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Intel Nehalem quad-core to ship at 3.2GHz

updated 11:20 am EDT, Tue June 24, 2008

Intel Nehalem Speed Leak

Intel will ship three processors based on its next-generation Nehalem architecture before the end of the year, say those in the mainboard industry. While Intel has only demonstrated a test version of a 3.2GHz, quad-core processor in the past, the company is now understood to be launching a production version sometime in the last quarter of the year that will appear alongside lower-priced 2.66GHz and 2.93GHz versions. All three will have 8MB of Level 2 cache and support Hyperthreading that could have a four-core chip behave as though it were eight with optimized software.

The platform will also arrive with a new matching mainboard chipset that will make the most of the new architecture, according to the report: new northbridge and southbridge chips will let the processors access main memory faster through their point-to-point QuickPath architecture instead of a front side bus, and four PCI Express slots will be capable of running at 8X bandwidth for systems with multiple video cards; AMD's CrossFireX will be supported out of the box to use extra cards in accelerating 3D on a single display, with the possible addition of NVIDIA's SLI for GeForce cards.

The combination of Intel's improved chip design and the new mainboard chipsets could improve performance between 15 to 20 percent at the same clock speed, making Nehalem variants faster than earlier processors despite similar clock rates.

It's unclear from the purported leak as to whether the speed grades will be limited to Intel's mainstream Core 2 Extreme and Core 2 Quad lineups, though the semiconductor firm has previously said it would focus on Xeons and very high-end consumer chips in late 2008 with home-use versions due only by the start of 2009. Current Xeons already top out at 3.2GHz but do so using an older architecture.

by MacNN Staff



  1. paulc

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I was kinda hoping that the next gen CPUs would mean a 3.0G "standard" machine from apple, but it looks like it's going to stay at 2.66. h***, for the huge premium they charge to go up in speed, one can easily buy another whole computer!

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Get it right!

    I think it's 'motherboard' not 'mainboard'.
    I think it's the OS that makes each Hyperthreaded core appear as 2, not "... optimized software ...".
    I think Nehalem processors access memory faster via an on chip memory controller, not '... through their point-to-point QuickPath ...'.
    I think some PCI Express slots will be 8 channels wide, not "... PCI Express slots will be capable of running at 8X bandwidth ...".

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Mac Pro in 2009

    If you have been waiting for your Mac Pro, wait no longer. Plan your buy for early 2009; Nehalem at whatever speed you choose will tide you over past all the incremental improvements of the next 3 years, or I guess I should say the three years after that. No one is willing to say (accountably, anyway) what the desktop compute environment will look like at the end of 2012., but with a 2009 Nehalem chances are you'll still be happy.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    we will market

    a camera with the word "Mac" in it to you, for only $50 more than the same camera without the word "Mac" in it's name... Suckers! Seriously, this is stupidly expensive for a 'generic' camera.

  1. dimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "I think it's 'motherboard' not 'mainboard'."

    Actually, while both have meant the same in times gone by (motherboard being preferred by everyone bar-IBM), it's starting to make more and more sense to refer to this as "mainboard" as more redundant systems get developed.

    Now, would you like a PEl or a pixel to go with that ruddy face?

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