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Friday, August 14, 2009

Intel Core i7 920 - 940 - 965 processors

Intel launched on November 2008 the Nehalem based processors on the new name Core i7 as in their 7th architectural generation.
Nehalem (familily) processors code-named Bloomfield (Core i7) have four physical processor cores and a triple-channel DDR3 memory controller.
  • Core i7 920 at 284 USD (mainstream)
  • Core i7 940 at 562 USD (performance)
  • Core i7 965 Extreme at 999 USD (enthusiast)

As you can see the first 'entry' level product starts at 284 USD, quite astonishing once you see what kind of performance it actually delivers. The Core i7 920 quad core processor will be clocked at 2.67 GHz. This processor alone offers Intel Core 2 Q9770 performance all by itself.

At the lower segmented higher-end level we spot the Core i7 940. This little puppy will be clocked at 2.93 GHz and priced a little more inconvenient at 562 USD. At the top of the range we stumble into the Core i7 965, a 3.2 GHz quad core processor that will blow your mind. The real interesting fact is that at launch it's already ~300 bucks cheaper than the Core 2 Quad QX9770. So all in all very good moves from Intel.

  Core i7 Extreme 965 Core i7 940 Core i7 920
Clock frequency 3.20 GHz 2.93 GHz 2.67GHz
Quick path speed 6400 MT/s 4800 MT/s 4800 MT/s
Memory controller DDR3-1333 DDR3-1066 DDR3-1066
Price $999 $562 $284
Parallelism 4 Physical Cores, 8 Logical Processors (hyper threaded)
Memory standard Triple Channel DDR3
L2 Cache size 256 KB per core
L3 Cache size 8 MB
Transistor count 731 Million
TDP 130 W
Fabrication process 45 nm

It's all in the family

To understand Core i7 and all the names you hear, you'll need to look at Nehalem as a family name with mom, dad and the kids. See, Nehalem will come in variants for servers

, desktops, and notebooks. The four-socket server CPU is codenamed Beckton, the two-socket server CPU is codenamed Gainestown, and the single-socket desktop CPU (Core i7) is codenamed Bloomfield Seriously, no less than seven code names have been associated with the Nehalem microarchitecture. These include two server processors, three desktop processors, and two mobile processors. The server processor, Beckton, will have 44 bits of physical memory address and 48 bits of virtual memory address. And then a mainstream and value processor under codename Havendale. Intel has confirmed that there will be at least four different variants of Nehalem CPUs.

One variant is Core i7 while two others are slated for 2009 as dual- and quad-core. So Core i7 has the codename Bloomfield and was developed under the Nehalem architecture.

Today we look at (Bloomfield) the Core i7 920 and Core i7 965. Intel doesn't allude to the 3.2GHz speed very much but has confirmed the new architecture's switch from a front side system bus to point-to-point connections between the processor and peripherals, an on-die memory controller, and Hyperthreading that can at times double the number of effective cores working on a given task at any one time.

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