German version available here.
Two weeks and some days ago we informed you that we received the new QX9650 Penryn-based Yorkfield CPU from Intel. Today, we compare the new quad-core with the old QX6850 Kentsfield and check out what the new CPU has to offer.
We will not go into the technical details too extensively. The new CPU is produced using the new 45nm process with a die-size of 214mm² and 820 million transistors. The old Kentsfield is 282mm² with 582 million transistors. Obviously, the increased transistor count comes from its massive 12MB cache, as each dual-core CPU die has its own shared 6MB. The new cache is now 24-way associative, compared to the 16-way associative cache of the older models.
Intel also added an extension to the SSE instruction set called "SSE4" which will help video algorithms work much faster; that is, of course, only if supported by the software. The most important changes are the power-saving functions inside the CPU. While most mainboard BIOSes will not support VCore reduction of the CPU when overclocked, the new family can power down on its own. If the CPU is idle, it will go into idle mode regardless of the BIOS.