Discussion Process shrink of Core 2 Duo?

igor_kavinski

Junior Member
Jul 27, 2020
22
1
11
I can't help wondering. What's keeping Intel from doing a process shrink of Core 2 Duo running at 1GHz or so instead of releasing the anemic Atom? Surely, a shrunken modern version of Core 2 Duo would beat the Atom at both power consumption and speed, right?
 

Qwertilot

Golden Member
Nov 28, 2013
1,452
140
106
Intel have had a slightly weird cultural road block relating to putting Atom on a really solid foundation for a long time now.
 

igor_kavinski

Junior Member
Jul 27, 2020
22
1
11
Translated, does that mean Senior Intel engineers made the wrong decision and instead of admitting their fault, they continue to sink millions into the Atom, hoping that one day it might bear fruit?
 

SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
4,951
330
126
there is a lot of work involved in adapting a design like the Core 2 Duo to a new process tech,

and the C2D lacks a lot of what is considered standard today, they would need to integrate also things that were on the chipset (NB and SB), and in that case keeping the FSB around wouldn't make much sense, they would need to add so much new stuff that it makes more sense to build something else more optimized for the task

also the more current Atom family is not far from the C2D performance, it's actually faster in some cases,
look at the Celeron n4000 (variable clock up to 2.6GHz) vs an e7300 (2.66GHz fixed)

very similar performance, but the "Atom" (Celeron n4000) is seriously low on power (6W TDP) and has modern IGP and other features included (PCIE, Sata, USB and so on)

and that's from a few years ago
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tlh97

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
22,765
325
126
very similar performance, but the "Atom" (Celeron n4000) is seriously low on power (6W TDP) and has modern IGP and other features included (PCIE, Sata, USB and so on)
Hmm... AFAIK, Celeron N4000 is about half as fast as my wife's iPad with A10, or also about half as fast as my Core m3-7Y32. Correct me if I'm wrong. The A10 came out in 2016, and the m3-7Y32 came out in 2017. How do their power characteristics compare to Celeron N4000?

Cuz I don't think I'd be very happy with N4000 performance even for basic business desktop use, for email, surfing, MS Office, Netflix, etc. I realize not everyone is a geek and needs differ, but A10 and m3-7Y32 aren't exactly powerhouses, and I'd consider those about the minimum I'd recommend to someone buying new in 2020 for general basic use.
 

SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
4,951
330
126
Hmm... AFAIK, Celeron N4000 is about half as fast as my wife's iPad with A10, or also about half as fast as my Core m3-7Y32. Correct me if I'm wrong. The A10 came out in 2016, and the m3-7Y32 came out in 2017. How do their power characteristics compare to Celeron N4000?

Cuz I don't think I'd be very happy with N4000 performance even for basic business desktop use, for email, surfing, MS Office, Netflix, etc. I realize not everyone is a geek and needs differ, but A10 and m3-7Y32 aren't exactly powerhouses, and I'd consider those about the minimum I'd recommend to someone buying new in 2020 for general basic use.
I selected the N4000 because it made it easy to compare to a C2D (dual core, tends to run over 2Ghz on those tests),
the N4000 is from 2017/2018 and is commonly found now in under $100 devices, so not really a point to compare it to higher end hardware, there are faster CPUs from the same family of products (quad cores, higher clocks)

it's probably not a very good CPU, but it's as good or better (specially if running with the IGP) than a C2D that isn't clocked much higher.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tlh97

zir_blazer

Senior member
Jun 6, 2013
925
71
91
No one is mentioning a rather important fact: Atom targeted two things at once, one was power efficiency because it was aimed at mobile first, and the other was die size. Atom was intended to be cheap to manufacture, so it was optimized for a smaller die size and transistor count. It was introduced to replace budget big Core Processors in the low end, yet you still had premium Netbooks using big Cores with low TDP and they performed significantly better than Atom, but they were also far more expensive. It was a cost reducing move by Intel.
 

