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Old 02-10-2009, 04:50 PM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default Intel Reveals Westmere 32nm Roadmap

Intel has unveiled most of what we wanted to know about their 32nm "Westmere" processors, and it looks like we have a fair amount to look forward to. In addition to the fact that we'll be seeing GPU/CPU processors later this year, the company also threw in a few other surprises, such as the inclusion of new security-based instructions. Read on to learn all of what's new.

You can read the full look at Intel's updated roadmap here and discuss it here!
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Old 02-10-2009, 04:59 PM   #2
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Good for Intel and I wish them luck. They have been a money making machine for practically every year they have been in existence except for recently. I cannot stress enough how great it is to hear that everyone of those 7000 new jobs will be INSIDE the US. Those are jobs that we need to get back on track. Kudos Intel.

Oh, congrats on the 32nm stuff as well
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:58 AM   #3
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Don't forget Intel closed down two old US fabs, one in Cali and the other a wafer facility in Oregon last month. Those aren't all going to be new jobs, although I'm certainly happy to see them put here versus elsewhere.

Quote:
Unlike Core i7, however, desktop/mobile Westmere chips will not feature a QPI bus or a triple-channel memory controller. Rather, we'll revert to a dual-channel controller and have no QPI clock to worry about (what new factors will come into overclocking is yet to be seen).
Are you completely sure about this? Westmere is NOT quadcore... it is apparently being reported to be a single dualcore die. To make Gulftown they are packaging 3 Westmere dies into a single package (as reported by The Tech Report)... so how does a three-die chip come away with only 2-channel memory control? Or does each Westmere offer dual-channel, which means Gulftown will have six-channel memory? (Impossible due to the motherboard complexity anyway, I think) Either way someone has to have some wrong info! It can't be a harvested Beckton with two cores disabled before it uses a different socket.

Furthermore... if Gulftown really lacks QPI as you say, then it would have to be back to the old FSB and DMI busses. If dual-die Quadcore Penryn had cache-coherency overhead problems, just imagine a triple- dual-core die based chip.
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Old 02-11-2009, 01:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kougar
Those aren't all going to be new jobs
Good catch, I didn't think too much about that. That sounds like a nice PR spin there, then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kougar
Are you completely sure about this?
You caught me in a bit of poor wording. That paragraph was a follow-up on the one before it regarding Clarkdale and Arrandale. Those two will lack QPI and a triple-channel controller, but Gulftown wouldn't. Although, I'm still unsure how the memory controller will work in this case. It was integrated into the CPU die with Nehalem, but that likely wouldn't be possible with Gulftown. It could be that the MC will actually be its own chip, but I'm really not sure.

Sorry about the poor wording though. I don't know how I overlooked that glaring error.
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:38 AM   #5
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Bye Bye AMD!?! i'll be waiting for the 32nm Mainstream processors for my next rig.
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:20 PM   #6
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Ah, no problem Rob! Just trying to make sense of all the info. I saw the DMI listed in one of the hybrid charts so was getting concerned... I think I'm ontop of it all now.

It is unfortunate that Gulftown won't debut until the first half of 2010. I get the impression it simply seems a continuation of the Dunnington and Tulsa DP lineup, except that enthusiasts will also now get to play with it. I forgot that Dunnington was a hex-core single-die design using three Wolfdale dualies thrown together, so it sounds likely this is the same approach being taken with Gulftown... if anything it should be easiier for Intel to do since the FSB was replaced with QPI links in the cores.

Also very noteworthy is that X58 will be replaced about the same time in 2010 with USB 3.0 and SATA 6 GB/s.... for those that don't have an X58 board, investing in a good one seems very pointless now as both USB 3 and SATA 6 are going to be very important upgrades to have.

Unfortunately it seems very certain there will be no Quadcore Westmere parts... we'll go straight from 4-core Bloomfield to 6-core Gulftown in 2010. 32nm Quads won't show up until Sandy Bridge at the end of 2010, not very long after Gulftown.
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Old 02-11-2009, 01:47 PM   #7
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I agree... waiting until 2010 is a little harsh, haha. We've been spoiled with rather regular enthusiast releases (QX6850 in late 2006, QX9650 in late 2007, i7-965 in late 2008). Oh well, it might be worth the wait, and for what it's worth, i7 as it stands today are still great CPUs.

I'm still confused about Gulftown in general though. It seems a little odd that they'd go from a native Quad-Core design straight back a non-native one, although it's still easy to understand why they'd go this route. I e-mailed Intel for an answer regardless, but I'm really not sure they'll have one (they might not want people to know at this point).

As for S-ATA 6 and USB 3, I agree completely. Still, that's a ways off, so a good motherboard right now shouldn't go to waste. It really depends on what you want right now, I guess. Gulftown is still supposedly at least 1Y away.
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:24 PM   #8
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Well, that is what I tried to explain. Dunnington is actually "native" in the sense it is a single monolithic die. But what Intel did was take three Wolfdales and crush them together, only adding new silicon to meld the three dies into one for manufacturing and playing around with the L2 caches to balance them. You can see a photo here: http://origin.arstechnica.com/news.m...dunnington.jpg

Either way I'd love to hear Intel's response to your email! Hopefully it'll actually be something informative, but knowing their policy of commenting on unreleased products...

I don't mind spending $250 on a good motherboard, but I would expect to use it for more than a year. Buying a $250 board now and what will almost assuredly be a more expensive board in one year is just a bit much. I've pretty much resigned to wait until Windows 7 to upgrade anything, so maybe prices will continue to drop on boards along with everything else. I should be happy with what I have, but I'm never truly happy without something new to tweak, overclock, or just play around with.

I was going to wait for a Quad Westmere, but seeing as those won't exist outside the server market... the new D0 revision Core i7's are looking even better than the G0 Q6600s did when they came out. I'm hoping Intel will compact prices on those when they do add those new models, instead of adding a new $800 part or removing current models as some news sites have indicated.
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