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Sure, I’ve read the AnandTech one already. I’m surprised this is the first Core 2 topic here since the reviews came out!

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The reason why my post was so short is that I was still picking up my jaw... I mean, everyone expected Conroe to be better than the old chips but not like this.

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I have been planning to upgrade my machine since 2004. I was waiting for the right time. Every time something new comes up, I wait for it to be cheap enough for me to buy. But, guess what !? By the time it is cheap, a new thing shows and blows away the previous ones in reviews. All I was doing is waiting. But this is good, making a small jump isn't ganna let you feel the difference as making a huge jump.

I wanted to get one of those Amd Fx's, but now that core2 is this better, I think I'll wait another year for my pocket to be able to pick one. Or maybe FX62 will dramitically drop in price, the thing that will encourage me to buy it.

Who knows what future is carrying for us!

Edited by sram

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Well, even the basic Conroe model seems quite attractive. It doesn't cost an arm and a leg and once they become available, I'm going to replace my aging Athlon XP 2400+.

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From everything that I've read and having talked about it with a number of my friends; the concensus seems to be this:

Conroe, for numeric computations offers little to no advantage over other current generation processors.

One of my friends got a E6700, and he ran Sandra on it for me so that I can get a sense of it's abilities and it came in at 11831 MFLOPS with Sandra 2007.

On my dual Opteron 246, when I had it running; I also ran it and it came in at 11327 MFLOPS with Sandra 2007.

Excluding supporting hardware; it offers little advantage. It is also theorectically possible that even including supporting hardware, that numerical/computational programs/tasks that require a lot of memory bandwidth (either due to volume of data being passed across, or due to high IOps), multicore platforms may actually hinder it some.

While I haven't been able to test that as of yet; the reduction in bandwidth (i.e. same pipeline feeding data to two cores, which means that approximately; at best, each core gets 50/50 share) would reduce the speed of the data arriving to be processed (and back).

That would also probably explain why my friend's Alienware m7700 was only faster than my dual Opteron 246 by 5%; despite being 20% faster in clock speed when running CFD.

(m7700 consists of Athlon64 X2 4800+ (2.4 GHz), 2 GB PC3200 non-ECC, non-reg RAM, two SATA hard drives (I think that they're either both 60 or 80 GB), and a nVidia Go 1400. Dual Opteron consists of dual Opteron 246 (2.0 GHz), 2 GB PC3200 ECC Reg. RAM, two Hitachi 73 GB 10krpm U160, Wildcat Realizm 200).

For everything else, there's Conroe.

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Also one thing have to consider, conroe shines brightly on lower watts and improved processor performance.

Wattage is one of my major reasons for sticking with AMD till then.

Cheers, Wizard

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While I haven't been able to test that as of yet; the reduction in bandwidth (i.e. same pipeline feeding data to two cores, which means that approximately; at best, each core gets 50/50 share) would reduce the speed of the data arriving to be processed (and back).

That would also probably explain why my friend's Alienware m7700 was only faster than my dual Opteron 246 by 5%; despite being 20% faster in clock speed when running CFD.

This sounds like something that AM2 combined with fast DDR2-800 memory should help with, then. Or on the Conroe side, running a 1333 MHz FSB.

As for Conroe, it's definitely interesting. [H]ard|OCP makes a good point that current games are GPU limited, but for tasks that are CPU limited, it seems to have a lot of potential, especially when overclocked.

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Conroe E6600 is highly tempting to overclock... but as I'm running an X2 3800+ already, there's very little need to upgrade on my part. If I wasn't going to overclock very much, the E6400 might make more sense.

I mean, my RC5 and OGR keyrates would appreciate it and all, and the power reduction is nice... but... yeah...

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can anyone give me an idea how to run a couple of these CPU's in a machine? Will it be a matter of weeks or months until a motherboard manufacturer comes up with a design?

I have an AMD 4800 and can't quite edit high def video without lots of hiccups. Running two conroe's would probably do the trick.

Sean

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can anyone give me an idea how to run a couple of these CPU's in a machine? Will it be a matter of weeks or months until a motherboard manufacturer comes up with a design?

