Intel Corp. as well as its partners among system builders will officially start selling Intel Core i7 microprocessors based on the new Nehalem micro-architecture on the 17th of November, 2008, according to the company. The first breed of Core i7 chips will include processors aimed at both performance-demanding enthusiasts as well as customers with relatively limited budgets.
Initially there will be three Intel Core i7/Bloomfield processors for high-performance desktops available:
- Intel Core i7 955 Extreme Edition at 3.20GHz for $999 (in 1000-unit quantities)
- Intel Core i7 940 at 2.93GHz for $562 (in 1000-unit quantities)
- Intel Core i7 920 at 2.66GHz for $284 (in 1000-unit quantities)
All three chips have 4 cores, 1MB L2 cache (256KB per core), 8MB unified L3 cache, triple-channel DDR3 memory controller, simultaneous multi-threading technology. The new central processing units will require Intel X58-based motherboard with LGA1366 socket as well as sophisticated CPU cooler since all chips feature 130W thermal design power.
According to performance review of Intel Core i7 microprocessors by X-bit labs, the new central processing units do not bring performance revolution, but are faster than existing Core 2 chips in almost all cases.
“In most applications except a few gaming titles, the new processors turned out faster than Core 2 CPUs priced identically or working at the same clock speed. […] New Core i7 are indisputably better in most aspects than Core 2 Quad CPUs of comparable price. Their performance is almost always higher, which is especially evident in case of multi-threaded load and their power consumption is comparable with that of their predecessors,” said Ilya Gavrichenkov, CPU and platform analyst at X-bit labs, in the article entitled “New Hit from Remake King: Intel Core i7 Review”.