igor_kavinski

Junior Member
Jul 27, 2020
22
1
11
Intel seems to have a habit of dragging along hopeless architectures like the Atom and Itanium and persevering despite everyone telling them otherwise. I wish we could look at the R&D costs sunk into developing the Atom to where it is today versus actual profits (if any) made. Wouldn't a simple die shrink of the Core architecture have been better? That would have given them instruction execution efficiency from day one and successive generations could have introduced changes to lower the TDP while keeping the transistor count more or less constant. What do the newer Atoms really offer instruction-wise that the average consumer can't do without? Windows 10 is still booting up fine on a Core 2 T5250 for Pete's sake which means all the extra instruction set baggage is probably unnecessary.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,020
4,970
136
Wouldn't a simple die shrink of the Core architecture have been better?
Ah, now you are discussing something different. Which Core are we talking about here? Conroe? Nehalem? Sandy? Ivy? Haswell?

Take a good look at Tremont. The cores are really, really small on Intel 10nm. It is showing performance 20-30% better than Goldmont, which itself mostly matched C2Q and at a lower clockspeed and considerably lower power. Now consider that next-gen Atom (Gracemont) allegedly has performance in-line with Skylake (whether this is isoclock, isopower, or some other metric is not specified). I think if you look at Atom closely, you will see that Intel has made significant advances with the core from Goldmont on up when they could be bothered to iterate upon the design. Thanks to the 10nm debacle, almost all Atom work has been put on the back burner or shut down.

Look at all the wafers being consumed just to bring Tiger Lake-U to market. Now think of all the Tremont-based silicon the market hasn't seen yet/may never see because of that (and because of IceLake-SP). Atom is getting short shrift. Meanwhile, the Atom team is making 20-30% advancements in performance per generation on a tiny, low-power core.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tlh97

mopardude87

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2018
3,348
1,500
96
I can't fathom why anyone would punish themselves with a Atom processor no matter what its in. I used one that a friend had in this tiny little notebook tablet thing, they managed to put xp on there and it still ran like utter trash. Maybe it came with xp, but this was like in 2011 so i got no idea. It was just a weird stupid experience to behold.

I would love to see the Q6600 shrunk down, i love that processor. I used one last year in fact, it felt just fine with W7 with a ssd and a gtx650 and 8gb of ram. It was in a Dell inspiron 530 i believe or the 520, i did a tape mod to the G0 Q6600 and got 3ghz. Got to love that right?
 

igor_kavinski

Junior Member
Jul 27, 2020
22
1
11
Ah, now you are discussing something different. Which Core are we talking about here? Conroe? Nehalem? Sandy? Ivy? Haswell?
I mentioned the T5250 so Merom. Regarding Atom, was it really worth it? Intel failed to find success in phones and tablets with it. In PCs, it became the processor to avoid next to Celeron and Pentium. So what did Intel actually accomplish other than giving the world a lot of silicon trash with that particular endeavor?
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,020
4,970
136
I mentioned the T5250 so Merom.
Die-shrunk Merom would be a joke compared even to 4c Goldmont.

Regarding Atom, was it really worth it? Intel failed to find success in phones and tablets with it. In PCs, it became the processor to avoid next to Celeron and Pentium. So what did Intel actually accomplish other than giving the world a lot of silicon trash with that particular endeavor?
Intel gained traction with Atom in some server/appliance applications (see: Denverton) and in automotive. They haven't yet bothered to update that generation of Atom, but I people don't seem to understand how well it did in some applications.

@mopardude87

I hope you realize that a Pentium J5005 is about as fast as a Q6600 at much lower power . . . ? Honestly I am surprised that people know so little about Atom.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tlh97

mopardude87

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2018
3,348
1,500
96
@mopardude87

I hope you realize that a Pentium J5005 is about as fast as a Q6600 at much lower power . . . ? Honestly I am surprised that people know so little about Atom.
Oh really? I am not a mobile user, but if there is a way to build a mini htpc or something i would love to have fun with that. Well that last experience given the advantage of the thing running xp and still running horrid, yeah it left a impression.

I could also just downclock my 2500k as well too......decisions decisions. I got that in my htpc currently at stock. Frys had 2500k+h61 combo back in day, it was cheaper to buy it then a 2500 non k and h61 lol. Thought about maybe getting a p67 and overclocking but its sitting with 1333mhz memory. That or slap in a 2600k or cheap xeon.
 

