The Lynnfield Preview: Rumblings of Revenge

by Anand Lal Shimpi on 5/29/2009 1:00 PM EST
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  • fpaat - Tuesday, August 04, 2009 - link

    Cheap as*es who keep buying these lower spec broken underclocked BS parts contribute to the decline of PC gaming.

    There is exactly zero reasons to release so many different chips, except for crap manufacturing.

    Buy an i7, be done. i5 = celeron = piss off Intel. ATI and NVIDIA can piss off as well for release 10 different versions of video cards per generation.
    Reply
  • fpaat - Tuesday, August 04, 2009 - link

    I LoL at people who still buy the "celeron" equivalent of computer parts.

    It's fine if your a teenager on a budget, but if you're an adult still buying gimp'd parts because you can't afford proper components, well, fail.
    Reply
  • grimpr - Thursday, July 16, 2009 - link

    Smart users would simply buy a fast SSD disk and a Windows 7 Home premium 64bit pack. Anand may glorify to heavens Lynnfield i5 but there is not a single excuse for dumping perfectly good hardware from 2006 upward for Intels new mainstream platform. Best upgrade would be in 2011 with a brand new platform from AMD, new CPU's from both companys that carry the AVX instruction sets, cheap low latency and fast DDR3-1600 ram as a standard, mature,cheap and fast DX11 cards, PCI-EX 3.0 and many more things. Reply
  • Hrel - Saturday, June 06, 2009 - link

    I HATE their stupid price fixing screw the consumer crap. CPU's over 200 dollars are useless, that's simply too much for a CPU. They won't give us dual cores based on nahaylem cause they'd have to charge 190 and less; OH NO! Greedy bastards. I REALLY want AMD to get back on top so prices get driven down again.
    It's INFINETELY infuriating that the ONLY way that intel charges fair prices is if someone else MAKES them.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Saturday, June 06, 2009 - link

    Seriously??? E8400 anyone? I REALLY don't care about having 8 threads, like even you said in this article, doesn't really help consumers. I'm far more interested in highly clocked dual cores, and wish Intel would release dual core CPU's based on the new architexture, throw HT onto a solid dual core and I can't see any games in the near future even fully utilize it.I'd MUCH rather see a 4GHz dual core cpu with HT than some more stupid quad cores at sub 3GHZ clock speeds. This is 2009, we need to leave the sub-3GHz range in the history books. Reply
  • HexiumVII - Tuesday, June 02, 2009 - link

    Lynnfield looks mighty good. Unfortunetly USB3 and SATA3 are looming. Since they won't be integrated into mobos for a while, high bandwidth on the PCIe slots for add-in cards will be crucial for the transition. I don't know about you buys, but USB3.0 will be the most exciting upgrade we had in a while. Reply
  • MasterShogo - Monday, June 01, 2009 - link

    I'm not really sure if this has been talked about at all, but it seems to me that the option for an Nvidia-supplied chipset providing integrated graphics, and it still be good, isn't completely lost.

    I think you have to ask, why does a person want Nvidia integrated graphics in the first place? I see two reasons. For one, to provide a "business-like" or super-simple PC that has adequate graphics performance for normal stuff and simple games, but with a powerful processor. For this use, Nvidia could just make a chip that uses 8 of the PCIe lanes coming out of the CPU socket and leave the other 8 for the user/vendor to optionally provide a faster video card. Sure, that slot wouldn't have the awesomeness of a 16x PCIe slot, but it would be perfectly fine for this machine. Plus, the added video card could still use hybrid SLI or something similar for power-saving purposes...

    Which leads me to the other reason people (like me) might want it. Power savings via hybrid-SLI. I would personally want all 16 lanes coming out of the CPU socket for my SLI setup or just one monster card. But in this case, I think it would be perfectly fine to have a 3rd party P55-like chip provide hybrid-SLI video for power savings. I wouldn't care about the starved DMI link, because I would never expect that video chip to do anything difficult, that's what I have the other video cards for! This is assuming the drivers work well enough to switch over very seamlessly when it needs to happen.

    In other words, I think there is still enough input/output throughput for Nvidia to sell chips that use integrated graphics, but it is just going to be more spread over the board now, making their electrical design more difficult. Possibly requiring two different chips to provide for the two different scenarios. I don't see why they couldn't do it, though.

    Or even better, make a 3rd party chip that can accept, as an interface, both the DMI and the PCI links coming out of the socket, but only using what is available in the particular board you are manufacturing at the moment. Maybe that would be too expensive, though. Any thoughts on how feasible that may be?

    In any case, I don't need the three memory channels. It's not that I don't WANT them, it's that they don't help me at all. It's not like I'm running a major database server in my bedroom or anything. But having a direct PCI connection to the CPU would be cool, and I think this processor is just super-duper for a variety of reasons.
    Reply
  • Kreed - Monday, June 01, 2009 - link

    In terms of Photoshop CS4 performance, would a 2.8GHz i5 outperform 2.66GHz i7 920?

    Reply
  • Beno - Sunday, May 31, 2009 - link

    if you test the i7 920 with HT off, lynfield will lose number 1 in those gaming benchmarks

    why didnt you bench it without HT?
    Reply
  • genkk - Sunday, May 31, 2009 - link

    is there any new mobos like the dragon platform to bench, anad is even using an old catalyst driver......

