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Intel Core 2 Duo E6600:
Another CPU On The New Core

July 14, 2006



It hasn't been long since the previous release, so it's logical to consider this article as a kind of addition. It happened so that we obtained Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor after the previous article was published. It's not that interesting itself as it differs from Core 2 Duo E6700 only by one step lower multiplier (and 266MHz lower clock rate). Of course, it would be much more interesting to test E6300/6400 with its "halved" cache or even the series' most junior E4200 that also has bus pared down to 800MHz. Unfortunately, these CPUs haven't arrived to our lab yet. So, for now we offer you another article about Intel's new architecture performance in popular real tasks. We hope it will not be boring, since it's our second review of that. :)

Hardware and software

Testbeds

CPU
Mainboard
Memory
Athlon 64 FX-62
Corsair CM2X1024-6400 (5-5-5-12)
Athlon 64 FX-60
EPoX EP-9NPA3 (BIOS 06.03.30)
Corsair CMX1024-3500LLPRO (2-3-2-6)
Core 2 Duo E6400
Intel DG965SS (eng. sample)
Corsair CM2X1024-6400 (5-5-5-12)
Core 2 Duo E6600
Intel D975XBX (BIOS 1181)
Corsair CM2X1024-6400 (5-5-5-12)
Core 2 Duo E6700
Intel D975XBX (BIOS 1181)
Corsair CM2X1024-6400 (5-5-5-12)
Pentium XE 965
Intel D975XBX (BIOS 1181)
Corsair CM2X1024-6400 (5-5-5-12)
  • Gigabyte's GeForce 7800GTX 256MB graphics card
  • 2 x 1024MB RAM
  • Samsung SP1614C SATA HDD
  • Supplied coolers
  • Thermaltake PurePower 680 APD PSU
Processor
Athlon 64 FX-62
Athlon 64 FX-60
Core 2 Duo E6400****
Core 2 Duo E6600
Core 2 Duo E6700
Pentium XE 965
Process technology, nm
90nm
90
65
65
65
65
Core clock, GHz
2.8
2.6
2.13
2.4
2.66
3.73
Amount of cores
2
2
2
2
2
2
L2 cache*, KB
2 x 1024
2 x 1024
4096
4096
4096
2 x 2048
Bus clock**, MHz
400 DDR2
200 DDR
266 QP
266 QP
266 QP
266 QP
Multiplier
14
13
8
9
10
14
Socket
Socket AM2
Socket 939
LGA775
LGA775
LGA775
LGA775
Typical heat dissipation***, W
125
110
55-75
55-75
55-75
130
AMD64/EM64T
+
+
+
+
+
+
Hyper-Threading
-
-
-
-
-
+
Virtualization Technology
+
-
+
+
+
+

* - "2 x ..." means "... per core".
** - memory controller bus clock of AMD processors.
*** - Measured differently for Intel and AMD; direct comparison would be incorrect.
**** - engineering sample, might differ from volume-produced model.

Software

In this article (and seemingly in all that will follow) we marked 64-bit software by bold font to attract the attention of readers. Because it seems some of them have the "Why no 64-bit OS and apps again?" in their email templates :).

  1. Windows XP Professional x64 Edition SP1.
  2. 3ds max 7.0
  3. Maya 6.5
  4. Lightwave 8.5 x64 Edition
  5. WinRAR 3.51
  6. 7-Zip 4.32 x64 Edition
  7. LAME 3.98
  8. Monkey Audio 4.01
  9. OGG Encoder 2.8 (Lancer)
  10. Windows Media Encoder 9 x64 Edition
  11. MATLAB 7.1
  12. Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0
  13. SolidWorks 2005
  14. Microsoft Visual C++ Professional 6.0
  15. CPU RightMark 2005 Lite x64 Edition
  16. F.E.A.R. 1.3
  17. Half-Life 2
  18. Unreal Tournament 2004 build 3339
  19. Quake 4 Point Release 1.1
  20. FineReader Professional 8.0
  21. Adobe Photoshop CS2 (9.0)
  22. Canopus ProCoder 2.01.30
  23. DivX 6.1.1
  24. Windows Media Video 9 VCM
  25. x264 v.438
  26. XviD 1.1.0 Release
  27. Apache 2.0.55 for Windows

Drivers

  1. NVIDIA ForceWare 91.31
  2. NVIDIA nForce SMBus Driver 4.50
  3. Intel INF Update

Testing

Preface to charts

Our form of results representation has two peculiarities. First, all results are equated to relative integer "marks" (the performance of tested processor relative to Pentium D 805, given the performance of the latter is 100 marks). Second, the detailed resuts are provided in the Microsoft Excel table and the article features only the summary charts by benchmark category.

3D modelling

The clock rate difference between Core 2 Duo E6700 and Core 2 Duo E6600 is 2.66/2.4~=11%. The mark difference marks is 9.5%. Of course, we'd prefer is these values were perfectly congruent, but taking into account ~1% measurements inaccuracy it can be considered satisfactory: performance of the new core scales good with clock rate increase.

CAD/CAM

Again, it's perfectly predictable: simple extrapolation based on E6700 performance values would give us values precise enough.

Compilation

In case of compilation E6700 performance even exceeds the "ideal" (or E6600 lags behind). Though, again, since there are no zero-inaccuracy tests, the difference of 1-2% should be considered only if it repeats in every test.

RightMark

CPU RightMark didn't surprise us as well.

Raster image (photo) processing

The lower performance scalability in the E6600/6700 pair might be related to the objective reasons. Adobe Photoshop is rather sensitive not only to CPU performance, but also to that of memory subsystem and processor bus. And these are identical in both cases.

WEB server

So far it's the only case when the difference in results can't be explained by clock rate difference. We could blame either BIOS and drivers, or test that allows such spread, or just green Martians. But we'll refrain from commenting this for now, since our database of Intel Core 2 Duo test results is far from complete.

File packing

The relatively low scalability can be explained by archivers' traditional sensitivity to memory subsystem that is often a bottleneck.

Audio encoding

A rather predictable, but slightly excessive result.

Video encoding

This one is close to perfection.

Text recognition

No need to comment the obvious...

3D games

Summary marks



Efficiency per gigahertz of clock rate

Conclusion

That what was bound to happen happened the way it should have :). So congratulations. Knowing the results of E6700, we haven't expected any miracles from E6600 and it performed accordingly. But we can now add another Intel Core processor test results to our database. We believe they will look more informative near the results of, say, AMD's dual-core CPU with similar clock rate. Most likely, we'll publish such a review in the near future.

Memory modules for testbeds are kindly provided by
Corsair Memory Russia

Stanislav Garmatyuk (nawhi@ixbt.com)
July 12, 2006

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