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Intel Penryn (45nm) dual- and quad-core benchmarks - Conroe and Kentsfield flayed and sent packing

by Tarinder Sandhu on 18 April 2007, 12:57

Tags: Penryn, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

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HEXUS @ IDF 2007

Intel Penryn (45nm) dual- and quad-core benchmarks - Conroe and Kentsfield flayed and sent packing

The Intel Developer Forum (IDF) 2007 has centred around the company's roadmap over the next year or so.

Whilst we've heard it ad nauseum, it's no surprise that Intel's messaging in practically all of the keynotes has centred around the move to a 45nm process technology for its Core microarchitecture. After all, Intel, primarily, is a fab-owning semiconductor company and churning out new, improved processors is the main name of the game.

Gordon Moore, Intel's doyen, has described the move to 45nm production, made possible by the use of high-k and metal transistors, as "the biggest change in transistor technology since the introduction of polysilicon gate MOS transistors in the late 1960s."

The next iteration of Core, codenamed Penryn, will harness this technology to bolster the architecture with additional features.

Intel is keen to point out that upcoming Penryn processors, be they dual- or quad-core models, are more than just process shrinks. The wonderful 45nm process technology is grabbing all the headlines and key performance-boosting features aren't receiving the exposure they deserve, according to some Intel representatives. The reduction in process brings about no real intrinsic gains; the benefit arises from what it allows you to add in without upsetting the TDP cart, be it cache, extra ISA, or frequency headroom.

With that in mind, HEXUS was invited to compare the performance of both the dual-core (Wolfdale) and quad-core (Yorkfield) Penryn-based processors, albeit in Intel-controlled conditions. Read on to see if the additional features, which we covered in detail here are worth the upgrade.