Qwertilot

Golden Member
Nov 28, 2013
1,452
140
106
I guess that partially reflects how little Intel have seemed to care about it - which is what I mean with my initial reply of course.

Given the performance levels that the (relatively) 'little' cores from various other people have reached, Atom really should be covering most of Intel's desk/laptop market by now. Happily as well, not as rubbish or anything.

I've always assumed they're a bit terrified of the idea of computer CPU's (outside servers) becoming a commodity.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,020
4,970
136
Oh really? I am not a mobile user, but if there is a way to build a mini htpc or something i would love to have fun with that.
It was fun in 2015. Today Goldmont and Goldmont+ are so long in the tooth that they're hardly worth mentioning. It's just that Intel has progressed Atom to the point that C2Q - with its external memory controller and other warts - is no longer worth consideration.

@Qwertilot

Intel relegated Atom to some odd areas of their lineup. They never seem to know what exactly to do with it. It seems to have been most at-home in network appliances and things like that. Had 10nm not been a dumpster fire, there would be all kinds of products based onTremont last year (if not earlier). This year - if not earlier! - we would have seen 8c Golden Cove + 8c Gracemont in Alder Lake-S, and Gracemont was supposed to trade blows with Skylake in IPC if not other areas. There was a lot of "woudla, coulda, shoulda" going on there.

One thing is clear: Atom was kicked out of tablets and phones as far back as Cherry Trail, and Intel never looked back. You can't judge Atom by that failure alone.

Yes, but that's after 10 years of development. Intel could have gotten to that level of performance in that price range much earlier had they chosen to shrink Merom.
I hope you understand that you're talking about:

Nehalem
Sandy Bridge
Ivy Bridge
. . .

see what I mean?

They DID iterate upon Core. The shrank process and added new features. They had/have low-power variants with loads of power gating technology. Go look at the bizarre selection of CPUs Intel has available in the mobile sector to see where "die shrunk Merom" actually wound up.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tlh97

mopardude87

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2018
3,348
1,500
96
It was fun in 2015. Today Goldmont and Goldmont+ are so long in the tooth that they're hardly worth mentioning. It's just that Intel has progressed Atom to the point that C2Q - with its external memory controller and other warts - is no longer worth consideration.
Been thinking of downsizing the 2500k rig, i could either find mini itx board for the 2500k or look into whats been on the low end that is super efficient. I focus so much on the high end as i buy that usually, i often forget how good the low end has been improved cause my focus is on the high end stuff of course, i couldn't care less usually for anything 2t or whatever in 2020 . No one asks me to build them computers any more, i gift my old parts these days when i upgrade so yeah i never look into low end stuff.

Kinda wanna put the eco mode back on this 3900x, i went back to full clocks but not before installing 4x 3,000rpm 140mm noctua fans so my rig sounds like a flight simulator. Funny thing is i sleep better at night with ambient noise and well nothing says noise like that right? I will feel kind of stupid to have the 727 on take off over here, sitting in eco mode as well. Doubt with my DRP4 it would even boost a hair more would it? May just keep it stock, kinda torn on it :p

End of day i think lower wattage certainly will lower the power bill, which is my goal. I love the insane idea of overkill cooling on a 24 thread chip in eco mode. Something about it perplexes me a bit.
 
Last edited:

igor_kavinski

Junior Member
Jul 27, 2020
22
1
11
I hope you understand that you're talking about:

Nehalem
Sandy Bridge
Ivy Bridge
. . .

see what I mean?

They DID iterate upon Core. The shrank process and added new features. They had/have low-power variants with loads of power gating technology. Go look at the bizarre selection of CPUs Intel has available in the mobile sector to see where "die shrunk Merom" actually wound up.
From this page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transistor_count#Microprocessors

It can be seen that Core i7 went from 45nm to 32nm with an additional 400M or so transistors with roughly the same die size. What if it had just been a process shrink and the die size kept decreasing with transistor count remaining more or less the same. Merom shrunk this way could have been the Atom everyone would have loved but never got. Why design a new architecture and then try to squeeze more performance out of it when you already have an older performant architecture which could be tweaked to lower power consumption? They shrank the original Pentium for the Larrabee. But for the Atom, they started from the ground up. Bone headed decision.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY