Intel Unleashes Conroe: X6800 and E6700 ReviewedWed, Jul 12, 2006 - 10:00 PM
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
Intel has had a rough couple of years when it comes to the desktop market. The marketing team consists of a great group of guys and George Alfs and Dan Snyder have been telling the press for years to hang on and don’t write Intel off just yet when it comes to leading the performance benchmarks. I know for a fact that everyone at Intel is going to be up all night as they are wanting to see what the top brass of the enthusiast community thinks of their new processors. I guess this is where I am supposed to tell them my thoughts!
After using Conroe for some time now I feel it is safe to say that Intel has done a great job with Conroe. I usually don’t mention specific people when it comes to launch day articles like this, but I believe gamers and enthusiasts around the world need to take a second and thank Bob Valentine and Jack Doweck, who were the lead architects for Conroe. These two are part of the Intel Israel Development Center (IDC) which was made famous for the Pentium M processor. The Intel Core processor family has really nothing to do with the previous pentium 4 family as only the prefetching was carried over from the Pentium 4 processors. Everything else found in Core 2 Duo processos is an evolution of “Yonah” (Core Duo), which was itself an improvement of Dothan and Banias all of which are from the mobile family of processors.
With the Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme family of processors Intel has fixed the core to core communication between each processor thanks to having a unified cache. The unified cache found in the Conroe processors greatly helps performance and the benchmarking numbers do all the talking here.
Intel has hit a home run with their lastest core and has them ramped up and ready to roll out the door. Every launch I always get asked by analysts and the media what the gating factor for Intel will be and this time it’s an easy call. Intel has production ramped up on these 65nm cores and is currently producing their stepping 5 revision B2 cores at speed. The limiting factor here will actually be chipsets. With the Intel 975X chipsets costing so much and few boards using this chipset in the market being Conroe ready will mean that people will look towards other chipsets. The Intel 965 chipset is still new and currently not even available at Newegg, which goes to show that motherboards will be tight on this one. The one good thing for Intel is the fact that NVIDIA and ATI will be producing their own chipsets for Conroe platforms.
There are an assortment of NVIDIA nForce 500-based motherboards coming. They include:
- An ECS 570 SLI motherboard that will have a retail price of only $90 USD! This board will be available after 7/21.
- An ASUS 570 SLI motherboard that will have a retail price of only $110 USD. This board will be available after 7/25.
- A DFI nForce 590 SLI motherboard. I don’t know their retail price yet, but the board will be available around 8/1.
- An ASUS 590 SLI motherboard. Retail price will be under $200 USD, with availability around 8/1.
There will be more NVIIDA based motherboards, including those based on the nForce 570 Ultra family as well. With the use of Intel 965/975 and NVIDIA 570SLI/590SLI chipsets Intel might be able to keep up processor and motherboard demand in the market. When it comes to DDR2 memory and PCIe graphics cards the market is covered, so it’s mainly a chipset issue right now.
With both the Core 2 Extreme X6800 and the Core 2 Duo E6700 easily outperforming the AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 across the board we expect AMD to do something here in the near future. We had the chance to talk with AMD on the phone today they promised Legit Reviews that AMD will have an agressive price move come in July and went on to say that AMD will not give up the lead in price versus perfomance. Other than that AMD let us know that their upgradable 4×4 platform is coming along in their test labs, but AMD has yet to have the launch quarter narrowed down. At Legit Reviews we believe competion is good and in the end it is the consumers that will win. For now the victory flag goes back to Intel with one of the most impressive new cores that we have seen to day. Now if I could just get my hands on quad-core!
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Legit Bottom Line
From our testing experience during this review, we have found the Intel Core 2 Duo Processor family to perform better than the previous generation core and conserve energy while doing so. It is because of this and the fact that Intel has taken the performance lead back from AMD that we gladly award the Intel “Conroe” processor the Legit Reviews Editor’s Choice!