At the end of November, we finally did what we had been waiting to do for so long - provide the first performance benchmarks of Intel's Yonah processor, the dual core successor to the highly acclaimed Pentium M.  However, our initial performance investigation was not without its flaws.  Given the short amount of time that we had for benchmarking, we were forced to compare to older numbers from previous reviews, which unfortunately lacked updated gaming, encoding and 3D rendering tests.

Despite the shortcomings of the initial article, we did manage to get a good look at the performance that we could expect from Yonah.  Mainly, it was a fairly strong successor to the single core Pentium M and even more impressive was that it offered performance equal to that of AMD's Athlon 64 X2 without an on-die memory controller.  Many AnandTech readers kept our methods in check, however, by quickly pointing out that the Yonah vs. Athlon 64 X2 comparison wasn't exactly fair, as Yonah is equipped with a full 2MB of L2 cache, whereas the Athlon 64 X2 3800+ that we were comparing it against only had 512KB per processor, possibly painting Yonah in a better light. 

So for this follow-up, we've done two important things. For starters, we've updated the benchmark suite considerably, including modern day games and a few professional-level applications hopefully to get a better perspective on Yonah's performance.  We've also included an Athlon 64 X2 running at 2.0GHz, but with each core having a full 1MB L2 cache, making the Yonah vs. X2 comparison as close to even as possible (not mentioning the fact that AMD has twice the advantage in this round, with both a larger L1 cache and an on-die memory controller, but it should make things interesting). 

We won't be revisiting the issue of power consumption, as we already did that at the end of our last article, but needless to say, Yonah is the most efficient dual core processor that we've tested to date.  Granted that it does have the advantage of being on Intel's 65nm process whereas the Athlon 64 X2 is still based on AMD's 90nm process, but given that AMD is around a year away from transitioning to 65nm, it is an advantage that Intel has the right to enjoy.

What about Clock Speeds?


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  • Hacp - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    If you want performance of an AMD X2 in a notebook package, the Yonah duo is the way to go. Reply
  • Griswold - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    Or you wait for dual core Turion. Same thing. Reply
  • Accord99 - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    But at 2-3x the power consumption. Reply
  • Houdani - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link">

    No need to exaggerate unnecessarily.
  • Accord99 - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    That's a system power consumption, I was referring to CPU only. And in a laptop environment, the power usage of the other components are much smaller so the impact of the CPU portion is greater. 90nm single Turions are already uncompetitive with Yonah, making them dual core will just make it worse. Reply
  • saratoga - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    The difference will most likely be less then 2x judging by the relative power consumption of Dothan and Venice @ 90nm, so you're still wrong.

    Also, Yonah is a 65nm chip. It should not be surprising that it has an edge over 90nm chips.
  • Accord99 - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    Dothan vs Turion ML has a 2X or greater edge under load. Yonah has comparable power consumption to Dothan while 90nm dual core Turions will clearly go up. 3X is not out of the question for non-undervolted DC Turions. Reply
  • Shintai - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    Ye I would guess on something like 35W will be 40-45W with 65nm Turion X2, unless you sacrifice speeds. The 25W part might be 35-40W.

    But Turion really never had a chance, since it´s not designed for low power. And as we already saw in the benchies. Who want a dualcore Turion running at 1.8Ghz or less against a 2.13Ghz Yonah when the yonah uses less power.

    Intel briliant move so Dothan->Yonah only gave 9% more transistors. Turion->Turion X2 will add 110-120% more transistors (Over 100% due to crossbar between CPUs).

    So Yonah will also be cheaper to make than a dualcore Turion.
  • Furen - Thursday, December 22, 2005 - link

    Intel did slice the "cache per core" in half with Yonah, so AMD could conceivably make Dual-core Turions have 512k per core, which would make the die-size increase around 50%, though this will probably have a greater impact on performance on the AMD side, since Dothan's cache was insanely huge to begin with.

    About the price: AMD Turions will always be cheaper than their direct analogs from Intel because AMD needs to perform the same AND have a better price for people to use it, otherwise they'll go with the market leader, so I dont think we'll ever be faced with chosing between a 1.8GHz Turion and a 2.13GHz Yonah. This is regardless of the production cost, though AMD's margins may take a big hit if Intel pushes prices hard enough.
  • bob661 - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    pnw3d Reply

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