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Old 06-04-2009, 03:34 PM   #1
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Default Intel Talks Lynnfield, Arrandale, Teases with 8-Core Processor

From our front-page news:
There's no such thing as leaving a meeting with Intel uninformed, so we have a lot of interesting things to report regarding the company's upcoming technologies. First is Lynnfield, the "value" version of Core i7 tentatively called "Core i5". It features a similar underlying architecture as Nehalem, but drops such luxuries as triple-channel memory and the QPI bus (in lieu of DMI).

Interestingly enough though, Lynnfield also enhances something found on Core i7, Turbo. On Nehalem, Turbo would affect the first or second core (if you don't know what Turbo is, refer to our article here), but with a proper workload on Lynnfield, you can actually see Turbo affect all cores, which would result in a boost that would actually be noticeable. We'll talk more about this nearer to the launch date.

Next up is Arrandale, the mobile version of Nehalem due out later this year. This mPGA-989-based processor has the same underlying architecture as Core i7, but utilizes a dual-channel IMC and contains less cache. Aside from the obvious performance boost over Penryn-based CPUs, Arrandale will offer both 4MB of Cache and HyperThreading... perfect for mobile workstations.

As for power draw while mobile, we'll have to see. Nehalem's advanced power states are sure going to have to work overtime to sustain a decent battery-life on any equipped notebook.


Westmere was discussed briefly, but given that the launch is still a ways away, Intel wouldn't divulge too much information. One interesting point mentioned, which I didn't realize before, is that Westmere will be using the same socket, LGA-1156, as Lynnfield. So if you have a PC with a CPU/GPU hybrid Westmere, you could upgrade to Lynnfield without issue, as the pin layout supports the change.

Before the meeting concluded, Intel's performance guru Francois Piednoel opened up a small card to show off an Octal-Core processor, presumably based on Nehalem. As the card opened, MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This" immediately began playing. Nice.

June 4th Update (21:44 CST): The mobile part we saw was not Arrandale, but rather Clarksfield. Thanks to Intel for pointing this out and apologies for the confusion.
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:47 PM   #2
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Before the meeting concluded, Intel's performance guru Francois Piednoel opened up a small card to show off an Octal-Core processor, presumably based on Nehalem. As the card opened, MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This" immediately began playing. Nice.
Yeah, you'd never guess Intel was milking their current dominance in the processor realm for all it was worth.
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:03 PM   #3
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Hah, you got that right. Francois has been teasing with "Can't Touch This!" for a few weeks now... I had no idea what he was getting at. Was definitely a good chuckle.

Oh, and I want one. I forgot to mention the 24MB of Cache on that thing... insane.
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:34 AM   #4
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8-core gaming rig!! aaahh!
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:37 AM   #5
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8-core gaming rig!! aaahh!
The option is there right now... just need to use two CPUs :-)
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:53 AM   #6
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The option is there right now... just need to use two CPUs :-)
Ah yess! Skulltrail System!
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:58 AM   #7
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Ah yess! Skulltrail System!
Not just Skulltrail. Nothing stops anyone from purchasing a dual-socket motherboard designed for Xeon's and use it for a gaming PC. Just imagine two Core i7 3.0GHz+ processors... sixteen threads of happiness.
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Old 06-06-2009, 05:33 AM   #8
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Not just Skulltrail. Nothing stops anyone from purchasing a dual-socket motherboard designed for Xeon's and use it for a gaming PC. Just imagine two Core i7 3.0GHz+ processors... sixteen threads of happiness.
wow! nice!
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:07 AM   #9
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As you say, 24MB of only L3 cache is insane, think of how many floppies that would take.

Even Gulftown will only have 12MB of L3 cache, not very much for six cores...

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Not just Skulltrail. Nothing stops anyone from purchasing a dual-socket motherboard designed for Xeon's and use it for a gaming PC. Just imagine two Core i7 3.0GHz+ processors... sixteen threads of happiness.
Crazy, but Newegg sells quite variety of two socket LGA1366 motherboards starting from $260... Yes, two socket LGA1366 for less than the cost of many enthusiast motherboards. Now if they would just support overclocking I'd be sold on one...
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:12 PM   #10
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Crazy, but Newegg sells quite variety of two socket LGA1366 motherboards starting from $260... Yes, two socket LGA1366 for less than the cost of many enthusiast motherboards. Now if they would just support overclocking I'd be sold on one...
That... and the Xeon's cost a little bit more than the i7 counterparts, which is too bad. But still... to have an eight core / sixteen thread machine at a reasonable cost, is just insane. 2 x Xeon W3520 2.66GHz = $620 + $260 motherboard = $880. That seems damn good to me... after all, we're talking a LOT of power here.

But, another way to look at it is that a single 920 can do 4.2GHz. Two stock W3520's would be combined 5.32GHz. That's more power overall, but the 920 would still outperform the latter in single-threaded performance. So maybe, it really is just more sensible to overclock an i7 than worry about the 8-core machine.

Of course... if someone were to release an overclocking dual-socket motherboard...
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:30 PM   #11
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That... and the Xeon's cost a little bit more than the i7 counterparts, which is too bad. But still... to have an eight core / sixteen thread machine at a reasonable cost, is just insane. 2 x Xeon W3520 2.66GHz = $620 + $260 motherboard = $880. That seems damn good to me... after all, we're talking a LOT of power here.
Why would you need to buy an Xeon? Any regular Core i7 should work in most of them. But yes, that's a ton of power... and it would take an army of virtual machines and RAM modules to put it to use!

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But, another way to look at it is that a single 920 can do 4.2GHz. Two stock W3520's would be combined 5.32GHz. That's more power overall, but the 920 would still outperform the latter in single-threaded performance. So maybe, it really is just more sensible to overclock an i7 than worry about the 8-core machine.

Of course... if someone were to release an overclocking dual-socket motherboard...
It's a good thought, but I could never live with that comparison. My first instinct is to overclock the two W3520's, even a small increase would yield large gains because of the number of cores & threads. Hell, this is why Istanbul isn't doing so hot... comparing a 2.6GHz Nehalem to a 2.6GHz Istanbul, 4 cores and 8 threads still more often than not is outperforming 6 cores and 6 threads... who would have thought.

Some of those dual-socket boards might support moderate overclocking, even Skulltrail is just a basic server board with a server chipset and some tweaks made to it. One can wonder, anyway.
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Old 06-15-2009, 02:43 AM   #12
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Why would you need to buy an Xeon? Any regular Core i7 should work in most of them.
Because Xeon's are designed for DP use. The desktop i7 isn't, so it won't work.

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It's a good thought, but I could never live with that comparison.
Tell me about it, haha! I'm not so sure most of these boards would overclock well at all though. Overclocking is the last thing on the designer's minds when building these boards, so it will be tough. I'm actually really, really curious to know how far these could go...

Your Skulltrail point is a good one though. Plus, that's an Intel board, and I've yet to use an Intel board that's floored me with its overclocking-ability.
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