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Date: September 5th, 2007
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Intel




Power efficiency

Demand for greater power efficiency in computing is on the rise from desktop to laptop PCs. With an Intel Core 2 Extreme processor, you get a balance of great quad-core computing capabilities and power savings. Its enhanced voltage efficiency supports cooler and quieter system designs as compared to traditional desktop and laptop PCs. And thanks to the innovative energy efficient technologies built-in, the Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme processor is able to transfer power only to those areas of the processor that need it, thereby enabling laptops to save power and desktops to have thinner, sleeker designs.

A vibrant media experience

The Intel Core 2 Extreme processor enables your Intel Viiv technology and Intel Centrino Duo mobile technology multimedia experience to be all the more vibrant. Featuring Intel® Digital Media Boost, the Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme processor enables accelerating technologies for applications such as CAD tools, 3D and 2D modeling, video editing, digital music, digital photography and gaming. This is one of the key ingredients that help Intel Viiv technology and Intel Centrino Duo mobile technology to give you a truly rich multimedia experience.

Integrated Processor Technology Features

Quad Core Processing

Leaders of the pack seeking monster performance, look no further. With four execution cores, the Intel® Core™2 Quad processor blows through processor-intensive tasks in demanding multitasking environments and makes the most of highly threaded applications. Whether you're creating multimedia, annihilating your gaming enemies, or running compute-intensive applications at one time, new quad-core processing will change the way you do everything. Pioneer the new world of quad-core and unleash the power of multithreading.

The high end just got higher. Whether it's encoding, rendering, editing, or streaming, make the most of your professional-grade multimedia applications with a PC powered by the Intel® Core™2 Quad processor. With four processing cores and up to 8MB of shared L2 cache¹ and up to 1066 MHz Front Side Bus, more intensive entertainment and more multitasking can bring a multimedia powerhouse to your house.

Intel® Wide Dynamic Execution , enabling delivery of more instructions per clock cycle to improve execution time and energy efficiency.

Intel® Intelligent Power Capability , designed to deliver more energy-efficient performance and smarter battery performance in your laptop

Intel® Smart Memory Access , improving system performance by optimizing the use of the available data bandwidth

Intel® Advanced Smart Cache , providing a higher-performance, more efficient cache subsystem. Optimized for multi-core and dual-core processors

Intel® Advanced Digital Media Boost , accelerating a broad range of applications, including video, speech and image, photo processing, encryption, financial, engineering and scientific applications

Make highly threaded applications happy. Get in on the increasing number of highly threaded programs with quad-core technology from Intel. With four processing cores, an Intel Core 2 Quad processor-based PC will fuel more intensive entertainment and more media multitasking than ever.

Enhanced Halt State (C1E)

"Whenever the OS executes the halt instruction, the CPU enters what is known as the halt state.  Architecturally, what's going on in a halt state is the clock signal is shut off to the CPU for some period of time. With no clock signal, none of the logic in the chip will do anything and thus power consumption is reduced.  Performance is also significantly reduced; however, the halt instruction isn't usually called during application usage, so the performance aspects of the halt state aren't very important.

The problem with the halt state is that it does nothing to reduce voltage, only current draw by stopping clocks from going to the CPU.  Since Power varies linearly with both current and voltage (P = I * V), you're effectively only addressing half of the problem. The Enhanced Halt State, as Intel calls it, does two things: it reduces the clock speed of the CPU by decreasing the clock multiplier down to its minimum value (on the EE 965 series, that's 14x, or 2.8GHz), then reducing the voltage.  The clock speed is reduced and then the voltage is dropped, to maintain stability. 

Intel insists that the enhanced halt state is a significantly lower power state than the conventional halt state, thanks to the reduction in voltage in addition to the reduction in clock speed.  While the standard halt state causes a linear reduction in power, Intel's enhanced halt state causes an exponential decrease in power, potentially offering better power savings than the standard halt state.  The real world impact obviously depends on how idle your system happens to be."

Enhanced Intel Speedstep® Technology

Enhanced Intel SpeedStep technology allows the system to dynamically adjust processor voltage and core frequency, which can result in decreased average power consumption and decreased average heat production. By decreasing power and heat on Desktop PCs, system builders can (depending on system configurations) potentially lower acoustics, and even develop more innovative small form factor designs. Additionally, this feature can help address power concerns in companies with sites approaching the limits of bounded electrical infrastructures. Combined with existing power saving features, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep technology can provide an excellent balance between providing power when you need it and conserving it when you don't.

Execute Disable Bit

Execute Disable Bit is a hardware-based security feature that can reduce exposure to viruses and malicious-code attacks and prevent harmful software from executing and propagating on the server or network.

Intel® EM64T

Certain boxed Intel desktop processors have support for Intel® Extended Memory 64 Technology1 (Intel® 64), delivering flexibility for operating systems and future software that supports 64-bit computing.

In order to take advantage of this technology, an entire 64bit hardware & software solution stack is required, ranging from processors and device drivers to operating systems, tools and applications. 

The primary value to users lies in potential performance improvements achieved by the ability to address >4GB of both virtual and physical memory, the latter also requiring platform/motherboard designs including this much system memory.

Digital media applications are expected to see benefits from Intel 64 1 in their ability to process high quality audio and video, as well as 3D rendering.

Intel® Thermal Monitor 2

The Intel Core 2 Duo processor in the 775-land package also supports a power managment capability known as Thermal Monitor 2. This mechanism provides an efficient mechanism for limiting the processor temperature by reducing power consumption within the processor. Thermal Monitor 2 is enabled, and a high temperature situation is detected, the enhanced Thermal Control Circuit causes the processor to adjust its operating frequency and input voltage. This combination of reduced frequency and voltage results in a decrease in processor power consumption. Once the processor has sufficiently cooled and a minimum activation time has expired, the operating frequency and voltage transition back to the normal system operating point.

Intel® Virtualization Technology

Intel ® Virtualization Technology ? delivers improved computing benefits for home users, business users, and IT managers alike. This paper describes the unique requirements that embedded systems and communications infrastructure equipment place on virtualized environments and shows how Intel is working with a number of third parties to extend the benefits of Intel Virtualization Technology to these market segments. Bounded real-time performance can be maintained while using virtualization to consolidate systems; system uptime can be increased by enabling software failover without redundant hardware; and software migration can be performed without bringing down the application. Virtualization also allows legacy applications to co-exist with new applications by executing both software environments in parallel, and it provides the means for applications to take advantage of multi-core processors without re-architecting for multi-threaded execution.




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