    ... your 65% chipzilla and 35% chimpzilla
    Reply
  • Seramics - Sunday, May 31, 2009 - link

    Why is it that in test that demand intensive multi threading, the lynnfield loses out to bloomfield while in less intensive multithreaded or single threaded test, the lynnfield can equal bloomfield? Could it be that in intensive multithreading processing that work up more than 4 threads (thereby requiring the use of HT for better performance), it is able to use the extra memory bandwith provided by triple channel in the bloomfield platform? Maybe in situation where the software can really demand mutlple threading processing intensively, the bloomfield extra memory bandwith provide an edge. An easy way to test this is increasing the memory bandwith of lynnfield and/or decreasing memory bandwith of bloomfield n see wht happens in intensive multithreaded test. Im suspicious of this. Let me know wht u guys thinks. Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Sunday, May 31, 2009 - link

    The Turbo Modes for revealed for Lynnfield way before even Core i7's release.

    1 core: +5(+4 for non-HT version)
    2 core: +3
    4 core: +1

    It may or may not be coincidence, but the Turbo speed of the highest clock Lynnfield is equal to the Turbo speed of the highest Core i7. The point is, I think since people will overclock the "enthusiast" i7's anyway, the Turbo doesn't need to be so high.

    According to Intel, the benefits will be GREATER on smaller form factors, which means laptops will have even HIGHER increases.
    Reply
  • RagingDragon - Sunday, May 31, 2009 - link

    Hmmm... I'm not sure how much sense Lynnfield will make in the long term - at the high end you'll have Bloomfield on LGA-1366, and at the low end Clarkdale/Arrandale on LGA-1156. I'm not sure if there's enough room between them for Lynnfield, though I guess it does provide an easy upgrade option for inexpensive OEM systems which need to support Clarkdale. Reply
  • brightstar - Sunday, May 31, 2009 - link

    I'll wait and see how this pans out, but as of right now the I5 sounds like the new Celery proc to me Reply
  • JS - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    "...to protect the innocent"

    I guess you really wanted to say "to protect my sources". I'm guessing they are not innocent at all, unless you actually stole the stuff from them. ;o)
    Reply
  • mybook4 - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    The article mentions that Lynnfield will have a new turbo mode that clocks much higher. I was thinking of reasons why intel might put this feature into the mainstream i5 rather than making the feature exclusive to the i7. Then I remembered that the PCIe controller was integrated into the core.

    To overclock a multiplier locked i5, you would have to increase the base clock. Not sure, but I believe this would also overclock the PCIe controller (something which may not be as tolerant of overclocking).

    This might explain why the new high end turbo mode would be included in the i5. You lose high overclocking potential (which would attract overclockers to i7), but in exchange, the i5 does decent overclocking for you.
    Reply
  • pyn - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    is it possible that we will see turbo modes similar to lynnfield in gulftown? also, is intel going to release any 8 core / 16 thread nehalem processors targeted towards desktop systems or is the nehalem-ex likely to be the only 8 core nehalem we will see? Reply
  • mmpalmeira - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    Why did you use the Lynnfield in a 2.66Ghz configuration with HT on if there wont be models like that in the market? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    I did that to show what sort of performance having HT enabled is responsible for. Intel isn't making a 2.13GHz HT enabled Lynnfield either, but I ran those tests because they're interesting to look at :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Drazick - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    Will the P55 support USB 3, SATA 3, UEFI?
    When will we see all those features in the chipsets, which for me, are much more important than the i5 by itself.

    What about the new Chiopsets, are they SSD optimized?
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    P55 essentially has the same ICH feature set as P45. You get support for six SATA 3.0Gb/s ports, 12 USB 2.0 and PCIe 2.0.

    Intel's chipsets are actually what I use for all of my SSD tests and they work quite well. I wouldn't expect any different out of P55.

    Remember that P55 is only the first Lynnfield chipsets, next year we'll see more. This chart speculates on some of the features of those (it also lists 14 USB instead of 12, I'm not sure which one is right):

    http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/74/hkepcibexpea...">http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/74/hkepcibexpea...

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Drazick - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    I thought so...

    I hope someone will adopt the changes quickly.
    It's about time to get rid of the BIOS and make room for speed improvements int the Flash chips (Both via the SATA 3 and USB 3).

    Do you see in the horizon how long will it take before will see those features?

    Thank you for the response.
    Reply
  • Krogoth255 - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    I find it very funny when people make a huge fuss over a 2-10% difference in performance (i5 versus i7). It is sad that even budget CPUs are bloody overkill for majority of computer users.

    The bottom line is that i5 is going to be Intel's next big winner. It is the perfect Phenom II killer and an excellent successor to the Core 2 parts that it is replacing. I7 makes very little sense unless time is $$$$$.



    Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Sunday, May 31, 2009 - link

    Exactly. My nearly four-year old S939 Athlon 64 X2 still performs everything I do (with one exception) more than fast enough so the difference between the i5 and i7 would be irrelevant. I still think I'm at least a year or two from doing a new build (the only thing of any value at all in my current box I could reuse would be the graphics-card, a 640MB 8800GTS; most of the drives are parallel ATA, and the memory is of course DDR).

    Given that the one app where my current rig struggles is PCSX2 (a Playstation 2 emulator), it seems kind of silly to spend upwards of £500 for a new box simply to play PS2 console games, when I could probably buy a new PS2 console for under £100. Therefore debates over the relative merits of i5 and i7 which are both much faster are rather moot for me at the moment, and the vast majority of the PC buying public. It is nice to know how they compare though, and what their pros and cons are (the main con I see being the price of X58 mobos), so I'm thankful for this informative article on AT.
    Reply
  • just4U - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    I don't quite understand why X58 boards are so expensive. At first we were complaining about ddr3 prices.. but they've come down to a managable point. While cheaper X58 solutions are starting to crop up it's still extremely high and I don't quite get why that is.

