Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Tech Link (Processor): Intel® Pentium® Processor Extreme Edition 955 Reviews

Enjoy my uber fanboyism!!! Do note that when looking at the reviews, the "other camp" compared to this CPU is along the lines of 4xxx+ even X2 4xxx+. With Intel®, it's the Ghz, on the other camp, it's the PR. So if you're a fanboy (or just plain expert) of the other camp, the clock for clock comparison has been beaten to a pulp countless times, and only uber noobie fanboy compared clock for clock when it comes to Intel and the other camp: it's PR vs Ghz (i.e. back in AXP days, it's AXP 3200+ vs Pentium 4 3.2Ghz). If you don't know what I'm talking about, you're not fanboy enough. In any case, this article from Overclocker.Com might shake your jarred memory a bit (that goes for both you and me). And I will just quote it:

"For some reason, there's been some great desire to compare dual-core processors lately. There's a fairly poor one (spare me the Dick Clark pretending to be a teenager routine) here comparing Intel's and AMD's duallies, and a better one comparing a new Intel Yonah to the x2s.

In both cases, the real issue is somewhat to completely ignored.

In general, as a rule of thumb, an Intel Pentium IV design needs to have a MHz rating 50-60% greater than that of a Hammer design for roughly the same performance. In the case of duallies, it looks to be about 55%.

So a 2GHz Hammer works out to roughly a 3.1GHz PIV, and a 2.4GHz Hammer works out to about a 3.7GHz PIV.

In the CNet review, the AMD flagship 2.4GHz 4800+ was going against a 3.2GHz Extreme Edition (a PIV with more cache). That's a mismatch, and it should have come to no one's surprise that the AMD chip consistently won."

Anyway, feast yourselves on this news around the web, expand the article for the list:
It's evident that multi-core CPU architecture is the way to go for both Intel and AMD. When evaluated with software that's multi-threaded, dual-core CPUs simply fly, Intel introduced its Pentium dual-core range in May of this year and it's taken seven months for a faster processor to topple the Extreme Edition 840 off its perch. The Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955, then, adds in a faster core speed allied to a faster FSB. Other improvements come in the form of a smaller manufacturing process and more L2 cache than has been seen on any consumer-level CPU to date; 4 MB, split over into 2MB over each core. Think of it as a pumped-up E.E. '840 and you won't be far off the mark.

Pentium Extreme Edition 955 (Presler) processor we have reviewed today left a very favorable impression. Especially against the background of its less successful predecessor – Pentium Extreme Edition 840 based on the 90nm Smithfield core.

The Pentium Extreme Edition 955 processor performed well overall throughout our entire battery of benchmarks. Due to the processor's relatively high-clock speed, dual execution cores, HT technology and 1066MHz bus, the synthetic benchmarks, 3D rendering tests, and audio encoding tests ran best on the Pentium Extreme Edition 955 / D975XBX platform.

To start things off I left everything alone and overclocking the processor by doing nothing, but increasing the front side bus (FSB) via the 0-30% overclock feature that is found in the Intel D975XBX motherboard BIOS settings. After start at 5% I was able to go all the way to 20% before the system became unstable. Using the stock heat sink, no extra voltage, and changing just one setting in the BIOS our processor got a solid 700MHz overclock. The FSB easily went from 266MHz all the way up to 320MHz with no extra voltage to the MCH, FSB, or processor. I was amazed by these results and wanted to know what it could do with a bit of tinkering on the voltages, multiplier, and with the help of water cooling.

The Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955 processor brings a new level of performance to Intel's desktop products and ups the ante on performance in heavily multi-tasked environments. The technology is mostly a repeat of what we have seen in Intel's Pentium line up before, but with a 1066 MHz FSB, 4 MB of L2 cache and 65nm technology, the Pentium 955 may really add to something greater than the sum of its parts.

The latest Extreme Edition processor underscores the premise that manufacturing technology is what matters most in the processor business. 65 nm enables Intel to make up for the flaws in its current 90 nm portfolio and to deliver competitive products over the coming months.

+ Very good multitasking performance
+ More performance per clock cycle compared to the 800 series
+ Overclocking potential

- Power consumption
- Most likely very expensive

We would like to thank Intel who sent the processor and mainboard for evaluation and Corsair for the memory for the test system

Another clandestine release of another Intel flagship CPU during the last hours of the old year is unsettling the desktop world. Sporting the world's smallest transistors in an abundance of 376 million units, with 4 MB on-board L2 cache and a clock frequuency of 3.46 GHz, the new ExtremeEdition based on the Presler core is creating a bunch of new superlatives. Finally, there is an Intel processor again that can beat the AMD competition in gaming applications - and in 3dsmax - and last not least in Abbyy FineReader. But we are not really concerned about the latter too much.

Multi-Threaded games are starting to appear and it is a topic that needs to be explored in the future. At the last Intel Developer Forum, Wil noted that both F.E.A.R. and City of Villains were optimised for dual core processors. These have been joined by the recent release of dual core optimised patches for both Quake 4 and Call of Duty 2. We'll have to have a closer look at these games and also have a look at the dual core optimised graphics drivers from both ATI and NVIDIA in the new year. It's clear that games are heading in the dual-core direction - especially with the Xbox 360 and PS3 utilising multiple threads. Buying a dual-core processor is something of a no-brainer these days if you're looking to future proof your rig, and the 955 is clearly threaded to the max.

The Intel 975X should be a solid performer, and the new features should be enough that we can expect some really nice boards based on the chipset to make itself present this coming year.

That’s not to say the release isn’t exciting. Faster frequencies, two large 2MB caches, the return of a 1,066 MHz front side bus, and Intel Virtualization Technology are but a few of the reasons affluent gamers will want to at least give this setup a look. The performance gains are very real, as they should be given this chip’s price. And if you’re solely comparing the Pentium Extreme Edition 840, Presler is unquestionably the better core.

Umm....I think that's, where did I place mine?

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