Just like today's P4, you can't run but just one "Conroe" in a system. For a *pair* of Core 2 Duo processors you must go with "Woodcrest" or 5100 series processors. Woodcrest = Conroe, except Woodcrest has higher FSB speeds, up to 1333 MHZ. A pair of Woodcrests means 4 "Core 2" processor cores. However, you must use FB DIMM memory with Woodcrest Core 2 Duo, not garden variety DDR2 memory. You can now get Woodcrest processors but not quite the Conroe, at least not quite yet.

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The reason why my post was so short is that I was still picking up my jaw... I mean, everyone expected Conroe to be better than the old chips but not like this.

How can one possibly be surprised how good Conroe is? I mean, think about it for just a moment; it's a new product line made to compete against chips that we've been lucky enough to be using for over two years now. Good going Intel :rolleyes:

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While I can't say this for sure, but one of my friends who's deeply recessed in processor (development) technology (with both Sun Microsystems and AMD) told me a while ago that AMD picked up about a dozen new "processor" engineers from IBM's POWER group.

My thinking is this:

If they can incorporate some of the features typically found on the POWER processors, but while still able to hold their price-point advantage, along with dramatically lower power consumption than either of the POWER variants; I think that Intel's gonna get another kick upside the head when that gets released.

As far as I know (also), development for the K9 is well underway, although I have no idea what they're cooking up.

If parts of API's EV6/7/8 were any indication; I would suspect to look towards Cray and POWER for upcoming advances from Advanced Micro Devices.

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Anybody notice those Conroe uckers have 4MB of cache compared to AMD CPUs that max out at 2MBs? I would think that would skew benchmarks a bit...

Do you care about the cache sizes? The end result is what counts.

How can one possibly be surprised how good Conroe is? I mean, think about it for just a moment; it's a new product line made to compete against chips that we've been lucky enough to be using for over two years now. Good going Intel

All Intel needs is to be nearly as good as AMD. Intel's better reputation does the rest.

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Anybody notice those Conroe uckers have 4MB of cache compared to AMD CPUs that max out at 2MBs? I would think that would skew benchmarks a bit...
Not at all. it's whatever a manufacturer can produce chips with that matters most. If Intel can sell you a 4MB cache chip at $183, who cares that AMD can only sell you a chip with 1MB cache as long as performance is similar?

Also, chip architectures are not alike-- some make much better advantage of cache than others. Intel's P4 Netburst architecture was one of these-- it needed at least 2MB (compared to 512KB or 1MB) of cache to stretch its legs and made much larger gains than, say, P3 or K7 would in the same cache situation.

The newly mentioned E4300 looks pretty tempting, tho...

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I'd agree. After 7 years of using AMD chips, I'm forced to look at an Intel chip and think about going with it. It looks like they finally kicked the marketing morons out of the engineering team.

However, it will take a lot more than a good design to make up for the whole Rambus/ P4/ integrated graphics debacle. They intentionally mislead their customers, pushed inferior tech from other manufacturers (Rambus), and have continued to trap people with severely crippled systems (integrated graphics with no slot for upgrade). I am not going to forgive them for that so easily. For nearly purely political purposes, and a little bit of being sick of having to tell customers "no, you can't play that game on your system, you'll have to replace your near brand new computer to play that game. no, it doesn't matter that you bought your system 3 months ago", I will not buy a Core2, and I will continue to discourage others from doing the same. My next upgrade will be a socket AM2 system.

AMD hasn't made any stupid deals with other manufacturers to get stock for pushing their inferior technology. As long as they keep that up, and Intel continues to screw over people in the interest of profit only, I'll be an AMD customer.

I'm not against big business. I prefer Windows far and away above Linux, and with pride in my choice. However, a business run on the basis of robbing customers who don't have the technical skills or thought patterns to handle figuring out what to buy is not a business I will buy from.

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However, it will take a lot more than a good design to make up for the whole Rambus/ P4/ integrated graphics debacle.