    With the memory controller integrated into the chip you'd think that the cost of the boards would be cheaper overall. That was one of Amd's main selling points (if I remember right) but for the i7 not the case.. the boards are priced incredibly high.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    It's artificial. The boards are priced so high because Intel charges quite a bit of money for the X58 chipset. It's the cost of competition; if AMD had a true answer to i7 we'd have much more affordable i7 platforms all of the sudden :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • jmurbank - Sunday, May 31, 2009 - link

    Chipset and processor prices are two different things. Neither are related to each other. Like all products, prices of chipsets is related to other chipsets competing at the same level. Since the X58 does not have any competitor, people have to pay a high premium for a complete i7 system. If nVidia is allowed to make a chipset for the i7 processor, we will see these high premium prices decrease. Since the i7 processor is designated as enthusiast setup, prices will still be at enthusiast pricing.

    Reply
  • just4U - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    You've had them on your test beds so you'd know better then I. Hell I haven't even gotten any hands on with the i7 since people here keep opting for the PII. Not that that's a bad thing, I am rather impressed with those overall just..

    Im beginning to realize the only way Im going to get my grubby little paws on a I7 is if I go out and build it for myself. Even I balk a little bit at the price tag of some of those boards but there are a few coming down the pipeline that look a little bit more reasonably priced.


    Reply
  • Jabbernyx - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    EX58-UD3R = $150 from eWiz ;) Reply
  • goinginstyle - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    It is $185.99 at eWiz with a $15 rebate that will take two months to get for an end price of $170.99. Reply
  • Jabbernyx - Monday, June 01, 2009 - link

    You're forgetting the $10 off promo code and 5% Live cashback ;) Reply
  • Randomblame - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    Anyone else irritated that when this launches intel will have 5 sockets going?

    Shall we count em?
    lga 775 core 2
    lga 1366 i7
    lga 1160 lynfield
    lga 771 xeon penryn
    lga 611 itanium

    Did I miss any?

    Reply
  • Anonymous Freak - Sunday, May 31, 2009 - link

    If you're going to include Itanium; you might as well include the mobile sockets as well.

    Last October, Intel had one desktop, three server, and two mobile sockets:

    LGA775 on the desktop was it.
    LGA771 for dual Xeon, PGA-604 for quad-plus Xeon. (And LGA775 for single-socket servers, where the processors were just Core 2 series processors slapped with a "Xeon" name on them, so I'm keeping that with 'desktop'.) PAC-611 is Itanium.
    Socket M is the slightly older mobile socket, Socket P is the newer. One could say that Socket M was already dead in October.

    Early next year, we will have three desktop, two server, and two mobile sockets.
    LGA 775 will be the low-end Core 2 socket, LGA 1366 for i7, and LGA 1156 for Lynnfield. Lynnfield should overtake Core 2 very quickly, especially after the integrated-graphics chips come out, and drop to two desktop sockets, though.
    LGA 1366 doubles as the single and dual server socket; and the new "Nehalem EX" will in all likelihood have a new socket shared with the new Itanium (from reasonable guesses, anyway.)
    Mobile will have just Socket P until the mobile Nehalems launch, when a new mobile Nehalem socket will be out.

    Sorry, but LGA 771 is already dead. Its processors are completely obsolete at this point, by Nehalem-EP. And PGA-604 (which you missed,) as well as PAC-611, will be obsoleted by the Nehalem-EX socket. (Again, just guessing. The entire point of QPI was to make Xeon and Itanium share resources, so I would imagine they would use the same socket. Especially with Xeons now at higher power draw than even the highest draw Itanium; there is no reason for Itanium's goofy socket-with-power-pod arrangement any more.
    Reply
  • Drazick - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    Though the system looks good.
    I really liked the one chip Idea (Chipset).

    I hope Intel eventually let nVidia develop chipsets for this platform.

    Why don't you think the regular PCIE X16 lane in this system is enough for GPGPU? It might not be the best but for Encoding some movies and Accelerating Matlab it should be enough, no?
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    I didn't mean to imply that 16 PCIe 2.0 lanes aren't enough for GPGPU. But if you're doing a *lot* of compute over the PCIe bus, perhaps over multiple very high end GPUs, then you'll probably want QPI. This is more of a HPC or head-in-the-clouds-desktop scenario though.

    It should be more than enough for GPU based video encode or math.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    Even if Intel allows Nvidia, they can't make integrated graphics for i5 because the chip is connected to the chipset via 2 GB/s DMI, which will bottleneck it. Reply
  • Doormat - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    Until the price of 4GB DDR3 sticks come down (and I could put 16GB of RAM on the board), I think the i7 is where its at. At least with i7, I can go with 12GB now and then upgrade to 24GB later (12GB I need, 24GB I don't know...). Reply
  • A5 - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    If you NEED 12GB, then Lynnfield isn't going to be for you. Intel would much rather you use Xeons for that kind of workload anyway :P Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    So with mainstream Nehalems not having any QPI links and high-end Nehalems with QPI not needing them, are third-party IGPs dead? It seems that even if nVidia can win their legal issues with Intel, the technical challenges of being limited to DMI seem to make the Intel chipset business unprofitable. Higher priced chipsets with IGPs would be bandwidth limited over DMI and just making southbridges doesn't seem very glamourous or profitable. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    NVIDIA claims to have DMI based IGPs in development for LGA-1156 platforms. We'll see how good they are and if they do end up coming to market despite the legal issues.

