Friday, May 26, 2006


Here's some good information on AM2 vs. Intel from DQ reader Steve:
It's not particularly fair to compare AM2--which is available today--to what Intel will be releasing later this year. And AM2's lack of performance increase today isn't that important because the real gains will come down the road.

Also, consider this: AM2 doesn't increase performance like Conroe theoretically does because Intel is playing catch-up. Having said that, the current Core Duo from Intel is terrific, but only available in laptops. I'd love to have one in a desktop system. Because of its quality, I wouldn't be surprised of Core 2 Duo is superior to AMD. It better be.

One thing most sites didn't do a particularly good job reporting is that AMD has released nearly its entire CPU line for AM2, meaning you're not just stuck with the highest-end CPUs. You can get a $77 Sempron today, or a $1K FX-62. That's unprecedented, and gives you way more options than you'll likely have when Conroe debuts.

AMD's chips can be pretty low wattage at idle if you enable Cool & Quiet. And they have an entire line of 35-watt parts.

That's all reasonable and good information. I think AMD is still in real trouble on the desktop, though, if Conroe turns out to be faster and cooler and cheaper.

Here's some more news on this subject from The Register:
Intel's upcoming 'Conroe'-based Extreme Edition Core 2 Duo processor will ship with the model number X6800, it has emerged, courtesy of the latest roadmap leak from the chip giant. And it will be pushing the Core 2 series at the same price as current Pentium processors.

According to slides posted on Chinese-language site HKEPC, the 2.93GHz chip will be branded the Core 2 Extreme and will be priced at $999, the standard price point for new Intel gaming-oriented CPUs.

So the Extreme Edition of the Core 2 Duo is coming in only at a price only slightly less than the FX-62. The non-EE versions should be significantly cheaper (here are the prices according to HKEPC):
2.67 GHz: $530
2.40 GHz: $316
2.14 GHz: $224

Also, if you'd like an excellent overview of the nForce 590 chipset, Anandtech has a very detailed story here. They're also doing the same kind of overview and review on the new Crossfire chipset, and I'll post the link when the story is available.

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