The Nehalem processor series is the first multi-core design from Intel to have its cores joined in a single die rather than to join multiple cores together, potentially speeding up operations with multiple program threads by cutting back on the time spent moving data between cores.
See, Intel's current quads are actually a pair of completely separate dual-core CPU dies glued together in a single processor package. From an engineering perspective, not very sexy. Compared to AMDs Phenom, not very sexy either as it already has all four cores efficiently arranged on a single die, but it does get the job done.
This is the reason that inter-core communications on the old Core 2 processor is a little intricate. Between two cores on the same die, bandwidth is massive and latency low. But if cores on separate dies need a chat, the communication path is routed off the CPU through the north bridge chip on the motherboard. Not ideal, so the new approach is definitely more elegant and efficient.
The new Intel Core i7 (Bloomfield) processors debut with the following features :
Four processing cores
Support for SMT (simultaneous multi-threading), allowing up to 8 threads to be processed simultaneously
32 KB instruction + 32 KB data L1 cache per core
256 KB L2 cache per core
Large 8 MB L3 cache shared by all 4 cores
An integrated memory controller (IMC) supporting three channels of DDR3 memory - Memory clock speeds of up to 1333 MHz - Memory bandwidth of up to 32 GB/s - Up to 6 memory sockets
The new Intel QuickPath Interconnect (QPI) replaces the front side bus (FSB)
Addition of 7 new SSE4 instructions
Monolithic processor design (all four cores on a single die)
Fabricated using Intel's 45 nm high-k process technology
What you need to remember is that the Core i7 architecture is Nehalem, and it will allow for a lot more products to be released in the next year or two. We will see higher clock frequencies, yet also 2, 6 and likely 8 core versions. This is just the beginning.
Architectural changes. The 731 million transistors encounting Core i7 processors are built up-on a 45nm fabrication processes, but itself that is nothing new as the lastest Core 2 Quad processors are on the same fabrication. Intel is already working on a move to 32-nm by the way. All Nehalem chips will pack 64KB of L1 cache and 256KB of L2 cache. Those are supplemented by a large pool of shared L3 cache, which in the case of the quad-core model is 8MB.
A good number of things have changed in it's architecture. The biggest being Quick Path, the move forwards an integrated triple channel DDR3 memory controller allowing to get the product heaps of memory bandwidth and the return of hyper threading (Pentium 4 era technology) , which this time really makes an astonishing difference. Well, that and a new processor socket, socket LGA1366 which is quite a bit bigger than LGA775.
Nehalem brings in some new improvements which signal important changes in the Intel approach to CPU and system scaling and DRAM memory management. Let's walk through the big three.
Intel Core i7 980X review We test the Gulftown based Core i7 980X. Intel launches the Core i7 980X processor today priced at US$ 999 in thousand-unit tray quantities. It's scrumptious, it's delicious. Really it overclocks brilliantly as well; it's dark demonic matter my man. Head on over to the next page where we'll start up a technical overview and then head onwards to an extensive benchmark session, and sure... we'll throw in an overclocking session as well. We've got a lot of ground to cover.
Alphacool HF 38 Niagara Intel Core i7 CPU water block review There aren't that many companies out there that offer liquid cooling products which you can purchase separately. There's a handful of them. One of them is the German based Alphacool. Recently they introduced a new CPU block called the Alphacool HF 38 Niagara. This new water-block is designed for Socket 1366 processor, aka Nehalem aka Core i7. A high-end liquid cooling CPU block priced fairly. Let's check it out.
Intel Core i7 920 and 965 review So today Intel launches these Nehalem based puppies on the new name Core i7 as in their 7th architectural generation. A name that will catch on quickly and you'll get used to just as quick as well. No less then three processors are announced today and Guru3D.com will taken a look at two of them.
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 processor review See, a Core 2 Extreme X6800 is pretty much the fastest desktop processor in the world, yet adding two more cores gives you the absolute best of both worlds. Get the highest stock clock speed Intel offers for the best performance in lightly multithreaded (or single threaded) applications, and a total of four cores for those heavy multitasking or CPU intensive multithreaded scenarios. Really, you can't lose there now can you ?