8.5GB/sec. Thatís the total amount of system bandwidth provided by the front-side bus (FSB) to the CPU in todayís latest Core 2 processors from Intel. While that figure may sound impressive at first, keep in mind that some Pentium Extreme Edition processors have been sitting on that same 1066MHz FSB for over two years now. With the next generation of Core 2 processors arriving at speeds in excess of 3GHz, itís important that the FSB is capable of keeping the CPU fed with data.
In recent months, Intel has taken a number of steps to address this.
Intel first laid the groundwork with the release of the P35 Bearlake platform last month. P35 offers support for DDR3 memory, which may eventually scale to speeds of 1.6GHz, as well as supporting faster bus speeds; FSB speeds up to 1333MHz are officially supported. By moving from 1066MHz to 1333MHz FSB, system bandwidth improves by 20%, going from 8.5GB/sec to 10.6GB/sec, for an improvement of over 2GB/sec. With Intelís CPUs scaling to higher clock speeds, as well as going from dual processing cores to quad core, this increase in system bandwidth is important in order to deliver optimal CPU performance.
The release of a new 1333MHz platform wouldnít be complete without the release of corresponding 1333MHz CPUs to accompany it, thatís where todayís article comes in. Arriving later this summer will be a slew of new 1333MHz Core 2 CPUs from Intel. Today weíre giving you a sneak peek at one of them, the Core 2 Duo E6750.
Running at a clock speed of 2.66GHz, the Core 2 Duo E6750 packs a 4MB L2 cache and official 333MHz FSB support (remember, the Core 2ís system bus is quad-pumped, so 1333MHz effective). As its name implies, the Core 2 Duo E6750 corresponds most closely to todayís Core 2 Duo E6700, although obviously with its faster FSB the chip will run a little faster than an E6700; weíll show you by exactly how much in our benchmarks later in this article.
As we mentioned earlier, Intel will be releasing a slew of new 1333MHz FSB processors that run at clock speeds similar to todayís existing Core 2 CPUs. To differentiate the 333MHz FSB CPUs from the older 266MHz models, Intel will be using the number ď50Ē at the end of the model number. The Core 2 Duo E6850 for instance is expected to run at 3.0GHz with a 333MHz FSB. Physically, these 333MHz chips look identical to their predecessors and boast the same thermal design power (TDP), so power and cooling should be similar to previous Core 2 CPUs.
Intelís Core 2 line of CPUs have historically been pretty strong performers in the overclocking department, so we had high hopes for the Core 2 Duo E6750. Thankfully, we werenít disappointed. After only a little bit of tweaking, we were able to break 3GHz at stock voltage Ė the CPU was barely breaking a sweat. Ultimately we were able to overclock the CPU to 3.96GHz (8.0x495) at 1.45V.
Thatís an effective FSB speed of nearly 2.0GHz, and we were within 40MHz of breaking the 4GHz barrier! Pretty impressive donít you think?