Intel struts its stuff with 8-core Nehalem-EX and 3.33GHz Core i7

At this week’s Computex techfest Intel will showcase a V8 version of its Nehalem server chip runs sixteen threads backed by 24MB of cache, plus two top-end Core i7 superslabs.
While the rumoured Core i5 looks set to be nudged back a few months, Intel is full steam ahead on its more muscle bound Nehalem-class processors.

For sheer bragging rights the chip colossus can point to Nehalem-EX, its next-generation Xeon server processor. The current Xeon 5500-series ‘Gainestown’ server processors top out at four cores per CPU, and thus a maximum of eight threads, but the EX ‘Beckton’ powerplant doubles down that to eight cores and sixteen threads. It also sports a whopping 24MB of cache, three times that of the beefiest 5500.

If you want one more Big Number to toss around, try a count of 2.3 billion transistors – or one for every three people living on this plant.

Meanwhile, back on the desktop, two new Core i7 flagships are set to sail.

The Core i7-950 replaces the original Core i7-940 with which Intel launched the series in November last year – six months is a long time at the bleeding edge of technology. The specs are identical bar the clock speed, which bumps from 2.93GHz to 3.06GHz; the price tag also heads north, from the 940’s US$562 to US$649.

The i7-965 Extreme Edition, also part of the i7’s coming-out party, becomes wallflower as the i7-965 takes to the floor. Once again all the specs remain the same but for the clock speed, which the overclocker-friendly CPU boosts to 3.33GHz with an unlocked 25X bus multiplier and partners with a US$1,100 sticker.

There’s no news yet on the fate of the entry-level i7-920, final member of the original i7 trio.

BY David Flynn

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