Feeds
90%

Intel 'Penryn' Core 2 Extreme QX9650

The world's first 45nm gaming CPU

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Running PCMark05 showed that performance rises exactly in line with processor speed and there’s nothing to choose between Penryn and Kentsfield running at stock speeds.

PCMark05 Results
PCMark 05 results
Longer bars are better
QX6850 did not run at 3.69GHz

Recoding an AVI file with Nero 8 to Nero Digital format does show a small swing towards Penryn but it’s only eight seconds in five minutes. Again, that leaves very little to choose between stock CPUs.

However, there’s a far greater benefit when you use DivX 6.7 to recode the AVI file. The 3GHz Kentsfield takes 10 minutes 59 seconds, but the Penryn steams through the job in 10 minutes 12 seconds. The reason for the extra performance is that DivX 6.7 supports SSE 4, which hands an advantage to Penryn - albeit a small one.

POV-Ray only supports SSE 2 so there’s nothing to choose between the two architectures: both yielded roughly the same score. However, it is a fully-threaded application that hammers all four cores at full speed which is handy when you want to check the power draw of the processor.

We used a plug-in power monitor to check the power draw for our test system and found that Penryn was consistently more frugal with the juice. At idle, Penryn uses 45W less than Kentsfield at 3GHz, although the gap is reduced when you overclock. That’s a huge percentage of the total power draw, dropping the figure from 155W (minus display) to 110W.

In PCMark05, the system is loaded fairly evenly and once again the difference was 30-45W in favour of Penryn. Finally, we come to POV-Ray where the quad-core processors were running flat-out and the power draw was highest of all with a difference in power consumption of 55W at a 3GHz clock speed. When we overclocked the difference was, once again, 30W.

That’s quite remarkable when the QX6850 already runs very cool and is perfectly happy with a near-silent Zalman CNPS8000 heatsink/fan and we have to wonder whether a dual-core Penryn might even be able to run with a passive heatsink.

Verdict

Penryn is a step forward from Kentsfield that offers moderately better performance in day-to-day tasks but when you give it a sniff of SSE 4 it shows a distinct benefit. The much-reduced power draw is very encouraging too. You’d be crazy to spend £649 on the Core 2 Extreme QX9650, but you should most definitely choose a Penryn-based Core 2 Duo or Quad over an older, 65nm model.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

90%

Intel 'Penryn' Core 2 Extreme QX9650

Intel delivers a Penryn punch to AMD moments before the launch of Phenom...
Price: From $999 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register
Bentley found in a hedge gets WW2 lump insertion
What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight
You fought hard and you saved and earned. But all of it's going to burn...
Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids
Stylish Googlephones for not-so-deep pockets
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.