Towards the end of last year, we heard that Intel was planning to expand its line-up of Core 2 products with both higher and lower end processors. The first of those new processors, in the form of the Core 2 Duo E4300, launched a few weeks ago and we have had one in our labs for the last week or so.
Before we get onto the Allendale core's first outing, lets have a look over what Intel is planning over the next couple of quarters before Penryn shows up at the back end of the year.
In the second quarter, the company plans to release the upcoming X35-series chipset (Bearlake) that will introduce support for a 1333MHz front side bus. At the same time, the company will refresh its product line-up with a slew of processors supporting the new front side bus specification. The current Core 2 Duo E6600, E6700 and X6800 processors will be refreshed with the E6650, E6750 and E6850 – all of which support the 1333MHz front side bus speed.
The current E6600, E6700 and X6800 processors will co-exist with the newer models, as the 1333MHz processors will not be supported on the existing Intel P965 and 975X chipsets. In addition, Intel also plans to update the Core 2 Duo E6400 and E6300 processors with a larger L2 cache – increased to 4MB from 2MB. These new chips will continue to support the 1066MHz FSB specification and clock speeds will not change. The chips will get a new name in order to avoid confusion with the current models – you’ll see the E6420 and E6320 turn up in the same time frame as the new 1333MHz processors.
* - No Virtualisation Technology
' - Estimated Pricing for Q2 2007
Probably the best thing about the new E6420 and E6320 processors is the fact that the price is set to stay at exactly the same level as the current E6400 and E6300 processors, meaning that you’ll be getting the benefits of an extra L2 cache for free. With this happening, it’s leaves room for Intel to expand the bottom end of its line-up with more processors with a 2MB L2 cache; this is where the Core 2 Duo E4000 series processors come into play.
These chips are based on the real Allendale core, which only comes with 2MB of L2 cache natively. This is unlike the Core 2 Duo E6400 and E6300 chips, which were actually Conroe cores with 2MB of L2 cache disabled.