RDRAM is ancient history. Few people even care about what Intel tried to do back then anymore. As for selling PC's with integrated graphics without a decent possibility of upgrading, you shouldn't blame Intel. Blame salespeople who don't know what to advise their customers. We sold a few hundred IBM PC's without AGP slots leaving those (business) customers only a couple of PCI slots for any upgrades. I haven't heard a single one of them complain. Anyone who pushes a machine like that for home use should tell the customer the limitations of the system or, lacking that, be shot. I really, REALLY do not understand what's wrong with selling systems that have little upgrade potential for business use though. Frankly I'd like to see AMD develop chipsets and maybe mainboards comparable to what Intel has to offer. Current boards with integrated graphics are usually positioned too high and are too expensive.

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I have about 150 systems here at work that my boss's predecessor purchased over the last 3 years that are 845GL or 865GL based systems that I have to ready for Vista before July 2008. None of them have AGP slots. The integrated graphics simply will not handle Vista. I have been trying and trying, even upgrading to 2GB of memory, they just crawl. I put in a PCI video card and they run just fine with 1GB of memory. The problem is that the cheapest, and only, PCI video card I can get from our designated supplier is a Radeon 9250SE for $176 each. I am having a very hard time trying to convince the IT management that we need to spend $26,400 to upgrade the video of all these systems when a decent AGP video card is avaible for less than $50. If Intel had never made the 845GL chipset, we wouldn't be in this situation. I just hope the Radeon 9250 PCI doesn't get discontinued before I convince them.

I put this whole situation at Intel's feet because the manufacturers, Dell and HP, didn't even offer this model with an available AGP slot, and to get an AGP slot, this company would have had to spend more than twice as much and actually get a discrete video card. The boards for these computers even have the solder points to install an AGP slot, yet because they could spend $4 less on the chipset and not put in the AGP slot, the manufacturers jumped at it. I'm sure my boss's predecessor would have paid an extra $10 without even noticing if it had an AGP slot and we would be in a much better situation.

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I have about 150 systems here at work that my boss's predecessor purchased over the last 3 years that are 845GL or 865GL based systems that I have to ready for Vista before July 2008.

2008? Most should be fully deprecidated by then if you've been purchasing them over the last 3 years, so have management buy new ones in 2008; why worry about it now it's another 2 years away. By then you'll be able to get really cheap machines capable of running Vista.

am having a very hard time trying to convince the IT management that we need to spend $26,400 to upgrade the video of all these systems

I'm not surprised, as a manager I'd have a very hard time accepting that proposition too for numerous reasons; even if you upgrade them then by 2008 or shorlty thereafter other components will no doubt also be showing their age. No doubt there is something other need driving this that you've not mentioned yet or 2008 may be a typo?! yay for depreciation! cheers.

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I have about 150 systems here at work that my boss's predecessor purchased over the last 3 years that are 845GL or 865GL based systems that I have to ready for Vista before July 2008.

2008? Most should be fully deprecidated by then if you've been purchasing them over the last 3 years, so have management buy new ones in 2008; why worry about it now it's another 2 years away. By then you'll be able to get really cheap machines capable of running Vista.

am having a very hard time trying to convince the IT management that we need to spend $26,400 to upgrade the video of all these systems

I'm not surprised, as a manager I'd have a very hard time accepting that proposition too for numerous reasons; even if you upgrade them then by 2008 or shorlty thereafter other components will no doubt also be showing their age. No doubt there is something other need driving this that you've not mentioned yet or 2008 may be a typo?! yay for depreciation! cheers.

I wish it were as easy as replacing the systems by then. We replace desktop systems on a 5 year schedule. Most of these systems will still be in service for 2 years after the Vista upgrade. The reason for July of 2008 is that our Software Assurance agreement with MS expires then. If we don't upgrade to Vista by then, all of our systems, the money we spent on the SA would be worthless. Along with this, we are estimating a total of $150,000 to do the upgrade, with about $100,000 in labor costs, partially for contractors. We are a fairly small company, at 230 employees, half of which are web developers. that much in costs means we don't get the money for our PC upgrades for all of 2008, so those systems are going to have to last a year longer. It may even extend into our upgrade budget for 2009 to do this.

