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Intel to fork 'Conroe'

Low-end E4000 series to join mainstream E6000 line-up

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Intel looks set to fork its 'Conroe' Core 2 Duo desktop processor line-up in much the same way it's going to split its 'Merom' Core 2 Duo mobile family in two. Recently leaked roadmaps show a Core 2 Duo E4300 turning up in Q1 2007.

The Merom split separates out mobile Core 2 Duos with 2MB of L2 from those with 4MB of cache. The latter all have T7xxx model numbers, while the 2MB versions make up the T5xxx series. Seven Meroms are expected to be launched on 23 July: the T5500, T5600, T7200, T7400 and T7600. All operate across a 667MHz frontside bus.

It's FSB speed, not cache size, that separates the Conroe E6000 series from E4xxx models. Current Conroes have either 2MB of L2 or 4MB, but all run over a 1066MHz FSB. The upcoming E4300 supports only an 800MHz FSB clock. It also has 2MB of L2 and is clocked at 1.8GHz, just below the bottom-of-the-range E6300's 1.86GHz. The E4300 has no Virtualisation Technology support.

We understand Intel originally planned to launch the Conroe E4000 series in Q4 this year, with with the 1.6GHz E4200. ®

Read our review of Intel's Core 2 Extreme and Core 2 Duo processors here

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