NetBurst is dead, as are the days of Intel's 31+ stage pipelines, leaving us with a much more power-efficient architecture in the second half of 2006 for all of Intel's microprocessors. From servers to notebooks, Intel's next-generation micro-architecture derived from the Pentium M's architecture is supposed to mark Intel's return to being competitive with AMD in terms of performance.

Not since Intel's Northwood Pentium 4 core has Intel really been performance-competitive with AMD. These days, the majority of Pentium 4s are just not very interesting. They are too hot, more expensive and under-performing compared to their AMD counterparts. And while Intel continues to have the lowest price on an entry-level dual core processor, the rest of their desktop product line is made up of processors that we can't recommend.

Between now and the second half of 2006, Intel does have one last card up their sleeves to send NetBurst to its grave with a proper farewell - the migration to Intel's 65nm process. At 65nm, the cores get smaller, the chips get cooler, and the clocks get higher. However, with Intel's next-generation architecture around the corner, Intel won't take their new 65nm chips too far, as they want to avoid a repeat of the Pentium 4's launch, where the new architecture is outperformed by its predecessor. So, despite what Intel's 65nm process may be capable of, the first 65nm Pentium 4s won't offer any increase in clock speeds.

As we've reported before, the 65nm line still won't break 4.0GHz. Instead, we'll see a re-release of 3.8GHz and slower parts. The tables below describe Intel's current roadmaps for the Pentium 4:

Intel Extreme Edition
CPU Core Clock FSB Mass Production
EE 955 Presler 3.46GHz 1066MHz Q1'06
EE 840 Smithfield 3.2GHz 800MHz Now
EE 3.73 Prescott 3.73GHz 1066MHz Now

Intel Dual Core Desktop
CPU Core Clock FSB L2 Cache
??? Conroe ??? ??? 4MB
??? Conroe ??? ??? 2MB
950 Presler 3.4GHz 800MHz 2x2MB
940 Presler 3.2GHz 800MHz 2x2MB
930 Presler 3.0GHz 800MHz 2x2MB
920 Presler 2.8GHz 800MHz 2x2MB

Intel Desktop Performance Roadmap
Processor Core Name Clock Speed Socket Launch Date
Pentium 672 Prescott 2M + VT 3.8 2MB LGA 775 Q4'05
Pentium 671 Cedar Mill 3.8 2MB LGA 775 2H'06
Pentium 662 Prescott 2M + VT 3.6 2MB LGA 775 Q1'06
Pentium 661 Cedar Mill 3.6 2MB LGA 775 Q1'06
Pentium 651 Cedar Mill 3.4 2MB LGA 775 Q1'06
Pentium 641 Cedar Mill 3.2 2MB LGA 775 Q1'06
Pentium 631 Cedar Mill 3.0 2MB LGA 775 Q2'06
Pentium 670 Prescott 2M 3.8 2MB LGA 775 Now

While AMD just celebrated the grand opening of Fab 36, they are still at a minimum of half a year behind Intel when it comes to 65nm production. Intel's 65nm CPUs have been sent to their partners in preparation for a launch early next year. Of course, whenever anything leaves Intel, whether it is information or a CPU, it's not too hard for us to get a hold of it. And thus today, we're able to bring you a quick preview of Intel's 65nm processors.

We will of course be focusing on performance and competitiveness with AMD parts when these CPUs actually launch, but today, we are focusing on two elements alone: power consumption and overclocking potential. As we said, at 65nm, everything gets cooler and faster, but how cool and how fast are what we are here to find out.

Introducing Cedar Mill and Presler
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  • semo - Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - link


    NetBurst is dead, as are the days of Intel's 31+ stage pipelines...
    it is awfully tricky typing with left hand while spinning underpants with right hand and jumping up and down at the same time
  • yacoub - Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - link

    I'm waiting until I can pick up a 5.0GHz dual core Intel chip with an 8MB L2 cache and frickin' flames painted on the sides of it.
  • Griswold - Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - link

    With sidepipes too! Pardon me, heat-sidepipes!
  • mlittl3 - Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - link

    For all of you asking about AMD's future, here is a link to an article with leaked AMD processor pricing guide (could be fake).">

    Bascially, one can tell from the memo that the FX-60 will probably be dual core 2.8 GHz CPU (increments of 5 instead of two now to match Opteron plus two cores means +5 instead of +2) and there will be a dual core 2.6 GHz called 5000+. All of the single core Athlon 64s will be reduced in price to be below all the dual cores (except the 4000+ will be a little above the x2 3800+). All the semprons will be below single core athlons except the 3400+ sempron will be a bit above the 3000+.

