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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  • Regs - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    Though all we've been getting is words with no definitions. AMD has to show something by the end of this month. I see no excuse otherwise. They can't continue to throw us bones to pick at. That time ended over 6 months ago. Reply
  • JackPack - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    I'm sure AMD felt confident when they thought Barcelona was up against Xeon X5355 (2.66 GHz). Then, they realized they were up against 3.0 GHz. Now, it's Yorkfield at 3.33 GHz. Reply
  • Souka - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    I'd like to see 2 current top gen AMD chips included in bench... just to show how much of a difference there is...



    Reply
  • Roy2001 - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    I'd like to see 2 current top gen AMD chips included in bench... just to show how much of a difference there is...
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    Man, 6000+ falls short of E6700 and barely beats E6600 if not equal. So AMD has no player in Penryn arena, at least for now. If they cannot crank Barcelona frequency higher, then they have no chance. 2.3Ghz is simply far from enough to compete with 3.33Ghz Penryn.
    Reply
  • Goty - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    You're assuming that Barcelona won't outperform Penryn on an IPC basis, which nobody can say yet. Reply
  • ShapeGSX - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    That brings up a good point. Why is it that we haven't at least seen a demo of Barcelona like Intel has shown us for Conroe (last year) and Penryn? Reply
  • Goty - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    AMD isn't in the habit of showing off it's technology very far in advance of its launch. Reply
  • defter - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    Yeah right, they showed a running K8 system "only" more than a year before the launch... Reply
  • Roy2001 - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    Clock to clock, Barcelona could be faster. I just mean 2.3Ghz is too slow to compete with Penryn. If AMD can make it faster, say 2.8Ghz, it could compete with Penryn. This is just my 2 cents. Reply
  • Goty - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    If Barcelona came in at 2.3GHz with twice the IPC as Conroe/Penryn (this is hyperbole, I know it's not going to), it would wipe the floor with either processor. You can't speculate on the performance without knowing these kinds of details. Reply

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