Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840

..:: Conclusion ::..

The long awaited dual core processors are here. The reason I waited off on this review, and the subsequent Pentium D and Pentium 4 670 reviews was to allow for sufficient time for these processors to make their way into retailer warehouses. As we’ve seen today, under a single-threaded environment, there is no advantage to the new Extreme Edition 840 at all. Since the software doesn’t utilize more than one core, the remaining cores are simply sitting “idle”.

When it comes to a multi-threaded or multi-tasking environment, however, we see a good performance boost from the dual cores. In the case of multi-tasking, I should say we see less of a performance loss than we would with a standard single core CPU, even one equipped with Hyper-Threading. This can be seen from the last multi-tasking benchmarks that we ran where, even though the 840 was far behind in a dedicated environment, it came out on top in a multi-tasking one.

To put it simply, if you’re operating under a typical workstation environment with CAD / CAM / CAE applications, or any other multi-threaded applications for that matter, dual core processors will add a good amount of pep to your daily life. If you’re just a typical end user, then dual core processors really aren’t much of an upgrade from a single processor setup at this time. Over the next year + as we see many more multi-threaded applications hitting the market, we’ll see the demand for and use of dual core processors rising. By its own account Intel doesn’t see sales for the dual core processors taking off this year, and I wouldn’t expect it either.

These Extreme Edition 840’s come with a substantial cost, as one would expect for an Extreme Edition processor. The only problem is, all they have over the Pentium D’s are Hyper-Threading. Although this will indeed add some benefit to the performance of the processor, I doubt it’s enough to convince an end user to go with an 840 over a Pentium D. Normally we’d see the Extreme Edition with more cache, or perhaps a faster FSB, but this time, we see none of this. This makes the 840 a hard sell for most, to say the least.

For now, let’s leave our conclusions aside until we further examine performance against the Pentium D processor next week. We’ll then be able to more closely examine the gains made by Hyper-Threading on the Extreme Edition 840, as well as the cost benefits of Intel’s Pentium D. If there’s one strong suit about the Pentium D, it’s the price point that it comes in at. Until next week, thanks for reading!