So, I have 150 systems that I have to upgrade for about $19,000 more than it should, and we have to use extra time to get the bios to boot to the add on video card instead of the integrated, and we have to disable the integrated video in the Vista device manager. If they were 865G based systems, we would just have to plug in the video card and go. the integrated video would be disabled automatically. The extra 15-20 minutes we have to spend on each system will also cost us. That's not a small amount of time for a 3 person team and 230 users. Considering the contractors, I'll probably have to show them several times before they get it right. I'll probably have more than a few systems I'll have to revisit to get the new video cards working as well. I can just see a contractor putting in the new video card and leaving the monitor cable connected to the integrated video, then installing Vista and wondering why it's going so slowly.

Fortunately, I have convinced my boss into buying HP dx5150 machines for future purchases, and we're moving to HP's new models when they come out. they are $100 less than the P4 2.8 machines we were buying, have a slot to upgrade to descrete video, have SATA 80GB hard drives, and perform much better. If HP has Conroe based desktops coming out, they're too late to make our standards now. The AMD based systems we're using now are leaps and bounds ahead of the old Intel based system we were using. We may go back to Intel based systems in the future here at work, but it won't be for another year, at least.

At least I can some headaches later on.

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Conroe E6600 is highly tempting to overclock... but as I'm running an X2 3800+ already, there's very little need to upgrade on my part. If I wasn't going to overclock very much, the E6400 might make more sense.

I mean, my RC5 and OGR keyrates would appreciate it and all, and the power reduction is nice... but... yeah...

Lol.... no need to overclock or upgrade there unless you want to cut down on temps and power consumption. Even still, you are running toip grade hardware... may as well get you moeny's worth out of them.

Edited by SmoothDrRod

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To sidetrack a little - from what I've also heard about Vista, they're completely dropping OpenGL support.

As a CAD designer/user, and almost all of my engineering analysis software uses OpenGL; that is only going to push me away from it and towards Linux.

Problem is, not all of the programs are available for Linux yet; which is also odd because as more and more people are moving away from traditional UNIX design stations over to x86 with Windows, MS decides to screw them over by dropping OpenGL (which means either the software vendors have to incorporate an OpenGL emulator running with/on DX (such as EDS with their Unigraphics) or that they're going to be pushing people back into the UNIX world, and $30,000 pricetags, OR, software has to be developed/ported for Linux; which is starting to happen, but even far slower than Window's adoption of the x64 movement.

As I've said, I think that from a computational standpoint (which is like the vast majority of the stuff that I do/work with now, and edging closer and closer towards HPC realm), AMD still has the upperhand, particularly if there are no SSE optimizations available for the compiler.

(I think that the highest level of optimizations I've seen for a Fortran compiler is for SSE2 MAYBE; but definitely for SSE.)

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The reason why my post was so short is that I was still picking up my jaw... I mean, everyone expected Conroe to be better than the old chips but not like this.

Guess you'll have to pick up your jaw again, and again in the near future then ;).

Intel's Core 2 Quadro Kentsfield: Four Cores on a Rampage

"But that is just the beginning. The conversion to 45-nanometer production technology is slated for mid-2007, and starting in 2009, thanks to EUV lithography, Intel plans to manufacture 32-nanometer devices, at which point - if everything works as envisioned - the company could have a two-year technology edge over most other chipmakers."

But I'm more interested in next years Peyrun, which should be mentioned at IDF at the end of this month:

http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=25512

"What does this mean? It means that until 45nm, Yonah will survive, the power draw of Merom is a little high for most low power laptop configs. Merom will get to 9W in a ULV dual core part, but Yonah is down at 5.5W, single core though. When Penryn hits, expect the power draw on the low end to go way down, and Yonah to be laid to rest."

http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9584_22-6071046.html

"Penryn is a dual-core 45-nanometer chip specifically designed for notebooks, sources said. Wolfdale is the name of the dual-core 45nm chip that will be slated for desktops in that time frame. Penryn is essentially a smaller version of Merom, which is due in August, while Wolfdale is a smaller version of Conroe, scheduled for a July launch."

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