Tick-Tock: U R Doin it Right

Let’s check the stats; Conroe in July 2006, Penryn in October 2007, Nehalem in November 2008. That’s a tock, tick, and another tock, each about a year apart. Note that the cadence does appear to be slipping a bit, but we’ll see exactly when in 2009 we get Westmere before making any accusations.

The next tick is, as I just mentioned, Westmere. It’s a 32nm shrink of Nehalem, much like Penryn was a 45nm shrink of Conroe/Merom. And it’s due out in the fourth quarter of this year.

Yesterday, Intel demonstrated working versions of its 32nm processors in both desktops and notebooks. The notebook aspect of the demonstration is very important, which I’ll get to later. Both mobile and desktop versions of Westmere will be shipping from Intel in Q4.

Getting Complicated with Code Names

Nehalem is the overall name for Intel’s 45nm desktop/mobile/server product family. At the high end we have Bloomfield, which is the quad-core, eight-thread, Core i7 processor we all long for. That’s the only Nehalem derivative that’s launched thus far.

Segment Manufacturing Process Socket Processor Cores Threads Release Date
High End Desktop 45nm LGA-1366 Bloomfield 4 8 Q4 2008
Mainstream Desktop 45nm LGA-1156 Lynnfield 4 8 2H 2009
Mobile 45nm mPGA-989 Clarksfield 4 8 2H 2009
4S Server 45nm LGA-1567 Nehalem-EX 8 16 2H 2009
2S Server 45nm LGA-1366 Nehalem-EP 4 8 1H 2009
1S Server 45nm LGA-1156 Lynnfield 4 8 2H 2009

 

By the end of this year we’ll see Lynnfield and Clarksfield. These are both quad-core, eight-thread Nehalem processors but at lower TDPs and price points. They will fit into Intel’s unannounced LGA-1156 socket and only support two channels of DDR3 memory (compared to LGA-1366 and 3-channels with Core i7).

On the server side we’ll have Nehalem-EX, an 8-core, 16-thread version. Nehalem EP a 4-core, 8-thread version. And Lynnfield again for the entry level servers.

These are all 45nm parts and all due out by the end of this year.

Note that there’s one name missing: Havendale. Havendale was supposed to be a 2-core Lynnfield + on-chip graphics, perfect for notebooks and low end desktops where quad-core isn’t necessary. Unfortunately, Havendale got delayed until Q4 2009 with systems shipping in Q1 2010. That just happened to coincide with Intel’s 32nm ramp so a very significant decision was made: Havendale got scrapped.

Fat Pockets, Dense Cache, Bad Pun Enter the 32nm Lineup
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  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - link

    Might depend on who you buy the motherboard from. My motherboard is a P965 and is not Penryn compatible, though other P965 boards are. There might be both hardware (say, power delivery) and software (BIOS) considerations to future generation processors. Reply
  • haukionkannel - Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - link

    Wery little change. Intel ghange their soccets when they do new architechture prosessor. Only reason would be that AMD would be so cpmpetative that there would be a real prize war... By making new soccet they can make more money!
    Reply
  • Nfarce - Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - link

    "Now that isn’t to say that the six-core 32nm Gulftown will work in existing X58 motherboards; while that would be nice, Intel does have a habit of forcing motherboard upgrades, we’ll have to wait and see." Unfortunately, my trusty nearly three year old E6600/ASUS P5W croaked and I need a new build *now* (my PS3 is no real sub for PC gaming :p ). I was going to just go cheap and build an E8500/P45 rig, but after reading this, I'm debating whether I should just go ahead and throw down the extra several hundred on an i7 build for future upgrade insurance. I'm leaning more towards the latter. Reply
  • CSMR - Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - link

    Great article; nice work putting it together so fast! Reply
  • weevil - Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - link

    My question is this. I've got a QX9650 at 3.2ghz on an x38 asus P5E3 Deluxe. Is it worth upgrading anytime this year to the i7 or am I fast enough to hold out until the Quad Core Gulftown rolls around in early 2010?

    Decisions decisions...
    Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - link

    Gulftown is 6 cores. :) Reply
  • weevil - Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - link

    Yikes!

    Yummy ; )
    Reply
  • dickeywang - Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - link

    I guess I'll just keep my Thinkpad T61p (Merom T7300) for another 10 months. Thanks AnandTech. Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - link

    I think this is a very good move.

    Want the highest end? Go for i7 now and upgrade to Gulftown hexa-core next year.

    Want a mainstream quad? buy lynnfield at the end of this year and upgrade to Sandy Bridge at the end of the next year.

    Are satisfied with your E8x00, or another dual core and think quad-core is a waste of money? Go for Clarckdale at the end of this year.

    Want to buy a notebook? The 32nm Arrandale will deliver excellent performance with great power savings and an on package graphics processor for even more power saving.

    Want to buy a powerful quad-core notebook? Go for Nehalem based Clarcksfield 45nm, which should deliver quite a lot of performance over current mobile CPU's, with Nehalem's power saving features as well, but not as much power savings as Arrandale.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - link

    I'm a bit dissapointed that the next top of the line chip will be 6-core instead of a pumped quad. We are still in multi-core infancy with very few programs taking advantage of anything over dual-core, and almost nothing taking FULL advantage of quad-core. I just don't see how 6-core will be more beneficial than a higher clocked 4-core...

    As it stands, however, if the power efficiency is legit my next computer may very well be a laptop.
    Reply

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