    In the long run I don't expect the 3rd party chipset business to survive on either platform (AMD or Intel). Unless either company is horribly deficient at some basic platform need I'd expect desktop and mobile AMD CPUs to use AMD chipsets and for desktop and mobile Intel CPUs to use Intel chipsets. It may take a couple of years to get there but I think the end result is inevitable.

    I believe that's why we're seeing such a strong push from NVIDIA lately with things like Ion. Attempting to stay put when we know what the tide is about to do is a difficult task.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • rmlarsen - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    This is my concern too. While I suppose I should give the Westmere IGP the benefit of the doubt, I do not have high hopes that it will be anywhere near the performance of the ATI and NVIDIA IGPs we see today.
    And Intel is of course pulling the same stunt with the new Atom chipset.
    Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    I really hope they have a decent graphics core for Westmere. Otherwise the consumers are going to be really annoyed. I read at the INQ that it's going to be much better than current Intel IGP's. Let's hope that's true.
    Maybe they want to eventually replace it with a couple of Larrabee cores in the future.
    Reply
  • TA152H - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    I'm reading this, and I'm really surprised at how slow the Lynnfield is compared to the Core i7. Yet, Anand keeps saying how good it is. What am I missing? It's the same processor, but with modified memory access, and it gets run over by the i7 by up to 5% on many benchmarks.

    This sounds like a brain-damaged chip that should not be made. Sure, they can do turbo-mode better, but they can do that on the i7 as well, and may very well do that with the next revision. It seems the trade-offs have a very significant impact on performance.

    They should name it the Celeron - which also is performs pretty well, but is brain-damaged enough it's not really competitive with Intel's really good CPUs.

    It's still a really good CPU, outside of the context that the i7 is much better. But, if the prices don't overlap, it's still more than good enough to beat anything AMD puts out, and even the Penryn. Still, I'm really surprised at the low performance. I figured it would be close, because dual channel should have better latency than three channel, and the throughput rate wouldn't make so much of a difference. Oh well. At least I know not to wait.

    Great article, Anand. I do not really agree with your assessment of it, although I agree it's still a very attractive processor for many, it was very informative and helps me decide what and when to buy now. Thanks!
    Reply
  • mesiah - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    I think you are overlooking one important factor here. One reason Anand is so excited about the numbers that the lynnfield posted is because it is a crippled pre-production proccessor. With all of the limitations put on this sample chip it still performs admirably, and the actual production samples almost always outperform these early sample chips. Reply
  • TemjinGold - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    You do realize Lynnfield is meant to be the MAINSTREAM part while Bloomfield is the ENTHUSIAST part, right? It was never meant to beat the i7 just as nVidia's GTX260 Core 216 isn't meant to beat the GTX280. That's why it's so much cheaper. By your logic, AMD's entire lineup "shouldn't be made" as all of their chips get creamed by the i7. Reply
  • TA152H - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    If Intel were making the Phenom II, I would say there's no reason for the chips at all. They are expensive and slow. But, AMD really has no choice, since they don't have a better design available.

    Your logic is weak. i7 is a LINE of processors, with very expensive ones, and ones that are not so expensive. It's much broader than the GTX280.

    The reality is, it's not that much more expensive for Intel to make the i7. It's more of a marketing segmentation situation, just like they compromise lower end processors now. In this case, the loss of performance is really dramatic, and it's not like they're able to use chips they wouldn't be able to use otherwise, by disabling cache, or that the Lynnfield is going to be a lot smaller.

    We'll see when Anand gets the actual size, but I'd be shocked if you see a substantial difference in size. Probably the Lynnfield will be bigger, since some logic is on the processor now.

    I don't think it's a great tradeoff to lose so much performance, for the limited cost savings. I'd rather have seen them bring the i7 at lower clock speeds down to better prices, instead of artificially inflating the x58 price.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    You are correct, Lynnfield shouldn't be any smaller than Bloomfield (current i7). Remember that this is not only an early chip but it's on a mostly untuned motherboard. I've heard up to a 10% increase in performance for final shipping platforms. That may be more aggressive than I'd say but I think Jarred is on point here; I'd be surprised if we saw an appreciable difference between the i7-920 and the 2.66GHz Lynnfield in apps that spawn 4 or fewer CPU intensive threads.

    It's totally an artificial separation from a silicon standpoint. Intel could just as easily make everything a LGA-1366 processor and forget entirely about 1156. I'm assuming that 1366 boards would inherently be a bit more expensive as routing the QPI link requires a bit more effort than DMI. The main thing is that 1366 does not provide for on-die PCIe, which is necessary given the direction that Intel is going with mainstream graphics.

