HKEPC Hardware has a performance preview (in Chinese, translate here) of what is apparently a 45nm "Wolfdale" Core 2 Duo running at 2.33GHz. The chip is pitted against a 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo E6550 in a clock-for-clock battle that shows impressive performance gains for Intel's upcoming processor core. Most notable is a nearly 116% jump in encoding performance with an SSE4-optimized alpha of DivX 6.6. Gains in other apps aren't nearly as striking, but they're consistent across the board and often eclipse 10%.
What may be even more encouraging than Wolfdale's apparent performance is the chip's power efficiency. HKEPC's tests suggest that the new core runs cooler and consumes less power than the E6550 at both idle and under load. In fact, the Wolfdale chip actually has lower temperatures and power consumption under load than the E6550 does at idle.
Intel 45nm chips look to be packing a tantalizing payload of faster performance and significantly lower power consumption, but they may not actually be around for long. HKEPC's preview also says that Intel will be sampling its next-gen "Nehalem" microarchitecture to motherboard makers in October with an eye towards release in the second half of 2008.
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