Performance Analysis and Conclusion
Our performance testing with Intel's new Mobile Core 2 Duo "Merom" processor painted a very strong picture with respect to the new CPU's capabilities, clock-for-clock versus Intel's last generation mobile chip. We saw performance advantages for Merom that scaled from about 15% to as much as almost 50% in certain applications. And all of this was achieved with roughly the same power consumption characteristics as Intel's legacy Yonah mobile dual-core architecture.
It's hard not to be thoroughly impressed with the type of performance gains that Merom brings to Intel's notebook platform. Rarely are we able to observe large performance increases like this with the launch of a new processor core, especially at relatively comparable power consumption characteristics versus previous generation micro-architectures. If Intel was noted as the dominant player in notebooks before, it can most likely be said that they're going to "own" that market now. AMD obviously has some serious catch-up work ahead of themselves. Perhaps with ATI's competency in mobile chipsets, AMD will gain some much needed traction, but that is a rather large and complex equation to calculate at this juncture.
Unfortunately, we were not able to get a comparable Turion 64 X2-based notebook in time for testing, but when last we checked, the Turion single core was roughly on par or slightly below a single core Pentium-M performance-wise. Core Duo offered significant performance gains over the Pentium-M, and with Mobile Core 2 Duo's (Merom) debut here today, the performance and features gap widens in Intel's favor. Though AMD has been able to inflict a serious chink in Intel's armor in the Desktop and Server markets, in Mobile computing, "Intel Inside" is an understatement. As an aside, we intend to follow-up on this article with some actual Turion 64 X2 performance testing, in the near future hopefully.
Pricing for Intel's new line-up of Mobile Core 2 Duo processors for notebooks will roll out as follows:
|Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7600||2.33GHz||4MB||$637|
|Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7400||2.16GHz||4MB||$423|
|Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7200||2.0GHz||4MB||$294|
|Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T5600||1.83GHz||2MB||$241|
|Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T5500||1.66GHz||2MB||$209|
With near immediate availability in the channel and with complete backwards compatibility for socket 479 - 945 Express based machines, we're certain Merom will sell like hot-cakes, just like Conroe has. Not to mention, Intel's Easy-Bake oven is going to punch out these chips like Martha Stewart jacked-up on Red Bull smoothies.