    I think in the long run 1366 will be reserved for very thread heavy work; the Skulltrail successor will only use 1366 sockets. Enthusiast overclockers may also flock to 1366 but I believe the majority of the market will be served just fine by 1156.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • red77star - Wednesday, September 09, 2009 - link

    I think you're wrong. The only reason Intel released LGA1156 was to 'kill' AMD. It seems to me that Intel doesn't want AMD to be able to compete. Honestly, LGA-1156 has no single value in it. There will never be 6-core CPU for this platform therefore it's absolutely 'future' useless. I own LGA1366 and i realized that i did good purchase. i920 is too good for $279 that Intel wants to kill it. i920 can be overclocked over 1000Mhz, probably not reachable for any of LGA1156 variant. We are talking about 1000Mhz overclock on air cooler and even higher. C0 revision will run 3.8Ghz fine, and D0 over 4.0Ghz meaning it will outperform anything out there. I don't think LGA1366 is only server reserved, wait for 1H 2010 and 6 core release. As soon as AMD pushes 6-core AM3 CPU for the price of newest crippled i7, existence of LGA1156 will lose any point.

    In my book Intel should had released cheaper version of x58 with less features (like less SATA ports, single PCIEx16 etc, dual channel memory), and what they did with LGA1156 CPUs, they could do same in LGA1366 package (by crippling i920) so everything is compatible across the platform and of course kill LGA775.

    Now we have LGA775, LGA1156, LGA1366 - it's called bullshit.
    Reply
  • esgreat - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    If you want performance, definitely i7 is the way to go...and yes, it does look like a purposeful marketing segmentation.

    It also boils down to price, not really to the end users but the bill of materials (BOM) cost to the manufacturers. A one chip 'chipset' solution will bring about significantly fewer components (capacitors, resistors), and also enable smaller form factors

    This would also mean that as the boards are released, the prices have much more room to drop compared to x58. And the fact that this is the volume mainstream part, economies of scale would ensure significant drops in prices.

    This would make great platforms for the majority of the computers sold by Dell, HP, etc (did I mention that P55 is a 'mainstream' chipset?). Large boards like the X58 isn't suitable for all applications. Imagine trying to stuff a huge X58 motherboard into a mini-chassis business desktop.

    And hey, the fact that you're an enthusiast and performance-conscious user, all your logical explanations concluded choosing the 'performance' platform, i7...exactly how Intel wanted you to do.

    Essentially you choose the performance you want depending on how much you have in your wallet. There's a potential $100-$200 cost savings for Lynnfield which I don't think is 'little'.

    The only question I ask is why you think Lynnfield is not going to be smaller than i7? I thought Anand showed photographs comparing their sizes.
    Reply
  • MrRuckus - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    "and it gets run over by the i7 by up to 5% on many benchmarks."

    Did you really say that? So if 5% is such a large amount, what would you consider to be close??
    Running on an intentionally crippled memory controller and only being 5% away from an i7, I would say thats outstanding.
    Reply
  • TA152H - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    OK, Ruckus, think about this instead of making your own crazy remarks.

    This is an identical processor in every way, except the memory controller, right? It's got the same functional units, same architecture, even the same cache system.

    So the only time it matters, is when it's reading memory from outside itself.

    So, the instruction has to be a read, and then has to miss the L1 cache, L2 cache, and L3 cache. This should be under 1% for most workloads, and certainly a very low number for almost all. So, it's not like we're reading memory outside of the processor that often, but it's still considerably slower. It's not 5% slower for reads, it's 5% slower for the entire application. So, it's very surprising to see this. If the cache architecture were different, I could see it, but it's really not. That's why I'm so surprised just the memory subsystem being brain-damaged has such a huge impact.

    Take a look at different memory speeds, and despite dramatic differences in clock speeds, you don't really see these types of differences. So, it's alarming to me that using the same memory, you see some significant differences in performance. You'd be better off getting an i7 and getting slower memory in most cases, because you can always buy faster memory later, but you won't be able to fix the Lynnfield's incompetent memory controller.

    Maybe it's as the other guy said, early silicon. I sure hope so. Otherwise, they've made a bad trade-off.
    Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    Also, you're comparing an early engineering sample CPU on an early engineering sample mobo with a retail part. Reply
  • TA152H - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    I'll agree there's a real possibility that this is one of the issues. Let's hope you're right. I really don't understand how it can be so slow compared to the i7, so, you probably have something here. Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    "This sounds like a brain-damaged chip that should not be made."

    Why don't you consider the price? You're getting performance almost equal to i7 920 for $200 less (price difference in mobo + CPU). Or you can get better performance than 920 for $100 less (CPU price same, but mobo is cheaper) from a 2.80 GHz Lynnfield. Of course you may like to buy high-end chips, but many people want budget systems. I don't think this chip should "not be made".
    Reply
  • mmpalmeira - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    The performance of a 2.8Ghz Lynnfield will probably match the 920's. Like it was said the 2.66 Ci5 is 5~7% slower them the 920. On the other hand MSI has just announced a U$165,00 I doubt that a Ci5 board will sell for less them U$100~110 at very best. Probably there won't be even a U$50,00 difference. Reply
  • TA152H - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    I think you're saying the same thing I am, that the i7 is the way to go.

    The 2.8 GHz Lynnfield should underperform the i7. It's not going to make up more than it's clock speed ratio improvement, and there are some benchmarks where the i7 is 10% faster. Clearly, the Lynnfield will not scale well, since the memory performance is relatively poor compared to the i7. As you go to higher clock speeds, you should see them diverge more.

    Also, turbo mode on the Lynnfield was boosting by 166 MHz, not the 133 MHz for the i7. This gave it an advantage it probably will not enjoy in real life. It makes no sense the i7 doesn't get the same boost from turbo mode, so I'd expect Intel to deal with that when they come out with new revisions. It's hard to imagine Intel giving the low end Lynnfield a big advantage over it's higher end brother. Since they're not selling Lynnfield now, leaving the low-end i7s turbo mode isn't problematic, and helps differentiate it from the higher end one. But, it's very doubtful it will be inferior to the crippled Lynnfield in this area.
    Reply
  • TA152H - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    Where are you getting this data from? Are you just making it up, because you have a feeling???

