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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  • Viditor - Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - link


    However until AMD manages to make public some plans for innovation beyond new sockets, I think Intel has a good chance at overtaking AMD in the performance realm with slow and steady progress

    Fair enough...but certainly not with a Netburst chip. If I were AMD, I probably wouldn't release much info at this point either...
    1. As this shows, there really isn't any competition until the end of 06.
    2. Anouncing any concrete changes early risk creating an">Osbourne effect.
    3. Anticipation of the new Intel architecture is too far down the track to cut into current AMD sales.
    While there certainly are a few hints at some of the things to come (which AT mentions">here), there have been any number of stealth releases from AMD in the past (for example, nobody knew how much cooler the Rev E chips would end up being).
    Sadly for us, we just can't predict what is going to happen at the end of next year...
    How good will Conroe (et al) actually perform?
    What will AMDs products actually be?
  • Doormat - Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - link

    Yea, the chips still consume a whole lot of power, but 4.25GHz dual core is very competitive - and from some leaked roadmaps, AMD has the X2-5000 on tap for Q1'06 as well.

    I'm curious to know what the load temps were for those 4+GHz overclocks. And on the stock Intel HSF, right? I wonder what those crazy guys who use LN2 will get them too...
  • Kalessian - Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - link

    Yawn, I overclocked my 1.8ghz Venice by 1gz a long time ago, and 1ghz on a K8 is much more powerful than 1ghz on a p4.

    You guys should have tested the lower end CPUs (2.8ghz or 3.2ghz) to test the limits. If those could push a 1500mhz+ increase I'd be impressed.

    I bet I run cooler, too.

    Not that progress is bad, mind you. I'm all for 65nm.

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