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Intel 'Conroe' Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme

Intel's next-gen architecture - it's here

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For folks into 3D rendering, the Core 2 Duo architecture will save a lot of time. Starting with POV-Ray the Pentium D 960 took 6m 50s to render the default test with both cores, and 13m 24s on one core. The E6700 shaved over two minutes off the dual-core time, taking just 4m 30s/ The single-core test took 8m 58s. The X6800 took 4m 9s dual-core and 8m 9s single core - a 39.3 per cent and 39.2 per cent improvement, respectively.

The Core 2 Duo processors are definitely bringing some real advantage to multi-threaded applications, and as you can see from the CineBench 9.5 graph there's a huge improvement when you move to multi-core rendering. The X6800 isn't far from being twice as fast as the Pentium D 960 here, which is very impressive considering it has a much more modest clock speed.

core2_duo_final_cinebench

So what about gaming? Well, we had some issues with an unhappy CrossFire config, so the 3D tests are something we're going to have to re-visit at a later stage. However, in 3DMark 06 the Core 2 Duo processors doesn't appear to have a huge lead over the Pentium D 960, but the my impression of the time it took to run the benchmarks was that the Core 2 Duo chips were clearly faster.

core2_duo_final_3dmark06

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