    Have fun dreaming of what you are going to buy. From the looks of things, AMD will be phasing out single core high speed processors sooner than we think. That means no 3.0 GHz in '06 Q1. :(
  • stephenbrooks - Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - link

    Uhhh... I think the FX-60 is actually a 3.0GHz DDR2-667 single core part. Looks like the FX-59 3.0GHz DDR-400 got shelved, presumably to avoid confusion having two at the same clock speed but different memory.

    X2 5000+ ought to be 2.667GHz dual core on DDR2-667.

    That is, if you believe this:">
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - link

    Not your fault, but I don't believe they have the details correct on that site. In fact, I'm almost sure of it.

    333 MHz CPU bus speed seems questionable at best to me. We might get that, but right now even the best 939 motherboards get flaky above 300 MHz CPU bus, and DDR2 isn't going to fix that. I'm inclined to think that AMD would go with a 266 bus instead, but really I don't think they'll even do that.

    Why? Simple: RAM speed on AMD systems is really independent of CPU bus speed. So, you can have a 200 MHz CPU bus with 1000 MHz HyperTransport, and the RAM can run at anything you want! (The RAM speed is derived from the CPU speed and has nothing to do with the CPU bus speed.) The 1000 MHz HT bus listed leads me to believe AMD will stick with a 200 MHz base CPU bus speed and 5X HT multiplier. The only change will be that instead of a CPU/12 divider on the 2.4 GHz chip, they'd have a CPU/8 divider. (That would actually result in DDR2-600, but since CPU/7 would give DDR2-686, they'll have to stick to the lower speed.)

    Given that information, my guess is that the X2 5000+ will actually be the same as the X2 4800+, only with DDR2-667 support on socket M2. In other words, my bet right now is that M2 5000+ will be 2.4 GHz. It makes sense: the socket shift will almost certainly come with a speed increase, and so AMD will have different model numbers for the new sockets. It will basically be like the past: 2.2 GHz 754 is a 3200+ while the 2.2 GHz 939 is a 3500+.
  • stephenbrooks - Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - link

    Yeah the guy changed his roadmap just this afternoon! Sorry about that.

    A shame really, I'd have liked to see the higher bus, but as you say it's a big jump from the current technology.
  • mlittl3 - Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - link

    I agree with Jared about the FSB. The FSB is not the same on the Athlon 64's as the Athlon XP's and the Pentium 4's, Stephenbrooks. You can't just go to 333 MHz to match the ddr2 memory speeds. The FSB if you can even call it that will always be a HT bus running in half or full duplex mode and will probably stay a multiple of 200 for awhile. Just my guess.

    But I disagree with Jared about what the chips are in the leaked pricing memo. If it is a true memo, then I think all processors on it are Socket 939 (no DDR2). It says Q1 '06 and I think the new sockets from AMD are not due until March. We are seeing the last of the Socket 939 processors and I think they are trying to move to all dual core similar to intel. Dual core on the FX processor (2.8 GHz giving 5 increment model numbers like the opterons) and a 200 MHz bump on the X2 5000+ to 2.6 GHz. We were all expecting a 2.6 GHz dual core part but a 2.8 GHz is a little iffy without the 65 nm shrink to keep things consuming less power.

    Oh well, only time will tell.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - link

    Oh, I didn't look at the AV link, mlitt, so I wasn't referring to that information. I'm still wondering what the 5000+ will be. If you look at the clock speeds and past performance, Toledo at 2.6 GHz is almost certainly a 5200+, while Manchester at 2.6 GHz would be the 5000+.

    2.6 / 2.4 = 1.08333 (8.33% speed increase)
    4800 * 1.08333 = 5200
    4600 * 1.08333 = 4983

    I'd guess we'll see a couple 2.6 GHz socket 939 X2 chips in early 2006. I could be wrong on the socket shift and AMD will just use the same names for the same speed, but the 754 to 939 shift indicates that they like to take advantage of faster platform performance by increasing the model number, so I really don't think they'll do that. If M2 chips are 5% faster than 939 chips, there's no way the marketing department will let that pass by without some hype. :) Besides...

    4800 * 1.05 = 5040
    4600 * 1.05 = 4830

    If the 5% guess is correct, I expect a 200 point model number change. Though it would be nice if they actually didn't overlap numbers, so in the above two instances they could call the 2.4 GHz 512K/1MB M2 chips the 5050+ and 4850+. Wouldn't it be great to actually have less obfuscated performance for once?
  • mongoosesRawesome - Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - link

    I really appreciate this article. Curious as to how you secured these chips without having to sign an NDA.

    AMD's A64s need to be able to reach 3.0 GHz in order for them to stay competitive with these new 65nm intel chips on the overclocking front. While some of their venice chips are definitely reaching those speeds, especially with a decent voltage bump, most don't quite make it. I expect that by the time these 65nm chips come out though, a 3.0 GHz OC on a 3800+ dual core system should be the norm. Competition is good, now we just need intel to lower their price on their motherboards and not attempt to restrict OCing on their motherboards chipsets.

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