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Intel Core 2 Q9300 & E7200
by Marc Prieur
Published on May 26, 2008

Since the launch of the first model at the end of October, Intel 45nm Core 2 processors have created quite a stir. First of all, there has been the positive aspect of first rate performances while on the negative side availability has been slow. Luckily, this problem is now starting to be resolved, mostly for dual cores and it should also soon be the case for quad cores. This gives us the occasion to take a closer look at two affordable models, the brand new dual core E7200 and the Q9300 in the quad core category.
3 MB Penryns
The E7200 and Q9300 are based on the Penryn, the 45nm version of Core architecture; however, they do not use the same die as others in this product line, because they are « limited » to 3 MB of cache.

You may recall, in the transition from the Conroe to the Penryn, the main change was the size of cache, which went from 4 to 6 MB increasing the number of transistors from 291 to 410 million. The E7200 and Q9300 use a die that has only 3 MB of cache so the number of transistors decreases to 274 million while the size of the die goes from 107 to 81mm².

Otherwise, these processors naturally have all the advantages related to 45nm in terms of heat dissipation as well as the architectural advances introduced by the Penryn such as the improvement of division and SSE4 instructions.

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