Intel Presler 955: Benchmarking the First 65nm CPU
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One word comes to mind when you think of Intel's 90nm Netburst series: Heat. Many predicted Intel's long awaited move to 65nm would see an end to Intel's worryingly low performance to watt ratio of the Pentium 4 line. We'll see how true this statement holds, and we’ll see how the new Intel Preslers hold their ground against the AMD FX60.
The Presler Experience
Thermal issues on the 90-nm Netburst chips were bad. They were so bad that temperatures were the primary factor preventing higher clock scaling. This was shown in many cases when you alleviated such heat problems with extreme cooling. With impressive coolers, the chips reached speeds in excess of 7GHz.
And now along comes the Presler. Before we take a look at all the performance benchmarks, let's see what Intel has to say about their new 65nm flagship.
Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955 (Presler)
Above is the 65nm Presler Extreme Edition. Let’s compare that with Intel's previous 90nm Smithfield Extreme Edition below.
Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840 (Smithfield)
What's interesting is that the thermal guidelines did not go down from their move to 65nm. However they did provide a small 266MHz boost in clocks and a move to the 1066MHz FSB, all without an increase in heat dissipation. This is a seemingly smaller gain than expected. Of course, arguably one of the greatest flaws in the original Pentium D was the sheer lack of bus speed shared by the two cores, which can be seen in benchmarks. Hence the step to the 1066MHz FSB should prove to be a step in the right direction.
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