The CPU market has seen some quite significant changes over the last twelve months, as AMD lost the overall performance crown it had held since late in 2003. Of course, the enthusiast market is a relatively small one in the grand scheme of things and during this period Intel was still selling many times more processors than AMD.
AMD did manage to gain some ground on Intel, but when the 100 tonne Gorilla launched its Core 2 processors, Intel regained that market share in just one quarter. Since then there has been an on-going price war between the two and there are actually pricepoints where AMD has the faster processor if you take power consumption out of the equation.
In particular, it’s incredible to think that AMD’s fastest socket AM2 processor costs just £140 (inc. VAT). This is great for the consumer, but in some ways the price war isn’t good for AMD, as it has really struggled financially over the past few quarters while it is attempting to swallow the $5.4 billion acquisition of ATI Technologies.
Yep, looks like an Intel CPU
It needs to stay competitive with Intel, but in doing so AMD has unfortunately destroyed the prestige that came with the Athlon brand. This is why the company has chosen to drop the Athlon brand with its next-generation Agena-based processors. In its place, we’ll have the Phenom brand.
Today, Intel has allowed us to release performance benchmarks of one of its upcoming 1333MHz front side bus processors, the Core 2 Duo E6750. This, along with a whole host of new 1333MHz FSB processors, is due for launch and later this summer.
Like the Core 2 Duo E6700, the E6750 is clocked at 2.67GHz but instead of running at 10x266MHz, this achieves the same clock speed at 8x333MHz. The TDP is also unchanged too, at 65W, and much the same as the E6700, the E6750 will be Intel’s second fastest Core 2 Duo processor in its new line-up of 1333MHz FSB processors, with the E6850 sitting on top of the product stack.
Which one is which? Answers on a postcard...
Unfortunately, we were told on Friday that the samples for the UK press were caught up in Customs, and weren’t going to arrive in time for us to complete this performance preview. Thankfully though, Intel had already given us a Core 2 Duo E6850 processor earlier in the year, so we could at least replicate performance with another 1333MHz FSB processor even if we can’t give you a full set of overclocking results today. Of course, we could have just used one of our existing 1066MHz FSB Core 2 processors to run the numbers, but that wouldn’t account for potential changes to cache latencies.
Intel has told us there are some tweaks to the manufacturing process for these new CPUs but the company didn’t really elaborate beyond that at this time. Thus, we cannot rule out the possibility of Intel choosing to optimise its cache latencies for the higher front side bus. Finally, Intel has asked us not to reveal the Core 2 Duo E6850’s performance today, but you will be seeing that later in the summer when the chips are formally launched and become available on the market to buy.