Intel is very excited about its new Core architecture, especially with Conroe on the desktop. It's not really news to anyone that Intel hasn't had the desktop performance crown for years now; its Pentium 4 and Pentium D processors run hotter and offer competitive or lower performance than their AMD competitors. With Conroe, Intel hopes to change all of that.

From top to bottom - Quad-core 65nm Kentsfield, dual core 65nm Conroe and 65nm Pentium D

Intel setup two identical systems: in one corner, an Athlon 64 FX-60 overclocked to 2.8GHz running on a DFI RD480 motherboard. And in the other corner, a Conroe running at 2.66GHz (1067MHz FSB) on an Intel 975X motherboard.

The AMD system used 1GB of DDR400 running at 2-2-2/1T timings, while the Intel system used 1GB of DDR2-667 running at 4-4-4. Both systems had a pair of Radeon X1900 XTs running in CrossFire and as far as we could tell, the drivers and the rest of the system setup was identical. They had a handful of benchmarks preloaded that we ran ourselves, the results of those benchmarks are on the following pages. Tomorrow we'll be able to go into great depth on the architecture of Conroe, but for now enjoy the benchmarks.

As far as we could tell, there was nothing fishy going on with the benchmarks or the install. Both systems were clean and used the latest versions of all of the drivers (the ATI graphics driver was modified to recognize the Conroe CPU but that driver was loaded on both AMD and Intel systems).

Intel told us to expect an average performance advantage of around 20% across all benchmarks, some will obviously be higher and some will be lower. Honestly it doesn't make sense for Intel to rig anything here since we'll be able to test it ourselves in a handful of months. We won't say it's impossible as anything can happen, but we couldn't find anything suspicious about the setups.

Gaming Performance


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  • mircea - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    I think that Intel did this to bite on AMD's recen jump in desktop retail sales. With soo much press from now until release putting Intels' new CPU above AMD it will mkae it a hard decision for some. Plus I don't think AMD would be soo much out of the know if Intell would just show this a week before release. I bet AMD and Intell know the ballpark figures of the competitions release in the upcoming 6-8 months. Of course AMD couldnot have known this a year ago when Intell gave up on Netburst even more when I'm sure Intell was already working on this when or just after AMD released the 64. But then jut like upgrading, trying to beat the competition on each generation would mean huge refresh cycles, and never released chips. Intell proved it can't keep up the pace for each generation. Amd cought up this one, and in doing so let Intell "breathing room" to work on the next one since it was useless to compete in teh current one. Reply
  • JackPack - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    It's far, far too late for an AMD response this year. After a redesign and tapeout, it'll take a year before production silicon is ready. Even respins alone take 3-4 months and masks cost millions of dollars.

    Quad-core Clovertown/Kentsfield should have taped out already if they're intending for for a Q4'06-Q1'07 release.

    No, any serious design work going on now at Intel or AMD is for 2nd gen-quad core.
  • Samus - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    that is very impressive. intel might have convinced me to built an intel-processor system, my first in years. Reply
  • Powermoloch - Tuesday, March 7, 2006 - link

    seriously, it's amazing to see intel's new chip can do alot more for less ghz. Dayum :O !!! Reply
  • fsardis - Tuesday, March 7, 2006 - link

    i suppose the comparison isnt fair for another reason. the chipsets are not the same. if for example they tested both cpus on the same chipset such as nf4 i am sure it would further close the gap. Reply
  • coldpower27 - Tuesday, March 7, 2006 - link

    Why do this Intel's own chipsets tend to be the most stable and great performing for their processors? Reply
  • Questar - Tuesday, March 7, 2006 - link

    By what, 1%? 3%? 5%?

    You're not getting 40% from a chipset.
  • munky - Tuesday, March 7, 2006 - link

    First, I'd like to see Intel with a 40% lead in some official benches. The performance lead Intel is trying to show off seems too good to be true. Reply
  • Questar - Tuesday, March 7, 2006 - link

    We will all have that chance in a few months.

    But, as many people have pointed out, why would Intel try to pull a fast one? It's not like they wouldn't get found out.
  • UNCjigga - Tuesday, March 7, 2006 - link

    Besides Intel's 975x at launch, what other chipsets can we expect to see? Any ATI RD6xx or Nforce 5xx ready at launch? Anything from SiS or VIA? Reply

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