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Jonathan's Hardware Thread 5.0 (1H 2006)

PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 10:01 pm
by Jonathan
Now is a pretty terrible time to purchase a new computer. Intel has announced their new microarchitecture, Core, and stated that it will be shipping in the second half of this year, along with a new motherboard chipset. AMD's moving their socket to DDR2. They've also announced a processor refresh codenamed K8L. Apple will ship lots more Intel boxes and a new version of OS X before the end of the year. Even Microsoft has said that Vista will be available first thing in 2007.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 11:00 pm
by Jonathan

Some previews of Woodcrest, Intel's new Xeon. I picked this page specifically because it has speech recognition data. Sphinx uses 40% of the Woodcrest and 54% of the Opteron processor time. At what point did mp3 decode become fast enough that people started playing mp3s all the time while using their computers?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 9:50 pm
by quantus
At what point did mp3 decode become fast enough that people started playing mp3s all the time while using their computers?

Define "using" their computer... One could pretty much always decode mp3s and use a word processor with little or no skipping (which depended on buffer size and therefore RAM). I'm pretty sure using that definition, my P-Pro 200 did just fine. I do know that it was not fine on Bob's really old computer (a P1-90 overclocked I believe).

PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:55 pm
by Jonathan
Surfing and IM was the definition I had in mind. I distinctly remember Adam trying to play MP3s on whatever system he had before he got an overclocked Celeron 533 (Celeron 300a?) while doing a bunch of other stuff and getting significant skipping.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:14 pm
by Jonathan

The NDA is up on Core 2 Duo, so all your favorite hardware review sites have one. The Inq says that chips and systems will be available July 27.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:39 pm
by Jonathan ... i=2795&p=2

Anandtech lists the pricing as follows:

Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 2.66GHz 4MB $530
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.40GHz 4MB $316
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz 2MB $224
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 1.86GHz 2MB $183

Important to note is that the E6400 has 2MB cache, and the E6600 has 4MB. ... i=2795&p=4

Anandtech gives the average perf increase due to the extra 2MB of cache as 3.5% with outliers of up to 10%. The E6600 is 40% more expensive and clocked 13% faster. So which to buy?

If you're not a poor college student, I'd get the E6600 as the outliers for extra cache will always be large, and $92 isn't a whole lot. It's true that on average you won't see the difference, but on the applications that are affected by cache you will notice. If you are poor, I'd get the cheapest one, or wait a few quarters for additional speed bins to push the stack down so the E6600 is around ~$200.