Not One Nehalem, but Two

Nehalem itself is very stable but it has only been in Taiwanese motherboard manufacturer hands for a relatively short while now, so the only truly mature motherboards are made by Intel. Unfortunately since Intel didn't sanction our little Nehalem excursion, we were left with little more than access to some early X58 based motherboards in Taiwan. Thankfully we had two setups to play with, each for a very limited time.

We had access to a 2.66GHz Nehalem for the longest time, unfortunately the motherboard it was paired with had some serious issues with memory performance. Not only was there no difference between single and triple channel memory configurations, memory latency was high. We know this was a board specific issue since our second Nehalem platform didn't exhibit any issues. Unfortunately we didn't have access to the more mature platform for very long at all, meaning the majority of our tests had to be run on the first setup (never fear, Nehalem is fast enough that it didn't end up mattering).

The second issue we ran into was a PCI Express problem that kept us from running any meaningful GPU benchmarks. We've been told that it'll take the motherboard guys about a month to work out these kinks, but that's why you shouldn't expect to see a full performance evaluation of Nehalem in the near term.

The CPUs are quite mature and are running extremely cool (surprisingly cool actually), their clock speeds are being artificially limited by Intel in order to avoid putting all cards on the table at this time. We saw a similar approach with the very first Penryn samples which were all locked at 2.66GHz. The Intel X58 chipset we used in our testing on the other hand got quite hot.

Nehalem no longer has a conventional FSB, its clock speed is derived from a multiplier of an external clock frequency - in this case 133MHz. Expect all Nehalem chips to come out in frequencies that are multiples of 133MHz.

Thankfully we don't want a thorough look at Nehalem today, we'll save that for the launch - what we do want is to whet our appetite. We want to know if Intel can pull it off a second time.

Index The Socket
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • SiliconDoc - Monday, July 28, 2008 - link

    Crysis- etc. :

    Pete, you can be very happy knowing it will do folding like mad, and you can fantasize that you've cured cancer while you spend your money for some tax subsidized already to the hilt University program, because you're such a good and loving person.
    ( I know YOU didn't mean anything like that - see sarcasm! )
    In the mean time, the OLD HT single core chips will do just fine cranking most games, and dual core or core2duo or 2180 or some other then $40 chip will be a few percentage pts. shy.
    My gawd, they've got our number.
    I bet they "unlock it !!!!! " OMG ! for like 2 grand if you're cooooool you can get one!
  • Crank the Planet - Thursday, June 5, 2008 - link

    I know it may be exciting but the article sounds fan-boyish. For most of the marks it shows what intel is claiming 20-30% boost. He gets one mark to go 50% and now it's 20-50% boost?? He compares in another mark AMD 21 and nehalem 14 and says it's almost 50% faster!!! and then compares penryn 18 and nehalem 14 and says it's 28%. I think the AMD mark was more like 35%.

    As I've said before everybody knows AMD was going to hurt themselves in the short run by buying ATI. If they didn't buy ATI I think things would be very different. Now that the last year of payments is being made for buying ATI AMD will be able to get back into the game.

    Intel has only now integrated the memory controller. Everybody knew as soon as they did they would see a nice bump. They haven't had any significant innovations in a long time. AMD is in the same position they were before K8. Just give them some time to finish absorbing ATI, then watch out- fusion is just around the corner :)
  • hs635 - Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - link

    Fuck off retard
  • masouth - Friday, June 6, 2008 - link

    What kind of idiot fan-boy drivel is this?

    "He gets one mark to go 50% and now it's 20-50% boost??"

    Ummm, yes?

    1, 2, 3, 4, 8

    What is the range of those numbers? 1-8, right?

    Does the majority of them being being in the 1-5 range somehow negate the fact that the actual range is 1-8?

  • michael2k - Thursday, June 5, 2008 - link

    You're the one that sounds like a fanboy.

    What makes you think Intel's CPU-GPU integration won't be as fabulous as their IMC or quad-core components? Intel doesn't need "significant innovations" (nor does AMD), they just need higher performance, lower power, and lower cost, which is exactly what they have.

    Innovations only exist to serve those aspects.
  • Justin Case - Sunday, June 8, 2008 - link


    AMD64 (the instruction set) isn't about "more performance". Virtualization isn't about "more performance". Hardware no-execute flags aren't about "more performance". SATA's hot-plug ability isn't about "more performance".

    Your statement shows the kind of lack of vision that brought us the Pentium 4.

    I for one am far more excited about technology that allows me to do something new or different than "technology" that simply lets me do the same stuff faster. 99% of CPU cycles in the planet go unused anyway.

  • zsdersw - Thursday, June 5, 2008 - link

    Given the overall tone of your reply, the criticism of the article as "fan-boyish" is, really, the pot calling the kettle black.
  • Visual - Thursday, June 5, 2008 - link

    so you agree as well? yeah, me too.
    they are both black. they are both fanboys :)
  • zsdersw - Thursday, June 5, 2008 - link

    I've said nothing about agreeing with anything. What I have said, though, is that a fanboy calling someone else a fanboy is perhaps not indicative of any objective truth.
  • Jynx980 - Saturday, June 7, 2008 - link

    It will be a great day when I can read any CPU discussion without the word fanboy in it.

    The close up of the chip has waaaaaay to much thermal compound on it.

    Is it just me or is the first pic of the Intel roadmap rather... phallic?

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now