On-package GPU and Graphics Turbo

Arrandale and Clarkdale are two-die packages. There's the 32nm CPU die and next to it is a 45nm DirectX 10 GPU die (no DX11 support until possibly Larrabee).

This isn't Larrabee (yet), it's a direct descendent of the graphics in G45. While G45 was built on a 65nm process, the 'dale graphics is built on a 45nm process.

The smaller transistors enable much higher performance. While G45 had 10 shader cores, the 'dale GPU increases that to 12. A number of performance limiting issues have now been resolved, so we should see much more competitive performance from Intel's graphics.

The memory controller has been moved off of the CPU die and is on the GPU die instead. It's still on-package so you get decently low latencies, but it shouldn't technically be as low as on Lynnfield. This is a temporary problem that fixes itself once the CPU/GPU are on the same die with Sandy Bridge.

Sandy Bridge brings on-die graphics

I've already explained turbo mode quite a bit so I won't rehash it here. The technology basically allows you to run your CPU at the fastest possible frequency regardless of how many cores are active. Westmere has this.

Arrandale will support graphics turbo modes, while Clarkdale won't. Clarkdale graphics is already running as fast as possible regardless of TDP.

If the GPU demand is higher than the CPU demand, the CPU will allocate more of its TDP to the GPU and vice versa.

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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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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