    The 2.8 GHz Lynnfield probably will underperform the 2.66 i7, while costing the same. It's about 5% faster, and processors do not scale linearly with clock speed, as you hopefully know. Plus, it's relatively easy to bump up the clock speed, there's a word for this "overclocking", which I hope you've heard of. Try changing the memory controller on the i5.

    The price of the x58 seems artificially inflated. Compared to the x48, it should be significantly cheaper, since there's no memory controller on it. But, it's not.

    I'd rather see Intel stop inflating the prices for the i7, rather than create a brain-damaged processor and make people buy it. The costs of making both platforms is probably not nearly what you're saying. Again, look at the x48. Why should the Nehalem motherboards be so much more expensive? It's not like they're so much more complicated.

    We'll know more when we see the sizes of these chips. But, I really believe Intel is bumping up the prices a lot on these chipsets. I don't blame them entirely, because they can, and they have a responsibility to their stockholders. But, for us, it would be better to have reasonably priced i7s, than brain-damaged i5s.
    Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    They're a business after all, and they sell CPU's to make money. Why do you expect them to price their products according to their manufacturing price instead of according to their performance?

    Of course i7 is a better alternative for enthusiasts, who know how to overclock. But there are MANY others who don't, and they'd rather save those $50 (or whatever difference it will be) because they can't justify it. I'm not saying i5 makes sense for people like us, but it certainly isn't a part which should not be made.

    And better turbo mode on i5 DOES make sense - people who don't know how to overclock can benefit from that extra headroom. You're overclocking i7 to its limits anyways, so a bigger turbo doesn't really make much sense.

    I'm going to buy an i7 anyways and wait for Gulftown. :D
    Reply
  • aeternitas - Sunday, June 07, 2009 - link

    It sounds like TA152H recently spent alot on an i7 system only to read all of this. I can understand that sort of frustration. Spending 200$+ on 5% and bandwidth one may never use in terms of whats in the PCI/e slots.

    However this isnt the place to grasp at straws.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    I don't think Lynnfield is "brain damaged" any more than tri-core Phenom or dual-core Core 2 are "brain damaged". It's like saying Core i7 parts are stupid and shouldn't be made because they're not Xeons - or that Intel and AMD should stop making budget CPUs like the Pentium Dual-Core and Athlon X2 stuff. Tri-channel memory has very little impact on most desktop users, so removing that feature and going with dual-channel is perfectly reasonable.

    On the other hand, I do agree that having separate platforms for mainstream and high-end parts is not doing consumers any favors. Now you can lock yourself into either LGA-1366 or LGA-1156, and that means you might eventually hit a dead-end. Hopefully we don't see anything like AMD's old socket 940 "enthusiast" platform where users are abandoned after a few CPU updates. I'd prefer Intel to focus on 1366 and let economies of scale take care of the rest. But then they'd need to charge less for some high-end parts. :p
    Reply
  • TA152H - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    Actually, Jarrod, your logic is flawed.

    AMD does that triple core and dual core so they can salvage processors that would be thrown out. Also, dual core can be faster than quad, since you can generally clock higher, since you have less heat and your limit is only the slowest of two cores, not four. But, in any event, there are a lot of instances where going to four cores is not going to help much. The Lynnfield is slower in a lot more things.

    You're also confused about dual-channel and tri-channel. I never said dual-channel was bad, I said Lynnfield was. The i7 with dual channel performs better than the Lynnfield, so don't get the two confused.

    The difference in performance between the i7 and Lynnfield is dramatic considering they are the same except for the memory controller. Anyone here who buys a Lynnfield is probably making a mistake, since it's easy to overclock the i7, and you can't fix the brain-damaged Lynnfield.

    What your saying is what I have been. Stick with the i7 and let it go down in price, instead of crippling it and selling that as the lower cost part. Where I disagree with you is, I don't think the i7 platform is going to be much less expensive to make. Maybe you have the sizes for all the parts, but I don't think you'll see a significant difference in the costs. A lower end chipset without so many PCIe lanes for the i7 could have brought the system costs a lot closer, and you wouldn't have to castrate the processor.

    Also, because now you have more functions on the processor, it's very possible it will not clock as high. It will, after all, generate more heat, presumably, since it's got more on it.

    I don't think Intel made a good compromise with this. To lose so much performance with just a memory controller change is shocking to me. Maybe it's new silicon, and maybe that's most of the performance loss, but it doesn't make sense to me. It's not the same as a smaller L2 cache that makes the processor a lot smaller. Or salvaging processors that would otherwise be thrown out, where there is a very meaningful cost difference. This seems more like a market segment type of thing.

    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    I think you're putting WAY too much emphasis on these early benchmarks. I expect final Lynnfield to perform faster than the i7-920 in most cases (outside of heavily threaded workloads like 3D rendering). There are tons of people that:

    A) Never do 3D rendering
    B) Never do video encoding/transcoding
    C) Never overclock

    For those users, the enhanced Turbo on Lynnfield combined with lower costs makes perfect sense. We are after all looking at a platform cost that will be about $150 less than Core i7 + mobo, plus you buy RAM in pairs instead of triplets.

