Yesterday Intel lifted the NDA on reviews of desktop Core i7 processors based on new Nehalem microarchitecture. Of course, we couldn’t miss this important event and tested the new CPU. The benchmark results add to the information we have already revealed in our review of the new microarchitecture. Nevertheless, we have to stress that this review doesn’t signify the official launch of the new processor. Core i7 family will be officially released in the middle of this month, when the new solutions appear in retail.
The first processors from the new family will belong to the upper price range. Until mid of next year they will hardly affect the mass market, where very successful Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Duo processors will still be available.
Nevertheless, the release of Core i7 processors is a very significant event for the computer market. And not only because this way Intel once again raised the desktop systems performance. From now on Intel start increasing the level of integration of their processors by moving the chipset North Bridge functions into them. New CPUs that we are going to talk about today have an integrated memory controller and monolithic quad-core design. However, this is just the beginning. Their upcoming successors will have an integrated graphics core and a PCI Express bus controller.
Together with Core i7 CPUs, Intel launch their new chipset: Intel X58 Express. And even though it doesn’t have any innovative peculiarities, the computer enthusiasts hunting for maximum performance will have to upgrade their entire platform. This is the platform we are going to talk about in our today’s review.