In an AnandTech article yesterday comparing a top of the line AMD dual-core Athlon 64 FX-60 overclocked at 2.8 GHz (2.6 GHz stock) to a sample Intel dual-core Conroe E6700 2.66 GHz processor, AMD's top dog took a devastating beating. To make matters worse for AMD, this particular 2.66 GHz sample from Intel isn't even the fastest CPU planned for release in Q3 of this year. In a shootout that tested some of the more popular games and video compression Codecs, Intel's 2.66 GHz Conroe bested AMD's Athlon by an average of more than 20%!
While Intel won't specify exactly how fast the top of the line Conroe processors will run, numbers like 2.8 or even 3.0 GHz have been floating around. AMD will be making enhancements on their Athlon line by adding memory bandwidth with DDR2 memory as well as lower their processor's power consumption, but nothing as dramatic as Intel's shift to the Core architecture.
These high marks for the Conroe desktop processor can also translate in to great performance numbers for Merom on laptops and Woodcrest on the servers if their clock rates are anywhere close to Conroe. Mobile and server CPUs are usually clocked slower than their desktop counterparts so we'll have to wait and see how close and what AMD's response will be.