Intel spent a lot of time talking about Nehalem a year ago, but not much time on Westmere. It's the tick to Nehalem's tock, or in other words, it's 32nm Nehalem.

Unlike previous die shrinks, we don't get larger caches with Westmere - Nehalem was already too big to begin with. Westmere keeps the same architecture, same cache sizes (or ratios) as Nehalem. It's all built using smaller 32nm transistors and on a smaller die. For the same core count, expect Westmere to be roughly half the size.

But the same core counts aren't what you're going to get. I included the table below in yesterday's Core i7 920XM preview:

Codename Market Cores Manufacturing Process
Bloomfield Desktop 4 45nm
Lynnfield Desktop 4 45nm
Clarkdale Desktop 2 32nm
Clarksfield Mobile 4 45nm
Arrandale Mobile 2 32nm

 

The Westmere products are Gulftown, Clarkdale and Arrandale. That's six, two and two cores. Lynnfield is the last quad-core on the roadmap for the foreseeable future.

We'll talk about Gulftown later, but the focus today is Clarkdale with a little Arrandale.

Meet the 'dales

Arrandale and Clarkdale are the first two Westmere family members you'll meet. Both are technically due out later this year, although we won't see large volumes (by Intel standards) until Q1 2010. Both Arrandale and Clarkdale are dual-core Westmere parts with on-package graphics. The only difference is that Arrandale is mobile while Clarkdale is desktop.


Arrandale running - Hyper Threading helps improve performance even in normal workloads

The desktop socket is LGA-1156, the same socket as Lynnfield. The mobile socket is mPGA-989, the same socket as Clarksfield.

P55 vs. H57 Chipsets
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  • Penti - Friday, September 25, 2009 - link

    No IGP is good enough for gaming either way. It's a laptop/low end desktop chip. So it's good enough. And you still have a x16 PCI-e slot. Reply
  • ereavis - Tuesday, October 06, 2009 - link

    exactly. I'd estimate at least 4000 PCs in this building and guess that 95% or more of them would love this processor. Compiling software, running electrical engineering hardware simulations (when you leave open dedicated crunching servers for the big tasks) need the best processing available. Low end IGP is perfect for displaying the results, reading email, and other office tasks. Big companies doing bulk buys are aiming for low power without sacrificing performance. The gaming market drives video cards, not IGPs.

    Having said all that, I'd want my living room computer playing movies to support some gaming, but I'll sacrifice the case size for that.
    Reply
  • TA152H - Thursday, September 24, 2009 - link

    I'm horrified by the idea of them moving the memory controller off the CPU and onto the GPU. What the Hell are they thinking? I was very much looking forward to this product, but like every Intel product, they find a way to marginalize it. Why not just leave the memory controller on the CPU die? Not everyone, especially people buying this platform, care about graphics performance, but, everyone uses a CPU.

    It's just so strange.
    Reply
  • vshin - Friday, September 25, 2009 - link

    You really shouldn't advocate Gulftown or Clarkdale over Lynnfield any more. There may actually be people who were swayed by your posts and now you've done them a disservice.

    For the budget enthusiast PC gamer who is upgrading from a C2D system or older, the best Intel CPU will be Lynnfield until Sandy Bridge. Gulftown will debut at $1000 and the current Bloomfield isn't significantly better to justify the extra cost for this segment. The X58 platform is basically a dead-end money pit. But hey, if all you do is fold proteins and encode video, then stick with it.

    Clarkdale isn't "the answer" either. I'm surprised Anandtech is calling this the spiritual successor to Conroe. It most certainly is not. This is a CPU for the HTPC market and LAN party builders. Maybe grandma would like Clarkdale too. You call Lynnfield crippled (which is true) but Clarkdale is half a Lynnfield with an obsolete (no DX11) IGP stapled onto its back.
    Reply
  • TA152H - Friday, September 25, 2009 - link

    Based on what? You're unqualified opinion? You've offered zero evidence.

    From what I've seen, there's no upgrade for the Lynnfield. The only option is a dual core, which would qualify as a downgrade.

    On the other hand, there is an upgrade for the x58. So, what deranged thinking are you suffering from by thinking this validates someone buying a P55 more than before, when there's even less of an upgrade path.

    Not that the Gulftown is going to be feasible in the near future, it's just the P55 shows even worse upgradeability.
    Reply
  • vshin - Friday, September 25, 2009 - link

    Wrong. X58 doesn't have a viable upgrade path if Gulftown will start at $1000. At least the P55 is cheaper and has the option to drop in a 32nm Lynnfield later on. Reply
  • jordanclock - Friday, September 25, 2009 - link

    Could you provide some evidence that this will have a real-world impact on performance? Besides, the market segment this processor is aimed at will almost always be using integrated graphics. For those few cases where it won't be used, I'm sure it will be a simple matter of plugging your monitor into your discrete video card and the usual changes one makes when using a discrete card on an integrated motherboard. Reply
  • jonGhast - Friday, September 25, 2009 - link

    You also think going from 3 channel memory to 2 channel for Lynnfield was a horrible idea, despite plenty of evidence that it doesn't really matter.

    Can't we just agree that you don't really know what you're talking about, and move on?
    Reply
  • TA152H - Friday, September 25, 2009 - link

    What kind of an idiot are you?

    There are very real differences between the Lynnfield and the Bloomfield. Didn't you read Anand's apple to apple comparison? Can you read at all?

    I think we can agree you're an idiot, and move on.
    Reply
  • KaarlisK - Friday, September 25, 2009 - link

    Actually, the impact from this will be higher. Memory latencies will be on the level of Core2 instead of Bloomfield/Lynnfield - basically, you're losing the IMC. Reply

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