Benchmarking Intel's 45nm Penryn

First benchmarks on 45nm

First benchmarks on 45nm

Intel has been talking about their new 45nm process at IDF this week and they have samples to prove that they are more or less ready for the market. In an exclusive session between Hardware Zone and Intel, the benchmarking team took us through some of the fundamental architectural changes found in the new Penryn processors and apart from trying to understand the complex technicality behind these enhancements, we had the privilege of benchmarking these systems.

Anyway, Penryn is Intel's latest and greatest upcoming processor that will further put them in the performance lead, whether in the desktop, mobile or server space. Intel did not rest on their laurel after Core 2's successes as it seems that there were more refinements that had yet to be carried out at the microarchitecture level. Some of the changes are summarized in the chart below:-

New enhancements in Penryn.

Penryn would come in two versions, a dual-core mainstream part and a quad-core part for the performance segment. For now, we know that Penryn would be manufactured as a dual-core part with a 6MB L2 cache (just as we've first pointed out in our initial overview of Intel's 45nm Process Technology article ). Mounting two of the Penryn dies in one LGA775 package would be the strategy Intel is adopting to build quad-core processors. We are not sure why Intel did not choose to manufacture single quad-core chips like what AMD is doing, but we suspect it is largely due to ensuring a better yield for these silicon parts, as 45nm is after all a new process technology that Intel is still trying to manufacture in large volumes.

The systems used in the benchmarking.

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