First of all, I would like to thank our friends at ASUS who provided the CPU sample and Links for providing the rest of hardware used in this review.
Earlier this month Intel made a big leap into the future of microprocessors. With GPU integration into the processor package Intel marks the beginning of a new era for microprocessors, possibly one just as big as the change that AMD made some three years ago with its first Dual-Core Athlon 64 X2 CPU. The "core" race between AMD and Intel is slowing down due to small percentage of multi-threaded applications available to average users today, but all along there was another race underway and the goal is integration and miniaturization. With their new Clarkdale processors Intel is the first one to take this race to the users and take it out of the shadows, but the finish line is still far away and there is much to be done before we can declare the winner, but nevertheless, a new breed of processors is here with all of its hi-tech features... and flaws.
Without doubt you've already heard or read about the new Clarkdale processors, and their onboard integrated "Northbridge" chip combining graphics processor, memory and PCI-E controller, and since it's the first of its kind you'll be hearing about it a lot more in the near future. What Intel has done here is combined the latest, state-of-the art technology processor and combined it with Northbridge logic in one Multi-Chip Module package. Somewhat similar to the Yorkfield Quad Core processors, where two Wolfdale Dual Core cores were put together in a MCM package to create a Quad Core. It worked well in the past, so there is little reason for doubt this time.
Since this is a processor review, over the next few pages you'll find all the technical information, specifications, good and bad things about the new Clarkdale processor. What you will not find is an in depth review of the integrated graphics processor in Clarkdale,, that part of the review was done earlier by W1zzard and you can find it in his review.
Packaging and Contents
For testing we received processor in a tray package, but for the retail market Intel is shipping a boxed CPU with cooler and some basic documentation.