Last year saw the most exciting changing of the guard with processors since the introduction of AMD’s K7 core in 1999. Thanks to very solid competition from AMD over the previous few years, Intel’s introduction of the Core 2 Duo lineup of processors meant much higher performance at very reasonable prices. In fact, the near-launch availability of Core 2 Duo E6400 and E6300 CPUs meant that for less than $300 you could get performance better than previous generation Extreme Edition and FX series processors.

After the initial Core 2 launch, we didn’t see too much more from Intel, other than the late-year release of Intel’s quad-core Kentsfield processors. Earlier this week Intel introduced its second quad-core part, the Core 2 Quad Q6600 priced at $851 for a slightly more affordable entry to the quad-core market. While we won’t see anything quite as interesting as the Core 2 launch for a while now, Intel isn’t remaining quiet this year when it comes to processor releases.

1333MHz FSB processors

Intel’s chipset and CPU release schedules are very tightly integrated, and 2007’s roadmap is no different. Intel has made a habit of releasing a new family of chipsets every year, and this year’s update in Q2 will mainly bring about support for the 1333MHz FSB.

CPU performance and more recently, the number of cores per chip, have gone up drastically in recent years; the slowest Core 2 processors are more powerful in many cases than the fastest of the Pentium 4 line. Despite the quick ramp in performance and number of cores, FSB bandwidth has remained stagnant. In Q2 Intel will introduce Core 2 models ending in the number 50 (e.g. Core 2 Duo E6850, E6750 and E6650) that take advantage of the 1333MHz FSB. Both 1066MHz and 1333MHz versions will coexist as the newer cores will only officially be supported on Intel’s upcoming x35 series of chipsets.

4MB L2 across the board for the 6000 series

Another significant update coming in Q2 is that the low end 6000 series Core 2 Duo processors will receive 4MB L2 caches like their more expensive brethren. Currently the E6300 and E6400 both have 2MB L2s, but both chips will be replaced by 4MB versions - the E6320 and E6420 respectively. Clock speeds and other details won’t change, but performance will obviously increase. The best part of it all is that pricing won’t change either, so if you’re contemplating buying an E6300 or E6400 you’d be better off waiting a quarter so you can get the extra cache for free.

Introducing the 4000 Series
POST A COMMENT

68 Comments

View All Comments

  • hubajube - Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - link

    Nice OC and I might consider this instead of a E6400. I'll have to wait how the 4MB versions stack up. Also, I'd like to see how it OC's on a Nvidia chipset board. No DS3 for me. Reply
  • tuteja1986 - Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - link

    Same Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - link

    The 4MB cache and faster FSB is good for performance, but also for raising stock performance from Intel's point of view. The extra cache and more bandwidth enables Core 2 Duo to scale better than the ones that don't. I would like to see E4300 at 800MHz FSB and clocked to say even E6600 speeds to see how it scales but I am expecting too much :P.

    E4300 at 3.38GHz has an FSB of 1500MHz, which is 40% more than the stock X6800.
    Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - link

    From the idle power consumption measurements, it seems to use the new Core 2 Duo steppings that has C1E power consumption of 12W. You can see 8W difference from the normal Core 2 Duos, which are at 20W-22W(20W for E6700 and 22W for others). Reply
  • Goty - Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - link

    Yeah, but that doesn't matter to 99% of the desktop consumer market. Most only care about power consumption at full load as it is usually a good indication of heat output. Reply
  • hubajube - Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Most only care about power consumption at full load as it is usually a good indication of heat output.
    The only people that care about power consumption are geeks and corporate IT departments. Joe SixPack doesn't know and doesn't care. All they want is a machine that does email, stores porn, and surfs the web. You guys need to get out more often.
    Reply
  • Xentropy - Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - link

    You can be sure even Joe SixPack will notice if turning on his PC sounds like a jet engine starting up, though, and higher power consumption means louder cooling solutions. Reply
  • hubajube - Thursday, January 11, 2007 - link

    quote:

    You can be sure even Joe SixPack will notice if turning on his PC sounds like a jet engine starting up, though, and higher power consumption means louder cooling solutions.
    J6P still won't notice because they usually buy low rent Dell's and HP's not, custom built jobs like we have. Like I said, power consumption means nothing to regular computer buyers.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now