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  Intel's Core 2 Duo processors, leveling the playing field. 
  Jul 14, 2006, 09:30am EDT 
 

Core 2 Duo Testing


By: Sander Sassen

Intel supplied us with their top of the line Core 2 Extreme X6800 processor which clocks in at 2.93GHz and features 4MB of L2-cache as well as a Core 2 Duo E6700 at 2.66GHz and also featuring 4MB of cache. Both these processors were accompanied by Intel's D975XBX motherboard, which is their highest performing motherboard to date. Equipped with 2GB of low-latency DDR2 memory comprised of two 1GB DIMMs we set to work with NVIDIA's capable GeForce 7900GTX to cater for the graphics and a 250GB Maxtor Diamondmax 10 SATA harddisk for storage. For the AMD platform we used an AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 processor as well as two Athlon 64 X2 processors, the 4800+ and the 3800+. In order to obtain scores representative of an Athlon 64 FX-62 we ran the FX-60 at an equivalent clock speed. The Asus A8N-SLI Premium motherboard was used with low-latency DDR400 memory and the same video card and harddisk as used on the Intel platform.

We decided to stick with a few typical benchmarks this time, simply because time did not permit us to run any further benchmarks as Intel decided to bring forward the NDA date twice which just gave us ample time to get acquainted with the new processors, install the operating systems and all required drivers/applications and run a number of benchmarks. Below you will find game benchmarks for Quake 4, Halflife 2 and FarCry which will give you a good impression of performance as the game engines that run these games are licensed by the majority of game developers. Next up are a few benchmarks to gauge how well the new processors fare and how well they’re suited for one of the more common tasks, WMV9 compression of home-video footage.


What is immediately clear is that the performance lead of Core 2 Extreme X6800 over the Pentium Extreme Edition 955 is just staggering; it has been well over a decade since I have seen a new architecture take such a spectacular lead over the previous one. AMD's offerings do not stand a chance either; Intel's Core 2 Duo simply leaps ahead with a performance increase of well over 50% in some cases. The gaming benchmark results are most illustrative as that is where AMD traditionally had a big lead over Intel, but now sees its flagship processor dethroned by a significant margin.



1. Introduction
2. Core 2 Duo Internals
3. Core 2 Duo Testing
4. Conclusion

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