Intel Pentium Processor Extreme Edition 955

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Intel Pentium Processor Extreme Edition 955

Pros

  • Top Intel performance

Cons

  • Lacking compared to AMD, Expensive

Bottom Line

Intel pulled out all the stops with this processor and it certainly is a good one, but it does not do enough to knock AMD off the performance pedestal.

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Intel's flagship Pentium Processor Extreme Edition (EE) 955 dual-core CPU is the first Intel desktop chip to feature the 65 nanometre (nm) architecture. This architecture means that more (and smaller) transistors can be used to improve the CPU's performance and power efficiency - it's a generation ahead of AMD's 90nm architecture, which AMD still uses for its latest dual-core chips. However, test results reveal that this new architecture does not bring the EE 955 as close to the performance of AMD's flagship dual-core CPU, the Athlon 64 FX-60, as it should.

In our multi-tasking test, the EE 955 took 495sec, while the Athlon FX-60 took 354sec. In Adobe Premiere testing, the EE 955 ran through an editing task in 430sec, 100sec longer than what it took the FX-60. Considering the specifications of the EE 955, it should probably be the fastest CPU on the market.

We tested it in an ASUS P5WD2-E motherboard with 2GB of DDR2 memory, a 250GB Western Digital Caviar SE hard drive and an ATI Radeon X1900XT graphics adapter. The same configuration was used for the Athlon CPU, save for the motherboard (ASUS A8N32-SLI) and memory (2GB DDR).

An Intel 955X or 975X chipset-based motherboard can be used to run this CPU, and it also requires a beefy power supply as it can consume up to 130-watts. The EE 955 consumes less power than its predecessor, the 90nm-based EE 840 CPU, but it still uses more power than the 90nm FX-60.

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