Intel’s Penryn gets rave reviews

With Intel’s Penryn chips now rolling off of the assembly line in Arizona, the age of the 45nm CPU is tantalizingly near. When Intel first announced the technology that would allow it to make the transition from a 65nm process to a 45nm one, it was hailed as a “breakthrough” that would forever change the microprocessor industry. Well, here we are, a little over a year later and a handful of tech critics have the Penryn parts in hand. How do they stack up? Despite specs that don’t look too different from the previous generation of chips (compare the 3.0Ghz QX9650 “Yorkfield” CPU to the 3.0Ghz QX6850 “Kentsfield,” for example), the new 45nm parts are apparently dressed to impress. Hot Hardware says that “The Yorkfield-based Core 2 Extreme QX9650 is a success in every sense of the word.  The processor is faster, has new features, uses much less power, is less expensive to produce, and has more overclocking headroom than its predecessor.” Meanwhile, the folks at Bit-tech rated the Yorkfield a 10/10 for performance and said, “I guess you could think of the QX9650 as the Bugatti Veyron of the CPU world – it annihilates everything in its path.” Taking a contrary stance, PC World writes that “For the moment, most users would gain little advantage in upgrading to a Penryn CPU–the chip may not be compatible with your motherboard, the market has few SSE4-optimized applications that would allow it to shine performance-wise, and it will certainly be extremely expensive.” That’s all probably true–but how many people honestly buy high-end CPUs because they really need them?

For more on the Yorksfield part:
– see this PC World article
– this review from Hot Hardware
– and Bit-tech‘s extensive review

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