Monday, March 8, 2010

Intel Plans March Release for 8-core Nehalem

Forget that six-core Gulftown Core i7. There’s a new Intel Xeon chip on the way with a whopping eight cores of processing goodness. Surely you can utilize eight cores in your home system, right? Well, maybe not, but the Nehalem-EX chip is likely to spice things up in the server sector when it launches later this month.

The Nehalem-EX will be a Xeon part built on Intel’s 45nm process technology. The chip will have hyperthreading, meaning up to 16 threads per processor. Clock speed is currently unknown. Being a server part, scalability is important and the Nehalem-EX won’t disappoint here. Thanks to the 4QPI links per chip, the new part will be scalable to eight sockets. So that’s 64 physical cores, or 128 threads. We’re pretty sure the benefits for Crysis 2 drop off around 48 cores or so.

Intel is promising big performance gains over the previous generation of Xeons, with nine times the memory bandwidth of the old chips. The part seems aimed at holding back AMD’s Magny-Cours six-core server parts due out soon. One way or another, servers are about to get a lot faster.

Mike's comments: ...and as servers go, so goes the rest of the CPU industry.  My Core i7 shows 8 cores when I use a performance gauge; it's actually 4 cores, but with hyper-threading, each core is treated a two CPU's as far as the computer is concerned.

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