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Intel Core 2 Duo performance preview

A taste of things to come, but when?

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On a side note, 'Merom', Intel's notebook-oriented Core 2 Duo, was also demo'd, though we weren't allowed to do any testing. Intel claims Merom delivers up to 25 per cent more performance while maintaining the same power efficiency as the current Core Duo platform. But for those not satisfied with a dual-core processor, there was a final treat: 'Kentsfield'. Although for some bizarre reason this quad-core processor was only used to host the PowerPoint slides we where shown. Talk about waste of CPU power...

But back to the Core 2 Duo. At a predicted retail price of $530 for the E6700, this performance doesn't come cheap, but the 2MB cache versions are much more affordable and one of the Intel representatives claimed that even the E6400 which is clocked at a mere 2.1GHz would outperform an AMD Athlon 64 FX-60. Time will tell if this really is the case, but it goes to show that Intel is confident in its new range of desktop processors. Now, let the price war begin.

Intel wouldn't confirm a launch date, but processors will be shipping to its partners some time this month, so one can only presume that the launch isn't too far away. Yields are said to be very good and there shouldn't be any shortages of processors, although officially Intel doesn't comment on yields, so we'll just have to wait and see.

Verdict

My first impression of Core 2 Duo is very positive, though the testing had to be conducted in a 'controlled' environment. We'll bring you an in-house review as soon as Intel sends over a review kit, so stay tuned for a more in depth follow-up to this preview. ®

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Intel Core 2 Duo performance preview

It's too early to comment on shipping product, but early tests suggest Conroe will fly...
Price: Approx. $530 for 2.67GHz, 4MB L2 E6700 (TBC) RRP

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