Beijing (China) – Don’t pretend you haven’t been waiting for these numbers: Is Penryn really as good as Intel claims? As long as we have not reviewed the CPU in our labs, we can’t say for sure. But if the chip is as capable as the benchmark results provided by Intel indicate, then it is clear that Intel has no intentions of handing the performance crown over to AMD.Penryn is still under wraps in large parts and it isn’t even the next processor Intel will release. The company isn’t even under pressure to reveal performance numbers of its 2008 processors, as it still holds the performance crown with its Core processors and will roll out a FSB1333 speed upgrade in Q3 of this year to counter AMD’s Agena quad-cores and Kuma dual-cores. There is a lot of focus on 45 nm at IDF in Beijing and it is not surprising that the company reveals some performance numbers, but we are also noticing a certain and unusual confidence that drives Intel to showcase these new products.
The numbers were presented in a similar environment as the Conroe numbers at the Spring IDF last year. We had no influence on configuring the (pre-production) system, which means that the benchmark numbers should not only be taken with a grain of salt, but they also could change until the final product arrives in H1 of next year.
Up for comparison were two 45 nm Penryn processors, one 3.33 GHz dual-core (6 MB L2 cache) and one 3.33 GHz quad-core (12 MB L2 cache). To allow a comparison with today’s processors, Intel refrained from using an AMD product, but chose the firm’s currently fastest CPU instead - a quad-core, 2.93 GHz QX6800.
Perhaps most interestingly, the 45 nm quad-core achieved 4957 points in 3DMark06 (CPU), which represents a 22% improvement over the QX6800 (4070). The dual-core Penryn crossed the line at 3061 points or about 20% more than what an EX6800 reported in a benchmark previously conducted by Tom’s Hardware (2544).
While we cannot directly compare Intel’s benchmarks with any other tests Tom’s Hardware has done in the past, we were tempted to look back and see how AMD’s processors have done in the 3DMark06 CPU discipline. The fastest performing AMD system was a dual-socket, dual-core FX-74 machine that came in at 3764 points, or about 31% less than the Penryn quad-core. A single-system AMD FX-62 reported 2352 points - 30% less than the dual-core Penryn.
Here are the Intel benchmark numbers in detail (click the image to see the enlarged view):