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Intel's Core 2 Duo E6750 processor

Here comes the 1.3GHz bus

INTEL FIRST UNCORKED its Core 2 processors last July, and believe it or not, relatively little has changed since then. Oh, sure, they've introduced quad-core variants of those processors that are essentially two chips in one package and a few low-end parts, but that's about it. The top-speed-grade Core 2 processor last July was the Core 2 Extreme X6800 at 2.93GHz, and it remains the top speed grade today. That's a remarkable amount of stability in a year's time, but then the Core 2 hasn't needed much help—AMD hasn't yet caught up to it in performance.

Few things sit still in these parts for long, though, and things are about to change once again, as Intel's recent introduction of the P35 Express chipset signaled. The new P35 and upcoming X38 chipsets from Intel are capable of supporting front-side bus speeds of 1333MHz, and Intel plans to introduce a slew of Core 2 processors primed for the faster bus. Although those CPUs won't officially debut until later this summer, we have a preview today of one of those chips, the Core 2 Duo E6750. We have, of course, run the E6750 through our gamut of CPU performance tests, and we've also checked out its overclocking potential—which turns out to be rather considerable.

Meet the E6750
The Core 2 Duo E6750 is not a complex, brooding character from a French existentialist novel. Its story is rather simple. Like the E6700 before it, the E6750 is manufactured on a 65nm fab process and runs at a stock clock speed of 2.66GHz. Although its bus speed has jumped from 1066MHz to 1333MHz, its thermal design power (TDP) rating is unchanged at 65W. The E6750 is even compatible with LGA775-style sockets, though it does require a motherboard that supports its faster bus frequency.

I'd be more than happy to tell you what the price of the E6750 will be, but since it's not officially announced yet, Intel is keeping mum on that front. Here's a guess for you: it will be priced similarly to the current Core 2 Duo E6700, unless Intel decides to pull the trigger on a rumored across-the-board price cut when the product is announced.

In other words, I dunno exactly, but I wouldn't expect to pay a premium for the higher bus speed.

We've tested the Core 2 Duo E6750 on the Asus P5K Deluxe motherboard, which is based on the P35 Express chipset and has full support for 1333MHz bus speeds. The mobo we chose makes use of DDR2 memory, which is fine for our purposes, especially since the board's dual channels of DDR2 800MHz memory offer more than enough bandwidth to keep a 1333MHz bus fed. However, DDR3 memory does offer the prospect of even higher bandwidth and some dizzying memory clock speeds. If you'd like to get a look at DDR3's potential, let me direct you to our P35 Express review.

What you will find on the following pages is an extensive, detailed, and broad-based comparison of the Core 2 Duo E6750 to a whole host of current CPUs from AMD and Intel. We're able to offer this comparison by plugging the E6750's scores into a bunch of results accumulated from past reviews, so you have a very clear sense of what the move to a 1333MHz bus yields in terms of performance. With that said, I'll be the first to admit that our current test suite—widely multithreaded and largely 64-bit though it is—is getting into its rhinestone Elvis phase and will have to be revamped before too long with new applications, new drivers, and the like.

If you're impatient, you may want to jump straight to our overclocking results, which is where the real fun is. I promise, doing so won't hurt my feelings. Too much.