The battle for the most MHz is long gone as the battle has shifted to more cache and better thermal properties. The famous Intel marketing quote of “4GHz in 04” is no closer now nearly 3 months into 2005 than it was last year. So by adding EMT64, an additional 1MB of cache, and better ESIT are the 6XX series CPU’s better than the previous 5XX processors? Before we answer that we need to look at pricing.
Pricing in 1,000 unit quantities:
As you can clearly see the pricing really covers from the mainstream price range all the way to enthusiast level prices. When you compare the pricing on the Intel 530 to that of the current $224 Intel 630 processor you will note that the Intel P4 630 is roughly $30 more. Lower temperatures, Execute Disable Bit for virus protection, 64-bit operating system support, and an additional 40 million transistors for an additional $30 seems more than worth it if you ask me.
When it comes to the newest Extreme Edition processor the 3.73GHz EE I’m almost at a loss for words. The move from a 130nm to a 90nm core means that the Prescott has finally arrived, but it brought with it the famed longer pipelines and the performance levels over the 3.46GHz EE are minimal. The 3.73GHz EE also lacks Speedstep and the C1E halt state unlike the 6XX series which all have these features. After looking at the benchmark data again I’d almost rather have the less expensive Intel P4 660 with all the bells and whistles over the Extreme Edition processors that cost more and offer less in some cases.
With all that said the Intel P4 6XX series of processors are by far the best Prescott cored processors that we have seen from Intel thus far. I am glad to see that things are coming together for Intel because pretty soon dual core processors are coming out and all the features that just got added will be needed in all of the dual core CPU’s. Intel can’t have another launch like they did with the original Prescotts and if things keep on track we expect the battle between Intel and AMD to be a “rematch” on the desktop side of things.
The Intel P4 6XX series processors are a breath of fresh air for the Prescott processor that has been under fire since the day they were launched!