    We'll have to see how Lynnfield clocks with final CPUs before making any judgments; I certainly don't think the sample Anand has is representative of final chips in performance, clocking, or various other areas. As he mentions, the motherboard BIOS releases still look like they're not ready for the public, and that can make up for the "huge" 5% performance gap.

    For people looking at faster dual-core chips for gaming (i.e. Core 2 Duo E8500/E8600), I suspect that the Lynnfield will outperform them across the board, with or without overclocking. They'll be about the same price too, all told.
    Reply
  • GeorgeH - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    When the "real" test comes out, I'd be very curious to hear your thoughts on the USB, SATA, and PCIe 3.0 standards, as all three have been rumored to be out in late 2009 or early 2010. With PCIe 2.0 integrated onto the CPU and USB/SATA 2.0 being locked in on the motherboard (ignoring add-on cards) it seems as if first gen systems could end up being a major loser in terms of longevity and upgradeability. Reply
  • jmke - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    When I got to the last page and started reading the Why would anyone want a LGA-1366 system then? , I got a nasty flashback. S939 vs S754: we all knew S754 was a dead end, right from the start; why o why is Intel taking this same decisions? Build one platform, let it scale all the way up and down; why force people to upgrade motherboard to upgrade their CPU :-/ Reply
  • philosofool - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    Because you and I, the DIY system builders, represent about 0.3% of the market for computers. Socket decisions are driven entirely by the needs of Intel, Dell, HP and the rest of the network of manufactures. Those people want an inexpensive successor to LGA 775, which 1366 was not. I'm not sure why intel wanted a performance socket, but I don't think 1366 is leaving the scene. It will just be part of the "high end" market. LGA 1156 will include mainstream parts eventually. However, looking at the cost of Core i5, I have to say that I'm probably not canceling my plan to upgrade to a Phenom X3 720. Reply
  • Depeche - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    If it wasn't for AMD Intel would just price their processors whatever they want it to be. AMD is out there so that Intel drops their prices :) Reply
  • lopri - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    is what Intel wants, obviously. And it is succeeding. More sockets, more patents, more incompatibility... and We're going back to $200, $500, $1,000 tiers in CPU prices. I'm surprised that you have no complaint, Anand. Well, actually you think the opposite! (Page 2: Making Nehalem Affordable??) Wow!

    quote:

    no additional ICH is necessary as all of that functionality is embedded in the PCH.

    Umm..? I thought PCH was just a new name for ICH. Is there any other functionality in PCH that does not exist in ICH?

    Apparently Intel saw the danger of 3rd party PCBs for Lynfield CPUs, and that is why these CPUs are priced so high despite being designated as "Mainstream". (Though I am certain Intel will do anything it can to prevent 3rd party to develop motherboards for these CPUs - at least until DOJ threatens it with anti-trust investigations)

    Forgetting all the dirty business stuff, Lynfield is no doubt an admirable piece of silicon. It is a fine engineering that no one else has achieved yet. I'm anxious to get my hands on it when it's out. I have an i7 920 sitting in a box for nearly two weeks now because I can't seem to find a board that suits my needs/wants. I hope we'll see variety of creative motherboards for Lynfield CPUs now that these CPUs aren't (presumably) shackled to QPI BS.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    Note that these are performance desktop parts. They are mainstream for quad-core CPUs but not designed for the sub-$500 system market. You will see 32nm Westmere derivatives in the $100 - $200 range and eventually even lower.

    Third party motherboard makers already have P55 boards in development for Lynnfield, the majority of P55 boards for Lynnfield won't be made by Intel.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Kary - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    I think this was more a reference to third party CHIPSETS

    Like Nvidia's ION upset Intel

    Different manufactures using the same chipset don't really make that different of boards (compared to completely different chipsets made into boards by different manufacturers)
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    The chipset honestly doesn't do much these days. It acts as a PCIe switch and delivers basic standards: USB, SATA, GigE, etc... Long term I think we'll see that AMD makes AMD chipsets and Intel makes Intel chipsets, I don't see much room for someone like NVIDIA there.

    Where NV does add value is in graphics, and there's nothing preventing NVIDIA from continuing to deliver graphics to both Intel and AMD platforms. I don't believe we'll see much of a future in 3rd party integrated graphics chipsets on either AMD or Intel platforms, both manufacturers will be bringing graphics on-package.

    At this point I view NVIDIA's platform strengths as being predominantly in mobile applications (think MIDs, smartphones, notebooks) and unfulfilled niches like Atom + Ion. On the graphics side, NVIDIA is quite strong, it's just the platform strength that has eroded over time.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    There's always the dual-core Nehalem Clarkdale for the mainstream market. And I think they'll launch lower clock Lynnfields too, like Anand said.

    I think Intel did a good job by separating its high-end processors from the mainstream ones and launching them as a different series. So now instead of having one $1200 extreme part, we have 3 high-end parts, with the lowest priced one a very affordable option for geeks who are on a budget.
    Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    Congratulations Intel, you've created a beast.

    What is AMD going to do now? I don't think they have any new cores ready for launch this year. If Lynnfield offers the same performance as i7 920 for Phenom II prices, AMD will either have to bump up their clock speeds ridiculously, or lower their prices yet again. Things aren't looking good for AMD. Lynnfield turns out to be better than I expected.


