Intel Conroe Benchmarks - Showing Big Strength

Media Encoding- DivX and Itunes


Fresh from the show floor of Intel's March 2006 Developer's Conference, and after spending some time behind closed doors with Intel, we have a sneak peek at Conroe performance for you today.  The following is a run down of benchmark numbers we recorded with hands-on testing of an early 2.66GHz Conroe-based dual-core system, versus an overclocked AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 dual-core system at 2.8GHz.   Before we jump into the numbers, we'll give you glimpse of what the chip itself actually looks like with a couple of spy photos we obtained at the conference as well. 


Next we should give you some insight into the limitations we had to work with in our test methodologies and whether or not we felt the playing field was level.  We were given access to two systems, one with Intel's on i975X based "BadAxe" motherboard, a Gig of PC-5400 RAM and a pair of Radeon X1900 XTX cards configured in CrossFire mode.  The other system was an Athlon 64 FX-60 based system with an ATI RD480 based motherboard from DFI.  Apparently Intel was unable to get access to a CrossFire Xpress 3200 board for this test setup but by in large, we are confident our test benchmark analysis would offer little advantage by testing on this more recent update of ATI's chispet.

Beyond that, each system is decked out equally enough, (DDR2-667 CAS4 for the Intel system and DDR400 CAS2 for the AMD system for example), that things definitely looked to be on the up-and-up.  The only variability that may come into play would be our gaming benchmarks and the differences between the motherboards tested in CrossFire mode.  Again however, we're fairly comfortable noting that for all intents and purposes, each platform had been placed on relatively equal footing configuration wise and the chipset differences were pretty much unavoidable. 

Below are the rest of the details for each test system.

Test System Specs
Yes, Conroe Running In An i975 Board

Athlon 64 FX-60 @ 2.8GHz
1GB DDR400 (512MBx2) RAM w/ 2-2-2 / 1T Timings
Radeon X1900XTX CrossFire
ATI Cat. 6.2 Drivers

Conroe @ 2.66GHz
1GB DDR2667 (512MBx2) w/ 4-4-4-15 Timings
Intel DX975XBX motherboard (975X Express)
Radeon X1900XTX CrossFire
Intel INF
ATI Cat. 6.2 Drivers (Modified to support Conroe)

Conroe Media Encoding- DivX and Itunes
Dual Cores do battle


Conroe was 25% faster in DivX HD Video encoding and approximately 19% faster in MP3 encoding with iTunes, even at a 140MHz clock deficit versus the Athlon 64 FX-60 at 2.8GHz.


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