Dual- and quad-core 'Penryn' CPUs benchmarked
IDF How might processors based on Intel's upcoming 45nm 'Penryn' architecture perform when compared to today's 65nm CPUs? The chip giant today posted test results to give us an indication of what to expect the Core 2 upgrade hits the market.
The tests were carried out on a pre-production Intel D975XBX2 motheerboard with a pre-production BIOS installed. Alongside the processor, the company connected an Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX card from Asus running version 100.65 of Nvidia's drivers. 2GB of Corsair 800MHz DDR 2 memory set to 5-5-5-15 and a 320GB Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm hard drive were fitted, and the whole lot was running the 32-bit version of Windows Vista Ultimate.
Three processors were tested: dual- and quad-core Penryns running at 3.33GHz over a 1333MHz frontside bus, and a four-core 2.93GHz Core 2 Extreme QX6800 sitting on a 1066MHz bus. Here are the numbers:
Longer bars are better
Comparing quad core to quad core (the only fair comparison, because we don't know how the dual-core Conroe would compare to the QX6800 on these apps).
25% more FSB bandwidth (1333 MHz vs. 1066 MHz)
13.7% more clock rate (3.33 GHz vs. 2.93 GHz)
New SSE4 instructions
Differences in cache sizes are not known.
Except for one app (DivX 6), the typical speedup is 25%. I don't count the 3D Mark Pro Overall either, because it is probably very dependent on the graphics card.
So Intel is getting about 10% performance beyond clock. I wonder how much of this is the faster FSB, how much may be due to cache size differences, how much is SSE4, and how much are other microarchitectural improvements.
I would like to see benchmarks Penryn dual-core vs. the fastest dual-core Conroe.
I don't know how much more Intel will improve the performance, or if they will offer higher clock rates than 3.33 GHz, but in its Quad-Core form Penryn does not appear to offer any significant advantage over Barcelona.
I expect Intel will offer Penryn Xeons with very large caches to maximize performance.
2008 will be the year of the great quad-core parity.
Get ready for the price war.