Intel's new Conroe looks to give AMD a punch to the gut -- or maybe not
Benchmarks posted yesterday of Intel's unreleased Conroe processor have sparked quite a firestorm in forums around the web. Users from both the AMD and Intel camp were quick to examine the numbers provided in the articles, but the end result was still the same -- Intel has a slam dunk with Conroe.
As is the case with benchmarks held outside of a controlled environment and conducted with equipment provided by a party that has something to gain from favorable performance numbers, suspicions have arisen over the benchmark results.
To quote Rahul Sood directly:
First of all, though itâ€™s claimed that youâ€™re running an FX-60 processor on the machine, I have yet to see an established motherboard and processor with an image that says "processor unknown".
Youâ€™ll notice that the image I am referring to on Anandtech's website (the bios image) states that the AMD processor is â€œunknownâ€ which makes me believe that the bios they are running is outdated. So, I did a bit of digging and low and behold, the DFI bios version â€œD49C-32â€ they are running is from 10/11/05. There has been 1 major revision with major fixes that include:
Set Cool 'n' Quiet Default to Disabled
- With Cool & Quiet enabled, AMD processors will throttle in order to save power and bring their thermal load down. This means the processor could be running as low as 800MHz in certain programs â€“ no matter what the program is. In theory Cool & Quiet is supposed to throttle up to maximum in games but this is not always the case. No enthusiast PC goes out with Cool & Quiet enabled unless itâ€™s a fanless machine or media center.
Add Support for AMD Athlon 64 FX60 CPU
- According to DFI the FX-60 will not operate correctly without this bios update. Without official support for the FX-60 CPU Iâ€™m not sure what weâ€™re comparing against here.
Fix Memory Timings 2-1-1-1-1 and 4-1-1 Mode Wrong & Fix Read Preamble Table Error.
- Memory latency can make a massive difference in performance. If the latency was not running at the correct latency we can see a pretty big difference in all kinds of performance. Anandtech stated â€œThe AMD system used 1GB of DDR400 running at 2-2-2/1T timingsâ€¦â€ Apparently this isnâ€™t the case, but they would not be able to tell without having the platform in house.
Fix Fill 3114 SVID&SSID under Cross fire mode.
- More apparent performance issues under Crossfire mode.
Next, when you take a future Intel chipset and compare it to a chipset that no enthusiast supports (RD480) with an outdated bios itâ€™s like taking a Ferrari and putting it on Bias-Ply tires. Itâ€™s just not a good way to show off a â€œnewâ€ technology.