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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  • Griswold - Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - link

    I didnt see anything about (real) stability and throttling.

    POV-Ray is all nice and such, but does it put as much stress on the core(s) as, let's say, S&M 1.7.3?

    Also, I havent seen any temperatures. :)

    Granted, it's just a preview, but still. I'm mostly interested in throttling. 4.5GHz on CPU-Z is cool, but does it deliver that when you heat up the kitchen?
    Reply
  • tuteja1986 - Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - link

    Is Intel back in the high performance section ? Can they finally defeat AMD in gaming benchmark ? What does AMD in store for us ? Do you guys think that Intel are going to pawn AMD ? : ( Question ... Anyways this is a good sign of competition from Intel and i am know interested in getting a Intel 65nm if they perform good and be very competitive in gaming benchmark. Reply
  • Shintai - Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - link

    65nm P4s are only a temporary thing. They sued the 65nm to gain benefits inmaking a cheaper product, while getting better in the performance/watt issue and getting the P4 into acceptable powerlevels and heatlevels.

    However..Intel gives a damn about 4Ghz P4 etc for one reason. Conroe will burrow P4 in week 36 2006. And Yonah will take a huge part aswell until Conroe/Merom. Netburst is dead, all hail Pentium-M and it´s successor.
    Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - link

    The first gen 65nm are definitely a temporary thing. As we all have seen from the roadmaps, Conroe is the real chip.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • NullSubroutine - Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - link

    I found it very interesting that Intel actually put two seperate cores and dies on the new dual core chip. This is very interesting as it affects pricing but decreasing cost (of defective dies) thus places this processor in a possibly lower pricing point than AMD's. And if you like heavy encoding where netburst has always done well in, this chip could be your best bet, espeically if the increase in cache increases the benchmarks like the P4 notably has with such. IMHO Reply
  • Viditor - Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - link

    quote:

    This is very interesting as it affects pricing but decreasing cost (of defective dies) thus places this processor in a possibly lower pricing point than AMD's


    It does indeed increase yield (thus decreasing cost), however we have no way of knowing how good the original yield is, so they may still be more expensive to produce.
    It also decreases performance by increasing the latency between cores and increasing the bandwidth requirements of the FSB...
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - link

    I have to say that I'm a little skeptical on the whole core-to-core bandwidth topic. I think there's a lot less inter-core communication than some people think. The FSB latency and bandwidth is the bigger question, so really I doubt that having split cores (Presler) is any worse than Smithfield - the extra cache probably more than compensates.

    Of course, X2 still has the latency advantage (by a huge margin), but I'm only looking at the Intel side here. I mean, we can't really draw any conclusions from Presler vs. Toledo other than to (most likely) say that Toledo is faster. Why it's faster is almost certainly due more to the overall architecture and design than the faster inter-core communication.

    It will be interesting to see if Intel can get latencies down with future chips without resorting to an integrated memory controller. I believe at present Intel's best is around 100ns latency for RAM while AMD is 30 to 40ns. If Intel could even get their chips to 75ns, it would be a huge improvement.
    Reply
  • Viditor - Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - link

    Fair enough Jarred...but we can probably get a good idea of the core to core advantages by comparing a dual core Opteron to a 2P Opteron rig at the same speeds...
    As to Presler v Smithfield, maybe I'm confused but isn't Smithfield a split core as well? Any corrections greatly appreciated!
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - link

    Heh - from this article by Anand, I gathered that Smithfield wasn't split and Presler is. Needless to say, I haven't personally pried off the heat spreader on my Smithy, so I don't know for sure. :) (I'm also open to enlightenment if someone has definite evidence - I'm being too lazy to research it right now!)

    2P Opteron vs. DC Opteron isn't quite the same as split core vs. single core, though. The difference between communications sent over the FSB, through the chipset, and to a separate socket is going to be quite a bit larger than simply splitting the cores. I'm sure a unified core has faster inter-core communication speeds, but the question is: how fast do they need to be?

    If such signaling only occurs on rare occasions, the real world performance difference between split cores and unified cores (of dual-core packages) may be less than 1 or 2 percent in real-world testing. There's also the question of 2P vs. DC on Intel in contrast to the same on AMD. Intel tends to have more bus bandwidth and lower latency, and perhaps better RAM prefetch logic as well. Opteron DC might be 5 to 10% faster while Intel would only be 2% faster, or maybe it's the reverse of that. (Again, I'm being lazy.)

    Basically, since the architectures of NetBurst and K8 are vastly different, DC/SMP/etc. can benefit - or not - from technologies to varying degrees. And yes, I realize for many that's going to be a "duh!" statement. "Hey people - bananas are very different from oranges!" Shock and awe.... Still, it bears mention since we still have people out there that don't understand that pipeline stages, architectural designs, etc. are at least as important as raw clock speeds.
    Reply
  • AndreasM - Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - link

    http://images.google.com/images?q=smithfield+intel">Google smithfield+intel Reply

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