    And I HATE Intel and their tick-tock. Actually I can't decided whether to hate or like it. It's good that they're advancing our planet's technology at a really fast pace so we'll be prepared when aliens attack. But which damn processor do I buy??? They launch a new series every year, and a new stepping every few months. Which one to buy? WHEN to buy??? My parents won't buy me processors every 6 months!
    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    You could always do what people did back in the day - upgrade when your current hardware no longer does what you need it to do. I know, crazy right!? Reply
  • Griswold - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    Its only a crazy concept if daddy is paying for those upgrades all the time - you and the rest of us know its the right thing to do. :] Reply
  • Jaramin - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    Looking at AMD's roadmap, I fear this is going to hurt a lot :( If the pricing is good, it could confine AMD into the lower mainstream segment. Reply
  • Hyperion1400 - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    That remains to be seen. Don't Istanbul heading for market at around the same time as Core-i5. There has been little information leaked about Istanbul and no performance numbers have come to light. So, as of now, it is impossible to predict how competitive AMD's offerings will be. Not to mention we have Magny Cours to look forward too in 1H 2010. Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    But Istanbul is just a 6-core Opteron. In other words, a server chip. Reply
  • Hyperion1400 - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    As was Barcelona and Shanghai. But, that didn't seem to stop them from releasing them on the main stream market. Reply
  • Spoelie - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    but costs would be too prohibitive
    PhII is already similar in die size as bloomfield, and is forced to be priced lower for competitive reasons.
    You think AMD won't be hurting if it sells an even larger die to compete with a smaller-than-bloomfield die, in a market where having more than 6 cores is questionable value at best?

    No, only thing amd can do is crank up clock speeds, try to get 3.4 and 3.6ghz models out the door
    Reply
  • Spoelie - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    Oh and up the uncore clock on them as well, preferably 2.4ghz, but might make them look worse in power consumption comparisons Reply
  • Hyperion1400 - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    *Presses imaginary edit button*

    "Don't forget, Istanbul is heading..."
    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    Awesome preview, too bad about HT.

    I think there's an error with the labelling for the first pass x264 encoding test on pg 7.
    Reply
  • dwade123 - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    i5 is perfect for ITX motherboard compared to i7. Can't wait!!! Reply
  • nubie - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    +1 they need to get an ITX motherboard for these immediately, if not sooner!

    One chip motherboard with integrated PCI-e x16 is perfect for ITX gaming system, should drive the cost of them way way down :)

    Dual x8 PCI-e 2.0 is fine for Crossfire or SLi (not that I would ever plan to run them)

    Is there any chance of an nVidia 9800/GTS250 integrated ITX motherboard? I would just about die if you could get one of those for around $200 ;)
    Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    Absolutely! Can you imagine all that horsepower in such a small FF? Hopefully Zotac makes another mini-ITX with a x16 slot on it. Reply
  • Depeche - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    By the time I got the i7 the i5 comes out and when I finally get the i5 some other series comes out. I can't keep up :)

    Get these CPUs in the Bench Beta :P
    Reply
  • A5 - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    This kind of thing (and the motherboard round-ups that used to be here) were the reasons I came to AT. If this pans out, I'm definitely building a Lynnfield system to replace my aging Socket-939 rig. Reply
  • philosofool - Monday, August 03, 2009 - link

    As a bonus, if you buy into LGA 1156 now, you will probably be able to get a considerable upgrade in 2 years just by replacing the CPU. The LGA 1156 socket should last awhile, at least as long as LGA 775, but maybe longer, because the memory controller was the big reason for a new socket. Reply
  • nuudles - Monday, June 01, 2009 - link

    I agree, great article!

    I also have only an an old s939 rig (opteron 150 - so i am still in the single-core world), and I also suspect this is the one I have been waiting for:)

    I initially thought I would wait a bit longer till the 32nm parts come out (damn Intel for their tick-tock), but since the first 32nm parts will be more mainstream (2C/4T) where the Lynnfields are high-end mainstream (or whatever its called) I think the 2.8 Lynnfield would suit me nicely for the next 3-4 years.

    Reply
  • faxon - Monday, June 01, 2009 - link

    yea i would wait man. i upgraded from my 939 rig to an e5200 and now i have a Q9650 @ 4GHz @ 1.296vcore. given the performance benchmarks, even a 3.7ghz lynnfield will probably outperform my 4GHZ quad in games Reply
  • Depeche - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    Man thats ancient ... ya I would defiantly wait for the Core i5s. To get a Core i7 just doesn't seem worth it now with the Core i5's coming out. Reply
  • Samus - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    i7 still makes sense if you plan on

    a) SLI/CF

    b) dual-CPU

    c) memory bandwidth intensive tasks (seeding torrents, folding@home, etc) where triple channel makes some sense

    d) the need for 6 memory slots

    e) something currently purchasable

    I also suspect the release of "i5" chips will drive down prices of i7, specifically the i7-920, the most desirable i7. Keeping in mind the i7-920's overclocking ability, it is still much more capable than the "i5" even if you assume the "i5" overclocks as well, because the i7 has Jackson technology active across its entire lineup.
    Reply
  • DJMiggy - Monday, June 01, 2009 - link

    I swear I read that the i7 doesn't support dual CPUs. Maybe that has changed with xeons though or I might just be insane. Probably the latter. Reply
  • wifiwolf - Sunday, May 31, 2009 - link

    i7 system is too expensive, cpu is also expensive but system is too overpriced. Reply
  • Jabbernyx - Friday, May 29, 2009 - link

    ^ This, although for me personally (b) isn't important and I've effectively nerfed (d) by using an EX58-UD3R :P Reply

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