Call me sad or call me a geek, but I’m awfully excited tonight. Conroe NDAs lift! Okay, so I know what you’re asking yourself: “What the hell is this Conroe Charlie speaks of and what is a NDA?” Well, I’ll tell you; it’s the ‘codename’ for Intel’s new desktop CPUs which will be launched under the Core 2 Duo brand, destined to replace the age-long Pentium name and NDA is a non-disclosure agreement which many tech sites sign in order to get these items to review before they’re officially released. Just think back to the good old days when we were rocking top of line Pentium 133 processors. Conroe is actually based on the mobile variant, called Merom, which is supposed to launch next month. It’s a huge departure from Intel’s marketing scheme of the late 90s and early 2000s when everything was about higher clock frequencies. Now it’s all about efficiency. More instructions per clock can easily offset a slower overall clock speed. The end result is a very well designed CPU that is significantly faster than previous Intel offerings (at least in the desktop space) and is finally able to compete with AMD’s Athlon64 chips. And to think, all this stemmed from that little Pentium M processor designed for ‘low powered’ notebooks back in the day.
Okay so performance is good, or maybe even great. However, that’s not the only reason I’m excited. Conroe is also going to be coming to retail at very reasonable prices. Of course this has a lot to do with AMD’s gains on Intel in recent years but nonetheless, I’m happy to see some very sweet price-performance levels for these chips. Add on top of that the fact that they consume less power than most competing CPUs and overclock very well just makes me want to impulse buy. Chances are, I’m going to try and pick up a new desktop with a Conroe. I’ve been itching to get a smallish system for a media center and this would be the perfect CPU to do that with. Power in a small form factor. What else could you ask for? Pair it with a 20″ widescreen LCD and I’m in computing heaven.
Well, I did my CDT again today so I can blast off for home at noon tomorrow. I’m looking forward to the weekend. It’ll probably be the last sane one. After this it’s going to be study time for exams. Definitely not looking forward to that…
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