You knew it had to be coming. A year ago Intel previewed its first Core 2 processors ahead of their release, and with Penryn due out before the end of the year the boys in blue are back again.

Penryn is still pretty early, although Intel was able to reach over 3GHz on all of the samples we tested. Not surprisingly, the number of benchmarks we were able to run was quite limited. Intel also provided us with a handful of its own test results demonstrated at IDF Beijing which we have reproduced here as well.

Penryn in action

As a recap, Penryn is the 45nm micro-architectural update to Intel's current Core 2 processors. The slide below shows most of the improvements to Penryn:

A faster divider and super shuffle engine both improve IPC in very specific applications. As we mentioned in our IDF day 1 coverage, faster FSB speeds appear to be reserved for Penryn based Xeon processors at this point as desktop Penryn cores will use a 1333MHz FSB. Penryn takes the total amount of L2 cache up to 6MB per two cores, giving the quad core Penryn chips a total of 12MB of on-die L2 cache. Penryn also has improved power management technologies, but only for mobile Penryn chips.

Penryn up and running

The Test
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  • DigitalFreak - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    What, no comments Goty?
  • Goty - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    Nope, I agree with him. I'm not a blind fanboy like many would like to think. I'm actually quite rational in my arguments.
  • AdamK47 - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    32MB of L1 cache... nice.
  • Souka - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    yeah....need to replace KB with B on the L1 cache value...still makes the number look big, but uses small unit.

    Or how about just posing cache size in the industry standard KB units
  • coldpower27 - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    Probably borked no CPU-Z part.
  • vailr - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    Re: "Chipset Driver"
    There's a beta Intel Inf driver Version">
    Also a newer CPU-Z version 1.39:">
    Actually, there's a CPU-Z version 1.39.2 out, but it's not posted on their web site.

  • KeypoX - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    "Or how about just posing cache size in the industry standard KB units"

    I think you mean kB kilobyte? Or did you mean kelvin byte KB?
  • Goty - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    People are posting how amazing this looks when in all actuality, it's pretty much nthing more than a speed bump. Looking at the results, Anand is guessing at a 10% performance increase when not considering the clockspeed. I can account for the other 9% right now: higher FSB, more cache. Penryn is just an evolutionary step, not revolutionary like the first Conroe CPUs and not really all that exciting IMHO.
  • erwos - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    If they can get the price down to $300-$400 for the quad-core variants, that'll be advancement enough. I desperately need to move our DVDs to H.264 or VC-1 to save space, but there's no way I'm paying $1000 for a quad-core CPU to do the task.

    At this point, I'm honestly desperate enough to grab the cheapie quad-core Xeons and overclock them, expensive motherboard or not.
  • coldpower27 - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    Wait for the old Kentsfield to have it's Q3 price drop to $266.

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