.50GHz 800MHz 6MB 35W 35mm x 35mm
Core 2 Duo T8300 45nm Penryn Santa Rosa Refresh 2.40GHz 800MHz 3MB 35W 35mm x 35mm
Core 2 Duo T8100 45nm Penryn Santa Rosa Refresh 2.10GHz 800MHz 3MB 35W 35mm x 35mm
Core 2 Duo T7800 65nm Merom Santa Rosa 2.60GHz 800MHz 4MB 35W 35mm x 35mm
Core 2 Duo T7700 65nm Merom Santa Rosa 2.40GHz 800MHz 4MB 35W 35mm x 35mm
Core 2 Duo T7500 65nm Merom Santa Rosa 2.20GHz 800MHz 4MB 35W 35mm x 35mm
Core 2 Duo T7300 65nm Merom Santa Rosa 2.00GHz 800MHz 4MB 35W 35mm x 35mm
Index The Lowest Power Core 2 Centrino, Ever
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  • gfxmatters - Friday, July 18, 2008 - link

    So now that we have established that the HD video is broken (unless you like frame-skipping :>), how about the 3D and some games? I like Intel (I own many) and give them the benefit of the doubt on CPUs, but not GPUs. Why? Track record, from Vista issues to reported game perfornace and compatibility! Let's see the numbers....
    Reply
  • SmartyPants - Wednesday, July 16, 2008 - link

    Not 100% sure, but don't the new Lenovo Thinkpad X200 have Centrino 2? Some people have gotten their hands on units and reviews are popping up. Reply
  • FITCamaro - Wednesday, July 16, 2008 - link

    I'm glad this feature is finally making a real push in the market. And it doesn't get any lower power than an integrated Intel GPU. All I want on the go is web browsing, DVD playback and Office. If I'm playing a game on a laptop, its with the power cord plugged in. Reply
  • nysupport - Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - link

    http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/1880/85/">http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/1880/85/ Reply
  • kevinkreiser - Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - link

    Seriously, does anyone know when G45 based boards will finally hit the market? The article mentions that GM45 laptops should be out within 30 days, but it seems like I've been waiting for what seems like 6 months for the G45. Reply
  • Brian23 - Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - link

    I think your package info for the chips is wrong. 35mm^2 is smaller than the size of your pinkey fingernail. I think you meant to say 35mm x 35mm. That would be 1225mm^2 or 1.225cm^2. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, July 16, 2008 - link

    actually, that should be 12.25cm^2 Reply
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - link

    Hi Anand,

    you're writing:

    "Note that here, while the voltages dropped vs. Merom, maximum current draw actually went up to 44A from 41A. This could be due to greater leakage, the higher clock speeds offered by Penryn or simple inexperience with the 45nm process compared to Intel's tried-and-true 65nm process upon its release."

    It's much simpler than that. P = U*I, so if P=const (35W) and V goes down, I has to go up.

    Regards,
    MrS
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - link

    Not so much "new platform" as "new marketing opportunity for OEMs".

    I don't mean to knock Centrino - the original platform really did move the wireless revolution along.

    Centrino2 however brings nothing new other than upgraded (or downgraded!) components.

    I think AMD went the right way by including graphics requirements in their http://game.amd.com/us-en/amdgame_whatis.aspx">AMD GAME! platform, but only time will tell. Centrino is such a strong brand name it might be hard to top. It would be nice to see a gaming-based Centrino.
    Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - link

    It'd be nice if you could also get a similarly configured system with the 2.53GHz T9400 and P9500 to try to ascertain the realworld battery-life benefits between the 35W and 25W TDPs. (I'd wish they'd just call the 25W TDP parts Medium Voltage, Mxxxx parts, which makes it more intuitive where they belong compared to LV and ULV parts.)

    And maybe a comparison between a 2.4GHz SL9400 and a 2.4GHz P8600 to see how big a difference the loss of 3MB of L2 cache is. With a 1066MHz FSB, it probably isn't a big deal.
    Reply

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